The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
API The box?
Old 16th August 2017
  #271
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rea View Post
Anyone has a thought why in hell there are Insert points in the summing channels?

The only reason i can see an advantage in using an insert instead of sending from the DA straight to the outboard device and then to the channel, is if the channels had preamps that you could adjust the input gain with for gain staging PRE hitting outboard for the preamp tone, but since there is no adjustable active gain preamp on the summing inputs there is zero difference between inserting outboard at an insert point or placing the outboard between the DA and the Summing channel.


Anyone thoughts on this? it looks like an awful waste of money and real estate to build in unnecessary 16 X 2 points...
Short answer: If they didn't put them on there, people would complain. Haha... They've set this console up so that it's completely versatile if paired with a patch bay. They are also catering to people who don't need a lot of stuff but want high quality. There's plenty of people out there that will not use a patch bay with this, so I'm sure they are just patching in their handful of outboard to different summing channels and leaving it like that. If I got one right now, I wouldn't need a patch bay and would find those quite useful.
Old 16th August 2017
  #272
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rea View Post
Anyone has a thought why in hell there are Insert points in the summing channels?

The only reason i can see an advantage in using an insert instead of sending from the DA straight to the outboard device and then to the channel, is if the channels had preamps that you could adjust the input gain with for gain staging PRE hitting outboard for the preamp tone, but since there is no adjustable active gain preamp on the summing inputs there is zero difference between inserting outboard at an insert point or placing the outboard between the DA and the Summing channel.


Anyone thoughts on this? it looks like an awful waste of money and real estate to build in unnecessary 16 X 2 points...
It is REALLY nice to be able to switch entire chains of outboard gear in and out for an A/B with just one button.
Old 17th August 2017
  #273
Gear Nut
 

I own a box. I now want a 1608. It sounds amazing for EDM.
Old 17th August 2017
  #274
Rea
Lives for gear
 
Rea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Short answer: If they didn't put them on there, people would complain. Haha... They've set this console up so that it's completely versatile if paired with a patch bay. They are also catering to people who don't need a lot of stuff but want high quality. There's plenty of people out there that will not use a patch bay with this, so I'm sure they are just patching in their handful of outboard to different summing channels and leaving it like that. If I got one right now, I wouldn't need a patch bay and would find those quite useful.

its the same as patching your DA to your outboard and to the channel and leave it there. its same same, you still did not highlight any benefit in having an insert.

OTOH, if they had put there a direct out POST fader, well, now thats a useful feature. By far, in this case. Im only talking about the signal flow of the BOX with the fixed buffer. Im not talking about proper consoles with gain control on the channel, thats a different story.

I think its serious design error. Go in the channel, out the channel, back in... sounds like having a good time but who needs that??
Old 17th August 2017
  #275
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rea View Post
its the same as patching your DA to your outboard and to the channel and leave it there. its same same, you still did not highlight any benefit in having an insert.
Yup, it's the same. I think the big take away is that it's just not something you're going to use. I can think of a few scenarios and setups where it's still useful to have it on the console. Obvious one is for compressors that don't have a bypass, like an LA2A. It can be useful to take it out of the chain to compare, or for a lot of other reasons. Maybe someone is using it with a tape machine into the summing mixer and does not have the flexibility of routing inside a DAW and does not have a patch bay? I'm sure there's a lot more I could think of...

My point is that it's probably not a feature that added any substantial cost, it might have been something that was already built into the channel design they used? Who knows! It's there if you need it, someone out there is finding it useful!
Old 17th August 2017
  #276
Rea
Lives for gear
 
Rea's Avatar
 

Yes, there might be some scenarios but less likely than the target market of this mixer.

Nice to return the auxes to the 4 tracking channels and you got 2 stereo busses for the 16 summing channels... mini Brau at mix..


Also maybe by the fact that the direct out(insert send) is pre fader you can monitor at any level while recording the insert out without affecting the recording level, So thats actually a benefit of the insert out, being pre fader.
At the same time, there is no other level control on the channel, there is no gain control, being a fixed buffer, so thats problematic for using the 16 channels for a recording session.... trouble trouble.. life is hard

Last edited by Rea; 17th August 2017 at 05:42 AM..
Old 17th August 2017
  #277
Lives for gear
 
DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rea View Post
Anyone has a thought why in hell there are Insert points in the summing channels?

