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API 2500 doing the SSL Buss Comp Thing? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 9th September 2011
  #1
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DanGo's Avatar
 

API 2500 doing the SSL Buss Comp Thing?

I was reading about the API 2500 the other day and the manual made some reference to an SSL style buss comp sound. I've got the API 2500 (hardware) and a Waves SSL buss comp (plug-in). I haven't yet been able to make the API do the SSL thing.

Is it possible? I'd like to get that hard pumping house / electronica sound from my API hardware...

I'm thinking I'm not choosing the mode or the knee correctly. Anybody have any thoughts on how to approach the SSL comp sound with an API 2500?
Old 9th September 2011
  #2
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I've always thought of them as 2 pretty different beasts.
Wouldn't the shallowest knee in Feed Forward be the closest setting?

I'd have thought the API is probably better suited to that aggressive pumping compression sound than the G Buss comp?
Old 9th September 2011
  #3
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I have both hardware and they're totally different
I think a big part of the SSL's groove comes from it's laziness (now there's a new one, that's how I hear it - kind of like it's always behind the beat).

With all the API's additional settings, you can make it more or less obvious, but you can never make it lazy

It's that SSL laziness that imparts the sluggish pump
You can definitely get the API pumping, but it's always too correct


This is all in my experience so far of course
I'm very interested to see what other people have to say
Old 9th September 2011
  #4
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I have both as well and i agree,
they're too different, with the Gcomp doing its thing and the Api capable of pretty much everything but that.
I've always considered them the two big 2bus sounds, two different approaches\school.
I prefere the Api 9 times on 10, but that one time you need the SSL sound, well, you need that.
Old 9th September 2011
  #5
Yep, different beasts but the SSL can be built for a fraction of what the API costs. This is gearslutz after all.
Old 9th September 2011
  #6
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Thanks!! That's what I'd always thought: that the API and SSL were like having two classic flavors (Fender/ Marshall or something like that), but then I swear I read in the API manual something about an SSL-like sound and yes, it was in Feed Forward mode. I've been trying to get that pump, and Lee, that's totally it: the API is too damn fast on the draw with its attack. Can't get that slow pumping thing going... Oh, well...

So, here's a follow up, since Jordanvoth says the SSL can be built for a fraction of the cost of an SSL: which of the SSL clones does that classic House music pump the best? Can of worms, I know... I've heard Allan Smart is great, but not cheap. Dramastic sounds beautiful, but I've heard it on House beats and it's too open.
Old 9th September 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanGo View Post
I was reading about the API 2500 the other day and the manual made some reference to an SSL style buss comp sound. I've got the API 2500 (hardware) and a Waves SSL buss comp (plug-in). I haven't yet been able to make the API do the SSL thing.

Check it out, Good question BTW. I was wondering the same thing. I've owned a API 2500 for a while so I bought a SSL G buss to compare. Two points, the hardware units are quicker, less colored and overall have a larger 3 dimensional sound to them vs the wave plugins. As far as the actual hardware 2500 sounding like a hardware SSL this is what I came up with.

SSL Classic mix setting

SSL
Threshold 2clock (adjust the input level of the mix to be hitting about 4db reduction at this setting)
Ratio 4
Attack 10
Release Auto
Makeup (to taste)

Api 2500
Threshold 1 clock (again adjust the incoming mix level so the input is hitting -4 gain reduction at this setting)
Ratio 4
Attach 10
release 1
knee soft
thrust norm
type new
shape none
Link 100%
Makeup ingage(to taste)

This is close, again not exact. Will vary depending on material but will get you in the ball park.
My 2 cents: At the end of the day I think the API really excels at other setting and tasks. The SSL is really a one trick pony which does what I like sound wise on the 2 buss. I am in line for a Rupert Neve portico 2 buss comp, the features are unique and should be a game changer. We will see.
Old 10th September 2011
  #8
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u b k's Avatar
 

In my experience the 2500 is incapable of pumping the way you're asking for. To my ears it has a bit to do with the knee and the release; the former is too quick and the latter too slow. But mostly I suspect it's down to the RMS detector and the way it responds to energy, it seems to 'hear' too evenly to pump.

One of these days I've got half a mind to pop the lid on mine and futz around with the attack on that box; I've never adored it, while I've always adored everything else about it. 3:1 is a magic ratio on this comp, not sure why but 80% of the time that's where I end up setting it. Same with 1ms attack.

