SSL UF8 Review: An Amazing and Advanced DAW Controller For Everybody! (2023)

SSL UF8 DAW Controller

SSL UF8 Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • 8 Touch-sensitive 100 mm motorized faders
  • 8 + 1 Rotary control with push function
  • 8 TFT LCD color displays
  • Illuminated RGB “Soft Feel” button

SSL UF8 Review

For the home recording engineers (particularly those that are primarily used to an in-the-box workflow), the UF8 serves as the right, scalable entry level into a ‘console’ model workflow, with all of the visible and haptic upsides that come with mixing via fader banks and rotary dials (and with the choice to chain units collectively as your mixing needs increase).

For the seasoned professional, the UF8 serves as a delightfully portable fader choice for location and post work, completely splendid for driving dialogue or for getting in-the-box desk mixes prepared on the fly. The naturalness of the navigation/display and the portability/stability of the unit itself make it your new greatest friend for any small-scale mix purposes or minimalist studio setup.

SSL Logo

Installation of the SSL 360° software program is fast and painless, and the tutorials for interfacing with numerous DAWs, in each PDF and video format, are complete – a simple setup. Presently the UF8 is fluent with ProTools, Logic Pro X, Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton Live, and Presonus Studio One. Different DAWs might feasibly be built-in because the UF8 uses Mackie Control and HUI MIDI codecs. SSL assures additional integration templates are within the works.

Uniquely, the SSL 360° utility permits a number of control format ‘Layers’. Three layers may be set to totally different DAW purposes and you may rapidly flip from one layout to the other at the touch of a button.

For a little SSL icing on the UF8 cake, the corporate contains two plugins from the SSL Native assortment, namely: full licenses of Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip plug-ins, SSL Native’s extremely regarded vocal (it’s additionally nice for speech/voice-over work) and percussion production instruments. Supplying you with a spread of professional high-quality processors suited to the music, audio, and post-production duties

As with all SSL merchandise, the UF8 build quality is decidedly field-ready, with a metallic enclosure, and prime quality. Motorized faders, rotary encoders, and sturdy soft key buttons all through.

SSL UF8 Rear Panel

High-resolution LCD TFT screens adorn the machine with key info that is track specific together with stage, pan, and track name. Quick USB connectivity helps you to connect the UF8 to pretty much all units imaginable.

The UF8’s massive rotary knob known as the Channel encoder has a spread of various capabilities relying on what you’re targeted on.

It may be used to scroll through tracks one after the other on the device as normal, scrub via a track with the playback head in nav mode, transfer a particular clip utilizing nudge mode and modify particular parameters utilizing focus mode.

Multiple uses of those encoders are yet one more intuitive solution to get probably the most out of your software program utilizing this controller.

If eight faders aren’t sufficient for you, SSL has added the flexibility to chain together 4 models for a classic 32-channel SSL expertise, giving every channel a devoted fader.

SSL UF8 Chained

Chaining 4 together permits each to have a unique set of assignable buttons which creates an absurd quantity of possibilities together with mixing your track in a pair of passes. Alternatively, you should utilize a single UF8 and scroll between totally different channels on the track with a click of a button and watch the motorized faders snap into place.

Devoted plugin buttons additionally will let you choose a plugin on a channel and use the limitless rotary encoders to switch them without utilizing your mouse.

If the encoders aren’t advantageous enough for you, hovering over a parameter in your DAW will allow the use of the Channel encoder within the aforementioned focus mode for use as a mouse scroll wheel, permitting for fine-tuning.

Swapping between windows in your DAW is simple through the use of the default assigned fast keys on the machine. Utilizing the send and swap buttons permits with a click of a button, the snapping of your sends to the faders, switching between pre and submit fader, and flipping back to your mix in seconds.

If there was ever any query as to how SSL would navigate the transfer from a basic large format console to the compact world of the modern DAW workflow, the answer is: extremely well.

The UF8 expertly toes the road between premium (however not out of reach) desktop fader choice and scalable professional workhorse, in turn making it a greater than justifiable funding for engineers on either side of the fence.

SSL UF8 Brief Features:

  • Up to 4 UF8 can be cascaded via USB (32 faders maximum)
  • Control of up to 3 different DAWs at the same time
  • DAW communication: HUI / MCU
  • Multifunctional, rasterised master encoder for navigation
  • Track banking and mouse-wheel emulation
  • 43 Individually assignable buttons for frequently used shortcuts / macros (5 x 8 plus 3 quick keys)
  • Programming via SSL 360° software for Mac and PC
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 431 x 62.7 x 266 mm
  • Includes Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip plug-ins (download after registration)
  • Includes external power supply

Why You Need the SSL UF8

In case you are after something new for your music production, then this might be the right choice for you. We listed what we thought are the most important details about this unit, hoping that it will be enough for you to make the purchasing decision.

9Expert Score
SSL UF8 Review

For the seasoned professional, the UF8 serves as a delightfully portable fader choice for location and post work, completely splendid for driving dialogue or for getting in-the-box desk mixes prepared on the fly.

  • High-Quality Build
  • Works with Most DAWs
  • Flexible Soft Keys
  • Extendable
  • Learning Curve for Plugins


The UF8 is doubtless a top-shelf control surface, and also you’d count on nothing much less from SSL. The MIDI-over-USB performance is fast and responsive, the faders are silky-smooth, quick, and chatter-free, and integrate solidly with the DAWs we used it with, Cubase – works extraordinarily well.

We’ve not come through a controller that allowed us to leave the mouse or trackball behind fully, however, the UF8 comes closer than others. In case you are having any questions in regards to this unit, please let us know in the comment section below or reach out to SSL customer service.


Nikoloski is the founder and main content writer and editor of Mixing Tips. With his experience in audio engineering, mixing, and mastering for over 15 years, will provide hands-on experience and expertise in all the matters covered on this website.

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