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API The Box versus Audient ASP4816 Consoles
Old 14th May 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 

API The Box versus Audient ASP4816

Have been looking at both of these for my project studio. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with these and might comment on strengths/weaknesses etc.
Thanks
Old 14th May 2015
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I have the Audient and am very pleased with it. Haven't used the API but I have a 3124 which gets used alot.

I would guess the API will have more of a "sound"; it has a ton of transformers inside. The Eq's and comps will be better than the Audient, but you only get two of each; the 4816 has pretty comprehensive eq on all 16 monitors. It also has 16 pre's (very good too) and pretty full-on routing capabilities.

The Audient also feels much more like a console (Meter bridge, subgroups) which is important if you have paying clients. It has a very clean transparent sound which lets you add colour via outboard.

I think if I were buying purely for my own personal studio the API would maybe be a better buy. For my studio and the wide range of styles I work on, The Audient appealed more.
Old 14th May 2015
  #3
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JamesClark1991's Avatar
I've worked on the ASP8024 which is essentially the 24 channel version of the ASP4816, I also own the ASP008. All of these Audient products use exactly the same pre-amps, I would describe them as clean and quiet good all rounders but definitely not the 'fattest' sounding. They also only have 60dB gain which could potentially be problematic if you have low output dynamic mics (e.g. RE20) or some old ribbons etc. The console faders feel nice and smooth and workflow is very good and simplistic (it is the choice for numerous education studios as a result), metering is decent and the console itself is quiet. I haven't used the API console personally but I'm sure someone else here can chime in to fill in the gap

There's actually a discounted ex-demo ASP4816 console going at KMR if that's of any interest to you? - https://www.kmraudio.com/audient-asp4816-9403.php

Would I personally buy and ASP4816 after using its bigger brother? Honestly, probably not, I'd look for something with more colour
Old 14th May 2015
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I love the 4816, and for the money, I think its amazing. I've not used the API, I guess it depends on what you want it for?

I wanted a tracking console for band work, that worked pretty much like a traditional in-line desk, with a routing matrix, and something I could use for OTB mixing, and I didn't have the budget or space for a 2408.

You can't pick the busses up on the channels, but you can do pretty much most other things you can on a large-format console (track with tape on the large faders, route to any buss, switch EQ/sends into either path, feed the small faders from the large) which is what I always missed on the more budget/old-school '8-buss' desks. It has much everything you need for full band tracking work.

Its also wired in a way that makes life easy for a less full-on studio (i.e.: DAW i/o and inserts are all on TRS, but the groups/etc… are d-sub). All inserts are switchable, so you don't need normalised patch, and you can cut the extra writing out too. Given what you're getting in terms of channel count and facilities, I've not found anything else as flexible.

The EQ on the desk is very usable - its relatively 'soft'. I think in general its relatively clean sound, i.e.: its not something that'd be renowned for its character. Its certainly not lifeless though. Been purposefully pushing the groups and mix buss on some recent mixes, and it has a nice bit of edginess to it. There does seem to be quite a bit of headroom internally too.

The buss compressor is a bit too aggressive for my liking, and its hard-wired to the 2-buss, so I tend to use something else instead on a group, and I wish the 2 fold-back sends were stereo, but aside from that theres nothing else I miss at all (aside from more channels).

If you're just after mix, so having an in-line desk is no benefit, then there might be other options.

2p
t
Old 14th May 2015
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

I have the Box but have not tried the Audient. My strongest consideration would be actual needs and workflow.

1) Do you need lots of pres/channels/routing for larger recording sessions ?
2) Do you have a lot of outboard lying around which you plan on using for mixing OTB ?

If the answer to those questions is YES, then I'd strongly consider the Audient. You'll need the routing.
If the answer is NO, then I'd strongly consider the Box with it's more limited routing and features but arguably Superior pres, EQs, compressors and signal path. Why pay for routing you won't use?

Never used one but from what I'm reading here the Audient seems a bit on the boring side sound-wise.

