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API The Box Users Monitor Controllers
Old 13th October 2016
  #1
API The Box Users/Workflow

Hey Box Users!!!

I went today to demo the unit knowing that i was probably going to buy it. (even though i don't have the money :-)

After hearing that full rich sound i decided to sell pretty much all of my outboard stuff just to get the box.

I Haven't hooked it up yet in the studio, we are currently doing some renovations. But once i do, i cant wait to share audio samples and client reactions!!

Share your experiences, workflow, pictures, routing, serial number and anything the box!!!

Serial#147
Attached Thumbnails
API The Box Users-screen-shot-2016-10-15-7.49.18-pm.jpg  

Last edited by callmelaub; 1st April 2017 at 06:17 PM..
Old 14th October 2016
  #2
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

I have been working on one of these for a few months now and I have nothing but great things to say about it.

The feature set fits my workflow perfectly.

It has a great monitor section!

It sounds big and wide.

I am coming from working for years on a small Neve 54 series console which also sounded great, but I can say that the API sounds every bit as good and as a mixer in a hybrid system has a better, more comprehensive feature set.

I did have to go out and buy some outboard pre amps because 4 mic amps is not enough for my needs.

It is not cheap, but it is well built and sounds fantastic.

I really enjoy working on mine.
Old 14th October 2016
  #3
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jsvalmont's Avatar
I hope you enjoy working on it; The Box looks very nice indeed!
Old 14th October 2016
  #4
t_d
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t_d's Avatar
greatly enjoying my Box ! i've had it for 2 or 3 months..... a few observations:

first, a couple (3) minor negatives:
- i had a bad fader on summing channel 5. however, i bought the console used, so i don't blame API for QC issues. however, API was awesome on the phone, stepped me through a temporary fix while they mailed me a (free) replacement fader which was easy to pop in. if you ever need to open the console it's dead simple: 5 screws on the bottom front and then the whole top lifts up like a car hood, complete with support bar that holds it up from the inside.

- i wish they used a different metal finish for the body of the console... it looks great, but the particular finish they used shows smudges and hand oils quite easily. it's easy to wipe off, but it does need cleaning every few days. more importantly it seems like the type of finish that would be very easy to scratch.

- part of me wishes the 550 EQs were standard 500 series modules so i could swap them out... however, part of me doesn't really mind at all. i put a pair of 560s in the other two slots.. i definitely wanted all API modules in there just for a consistent look and the 550s are no slouch EQs, so really it doesn't matter. but it seems like they could have made all 4 slots plus the compressor area all swappable.


but the rest is good!

- really pleased with the flexibility. i think using a patch bay or two is really vital. opens up the console a lot. i've got a 96pt TT patch bay with all of my synths and outboard FX in it, and a few things normalled... i've got 16 outs from PT via an Apollo normalled to the 16 summing inputs, however, since i don't mix down as much as i record, i have 8 patch cables hooked up all the time that route 4 stereo returns from my outboard to the first 8 summing channels. vital for me, since the board doesn't have any dedicated returns.. and, i like to effect my FX sometimes, and the summing channels have auxes as well.

- i have a bunch (7) of outboard effect racks, so having enough aux sends is important. i wish the board had 6... however, i have used 3 & 4 really well with my H8000... i have the H8000 set to act as two independent stereo units... and i send each DSP a mono send.. 3 and 4... and simply pan the send to 3, or 4.. or anywhere in between! and return the two FX on separate channels.. so i get a full 4 aux sends with it.. and the H8000 works great with the 3 & 4 send/pan trick so i can choose or mix between the on board DSPs... very handy.

- i actually don't use the monitor section at all.. it's a shame not to, since it's quite nice.. but i have a Dangerous monitor and Liaison setup which handles my monitoring needs.

- i've got all the direct outs patched back into PT... the 4 main channel inserts on the patch bay, a lunchbox on the patch bay so i can insert some stuff anywhere.... really, a patch bay is super helpful with this console since it's relatively small.. it's good to give it some more flexibility

- i haven't yet done a mix through it, so i can't comment on the summing.. but i'm quite happy with the sound of the inputs and tracking

- as someone who works primarily by myself i find the 4 main inputs are plenty...i'm not tracking multiple people or bands... but, with the summing channels on the patch bay i can use those for tracking as well if i needed... so i really see it as a 20 channel board, not a 4 channel. the only drawback being no EQ on those summing channels.. but, that's what the inserts on the back are for.... or a plug in EQ..


really pleased!
Old 14th October 2016
  #5
amazing T_D! Thanks for sharing.