The only reason i can see an advantage in using an insert instead of sending from the DA straight to the outboard device and then to the channel, is if the channels had preamps that you could adjust the input gain with for gain staging PRE hitting outboard for the preamp tone, but since there is no adjustable active gain preamp on the summing inputs there is zero difference between inserting outboard at an insert point or placing the outboard between the DA and the Summing channel.


Anyone thoughts on this? it looks like an awful waste of money and real estate to build in unnecessary 16 X 2 points...
Having inserts on summing channels is amazing, your not there yet.. You will get one day. If you don't know why it's there you don't need it!
Old 3rd September 2017
  #278
Anyone else think The Box is too clean? No mojo? Really struggling trying to decide between it, the Harrison... Or spend a bit more and spring for a trident...
Old 3rd September 2017
  #279
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
Anyone else think The Box is too clean? No mojo? Really struggling trying to decide between it, the Harrison... Or spend a bit more and spring for a trident...
These are highly subjective terms, but here is what I can tell you in my experience owning an API box and how it compares to other consoles.

I had a Neve 5465 before I got the API.
It sounded great. Tons of headroom and a lovely smooth top end.
Compared to it, the API is more open on the top end and tighter in the bottom.
The API is not as silky as the Neve, but the stereo image is a little bigger and deeper to my ears. Having worked on the Neve for about 6 years, I had no problem getting things to sound the way I want when I switched to the API.
Both consoles sound great. I liked the Neve 54 mic pres a little better, but the API has a WAY better monitor section and more aux sends and the mic pres are great for everything, with the exception of vocals, where I strongly prefer Neve and still have a couple 33122a's around.........

I also regularly work on a Sphere Eclipse A.
When I record a band I will print rough mixes through the Sphere while we are tracking. After I get the tracks back to my studio I will Spend a few minutes getting a similar balance on the API and compare the two. The Sphere and the API sound remarkably similar! I would say the Sphere has a tiny bit bigger bottom but the API has a slightly more open top end and wider stereo image. My opinion is they are quite similar sonically as mixers for all practical matters.

Now, I have done the same thing at studios with SSL 4000 consoles where I will be tracking with outboard mic amps and monitoring on the SSL. Every time I bring home the rough mixes from an SSL and compare to my old Neve or the API the sonic differences are pretty significant. The SSL rough mixes sound like they have a high pass filter on them compared to the Neve or the API. It is not subtle.

I can comfortably say that The Box definitely sounds great to me, like all API stuff generally does. It has a a little bit of color, but to me its strong point is the headroom and large 3D image that the console imparts.

I hope this helps.
Old 3rd September 2017
  #280
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
I hope this helps.
It definitely does... thank you! Any experience with the trident 88 or harrison 950mx?
Old 3rd September 2017
  #281
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
It is REALLY nice to be able to switch entire chains of outboard gear in and out for an A/B with just one button.
The 1608's inserts drop voltage from 24v down to 18v then back.
Imo a major design flaw.
Kills headroom and sounds like ass.
Hitting the 2 buss hard would flatline waveforms when the inserts were engaged.
Since then I've modded the mix buss to have 6 db more headroom and I stopped using those damn inserts years ago.
Old 4th September 2017
  #282
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
The 1608's inserts drop voltage from 24v down to 18v then back.
Imo a major design flaw.
Kills headroom and sounds like ass.
Hitting the 2 buss hard would flatline waveforms when the inserts were engaged.
Since then I've modded the mix buss to have 6 db more headroom and I stopped using those damn inserts years ago.
Hunter — do you think this would also have a negative impact when using the summing section on the box for tracking and going out the inserts into the DAW?

Last edited by joelfarr; 5th September 2017 at 04:52 AM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 4th September 2017
  #283
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
The 1608's inserts drop voltage from 24v down to 18v then back.
Imo a major design flaw.
Kills headroom and sounds like ass.
Hitting the 2 buss hard would flatline waveforms when the inserts were engaged.
Since then I've modded the mix buss to have 6 db more headroom and I stopped using those damn inserts years ago.
Interesting That's all the channel inserts as well as program inserts ?