As for looking impressive, I can attest from client reactions that the Box definitely delivers in that regard.
Old 14th May 2015
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer View Post
Never used one but from what I'm reading here the Audient seems a bit on the boring side sound-wise.
I wouldn't say 'boring' so much as respectful of what you put through it. Which can be useful at times if you need to push signals around a bit without building up 'too much' colour…

I think you hit the nail on the head with 'what you need it for' - if you want a colourful summer, its not that, but if you need a workhorse desk for a bunch of tracking and mixing, its great, especially given the cost.

fwiw,
t
Old 14th May 2015
  #7
Gear Nut
 

I don't need lots of pre's. The 4 pre's on the API Box are fine. I do have many outboard effects that I would like to use in the mixdown process as well as other compressors, etc. I wasn't sure how flexible the Box would be in that regard.
Old 15th May 2015
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer View Post
I have the Box but have not tried the Audient. My strongest consideration would be actual needs and workflow.

1) Do you need lots of pres/channels/routing for larger recording sessions ?
2) Do you have a lot of outboard lying around which you plan on using for mixing OTB ?

If the answer to those questions is YES, then I'd strongly consider the Audient. You'll need the routing.
If the answer is NO, then I'd strongly consider the Box with it's more limited routing and features but arguably Superior pres, EQs, compressors and signal path. Why pay for routing you won't use?

Never used one but from what I'm reading here the Audient seems a bit on the boring side sound-wise.

As for looking impressive, I can attest from client reactions that the Box definitely delivers in that regard.
I agree with your two considerations on what you actually need in your studio. Personally I would prefer the fuller Audient Console over the API Box. You can always buy a 500 series rack and get 2 API pre's and EQ when you want that wonderful color and add it to your Audient mixer. Calling the Audient clearer, with great headroom and not altering the sound of your source is more what the Audient does. Something that George Massenburg is a fan of. You can always color your sound later with hardware inserts or plug ins. But get the source down properly first. The Audient EQ is also very nice. They can enhance your sound very nicely. The compressor is similar to an SSL type compressor where it can add some punch.

With that being said, if your more into recording rock music, I would buy the API Box, and have at least 4 API pre's and EQ's in the unit.
Old 15th May 2015
  #9
jac
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jac's Avatar
Just picked up an used 4816 for a good price. It will be installed on my studio in two weeks.... I checked various options and solutions and the 4816 suites better for my workflow. I was looking for a clean console with tons of headroom, but with lots of routing options and no digital solutions.
On that range of price I think nothing will be better than the Audient and if somebody is looking for "more color" can insert more iron on the mix or on the 32 inserts and 8 mono buss (or 4 stereo).
Total flexibility, can't wait to start mixing on it!
Old 20th May 2015
  #10
Gear Nut
 

bump
Old 2nd June 2015
  #11
Gear Nut
4816 user going on 2 years now, using currently with 24 tracks of RADAR V
Nyquist...have had all 48 inputs from 2 RADARs fed for mix...
love the routing (especially bus/sub group assignment) and flexibility, using subs for FX returns and parallel compression....was slow at first getting used to the inline concept, but now it is second nature...the API is really not in the same price point fully populated, so not an apples to apples comp in my opinion...

must emphasize the build quality...the board runs like it did the day we installed and have had zero issues, not bad...only con for me is minimal use of D-Subs
Old 2nd June 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RADAR User View Post
must emphasize the build quality...the board runs like it did the day we installed and have had zero issues, not bad...only con for me is minimal use of D-Subs
This is something that is not focused on enough. Having a quality unit where faders, pots and other things continue to perform day in and out is very important. Go to SOS June 2015 edition on line. Even without the subscription you can watch a video on a studio with a large Audient console which they love. They have a sidecar of Neve when they want to add that color. To me, this is one of the best ways to go.
Old 2nd June 2015
  #13
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
This is something that is not focused on enough. Having a quality unit where faders, pots and other things continue to perform day in and out is very important. Go to SOS June 2015 edition on line. Even without the subscription you can watch a video on a studio with a large Audient console which they love. They have a sidecar of Neve when they want to add that color. To me, this is one of the best ways to go.
Do you work or sell for audient ?
Old 2nd June 2015
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul EQ View Post
Do you work or sell for audient ?
Nope, but if you know if Audient, Focal, Manley, Dangerous or another high end company pays people for praising their gear on gearsltuz, please let me know. I could use the extra money.
Old 7th June 2015
  #15
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
Nope, but if you know if Audient, Focal, Manley, Dangerous or another high end company pays people for praising their gear on gearsltuz, please let me know. I could use the extra money.
ha jason rocks...

