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The Best 500-series modules for your DAW workflow


The Best 500-series modules for your DAW workflow  · 

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Cottonbro Studio / Pexels / Elysia

Hardware is becoming more accessible these days, so there’s more incentive than ever to add powerful gain and tone shaping tools into your setup. To do this, we’ve selected some of the best 500-series modules for your lunchbox.

500-series modules can become central to your tracking and mixing workflows, providing you with the means to sculpt and shape waveforms in ways that plug-ins simply can’t.

Choosing the best 500-series modules

The is a huge range of modules available and they vary in price. So we’ve picked out a few that are particularly great value, offering a unique feature set that you won’t find elsewhere.

SSL SiX Channel

If you’re recording with microphones or via DI input, often running directly into your interface just doesn’t provide adequate control to get the clarity or dynamics you require. So, this is where the SiX Channel comes in.

SSL SiX Channel
SSL SiX Channel

The preamp gives you plenty of discrete gain as well as metering, while the EQ has HF and LF shelves with bell switches to tonally shape the sound on the way in. In addition, the one-knob compressor adds even more utility to this module.

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Elysia Skulpter 500

The Skulpter combines a Class-A discrete mic preamp, a VCA compressor, and a choice of two saturation modes in a single-slot module. It also has a DI input on the front panel, as well as LED metering and a polarity switch.

Elysia Skulpter 500
Elysia Skulpter 500

In addition, the sweepable low-cut filter allows you to precisely isolate the frequency range of your source, be it vocals, guitars, synths, or drum overheads. Overall, it’s one of the more versatile preamp modules available.

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IGS Audio S-Type

If you’re looking to process your entire mix, the S-Type is a VCA compressor inspired by the famous SSL G-Series bus compressor, with a few tweaks here and there.

IGS Audio S-Type 500
IGS Audio S-Type 500

Besides price, the main difference with the S-Type is the external sidechain input which is very useful for achieving pumping effects on your drums. Also, the mix knob allows parallel compression, so even with severe settings you can still dial back the wet signal.

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Rupert Neve Designs 551

The 551 3-band Inductor EQ from Rupert Neve Designs is one of the most sought-after 500-series modules available. Not only does it offer immaculate audio quality and precise detail on the mids and highs, but the design also makes it a great creative tool to use.

Rupert Neve Designs 551
Rupert Neve Designs 551

The HF and LF shelving filters both have peak switches, and the mid-band has a switch to widen the Q-factor. If you consider that every take you record will pass through this EQ, it can easily become one of the most valuable instruments in your setup.

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Frap Audio Dynamics 2806

If you’re making music using hardware synthesizers and samplers, the Frap Audio Dynamics 2806 gives you a way to process your instruments in both corrective and creative ways to fit your mix.

Frap Audio Dynamics 2806
Frap Audio Dynamics 2806

This hefty-looking module combines a dual-mode VCA compressor and a feed-forward expander with sweepable sidechain filters. It is a mono module, but the drum mix is predominantly made up of mono information in electronic music so this isn’t a limitation.

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More about the best 500-series modules:

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*Note: This post contains affiliate links and/or widgets. When you buy a product via our affiliate partner, we receive a small commission that helps support what we do. Don’t worry, you pay the same price. Thanks for your support!

Image Sources:

  • SSL SiX Channel: SSL
  • Elysia Skulpter 500: Elysia
  • IGS Audio S-Type 500: IGS Audio
  • Rupert Neve Designs 551: Rupert Neve Designs
  • Frap Audio Dynamics 2806: Frap Audio

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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