People love this thing on mix and drums; for whatever reason, those are the two places I almost never use mine. Guitars, on the other hand, or vocals... lovely.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 10th September 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Cardan View Post
I think a big part of the SSL's groove comes from it's laziness
totally agree
Old 10th September 2011
  #10
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Showcase's Avatar
 

I think if you`re after the Housy pumping effect you`better try ducking the mix (or whatever) to the kick (this is the way ppl usually do it!) ... rather than compress the hell out of the mix!

The SSL bus compressor works the best when you just let it touch the mix a little, IMHO
Old 10th September 2011
  #11
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I think the API is one of the strongest all-around units. The old/new styles really give it options. Had I been able to afford it, I would have done that as opposed to just buying my SSL clone, which I love and adore as I added some extra features like output transformers and the like, but the API is awesome, and if you can get close to SSL style buss compression with just one box, then you're doing alright.
Old 10th September 2011
  #12
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Scorpiwoman, thanks! That did get me in the ballpark. Then, I used the kick to key various gates and comps on other tracks and that got me farther. Tried the SSL plugin at the classic pumping setting instead of API hardware and found it didn't sound as clear. The bass was more obvious but too muddy.

Greg, I agree with your settings and conclusions about the API except that I love it on buss comp and bass. I love the aggressive thing it does and usually use compression as an obvious and not transparent effect. Some day, I hope to buy your Clariphonic (would be so sweet after the API 5500 eq) and the UBK Fatso seems like a nice variety box! Though not an SSL clone!! ;-)
Old 11th September 2011
  #13
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elmolemon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
People love this thing on mix and drums; for whatever reason, those are the two places I almost never use mine. Guitars, on the other hand, or vocals... lovely.


Gregory Scott - ubk

Really? I remember reading, that you never liked the 2500 on drums, but i thought you were a proponent of using the 2500 on the 2bus. What's your go-to 2bus-comp instead? The Phoenix?
Old 12th September 2011
  #14
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When it was my only compressor, I loved it on the mix (surprise surprise!). When my options expanded, I never looked back.

I'm constantly revising and updating my process and refining my sound. That said, I may well fall back in love with it in a year and preach the gospel again.

I did actually use it on the mix bus of the last mix I did, along with a Phoenix and an uncompressed bus, and this is my latest thing. I do a 3-way parallel blendfest and the 2500's flavor is essential to that blend, but there's no way I could use it like this on its own, it's too stiff on the drums and it swallows the music too deeply.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
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DanGo's Avatar
 

Point well-taken re buss comps. The API is my first really good buss comp, but yeah, I'm already finding times it doesn't quite cut it. Lately, I'm running it and the PSP OldTimer ME in series, with the plugin blended half-wet. Makes me think two hardware buss compressors would be a good combo.

Gregory, how do you avoid phase problems with three compressors on the buss?!
Old 12th September 2011
  #16
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DanGo's Avatar
 

Sorry... Two compressors and an unprocessed mix? This is uber parallel compression. Still curious about the method... Are you using a console or a DAW?
Old 13th September 2011
  #17
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I did actually use it on the mix bus of the last mix I did, along with a Phoenix and an uncompressed bus, and this is my latest thing. I do a 3-way parallel blendfest and the 2500's flavor is essential to that blend, but there's no way I could use it like this on its own, it's too stiff on the drums and it swallows the music too deeply.


Gregory Scott - ubk
I am also doing this technique. I am routing into a console, just the 2trk mix and budding those 2tracks to all of the 8 sub groups. Creating 4 parallel stereo paths. I then insert the hardware I require for the colour/texture I require, blend to suit and buss the blend back into Tools.

My current favorite is 1 unprocessed, 1 comped with an Al Smart C2 and the 3rd with a modded Ampex A440 feeding it for a little harmonic distortion (colour/texture). I am not using the 4th buss currently, but am experimenting with a pair a Daking FETII's for the task.

Did not meant get off topic, but I have not heard much about others using this technique.
Old 13th September 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I do a 3-way parallel blendfest and the 2500's flavor is essential to that blend, but there's no way I could use it like this on its own, it's too stiff on the drums and it swallows the music too deeply.


