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API 2500 Users Chime In! Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 27th August 2008
  #1
Gear Addict
API 2500 Users Chime In!

I recently acquired an API 2500 for use as a stereo buss compressor. I really have enjoyed this compressor and it's really a different flavor than the compressor on my SSL 4000. Just curious about how some of you guys like to set your compressor.

Old vs. New
Based on my experience thus far, the Old mode seems more pillowy and the New mode is snappy. The Old kind of reminds me of a Neve 2254 and the New is closer to the SSL comp. I just did a mix for a band that is kind of Cure/Smiths/Joy Division and wound up using the Old mode with medium thrust. Really smooth sounding and the low end is big and wide but controlled. The bass drum is deep and round with this setting and is more of a powerful boom rather than a smack. How are you guys using the Old/ New modes and for what types of mixes?

Thrust
Interesting function. It can really change the sound of the mix and the low end. It can also make your guitars disappear a bit if you've built your mix with no thrust engaged. As mentioned in some other threads, it's good to have this compressor 'in' as you're building your mix. Seems like I wouldn't ever use the 'Loud' thrust for any loud guitar mixes. Medium does allow the low end to be really big.

I really like the way the In/Out switch does automatic gain make-up. Makes it great for auditioning the sound. The 2500 really does make everything sound bigger and cohesive. Lots of good and usable sounds from this thing! What settings are you guys finding useful?
Old 28th August 2008
  #2
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

slow drums: .3 attack, ~500 release, 4:1 hard/med/old, 4-6db GR. very old school, like an 1176 with more crack.

mix: .03 attack, ~1.5s release, 10:1 soft/med/new. somewhere around 4db max GR is a sweet spot on the knee that's pure magic glue for a mix, but a tiny bit off and it's either too much or not enough.

the makeup gain amp is half the fun and tone of this box... hit it.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 28th August 2008
  #3
Gear Addict
10:1 !??!! I'll check it out. I've been using 3 or 4:1. Usually hovering around 2 db of compression. It really does glue the mix together.
Old 28th August 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I want a 2500 quite a bit. It's gonna happen... after I grab myself a new desk. I ran outta rackspaces =(

I'd be using it mostly for aggressive guitar-driven rock. I'm pretty pleased with my mixes, but this glue everyone talks about... I'm very intrigued. Plus I'd like to try it out on the drum buss.

Anyone use it for tracking? Say, room mics?

Man, I've got GAS bad with the 2500.
Old 28th August 2008
  #5
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jchadstopherhuez's Avatar
 

i think the 2500 will be my next stereo comp purchase...(though i am hoping to end up with a thermionic phoenix as well)

i have used the 2500 extensively as a bus compressor...and REALLY like what it can do. i find that i can get a bit of that ssl/smart "grab" if i need it...but generally i just really like the THICKNESS that i can get out of the api. the bottom end always seems somehow cooler than my alan smart.

i also REALLY like the api on drum rooms. at my buddy's room (who has the api) when i track drums...i often put a pair of ribbons about 4-5 ft from the kit on either side...and squash with the 2500.....in his fairly bright room...this gives an incredible SIZE to the kit...especially on big rock stuff.

its a great compressor !!

now, if i could just get a few bands and labels to pay their invoices.. i could give mercenary a call and have my 2500 on the way !!

best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 28th August 2008
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

For a mix I go with:
attack never faster than straight up, often slower
release always fastest setting
ratio never more than 4:1
almost always in old mode
knee normally hard
thrust normally medium
GR never leaving the red

Took some getting used to the 2500, but now I really love the sound!

Petter
Old 28th August 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
choinga's Avatar
 

ah, how I'd love a 2500...

Anyone have an experience with UAD's? Is it even close as buss comp?

I haven't tried using it as a mix buss comp yet (usually use Waves SSL or the UAD Neve 33609).
Old 28th August 2008
  #8
jdg
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jdg's Avatar
try this one on 2buss, drum/buss..

∞ ratio
30 attack.
release to taste (medium speeds)
then reallly low thresh.. like +4 (or whatever depending on your signal)
OLD mode

just dont get much GR and u'll get some crazy cool midrangey tone.
Old 28th August 2008
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixman499 View Post
i think the 2500 will be my next stereo comp purchase...(though i am hoping to end up with a thermionic phoenix as well)

i have used the 2500 extensively as a bus compressor...and REALLY like what it can do. i find that i can get a bit of that ssl/smart "grab" if i need it...but generally i just really like the THICKNESS that i can get out of the api. the bottom end always seems somehow cooler than my alan smart.

i also REALLY like the api on drum rooms. at my buddy's room (who has the api) when i track drums...i often put a pair of ribbons about 4-5 ft from the kit on either side...and squash with the 2500.....in his fairly bright room...this gives an incredible SIZE to the kit...especially on big rock stuff.

its a great compressor !!

now, if i could just get a few bands and labels to pay their invoices.. i could give mercenary a call and have my 2500 on the way !!

best,

jchristopherhughes

So THAT is how you get your drumsound !!

