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API 2500 question Dynamics Plugins
Old 13th May 2012
  #1
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hAPIguy's Avatar
 

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API 2500 question

I'm sending a mix out of an Mbox3 Pro (balanced outs) directly into an API 2500 but I can't get a nice level into the 2500.

The input meter is barely moving.

I tried sending individual tracks or an aux or the stereo 2buss but there's just not enough level getting to the 2500.

Even if I really goose the send with a lot of level, the input to the 2500 is small.

I also have a pair of 512 pres and I can send the signal to that before the 2500 which works ok but I don't always want the color of the 512 and I'd rather go right in to the 2500 from the MBox3 Pro.

Any suggestions?
Thanks.
Old 13th May 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
evilrocker's Avatar
You have the metering set to in and not gain reduction?
Old 13th May 2012
  #3
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Miles Flint's Avatar
 

the 2500 should work fine with line levels and definitely does not need an additional preamp when your mbox has balanced line levels outputs..!?!? can you figure out if the issue is on the 2500 or maybee on your mbox? did you (even with the low level) a loopback recording with your 2500 so far? how does this sound? maybe a bad or broken amp? good luck...
Old 14th May 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Flint View Post
the 2500 should work fine with line levels and definitely does not need an additional preamp when your mbox has balanced line levels outputs..!?!? can you figure out if the issue is on the 2500 or maybee on your mbox? did you (even with the low level) a loopback recording with your 2500 so far? how does this sound? maybe a bad or broken amp? good luck...
The processing sounds fine (bouncing and/or printing to a stereo track). I'm able to get the level back ITB by setting the 2500 output level properly and my mixes sound good. It's just the signal going in to the 2500 that's bugging me.

However, I would think that getting more input to the 2500 would produce a different sound, thicker w/more saturation. I want to obtain that to compare. Maybe you are right, maybe the input is problematic on my unit?

And yes, the metering is set to out and not GR.

Thanks for the replies - any more?
Old 14th May 2012
  #5
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u b k's Avatar
 

Coupla things:

First, is your cabling fully balanced, ie XLR to XLR or XLR to TRS? Using XLR to TS could cause a level drop. And are your mbox outputs +4 or -10?

If they're +4 and your cables are all properly balanced, set up a 1k tone on your daw and feed it to the 2500.

Set the 2500 meters to Input, set the unit to In, raise the threshold all the way.

Adjust the level of your 1k tone until the 2500 is reading 0VU. The tone should be set in the daw to something between -18dBFS and -14dBFS, and that's where you want your mixes averaging.

If it's not, if the tone is closer to 0dBFS in the DAW, then either your Mbox outputs are not balanced or they're not +4 or you've got XLR to TS cables, or there's something wrong with either it's outputs or the 2500's inputs. The way to figure that out is to use a voltmeter to measure the actual output of your mbox.

Let us know what you find!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 14th May 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
And are your mbox outputs +4 or -10?
My first thought heh

Gregory gave you a very good support guide. Go thru it
Old 14th May 2012
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by hAPIguy View Post
And yes, the metering is set to out and not GR.
but you want to check the input right?

if you follow UBK's advice you should be good to go.
Old 14th May 2012
  #8
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First of all - thank you all for your responses and especially Gregory UBK!

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Coupla things:

First, is your cabling fully balanced, ie XLR to XLR or XLR to TRS? Using XLR to TS could cause a level drop. And are your mbox outputs +4 or -10?
I'm using Mogami TRS to TRS (6 ft.). The output switch on the MBox3 Pro is set to +4. I'll try your suggestions! Thanks!
Old 14th May 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hAPIguy View Post
I'm using Mogami TRS to TRS (6 ft.).

Wait, the 2500 is xlr only... how are you connecting it with TRS cables?


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 15th May 2012
  #10
The TRS inputs on API 2500 are for side chain. If you plug anything into them it'll disrupt the compression analysis from the XLRs. You'll need to feed both inputs then: XLR and TRS.

And be sure you have the "IN" button pressed down.
Old 15th May 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Wait, the 2500 is xlr only... how are you connecting it with TRS cables?


Gregory Scott - ubk
Sorry!
I meant XLR to TRS!
I followed UBK's advice with the 1k signal (RMS).

The tone going out of the MBox Pro needs to be -12.7 in order to get 0 on the 2500 input VU (I'm using outputs 3 and 4). I tried both stereo and dual mono and get the same result of (-12.7). The MBox Pro inputs are set to +4 (button not pressed in).

I then sent a drum bus to the 2500 at around -12.7 and am getting close to 0VU on the 2500 input (but not quite). The peaks are a couple of dbs lower.

The 2500 sounds quite different now - thicker with a warmer bottom end and a softer top. I like the sound a lot. Now, when I adjust the Release, I can really hear the sweet spot - no question.

I'm starting to see that if I want a harder, punchier sound, I can feed it less input and turn up the Gain on the 2500. If I want a bigger, warmer sound, I can feed it more input and less of the Gain knob.

Am I on the right track?
Old 15th May 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hAPIguy View Post
I'm starting to see that if I want a harder, punchier sound, I can feed it less input and turn up the Gain on the 2500. If I want a bigger, warmer sound, I can feed it more input and less of the Gain knob.

Am I on the right track?

Bingo. And the hardest, punchiest sound of all will be when you take it easy on *both* the inputs and outputs, because you'll have maximum transient fidelity. Not necessarily good or bad, but just another option.

Glad to see you've got it sorted.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 16th May 2012
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Bingo. And the hardest, punchiest sound of all will be when you take it easy on *both* the inputs and outputs, because you'll have maximum transient fidelity. Not necessarily good or bad, but just another option.

Glad to see you've got it sorted.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Yes, it seems I'm getting a handle on it - thanks to you!
Do you think -12.7 is in the acceptable range?
By the way, I always love your posts - the clarity is undeniable.
Old 16th May 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hAPIguy View Post
Do you think -12.7 is in the acceptable range?

It's right in the zone, just as you've surmised.

Hit it harder for more op-amp saturation and less output trafo saturation, hit it lighter and crank the output for exactly the opposite.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 16th May 2012
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glissonda View Post
or sell it and be happier
Yes, get the Waves 2500 and give your API 2500 to me
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