Buss Compression

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Steve@Russo, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    Well the seed was planted right here on this forum to get into a 2-bus compressor, the api 2500 to be specific, well I got an xpressor 500, didn't like it, BUT>>>>Tomorrow I have a pair of 527's showing up that can be linked in my lunchbox. Pretty excited, just wanted to share my excitement, plus I got a session to tape this weekend. Should be fun
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What was it about the xpressor 500 you didn't like?
  3. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    I love my Manley-vari mu on 2-bus. I've tried a lot of things on 2-bus and it is really special. I love using my API 550b's in my mastering chain just to add the API sound. I bet the 527s will sound killer. I love my 525. One thing to note is that many engineers including myself prefer not to stereo link compressors. I find if I am hitting the compressor hard enough to need the linking I am hitting it too hard.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree.

    Linking seems make things more narrow and less attitude/ personality. For a more focused center, however, linking has its place.
    I've been tossing the API 2500 vs the Vari Mu for months. Have you compared the two Paul? One of the two is my next purchase.
  5. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    I haven't tried the 2500. From my experience with the vari-mu it is just plain nice. Very classy sounding. I've used it on everything from acoustic, classical, rock, metal, you name it. The best way I can describe it is that the more dense the mix is the more colored the sound gets. I've never not liked the color of this compressor, in fact I've usually been pushing as much out of it as I can. I didn't try out the 2500 because I love the vari-mu so much. Because I do quite a bit of acoustic type stuff I had read that the API 2500 is better for rock type mixes. In fact API was supposed to be dreadful on vocals and classical stuff. This was quite a few years ago and I am much more experienced now. What I know now that I have used almost every piece of current API outboard is that this is hooey. API is seriously versatile stuff and its color mostly appreciated. I've had great experience with API pre's on all types of vocal, ensembles etc. I'd be willing to bet that the 2500 is great and in the right hands and useful in all genres. I think the first thing I'd do with a 2500 is but up a quartet mix and see what you get. After busting that myth throw it on a rock mix.

    All that said when I bought the manley my philosophy was a little different then it was now. I was very inexperienced with high end gear at the time and was just building my outboard studio. The vari-mu seemed to be revered in all circles including mastering circles. Anything that I've bought for mastering has been equally useful in mixing but the success rate of mixing stuff on mastering channels hasn't been nearly as good.

    I've tried my waves maxxbcl alone, UA LA-2-LA, 2 LA-610's, 2 distressors and many more things on the 2-bus. Honestly it was like watching a wrestler beat up a mouse. There just was zero comparison.

    Basically I think that either the API or Manley would be fantastic. For me I have grown so fond of my manley(that always makes my wife laugh) that I couldn't see giving it up for a 2500, nail or anything. Their isn't a bus that it hasn't excelled at either. I'd really like 3 more for a drums, music, vocal bus setup into my 2-bus.

    Sorry for the ramble.LOL
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Nice explanation! I don't see myself using the API 2500 for mastering. I imagine it would be for drums mostly or edgier tracks with attitude. If I bought a used Vari Mu, what degrades overtime with them, the tubes? What do they cost? I'm new to tube gear like this. Seems I could get a used Vari Mu for around $2600. $1800 for the API 2500.

    Comments I hear from mastering engineers is the Vari Mu gets used about 10% of the time. It sounds like its great for finishing and glueing mix's. I'm definitely looking for something that will do this. You notice the more complex mix the more it colours, I'm assuming that means glue too, yes?
  7. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    then xpressor just "narrow" to me, also it seemed like it was def made for electronic music more, api just has that classic sound, I already ran some stuff through them, love it
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The 527 is basically the API 2500, yes?
  9. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    there is no med knee and I think there is some other small differences inside because of the power requirements, however it does have the thrust, sounds awesome. Almost as good as the mono royer going through the la 610 for a room mic. I got a stoner rock band coming in tomorrow, straight to tape
  10. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    This is not the first time that I've heard that description.

    I've never had an issue with mine in more then 5 years. In fact I've never had an issue with any tube piece of gear. I don't think tubes are a ton of cash. Maybe $100-$150 fo the entire unit.

    I've heard that but I've also never seen a proper mastering house without one.
  11. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    I have an API 2500 and like it a lot.

    It's good for tracking and bus duties. Although I don't think I'd ever be looking at another piece for 2-bus duties, I'm hearing good things about the Thermionic Phoenix Mastering Plus - Stereo Tube Comp. I would only ever consider this or an SSL G Comp if I felt I was missing something.


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