How come you don't have one in those huge racks of yours ? heh

(You should hear j's stuff !!!..he gets some of the coolest sounds !)

I have used the api a few times, it sounded really cool to my ears. I mainly have used various plugin compressors on my mix bus. Usually the waves Ren comp, and recently the waves API plugin compressor.

When I had a chance to use the 2500, it added a thickness and punch that I had not experienced before. (Having really only mixed "in the box" for most of my recording life.)

I have never mixed on an actual console, but it seems that running my mix through the api (the few times i have used one) gave a slightly more "console-like" sound to my all-digital mixes.

j, if you get one, it would be interesting to compare the real deal to the waves api plugin. I have them now on my rig...and have been really happy with the sound of the eqs and the compressor.

rock on !!

-315hz
Old 28th August 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Threads like this about a piece I've been wanting really doesn't help my GAS....
Old 28th August 2008
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixman499 View Post

i also REALLY like the api on drum rooms. at my buddy's room (who has the api) when i track drums...i often put a pair of ribbons about 4-5 ft from the kit on either side...and squash with the 2500.....in his fairly bright room...this gives an incredible SIZE to the kit...especially on big rock stuff.
I'm also a fan of the 2500 for close rooms or mono front of kit mic. I like slow attack, fast release, old mode, thrust at norm. or med. It doesn't take much gain reduction to get a big sound.
Old 28th August 2008
  #12
Gear Addict
 
SonOfSteven's Avatar
 

I make mostly dance music (130- 140 bpm)

Been using these settings lately,

Attack / release based on song, usually slow attack and fast release.
Ratio 4:1 SOFT/MED/NEW, Link at 60% Mix into it at moderate level and crank up that makeup gain knob. GR between 1 and 3 db,
I find these settings sound nice and snappy. kind of SSL like but bass stay's intact nicely
Old 28th August 2008
  #13
Used it mono last week on bass...

Really brought the roughness, grit and character out of the P bass.
Old 28th August 2008
  #14
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jchadstopherhuez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 315hz View Post
So THAT is how you get your drumsound !!

How come you don't have one in those huge racks of yours ? heh

(You should hear j's stuff !!!..he gets some of the coolest sounds !)

I have used the api a few times, it sounded really cool to my ears. I mainly have used various plugin compressors on my mix bus. Usually the waves Ren comp, and recently the waves API plugin compressor.

When I had a chance to use the 2500, it added a thickness and punch that I had not experienced before. (Having really only mixed "in the box" for most of my recording life.)

I have never mixed on an actual console, but it seems that running my mix through the api (the few times i have used one) gave a slightly more "console-like" sound to my all-digital mixes.

j, if you get one, it would be interesting to compare the real deal to the waves api plugin. I have them now on my rig...and have been really happy with the sound of the eqs and the compressor.

rock on !!

-315hz


well.....you may be suprised next time you are here.

(and i'm not just talking about the wicked 50's broadcaster kit i just picked up in chicago)

and, for what its worth...i'm just a lucky sob that gets to work with KILLER drummers....THAT makes most of the drum sound !!! (of course, my new room helps out a bit !!)

best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 28th August 2008
  #15
Gear Addict
 
lildrummerboy70's Avatar
 

I just got an API 2500 earlier this week. I have been using it on my drum bus primarily. I have been keeping it in "OLD" mode for this project I am mixing. The signal path for the drums has been 2500-->550b EQs-->Summit TLA-50s (no compression, used to get the overall level down just a bit for A/D back in to PT). I am definitely digging the sounds I am getting with this thing!!
Old 29th August 2008
  #16
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

enjoy thumbsup
Old 29th August 2008
  #17
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chet.d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 315hz View Post
I have never mixed on an actual console, but it seems that running my mix through the api (the few times i have used one) gave a slightly more "console-like" sound to my all-digital mixes.
-315hz

I've found this to be somewhat true ... for me.
It has a very pleasant smoothing effect on my itb mixes, and adds a punch and forward-ness in proper degrees when desired.

api 2500 = best all around box in my humble home studio.
Old 30th August 2008
  #18
Gear Head
 

to: UBK

Big tnanks men really love your mix settings!!!

Respect

Leos
Old 31st August 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Its REALLY important with the 2500 to watch the input level. It has a sweet spot around 0, but if you start hitting +3 things go wrong quite fast. In the right place it's a really magic box.