Gregory Scott - ubk
You're gonna have little freaky imbred mixes crawling all over your carpet!
Old 13th September 2011
  #19
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

I've been using the 2500 on heavies during mixing and it really sounds and feels great. A lot of options, I just click around the different combinations till something strikes me. I had mixed this tune about 80% a few weeks ago and it sounded ok but the guitars didn't have enough muscle for my taste and the 2500 really added some weight and fangy color. Great unit!
Old 13th September 2011
  #20
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To get my mixes to pump (dance, pop, etc.), I send all my tracks I want to "duck" (usually all the instruments except the kik) to an Aux and put the SSL comp on that Aux. Then, I create an Aux Send on my kik track and assign the SSL comp's key input to that send. So, now the compressor is engaging when the kik hits. Adjust the attack, release, and threshold to taste. I route the output of that Aux (with the compressed instruments on it) and the kik track (also, the vocal tracks) to a NEW Aux which I call my "Mix Aux" and I put my mix buss compression and eq on that... anything pseudo-mastering, then route that to my "Mix Return" stereo audio track as a bounce track to record my mix to.

Clear as mud?
Old 14th September 2011
  #21
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Thanks, Mistervenable. Actually makes sense. That compressor keyed by the kick... Is it a high ratio or more typical 4:1? Is that the compressor you set to pump and then the mix compressor is more for glue?
Old 14th September 2011
  #22
dry
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ubk 2500

,,,,,,,,dreaming of a brown faced 2500.. i will have a full brown rack one day. clariphonic/fatso/vac rac (tsl-4)/and a foote control systems p4. if you pulled off a UBK version of the api....i may ONLY need a brown rack. I might call in to that TBN prayer line and deem this a prayer request. AMEN
Old 14th September 2011
  #23
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DanGo's Avatar
 

Dry, where are you using the UBK Fatso? On Mix buss? I think this is likely to be my next compressor... Ditto for the Clariphonic, as my next eq... Hope this is a good year, financially!!
Old 14th September 2011
  #24
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airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
3:1 is a magic ratio on this comp, not sure why but 80% of the time that's where I end up setting it. Same with 1ms attack.
k
The ratio is set to 3:1 on my 2500 almost all the time as well...
Old 14th September 2011
  #25
dry
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apologies

sorry dango...i did not mean to imply that i own the ubk fatso, I recently moved cross country and had to lean most cool stuff out (because that's what sells) *also having two children back to back* ---- Anyways, when I rebuild my little mix set up -- I am dreaming in browns. Also, I don't really do the ^this compressor only on 2 buss or i use this exclusively for that^ I rarely have more than 3 compressors in my posession at any given time so i use them all wherever i can *assuming it needs any at all*

what i have found with the api is that you can really bounce the music around and give it some motion ( i suck at analogies or describing what i hear)...ok so gregory gets his music sounding good at 3:1 ratios/// awesome I have found that to be a cool setting. Personally 4:1 was my magic number. I am guessing Gregory and I mix different styles of music but are finding that same bouncy love as The API 2500 is just a dang cool compressor...I think it's real secret is when you combine it with other compressors....like the C1....goodnight that's a smile inducer. -- just saying it plays b e a u t i f u l l y with other tools---and that's what they are.
Old 14th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanGo View Post

Gregory, how do you avoid phase problems with three compressors on the buss?!
why would there be phase problems?

voltage moves a bit too fast for that......
Old 16th September 2011
  #27
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u b k's Avatar
 

Correct, zero phase problems because this all happens in the analog domain.

More accurately, a console sums the uncompressed mix, but a nicerizer sums the 3 mix paths... mmmm mmmm good.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 16th September 2011
  #28
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DanGo's Avatar
 

Funny, Dry, but I recently came to the same conclusion: the API 2500, plus another compressor is a great combo.

Gregory, of course, that makes sense about the analog domain and no phase issues. Can you tell I've been in the wilderness of plugins for too long? Try parallel compression in the box (with a compressor plug that doesn't offer wet/dry!)... Ugh! I'm returning to analog for at least the mix buss.
Old 16th September 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airmate View Post
The ratio is set to 3:1 on my 2500 almost all the time as well...
Me too...funny. Only time it leaves 3 is when in old mode - then 10 seems to be magic.
Old 16th September 2011
  #30
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airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasso View Post
Me too...funny. Only time it leaves 3 is when in old mode - then 10 seems to be magic.
Fot me it's 3:1 and old mode... and I almost never use the "Thrust" sidechain filter...
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