also would like to point out that the Audient has 48 inputs, 40 with faders...Box tops at 22 with some work arounds that don't interest me...Audient has 8 old fashioned mono sub group faders with inserts, easily accessible by a 1-8 bus assignment...great for group processing, parallel compression and very flexible FX returns (patching to the sub group Return...very very flexible...
16 Pres v 4...not exactly apples to apples
Old 7th June 2015
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I'm am using the API the box with a iz radar studio ,could not be happier,I was also considering the audient but it was to big for the space I am working in,economically the API made more sense ,but both will give great results,jz

Last edited by johnnyz; 7th June 2015 at 12:41 PM..
Old 7th June 2015
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyz View Post
I'm am using the API the box with a iz radar studio ,could not be happier,
Old 7th June 2015
  #18
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyz View Post
I'm am using the API the box with a iz radar studio ,could not be happier,I was also considering the audient but it was to big for the space I am working in,economically the API made more sense ,but both will give great results,jz
audient with a bit of API 500 series works fine...but I grew up on sub-groups...they are the core of my signal chain...all the features of the Audient in that API Box would double the cost easily...would like to hear my RADAR coming through those API circuits though....
Old 8th June 2015
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

The radar studio sounds great with the API ,if I am working in radar mode I can only monitor back 20 inputs ,which in a way is a good thing ,keeps me from over doing it,being that the API has 4 stereo ins and outs for my 2 tracks I like to sum to 21 and 22 or 23 and 24 on the radar,if I am working in workstation mode on the radar I have way more tracks than I know to do with. Jz
Old 8th June 2015
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

My setup <a href="http://s1222.photobucket.com/user/musiczebra79/media/image.jpg1.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd484/musiczebra79/image.jpg1.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo image.jpg1.jpg"/></a>
Old 8th June 2015
  #21
Old 8th June 2015
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyz View Post
I'm am using the API the box with a iz radar studio ,could not be happier,I was also considering the audient but it was to big for the space I am working in,economically the API made more sense ,but both will give great results,jz

Do you use external effect/sends (reverb, delay) with your API box/radar setup or mix effects generated digitally? What type of music do you do?
Old 8th June 2015
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I use both depending on the situation ,no specific style of music,jz
Old 9th June 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
I think the answer should be pretty simple, and based on your true needs.

I just sold my asp8024 that I'd been using for 8 years. It's a great console, I recorded and mixed some nice sounding records on it, the build quality was great and I never had any issues with it. The eqs are good, clean, another poster said a little soft and I agree with that, which to me really is not a bad thing.
I haven't mixed on the box, but I did see one and checked it out for a little bit, enough to understand the routing capabilities. I have worked on an 1608 and it sounded great, so I'm sure it sounds awesome too.

Anyway to me it comes down to your routing / workflow needs more than sound.

The box is more a summing mixer, not a console.
If like me you have a bunch of outboard reverbs and delays, the Audient is the way to go as the 8024 has 14 auxes ( I'm assuming the 4816 is the same), the api has 3, if you record large bands and need multiple headphones mixes the auxes come in handy too.

If you do a lot of parallel compressing, buss processing, again the Audient has 8 busses so would be better suited to that.

One last thing to take into account is resale value. I think the API will hold its value better. The Audients, even though they're great, are not easy to sell on the used market and usually go for about a 1/3 of the new price...
Old 9th June 2015
  #25
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandlersonic View Post
I think the answer should be pretty simple, and based on your true needs.

I just sold my asp8024 that I'd been using for 8 years. It's a great console, I recorded and mixed some nice sounding records on it, the build quality was great and I never had any issues with it. The eqs are good, clean, another poster said a little soft and I agree with that, which to me really is not a bad thing.
I haven't mixed on the box, but I did see one and checked it out for a little bit, enough to understand the routing capabilities. I have worked on an 1608 and it sounded great, so I'm sure it sounds awesome too.

Anyway to me it comes down to your routing / workflow needs more than sound.

The box is more a summing mixer, not a console.
If like me you have a bunch of outboard reverbs and delays, the Audient is the way to go as the 8024 has 14 auxes ( I'm assuming the 4816 is the same), the api has 3, if you record large bands and need multiple headphones mixes the auxes come in handy too.