J
Old 31st August 2008
  #20
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stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lildrummerboy70 View Post
I just got an API 2500 earlier this week. I have been using it on my drum bus primarily. I have been keeping it in "OLD" mode for this project I am mixing. The signal path for the drums has been 2500-->550b EQs-->Summit TLA-50s (no compression, used to get the overall level down just a bit for A/D back in to PT). I am definitely digging the sounds I am getting with this thing!!
So you use overall buss EQ on the drums too? Do you still EQ the individual tracks as well?
Old 31st August 2008
  #21
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duvalle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Ruston View Post
Its REALLY important with the 2500 to watch the input level. It has a sweet spot around ...
good point!
the first time i used a 2500 i was thinking wtf - it sounds like **** ...
but then i realised the importants of the input level!!!
Old 1st September 2008
  #22
Gear Addict
 
lildrummerboy70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
So you use overall buss EQ on the drums too? Do you still EQ the individual tracks as well?
I do EQ individual tracks as well. It varies according to the needs of the song I am working on. The last mix I was working on I ended up liking the previously mentioned signal path (API 2500-->API 550bs-->TLA-50s) on my parallel drum bus...I really had the 2500 spanking the parallel drums. When I mixed a bit of it in with the other drums it put a big smile on my face.
Old 1st September 2008
  #23
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stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lildrummerboy70 View Post
I do EQ individual tracks as well. It varies according to the needs of the song I am working on. The last mix I was working on I ended up liking the previously mentioned signal path (API 2500-->API 550bs-->TLA-50s) on my parallel drum bus...I really had the 2500 spanking the parallel drums. When I mixed a bit of it in with the other drums it put a big smile on my face.
I want a 2500 for the studio
Old 1st September 2008
  #24
Gear Addict
 
SonOfSteven's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
slow drums: .3 attack, ~500 release, 4:1 hard/med/old, 4-6db GR. very old school, like an 1176 with more crack.

mix: .03 attack, ~1.5s release, 10:1 soft/med/new. somewhere around 4db max GR is a sweet spot on the knee that's pure magic glue for a mix, but a tiny bit off and it's either too much or not enough.

the makeup gain amp is half the fun and tone of this box... hit it.


gregoire
del
ubk
.

I am gonna try your settings on my next song =)
Old 1st September 2008
  #25
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stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
slow drums: .3 attack, ~500 release, 4:1 hard/med/old, 4-6db GR. very old school, like an 1176 with more crack.

mix: .03 attack, ~1.5s release, 10:1 soft/med/new. somewhere around 4db max GR
This seems like an extreme setting for the mix buss but is this not a setting that Paul Wolff himself recommends?
Old 1st September 2008
  #26
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
This seems like an extreme setting for the mix buss but is this not a setting that Paul Wolff himself recommends?
here is an older quote from paul.......

"With the SOFT knee setting, MED thrust and OLD, fast attacks and releases will sound great WITHOUT killing the mix. This is NO ****. Try it like you are trying to show how bad a compressor can sound, fast in fast out 10:1 ratio, etc. You will be shocked."

i tried it out and also love it.
Old 1st September 2008
  #27
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
This seems like an extreme setting for the mix buss but is this not a setting that Paul Wolff himself recommends?

paul favors faster releases and feed back, which ime can work for uptempo-ish rock stuff but i have a hard time liking high ratios and fast releases on a mix.

10:1 might seem extreme for a mix but the key is an extremely long release (~1.5 sec), which means the compressor never lets go. as a result, it's not like things are always slamming anew into the wall, it's more like they slide back and forth on the magic part of the soft knee.

with the music swimming in 2-4db g.r. the whole time, the result is that you're really only doing ~2db of peak-to-average reduction. the slow release eliminates pumping, and the result is just glue for days and a serious increase in energy and attitude, but always with a musical vibe, never edgy or aggro.

i love this box.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 1st September 2008
  #28
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
here is an older quote from paul.......

"With the SOFT knee setting, MED thrust and OLD, fast attacks and releases will sound great WITHOUT killing the mix. This is NO ****. Try it like you are trying to show how bad a compressor can sound, fast in fast out 10:1 ratio, etc. You will be shocked."

i tried it out and also love it.
Yeah that's the quote I was trying to remember. I knew I'd read him saying that somewhere before.
Old 12th September 2008
  #29
Gear Head
 

2 SonOfSteven

My apologize your setting is better- much beefy . Yes Api has got a soul :]
Old 12th September 2008
  #30
Gear Head
 

..anyway

thank you for everyone with great ears for helping people like me in project studios..
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