I also got a 96pt tt patchbay which im trying to figure out how i want to route the box
Old 14th October 2016
  #6
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andersmv's Avatar
 

I can't wait to get one of these... Unfortunately I've got 2 years worth of other stuff I have to get before I can think about it, but keep the stories coming!
Old 16th October 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

ive had mine for about a month, it sounds amazing.... i liked how you can build out the mixer with racks of 500 gear., pre's, eq's, comps.... rather than spend the 65K on the API 16 track recording console. (sigh).... ( a sweet upgrade in the future?)

i bring everything to 3 patchbays, and its super flexible this way...

i have a 1" 8 track, and mostly use it for drums.... i can track 4 direct outs, and create a submix to the main buss to tape..... i wish it had some sub groups.. but it makes for a fun day!
Old 16th October 2016
  #8
Deleted User
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funky ol' 70's badge...


Last edited by Deleted User; 17th October 2016 at 04:42 AM..
Old 18th October 2016
  #9
Old 18th October 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Phil Cibley's Avatar
 

I like the Neve sticker on the Soundcraft board!
Old 19th October 2016
  #11
The Box is underrated,nice to see it get some praise.

Mine has been on 24/7 for the year plus i have owned it.
Not a single problem,just great audio.

The Aurora Audio GT10x8 could be a nice addition,make it a double.
Old 19th October 2016
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Cibley View Post
I like the Neve sticker on the Soundcraft board!
nice catch!
the studio i demoed the box at had switched the first 4 pres of that soundcraft mixer with 4 neve pres
Old 23rd October 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Question for you guys that are using The Box with an interface like the UA Apollo. I'm going through the manual for The Box to learn more about the master section. Where are you guys sending your main outs from your interface? In the past with small/simple outboard console, I've usually routed the DAW outputs to a set of channels, usually the last 2. I'm thinking (especially with the apollo where I have to deal with the UA console in the background) that it would make more sense to route the main outs of my Apollo into the Program Sum Input since it goes right into the master section. Does this make sense, are there any other alternatives?
Old 23rd October 2016
  #14
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andersmv's Avatar
 

I ended up just reading through the whole manual. Holy crap, this thing was really well though out! There's a bunch of clever routing options with this thing. The reason I pulled it up was to figure out how to incorporate the Apollo cue system into the cue on the board. It's great that I can actually control the level/blend of the external cue source in the master section, I had no idea that was even an option.

I'm still a little curious about where you all are feeding your DAW output? I don't think I'll ever buy another summing system, so still considering feeding it into the Program Sum as opposed to one of the 4 stereo sources in the C/R section. I really like that they allow you to select more than one at once on the cue side, I'm not sure why selecting program on the main side cuts the others. It's probably really obvious and I'm overlooking it...
Old 23rd October 2016
  #15
t_d
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t_d's Avatar
i have an Apollo (16) but i don't think i use it the same way you do.

it sounds like your'e talking about the stereo/mix/monitor out of the Apollo, yes? not the 16 outputs for summing your mix?

as for the Apollo's 16 outs... i route those (via a patch bay) into the 16 summing inputs of the Box... pretty much as was intended. simple enough.

however, i don't use the monitor section at all on The Box because my studio is pretty much a 50/50 dual purpose mastering and writing studio and the mastering setup is well equipped with a Dangerous Liaison and Monitor ST.. and that really takes care of my monitoring duties and all of the routing for the mastering outboard..

the monitor outs on the Apollo, which i do use for the general Mac output, go into the Aux input of the Dangerous monitor ST which gives me a separate gain control from the main analog mastering path and is not in the recording path, only the monitoring path.

i then have the main (program) outputs of The Box going into channels 1 + 2 on the apollo, which is how i record The Box into pro tools.

because i have the Dangerous as my studio monitor section i don't need to route the apollo to the API for monitoring and i handle the monitor levels from the API via the Dangerous as well.

i think your idea of using the Sum inputs on the API is a pretty good one. those seem really handy. i'll likely take advantage of the Sum inputs when a friend comes over with their own gear and submixer for a session.

also, yes, all of those 2-track inputs could be of use as well, however, i haven't looked into them too much since i'm not using the monitor section i've slightly glossed over that in the manual.

oh.. one thing i did do, however, and i'm not sure how useful this will be, is patched the control room outputs of the API into inputs 3+4 on the apollo.

so now i have the API main outs into 1+2 on the apollo and the control room into 3+4. i think there's a way to route channels into the control room on the API w/o going into the PGM bus.. if this is the case it might work as sort of a subgroup for recording where i could route some signals out of the PGM into apollo 1+2 and others out the control room into apollo 3+4.


hope that all makes sense. everyone's got such idiosyncratic ways of hooking and routing their systems.. it's actually pretty cool. a lot of mastering friends of mine route and A/B their mastering systems totally different from the way i do.

