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First Api Pre on It's Way

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Steve@Russo, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    So, after using this sound craft mixer for a session or 2 I realized I actually do not need it with my interface, monitor st and cue mix I didn't need it. So I decided to pick up a 512c and lunchbox. Never used api, I choose to go with Daking when I built the last studio, any tips or cements...remy?
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The API gives you a classic great sound. Don't be tempted to use the DI input for unbuffered guitars - its input impedance is much too low.

    If you are driving the API into an interface with less than +30dBu input capability (and I don't know many that go that high), you should consider investing in a (e.g.) 12dB balanced attenuator to go between the output of your API pre-amp and the interface input. Using this, you will be able to drive the API all the way into a crunchy saturation of its output transformer before you hit 0dBFS on the interface. With my typical mix of artists, I don't often need to do this, but it's magic when you do.

    You should keep using the mixer if you want cements.
     
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The mixer gives you a bunch of routing options for various things. Headphone mixes especially when you want to add effects without printing them. Some singers like (need) verbs when they sing. I dont like this but the client is always right......except when they're wrong
     
  4. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Steve, which model Soundcraft mixer are you using?
     
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I'm absolutely with Boswell on this one. Yup, no doubt. In fact I need that same balanced output pad when I'm trying to feed the line level inputs to my Digi-crap M-Blotch 2 from my Neve or API outputs. That actually PMO when I have to feed their " proprietary inputs " with a pad since they can't handle the headroom from the good stuff. What's proprietary about crap I want to know? This brings me back to a Cheech and Chong original comedy routine about a couple of Eskimos in what they found lying on the snow because it looks like crap, sounds like crap, it tastes like crap, must be crap? That's called basic scientific discoveries. Occam's razor.

    And I'm also with Dave because headphone routing along with making your client feel good is an important factor to have. Essentially, that's exactly what I do. It's just that everything is built into my 36 input Neve to accomplish that. Most of the time, I'll just take a direct output from the 3115 module directly to the multitrack recorder. Sometimes I may even include some compression and/or limiting while tracking but not 100% of the time. It returns to the Neve from the multitrack recorder where I can add reverb without the need to print it. But then sometimes, that direct output from the 3115 might sound too clean. OK then, I let it route through the Neve to one of the output groups. This passes that 3115 through 6-8 additional transformers & 3415A summing and output amplifiers & VoilĂ  additional warming and saturation components from more input transformers & class A inputs to class A/B outputs and additional transformers. I'll let musical distortion add up to something very magical. I can't tell you how many times I've actually just switched off equalizers and pulled out limiters to get an even better equalized & compressed sound just by pushing these discrete transistor devices. It's crazy fun and oh so gratifying. So even that API in combination with your console may even provide you with a better record sound than just taking the output of the API alone into your multitrack recorder/interface. Since we are strictly dealing with 1's & 0's nothing adds up to 5 without daisychaining numerous items together to create that 5 x 5 like sound we like so much. These are small nearly imperceptible differences in minutia that when done correctly, add up to something more than what you started with. While I am always expounding on LESS IS MORE, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID, that rule does not apply 100% of the time when dealing with subjective material the way we have to. Straight wire is always the best but when you are not trying to achieve just " the best " but something beyond that realm, this is where the creative juices must kick in.

    So get down and kick it. Kick it good, kick it hard
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  6. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    I can do separate mixes with the cue mix software, much more powerful than the soundcraft grb I was using. More i/o much more flexible. If had a 36 input neve it would be worth keeping, but I don't, the hardware was very limited, and I have to admit I thought it was a bit noisy. I did another test recording today and everything was much easier using the cue mix software for routing.
     
  7. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    oh yeah, I am mostly recording to 1"
     
  8. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    BTW I have a AT8202 adjustable pad that I was planning on using. I used to use it with my daking pre
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yup yup and you will have to use it with that one also. I was hoping this recent post of yours would be one of those OMG posts over the API? The daking preamp is nothing to stick your nose up at either. He basically was trying to emulate the Trident series of consoles. Especially their older one. Nothing to sneeze at for sure. So if you liked that, I'm sure you'll appreciate the API. At least the ones he made that I knew of, were transformer in/out. There are only a few constants in the audio industry and API has been one of them. Even Rupert Neve changed his designs almost yearly and most certainly after Siemens Corp. bought the company. There is traditional excellence to be had with the API's.

    Every time I say tradition, I can only think of Zero Mostel when I saw him live at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit where my father was the concertmaster of the orchestra playing fiddler on the roof.

    TRADITION! Perfect for the holiday season.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  10. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    I had a daking mic pre/eq in my old studio, actually came from a foo fighters sessions I was told, anyways, loved it, got married and moved to indiana so had to sell it, now that I am back in NJ and have my own space I am looking to get back to where I was with spend about 30K less. I am close actually with smart buying instead of just binging. I think I read that the 500 series Daking does not have and output transformer, I also remember reading that the OT didn't actually have an effect on tone but was there for the balanced output? I really am not that technical but I do remember reading that. Hopefully I will have all the units here by Monday the latest, hopefully
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    While it's possible it did not have an output transformer in all probability had an input transformer. There are plenty of balanced active output circuits easily made. Any transformer can be saturated when it's specifications are surpassed by the circuitry. That's part of the cool aspect ratio of many consoles. So now you're back in New Jersey. Does this mean that your wife finally got tired of you screwing around with audio and left you? I hope not? But such a scenario is frequently the case. So it sounds like everything is good for you. You are making intelligence and well-informed decisions, it's all good. I know you're really going to love this API preamp. Can't wait to hear from you again once you receive this API.