I'm going to see if I hear a difference chaining 2 buss processors from the output rather than inserting them

I have everything patched so it's easy to see

Hmmmm
Old 4th September 2017
  #284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Interesting That's all the channel inserts as well as program inserts ?

I'm going to see if I hear a difference chaining 2 buss processors from the output rather than inserting them

I have everything patched so it's easy to see

Hmmmm
Let us know what you find!
Old 4th September 2017
  #285
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
Hunter — do you think this would also have a negative impact when using the summing section for tracking and going out the inserts into the DAW?
Never tried it but if an output is dropping voltage I'd imagine it might.
I always shook my head when popping my 2500 or shadow hills compressor, pultecs on the mix buss inserts.
The signal would lose headroom.
Waveforms would squash/clip a bit.
Never sounded right so I started all buss processing post fader post 1608 output.

Last edited by RoundBadge; 4th September 2017 at 03:47 AM..
Old 4th September 2017
  #286
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Interesting That's all the channel inserts as well as program inserts ?

I'm going to see if I hear a difference chaining 2 buss processors from the output rather than inserting them

I have everything patched so it's easy to see

Hmmmm
When we were doing some work on it (replacing some opamps)my tech pointed out the inserts were dropping v down to 18.
We both thought that was a odd.
Was it by choice on balanced inserts?
If I insert on channels now it's pre eq on the patchbay.works fine except you can't switch it in and out via the insert switch.
Old 4th September 2017
  #287
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Interesting That's all the channel inserts as well as program inserts ?

I'm going to see if I hear a difference chaining 2 buss processors from the output rather than inserting them

I have everything patched so it's easy to see

Hmmmm
Cool.let us know what your waveforms look like as well.
When hitting the 2 buss fairly hard I always saw what looked like clipping on the waveform.not the slight compression you get when hitting the 2 buss ala SSL 4K etc..
and not slamming the outputs of the outboard gear just shooting for unity gain..only when using the inserts,otherwise it was fine no inserts or post fader.
Maybe my particular 1608 was an earlier design or had some other inherent issues?
I'd be curious to see if a newer one has the same issue.

Last edited by RoundBadge; 4th September 2017 at 03:46 AM..
Old 4th September 2017
  #288
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Cool.let us know what your waveforms look like as well.
When hitting the 2 buss fairly hard I always saw what looked like clipping on the waveform.not the slight compression you get when hitting the 2 buss ala SSL 4K etc..
and not slamming the outputs of the outboard gear just shooting for unity gain..only when using the inserts,otherwise it was fine no inserts or post fader.
Maybe my particular 1608 was an earlier design or had some other inherent issues?
I'd be curious to see if a newer one has the same issue.
Mine is about 5 years old .
I'm away taking daughter to college so be a couple days but I'll def check it out
Old 4th September 2017
  #289
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Mine is about 5 years old .
I'm away taking daughter to college so be a couple days but I'll def check it out
cool.look forward to your findings.thnx
Old 4th September 2017
  #290
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Interesting. I wonder what's going on when you patch in the compressor to one of the channels on The Box?
Old 4th September 2017
  #291
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Interesting. I wonder what's going on when you patch in the compressor to one of the channels on The Box?
Don't know.
Maybe it's a different design?
Old 4th September 2017
  #292
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Interesting. I wonder what's going on when you patch in the compressor to one of the channels on The Box?
I am fairly certain that a drop in voltage does not occur when using the inserts on The Box.

I have never done a proper test, but when I switch the insert in/out with nothing inserted I can hear no audible difference and there is no change in gain at all.
This goes for the master bus inserts and all channel inserts.

Maybe someone from API can chime in here and shed some light on this.
Old 4th September 2017
  #293
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
I am fairly certain that a drop in voltage does not occur when using the inserts on The Box.

I have never done a proper test, but when I switch the insert in/out with nothing inserted I can hear no audible difference and there is no change in gain at all.
This goes for the master bus inserts and all channel inserts.

Maybe someone from API can chime in here and shed some light on this.
I wasn't necessarily talking about the inserts (though I'm still interested), I was wondering about the "assign" option on the compressor where you can send it to one of the 4 full channels. I'm assuming it's designed just like an insert though?