If you do a lot of parallel compressing, buss processing, again the Audient has 8 busses so would be better suited to that.

One last thing to take into account is resale value. I think the API will hold its value better. The Audients, even though they're great, are not easy to sell on the used market and usually go for about a 1/3 of the new price...
4816 has 6 Aux, 2 Cue, 8 total...yes, not an apples to apples comparison except for price...
Old 9th June 2015
  #26
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RADAR User View Post
4816 has 6 Aux, 2 Cue, 8 total...yes, not an apples to apples comparison except for price...
My bad, I've never seen a 4816 besides pictures, and from the look of the input channels I just assumed they were identical.

Still like you say pretty different boards.

If I were to get another analog board at some point in the future, I think I'd want eqs on each channels and some preset fxs on the auxes.
Nothing better to me to get a really quick mix going than having eqs on every channel and nice faders, but then 16 channels is pretty limiting, particularly if you have live drums.
Old 9th June 2015
  #27
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandlersonic View Post
My bad, I've never seen a 4816 besides pictures, and from the look of the input channels I just assumed they were identical.

Still like you say pretty different boards.

If I were to get another analog board at some point in the future, I think I'd want eqs on each channels and some preset fxs on the auxes.
Nothing better to me to get a really quick mix going than having eqs on every channel and nice faders, but then 16 channels is pretty limiting, particularly if you have live drums.
I send aux 1-2 to Bricasti, return to Sub 1 and 2...Eventide Eclipse return on Sub 3 and 4, set a couple of compressors for paralell on sub 5-8...can punch any channel into the comps with button push, that is why most users point out the flexibility...don't use much eq myself, though I do find the 5-100 and 8k, 18k filters very useful...

so, did people complain that your sound was too clean on the ASP8024?
Old 9th June 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RADAR User View Post
I send aux 1-2 to Bricasti, return to Sub 1 and 2...Eventide Eclipse return on Sub 3 and 4, set a couple of compressors for paralell on sub 5-8...can punch any channel into the comps with button push, that is why most users point out the flexibility...don't use much eq myself, though I do find the 5-100 and 8k, 18k filters very useful...

so, did people complain that your sound was too clean on the ASP8024?
Well I haven't worked in a commercial studio for quite a while.

I've been mostly recording my own stuff for the past 5 years and the Audient worked just fine for me. I sold it ( and most of my outboard ) because I ended up using it as a glorified monitor controller... so I scaled down recently to a much smaller and simpler setup, with just a couple of pres / mics and in the box mixing and I'm very happy with my little setup, just focusing on writing music...

However when I did do stuff for other people I never heard a complaint concerning the sound coming out the board, everybody was happy and In 8 years I never had it fail during a session, and nothing beats a perfectly functioning console IMO.

Anyway I do find the colored/clean debate is sometimes blown out of proportion here! I've mixed clean sounding records on very "colored" consoles and dirty ones on clean ones...
Old 3rd September 2015
  #29
t_d
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i've been eyeing this board for a while. i currently use an A&H GSr24, which is pretty comparable. the 4816 appeals to me because of it's more simple, pure nature, less bells and whistles... though i've been very very happy with the A&H and it's so flexible i've yet to run into something i couldn't do with the routing.

the one thing that's keeping me from jumping on the audient, besides a more or less sideways move from the A&H (not a huge step up in audio quality i don't think) is that it's only 16 channels and i really need to return at least 8 FX channels to the board. yes, you can return them to the subs on the Audient.. but i need my return channels to have EQ and auxes of their own so i can add FX to FX, EQ my returns and create feedback loops. i can do this on the A&H because i return my hardware FX to channels 16-24, which are full channel strips with EQ and aux sends

seems there's a bit of a gap in the market for boards in the $10k range.. not so many choices besides the GS424 and audient. The box is more of a summing mixer and the XL Desk is a bit higher starting point.

anyway... back to music making!
Old 20th February 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
After buying my A&H GSR 24m last July I have been refunded my money after an awful lot of problems. It's a great sounding desk but proved to have many problems.

I've just ordered an Audient ASP8024 so I'll let know my thoughts when I compare.
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