The Box should be flexible enough for you to figure out a smooth way to do what you need to do. incorporating at least one 96pt TT patch bay will go a long way into opening it up even more as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Question for you guys that are using The Box with an interface like the UA Apollo. I'm going through the manual for The Box to learn more about the master section. Where are you guys sending your main outs from your interface? In the past with small/simple outboard console, I've usually routed the DAW outputs to a set of channels, usually the last 2. I'm thinking (especially with the apollo where I have to deal with the UA console in the background) that it would make more sense to route the main outs of my Apollo into the Program Sum Input since it goes right into the master section. Does this make sense, are there any other alternatives?
Old 23rd October 2016
  #16
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andersmv's Avatar
 

Thanks for that run through, cool setup! I'll definitely use the master section on the box, I just couldn't justify spending that much on it and not using it. That all maes a lot of sense. Interesting that you're utilizing the program buss outs and control room outs like that, I guess you can do that since you're not plugging the speakers into the box. You basically gave yourself another buss, smart!

I'm still not sure if I'll need a patch bay with it. I know with how I want to set everything up, there's more than enough input and output options for me. I'lm still a year or so away from buying it, so I've got a while to think about it.
Old 23rd October 2016
  #17
t_d
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t_d's Avatar
for me a patch bay was quite necessary because on a day to day basis i use the summing channels as outboard effect returns. i run 4 mono aux sends from the board to a selection of 7 pieces of outboard reverb/effects/etc... so i also need the patch bay to choose which of those are being fed by the console.

as well i have a number of synths and such and while i don't need more than 2 or 4 at once, i do have them in the patch bay so i can patch in which ever i need to the main inputs of the Box.

but, certainly, if it provides enough inputs and outputs for your needs, you'll save a bit of $$ on a patch bay system. those d-sub snakes add up!




Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Thanks for that run through, cool setup! I'll definitely use the master section on the box, I just couldn't justify spending that much on it and not using it. That all maes a lot of sense. Interesting that you're utilizing the program buss outs and control room outs like that, I guess you can do that since you're not plugging the speakers into the box. You basically gave yourself another buss, smart!

I'm still not sure if I'll need a patch bay with it. I know with how I want to set everything up, there's more than enough input and output options for me. I'lm still a year or so away from buying it, so I've got a while to think about it.
Old 24th October 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
I ended up just reading through the whole manual. Holy crap, this thing was really well though out! There's a bunch of clever routing options with this thing. The reason I pulled it up was to figure out how to incorporate the Apollo cue system into the cue on the board. It's great that I can actually control the level/blend of the external cue source in the master section, I had no idea that was even an option.

I'm still a little curious about where you all are feeding your DAW output? I don't think I'll ever buy another summing system, so still considering feeding it into the Program Sum as opposed to one of the 4 stereo sources in the C/R section. I really like that they allow you to select more than one at once on the cue side, I'm not sure why selecting program on the main side cuts the others. It's probably really obvious and I'm overlooking it...
The feature set on The Box is fantastic for a hybrid setup.

That along with the all discrete, high quality signal path in every part of the audio path is what attracted me to it.

I love mine.
Old 1st April 2017
  #19
Ok, this is how I have been using the BOX lately in Mixing :-)

1.Mixing Fully In Logic X
2.Send out stems to the BOX(1-16 Summing) using the 0db feature.
1-2 (Drum Samples) or Kick and Snare
3-4 Bass and Sub Bass
5-6 Guitars
7-8 Pianos
9-10-Strings/Pads/or any other orchestral
11-12-Vocals/BG Vocals
13-14-Delays
15-16-Reverbs

3.Program Out to some outboard gear of choice

4.Back Into Logic X

5.Workflow Satisfaction :-)
Old 1st April 2017
  #20
t_d
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t_d's Avatar
i use a Dangerous Monitor ST for my studio monitoring, which i've had for a while before The Box.. but i'm thinking of selling it now to use the Box monitoring section.... which is quite nicely featured!
Old 25th April 2017
  #21
You might have heard that Miranda Lambert's The Weight of These Wings won Album of the Year at the 2017 ACM - Academy of Country Music Awards… what you might not have heard is that the winning album was tracked and mixed entirely on an API BOX console.