Last edited by andersmv; 4th September 2017 at 11:40 PM..
Old 4th September 2017
  #294
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
I am fairly certain that a drop in voltage does not occur when using the inserts on The Box.

I have never done a proper test, but when I switch the insert in/out with nothing inserted I can hear no audible difference and there is no change in gain at all.
This goes for the master bus inserts and all channel inserts.

Maybe someone from API can chime in here and shed some light on this.
I never noticed any gain change on the 1608 inserts either.
It's my understanding the inserts dropped to 18v then back to 24v.
The real issue being diminished headroom on the insert.
Old 5th September 2017
  #295
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
The real issue being diminished headroom on the insert.
Yeah this is concerning for me as I'm considering The Box... Definitely want to get to the bottom of this... I'd like to use the summing section for tracking as well and go out the inserts into PT. API reps, where you at?
Old 8th September 2017
  #296
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I never noticed any gain change on the 1608 inserts either.
It's my understanding the inserts dropped to 18v then back to 24v.
The real issue being diminished headroom on the insert.
All audio in the 1608 runs on +-16V, the +24V is only used for switching logic and will never get in touch with the audio opamps.

The reason behind the slightly lower headroom is the 2510 opamp reciever stage in the insert return which is a few dBs less than a 2520 opamp stage (somewhat in the area of +24dBu vs +27dBu).
Old 12th September 2017
  #297
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
It definitely does... thank you! Any experience with the trident 88 or harrison 950mx?
I have no personal experience with either of these consoles.
Old 3rd October 2017
  #298
Rea
Lives for gear
 
Rea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DR Music View Post
Having inserts on summing channels is amazing, your not there yet.. You will get one day. If you don't know why it's there you don't need it!
Cute, Ive been producing and engineering for only 30 years... maybe one day ill know what an insert is...
Old 22nd December 2017
  #299
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
Anyone else think The Box is too clean? No mojo? Really struggling trying to decide between it, the Harrison... Or spend a bit more and spring for a trident...
I used to own a Box and now own a 950m. The switch happened by the hand of fate. I’ve already sung some of the Box’s praises in this thread, but I’ll add a little more now that I’ve worked on a Harrison too.

The Box is indeed very clean, and I wouldn’t use the word mojo to describe it. When I first got it I was surprised what a subtle step up from my X-Desk it was in terms of mojo. Any vibe with that console comes from the preamps, EQ and compressor, and of course, you. It all adds up to quite a satisfying recording experience. Nice and chewy, lots of bottom end.

The Harrison is also quite clean, in a different way, and when you use its own pres and EQ, it somehow adds up to a sum greater than its parts and sounds like what you’d expect a console to sound like. I’ve done some recordings live off the floor with it, did a quick 5 minute mix on it, and the results were instantly closer to ‘a record’ than anything I’ve ever experienced in a way the Box just couldn’t compete. Both are clean, both are nice.

The one you choose might depend on what your needs are. If you need lots of recording channels maybe the Harrison or Trident are good choices.
To me, when sitting in front of it, The Box feels like sitting next to a summing box, some 500 series modules, a monitor section and a faderport. The 950m feels like sitting at a console.

The pleasure and comfort of the ergonomic design of the Harrison cannot be overstated. It’s amazing. That shelf in front is extremely comfortable and ergonomic. With the Box I needed special furniture to make it comfortable (which I’m still stuck with..). And even then it just wasn’t that comfortable. Aesthetically the Box’s design is cool in an IKEA showroom sort of way, but in a real world comfort and workflow sort of way, the Harrison wins hands down. Everything makes sense in the positioning of the buttons and it’s intuitive. With the box I always found myself having to get up to make sure I’m pressing the right button, turning the right knob etc..

Trident I think would be a good choice if you need lots of solid pres for relatively cheap. Not sure how its feature set works with a modern workflow. Both the Box and 950m make a lot of sense for modern record making.