    You gave me great pleasure by your decision.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  12. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    Here is a quick run down of what has happened,
    had a studio (about 50-75K), spent way too much money on it
    got engaged, got a job offer from SW
    Got married (sold gear) and moved to indiana (that was all in a year)
    Worked for 2 years and did not record because all I did was sell studio stuff all day
    Had a kid, started to record again, decided to move back to NJ so the baby could know her grandparents
    government job I had (at half pay of what I was making at SW) I got laid off of after 1 year (whole time still owning a house in Indiana)
    Still living at my parents house and still owning my house in indiana I took a risk and got back into the business of selling gear (finally paid off gear)
    Within 3 months I became the "Web Sales manager" of Russo Music (they didn't even have a website a year ago really)
    Bought a house with a bigg ars finished basement with multiple rooms and half of my job is doing demos and going on factory tours (I work primarily from home) Russo Music Music Resources Articles Videos Tutorials
    So that is how I got back into recording, I had no inclination to ever get into recording on this level again, but the time is right, the money is right and I finally can spend 5K to get the sound I spent 50K last time to get making the right decisions.

    That is my Remy Rad Post of the year.
     
  13. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    I like to take any moment I have to gush about API stuff. When I first got my API 512c I finally understood what all the fuss was about. I really like API Stuff. It is so colored but in a great way. I do a lot of rock, country and metal stuff in my studio but I also have ensembles, opera and choir work that is quite frequent as well. I was told a number of times that API is terrible for this type of thing. Rubbish I say. API can be quite clean if you don't push it to 11. The other thing you hear is that API is not good for vocals. I disagree. I haven't put it against a neve but I have put it against several other high end mic pre's. It is a fine vocal pre.
     
  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    One of the funny things about the API is that most folks love them. Whereas Bob Clearmountain most definitely told me, he could never get the sound he wanted out of those things. He actually prefers his SSL 4000 E. He doesn't particularly care for the 4000 G, however. But I cut my teeth on those APIs when I was just 17. 39 years ago. And even before they used the Dean Jensen microphone input transformer. They are fat and awesome. After having my Neve for over 15 years now, I think I can safely say I feel it's more aggressive sounding than the API's. If one has a tendency to judge soundbite specifications it would be interesting to note that the Neve operational amplifiers have a 15 V per microsecond slew rate. Whereas the API's are approximately 1.5 V per microsecond slew rate. Yeah... like a LM 741. It's not a problem since they have so much headroom they never slew. So the Neve is faster but it also never has a chance to slew. I'll never slew down.

    Look! I'm going over 30 IPS!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  15. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Wow more aggressive then API. I've never heard Neve described that way. I plan on getting a pair of Neve pre's this year. I am looking forward to it even more now.
     
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Well that is to say, my 3115's are laid out identically to the 1073's on its front panel. Though the 1073 is the more highly regarded class A output. It also utilize a fixed gain microphone preamp with secondary buffering. Where as the 3115 actually have variable gain microphone preamps. And it is class A/B output. So between the variable gain & the output differences, it actually develops quite a bit of character. Of course the output, would provide more odd order harmonic distortion components than the more even order of the 1073. Most obviously, both are quite musical with the same transformers input to output. The 3115 operational amplifiers BA 438/BA 440 are also class A until you get to the output. And symmetrical clipping while also saturating the output transformer, will provide a more aggressive sound over a 1073. 3415 A's are also utilized in my desk utilizing the same BA 440 operational amplifiers whereas the older version 1272 like it's 1073 sibling is all class A. So I also had a converted Brent Averill 1272 microphone preamp which was quite nice. A friend kept on bugging me to sell him my API's but instead I sold him the 1272 which he is extremely happy with. Occasionally I take my pair of API 3124's over to his home studio for tracking. He still drools over those. You're all going to love any of those. Yup, they have their own color, all of them.

    I'm a colorful woman
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  17. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Okay so in English:) non electrical speak what is the most aggressive Neve or Neve clone that would compare to your 3115's. I am very intrigued by the description of these.
     
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    3114's, 33129's, 33115's, 33114's, 33105's would be the closest to the 3115's. Although the 33105's were a wider size in comparison to those others. The 3115's were also known to be in the Melbourne series of smaller Neve desks/console. The 33,000 series were known to have BA 638/BA 640 operational amplifiers that utilized 5534 IC chip's with the same dual output buffer transistors. I've known folks to take those modules and swap them out with the BA 438/BA 440 all discrete transistor operational amplifiers as they are pin for pin compatible. But you couldn't push those 638/640's like you could the discrete transistor versions. And that's where the real magic lies or rather doesn't lie (in a manner of speaking). So you really want those discrete operational amplifiers.

    Sometimes I don't speak English very well since I was born and raised here and educated (or not educated) in American public schools. You Canadian guys have had a much more refined schooling to us dumb cousins to your south. I've always been intrigued and enamored by my Canadian cousins (I don't have any real Canadian cousins). You guys are so much more British/French than us I mean than US. See? There I go again with my inarticulate ways.

    I'm like Bart Simpson and proud of it or at least his sister. There I go again...
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  19. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    survey says api=INSANE!
     
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