Nashville-based Producer and Engineer Eric Masse served as a producer on Lambert's latest album, and used his BOX console to bring the record to life. Masse says, "I bought this console and haven't looked back. It's become such an invaluable mainstay in my studio."

Too bad none one told him to have a hit record you have to buy at least a fully loaded 1608.
Old 26th April 2017
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
You might have heard that Miranda Lambert's The Weight of These Wings won Album of the Year at the 2017 ACM - Academy of Country Music Awards… what you might not have heard is that the winning album was tracked and mixed entirely on an API BOX console.

Nashville-based Producer and Engineer Eric Masse served as a producer on Lambert's latest album, and used his BOX console to bring the record to life. Masse says, "I bought this console and haven't looked back. It's become such an invaluable mainstay in my studio."

Too bad none one told him to have a hit record you have to buy at least a fully loaded 1608.
wow thats amaing jason!! Thanks for sharing! BOX ROX!!
Old 29th May 2017
  #23
how you hook up an external reverb like a bricasti to use as an aux for the box?
Old 29th May 2017
  #24
t_d
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t_d's Avatar
the box has two mono and one stereo send... i actually use the stereo send as two mono sends that go to the A and B engines of an H8000.. so i have 4 mono sends in use with all of the outboard on a patch bay..

i use the summing channels on the box, typically, to return my FX.. again, via the patch bay... very easy and works great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmelaub View Post
how you hook up an external reverb like a bricasti to use as an aux for the box?
Old 7th July 2017
  #25
Here for the gear
New User

Well I am just loving my The Box,I have been two weeks mixing on it and for me just works fine,I got a 96 bantam patchbay for main connections and then a Neutrik Jack connector patch for the inserts and still some room for those 4 line inputs you don't really know what to do with (and also their inserts).....Working on it just as a 16 channel summing mixer could be pretty boring,but using auxiliary sends to FX and those four channels as line inputs/signal process plus being able to insert on any summing channel makes the thing pretty funny for Mixing.I always record drums and full bands outdoors so for me having 6/8 super preamps at home is enough for main tracking (vocals,brass,guitars,bass,keys)
I am using a Raven Mti2 on both sides of the desk so I take advantage of both worlds analog/Digital in a unique workflow......I added an API 525 to the third slot and probably I will add another one really soon ....SO happy to have join the API family ,mine works perfect as you would expect from an API product...
Attached Thumbnails
API The Box Users-img_2100.jpg   API The Box Users-img_2101.jpg   API The Box Users-img_2102.jpg  
Old 23rd August 2017
  #26
Rea
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Rea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Wolf View Post
Well I am just loving my The Box,I have been two weeks mixing on it and for me just works fine,I got a 96 bantam patchbay for main connections and then a Neutrik Jack connector patch for the inserts and still some room for those 4 line inputs you don't really know what to do with (and also their inserts).....Working on it just as a 16 channel summing mixer could be pretty boring,but using auxiliary sends to FX and those four channels as line inputs/signal process plus being able to insert on any summing channel makes the thing pretty funny for Mixing.I always record drums and full bands outdoors so for me having 6/8 super preamps at home is enough for main tracking (vocals,brass,guitars,bass,keys)
I am using a Raven Mti2 on both sides of the desk so I take advantage of both worlds analog/Digital in a unique workflow......I added an API 525 to the third slot and probably I will add another one really soon ....SO happy to have join the API family ,mine works perfect as you would expect from an API product...


4 LINE INPUTS/INSERTS you don't know what to do with?? Are you basically wasting the best 4 mix channels on the board....?? cute
Old 29th August 2017
  #27
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rea View Post
4 LINE INPUTS/INSERTS you don't know what to do with?? Are you basically wasting the best 4 mix channels on the board....?? cute
I was talking about connections and how to patch them Mr.Smart, those who have plugged this desk to a patchbay Know what I am talking about..


Last edited by Saul Wolf; 22nd November 2017 at 11:39 PM..
Old 17th January 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
direct outs in BOX

Is there the possibility to get 16 direct outputs on API the BOX? Thanks.
Old 17th January 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karas View Post
Is there the possibility to get 16 direct outputs on API the BOX? Thanks.
There's inserts on the back for all the summing channels, so you could technically do it.
Old 18th January 2018
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
There's inserts on the back for all the summing channels, so you could technically do it.
Thank you very much, I thought so.
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