The pres in the Box might have more personality but don’t sleep on the pres in the Harrison. They are unheralded but don’t sleep on them- they are A-Mazing. Clear and punchy. They are the only pres I use and I don’t miss my Neves or any of the other million pres I’ve owned. However I do wish I had something like an RPQ cause they don’t have a ton of gain and get noisy with ribbons combined with quiet sources, as most pres would.

The compressor in the Box is a ton of fun and very useful either on the mix bus or for tracking. In my experience it’s a bit hit or miss. I’ve found the compressors in the Harrison useless and underwhelming and I never ever use them. They do do something cool to the sound when engaged though. The controls are just really limited. They add some nice separation though.

The EQ on the Harrison is very specific but having it on every channel is amazing if nothing else because just inserting it in the signal path gives the signal some analog life and that’s really cool to have that on all channels. The API EQ, although only two of them, is much more useful for tracking.
The faders on the Box feel cheap and like the X-Desk. The faders on the Harrison feel like a real console. Overall the Harrison feels more solid.

I hope that helps a bit!
Old 23rd December 2017
  #300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer View Post
I used to own a Box and now own a 950m. The switch happened by the hand of fate. I’ve already sung some of the Box’s praises in this thread, but I’ll add a little more now that I’ve worked on a Harrison too.

The Box is indeed very clean, and I wouldn’t use the word mojo to describe it. When I first got it I was surprised what a subtle step up from my X-Desk it was in terms of mojo. Any vibe with that console comes from the preamps, EQ and compressor, and of course, you. It all adds up to quite a satisfying recording experience. Nice and chewy, lots of bottom end.

The Harrison is also quite clean, in a different way, and when you use its own pres and EQ, it somehow adds up to a sum greater than its parts and sounds like what you’d expect a console to sound like. I’ve done some recordings live off the floor with it, did a quick 5 minute mix on it, and the results were instantly closer to ‘a record’ than anything I’ve ever experienced in a way the Box just couldn’t compete. Both are clean, both are nice.

The one you choose might depend on what your needs are. If you need lots of recording channels maybe the Harrison or Trident are good choices.
To me, when sitting in front of it, The Box feels like sitting next to a summing box, some 500 series modules, a monitor section and a faderport. The 950m feels like sitting at a console.

The pleasure and comfort of the ergonomic design of the Harrison cannot be overstated. It’s amazing. That shelf in front is extremely comfortable and ergonomic. With the Box I needed special furniture to make it comfortable (which I’m still stuck with..). And even then it just wasn’t that comfortable. Aesthetically the Box’s design is cool in an IKEA showroom sort of way, but in a real world comfort and workflow sort of way, the Harrison wins hands down. Everything makes sense in the positioning of the buttons and it’s intuitive. With the box I always found myself having to get up to make sure I’m pressing the right button, turning the right knob etc..

Trident I think would be a good choice if you need lots of solid pres for relatively cheap. Not sure how its feature set works with a modern workflow. Both the Box and 950m make a lot of sense for modern record making.

The pres in the Box might have more personality but don’t sleep on the pres in the Harrison. They are unheralded but don’t sleep on them- they are A-Mazing. Clear and punchy. They are the only pres I use and I don’t miss my Neves or any of the other million pres I’ve owned. However I do wish I had something like an RPQ cause they don’t have a ton of gain and get noisy with ribbons combined with quiet sources, as most pres would.

The compressor in the Box is a ton of fun and very useful either on the mix bus or for tracking. In my experience it’s a bit hit or miss. I’ve found the compressors in the Harrison useless and underwhelming and I never ever use them. They do do something cool to the sound when engaged though. The controls are just really limited. They add some nice separation though.

The EQ on the Harrison is very specific but having it on every channel is amazing if nothing else because just inserting it in the signal path gives the signal some analog life and that’s really cool to have that on all channels. The API EQ, although only two of them, is much more useful for tracking.
The faders on the Box feel cheap and like the X-Desk. The faders on the Harrison feel like a real console. Overall the Harrison feels more solid.

I hope that helps a bit!
Thank you for the awesome response. Great info here! Shortly after I posted here I stumbled on the Great River MM20 and took the plunge. Haven't regretted it and haven't looked back... maybe one day I will revisit the Harrison, but for now I'm quite satisfied with what the MM20 is giving me... I do still long for real faders and EQ on every channel though!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump