OK so I am thinking about getting an API lunchbox. I never hear any recormend or speak of using an API compressor. For that matter of all the tracks I have gotten to mix I have never seen one on a track sheet. Any opinions on this one. I like the idea of buying something no one uses so that I have something unique I dont like the idea of buying something that blows a large donkey and thats why no one uses it.
Oh, they're a lovely sounding unit. There aren't a whole lot of people that use them because they're not heavily promoted. Most of the API 525's I've seen have been installed in API consoles, and seeing as there aren't a whole lot of people that hang on these kinds of boards that use API desks on a regular basis, you don't hear about them.
I have used them on vocals, bass, room ambience, and drum overheads on many an occasion, and been very pleased with their tone and response [which is why I ended up using them in those applications]. You've heard them a whole lot if you've heard any 'Journey' crap. That's the 'Steve Perry' vocal compressor. While their songs generally make me want to hurl, the fact of the matter is as much as I dislike the way the guy sings, the vocal sound is pretty damn compelling.
I use one in a lunchbox all he time. Very good sound and low danger of producing compression artifacts. My box contains a 550b, 525 and a 512.
Couple of things to look out for:
- Inputs are UNbalanced so know where your cables are coming from and how they're wired.
- Those little rubber feet will fall off almost immediately if you use the unit much.
- Make sure your jumpers are where you want them vis a viz levels.
- The modules can work loose so make sure everything is seated well before your session if you move it around.
- Those &%*(!? "Vemaline" knobs tend to work loose at the worse times. Always bring the right size hez wrench to tighten.
- Being of '70s vintage, they don't have quite the same settings that you might be used to. The compression ratio ranges are in discrete steps and the "thresshold" is controlled from the "input" knob. The "ceiling" adjustment controls both the compression and the gain compensation.
Enjoy getting a lot of "Ooooh"s when you bring one to a session!
The new 19" rackmount units are supposed to be excelent. They are new, so rare, and one would definately get some raised eyebrows..and get people like me dying to try it out....
The above reviews of the older types make very interesting reading...
I guess I'll be one person that differs. I am not that crazy about the 525, to me they sound like fancy DBX's(again this is my opinion). The only thing to me they sounded good on were guitars. To me they aren't that flexible. It definitely is a sound, but only you can decide if its the sound you like.
The 2500 bus compressor is tremendous. :cool:
I had the great pleasure of having Jim Smith & Paul Wolff work with me on a series of DVD recordings in May. Paul brought his 2500 prototype with him and we used it on the rough mixes we did. It seems that ATI is a bit slow on the manufacturing side, but the 2500 is well worth the wait. The 'thrust' circuit works very nicely to give many options to the colors you can produce with the 2500.
Paul has also told me a good bit about the de-esser that API is doing. Seems to be quite a unique piece. We'll see how quickly it's available.