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API The box?
Old 20th January 2014
  #121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer View Post
I'm in the process of making ownership happen.
I look forward to hearing your report on this unit once you get your hand on it and have had a chance to use it for a little bit. Looks like an interesting option.
Old 20th January 2014
  #122
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swurveman View Post
I can only speak for myself, but I am about to spend 18k on gear, here's the list. Tell me which gear you think won't live up to my expectations.

1. A 2nd Aurora 16/ RME AES32 for more routing to my hardware for tracking and mixing.
2. An LA-2A mono compressor for tracking and mixing
3. An 1176 mono compressor for tracking and mixing
4. A Cranesong STC-8 stereo compressor for tracking and mixing
5. A stereo pair of Gefell M300 microphones
6. An API 3124+ Preamp
7. A Vintech 473 preamp to compliment my Vintech X73i's
8. A stereo pair of AKG C414 microphones
9. 2-Sennhesiser MD 421 microphones.

Perhaps I'll look at some of these NEVE/API/SSL stripped down consoles for my next big purchase, but I will have to be totally blown away by the improvement of my mixes.
The 414s.

Amiright?
Old 20th January 2014
  #123
Gear Addict
 
Mo Facta's Avatar
Reading over some of the comments in this thread, it sounds like some of you are expecting a console. At what point does a summing mixer become a console? And should it offer console-type features? Why not get a console, then?

From my POV, yes, it's expensive and yes, it meets the needs of a small niche in the market: wealthy hobbyists and possibly the home/project studios of some pros. Most summing boxes are only 16 channels anyway and the point of a summing unit is to provide stems to sum with in the analogue domain. All automation should be done ITB so that puts to bed the automation issue. That's the beauty of working with digital.

Also, lack of inserts can be remedied by normalling all the i/o to a patchbay which any serious user should do anyway. As far as the additional sub groups or stereo busses are concerned, I don't think that's the point of a summing unit. I think the designers of summing units assume that you'll be doing all your subgrouping ITB. If you need to strap a compressor across a drum bus, you could always just break out of the patchbay.

Let's not forget that this is aimed at a hybrid way of working that is supposed to take advantage of both worlds and so my view, the 16 summing inputs are eight stereo analogue subgroups that compliments the mixer in my DAW. Effects returns? Wouldn't you return your FX busses to a stereo stem on a summing unit anyway? What's the difference if it's an outboard unit? That's the way I do it. I send my effects returns from the DAW to the last couple stereo channels on my summing unit.

So look, yes, it's expensive. Do I think it's worth it? No. Would I rather have the Great River MM20? Yes. But it's not as terrible an idea as you guys are making it out to be. It's not a console. It's a summing unit with faders, a few input channels, a couple of EQs and a couple of comps. It's meant to leave the heavy lifting to the DAW while imparting the API sound.

My 2c.

Cheers
Old 20th January 2014
  #124
Here for the gear
 
solid_tube_head's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyglover View Post
don't like the name and the logo is huge and ugly.

Agree
Old 20th January 2014
  #125
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swurveman View Post
I can only speak for myself, but I am about to spend 18k on gear, here's the list. Tell me which gear you think won't live up to my expectations.

1. A 2nd Aurora 16/ RME AES32 for more routing to my hardware for tracking and mixing.
2. An LA-2A mono compressor for tracking and mixing
3. An 1176 mono compressor for tracking and mixing
4. A Cranesong STC-8 stereo compressor for tracking and mixing
5. A stereo pair of Gefell M300 microphones
6. An API 3124+ Preamp
7. A Vintech 473 preamp to compliment my Vintech X73i's
8. A stereo pair of AKG C414 microphones
9. 2-Sennhesiser MD 421 microphones.

Perhaps I'll look at some of these NEVE/API/SSL stripped down consoles for my next big purchase, but I will have to be totally blown away by the improvement of my mixes.
That was my train of thought 2 years ago- then over time I realized that for me work flow considerations trumped "flavors" of gear- and I decided I needed a console for tracking. What's awesome about the Box is it's a small console with just enough features to solve my current issues and still retain most of my current ITB mixing workflow and slowly learn the console process. I'll be much more educated about my needs when the time comes to get an actual desk. Not many high-end "transitional" consoles on the market.

For your question- my personal opinion- to be taken with a grain of salt, we all have different tastes workflows and evolutions.

1- Never heard the Lynx but the RME are low-mid level converters in my book and sound a little crispy. That being said they are excellent for the money. If you can swing an Avid do it- unbeatable for the price, and in my experience smoked Prism converters too. I believe converters are the unsung hero of the signal chain and need lots of attention. They will effect EVERY single thing you do in your studio.. unlike a single compressor let's say.
2 and 3- can't go wrong, great choices.
4- never used it but I'd wait a bit and let a situation happen where you wanna do something, and you can't do it. But you could if you had this. Then go out and buy the Cranesong. If that's already how you came to this list ignore my comment. But I did just that when I started- I ran out and spent 20 k on gear based on theoretical needs. I got lucky and sold only a couple of pieces.
5- I have these and use them on everything.
6- Have this too- but if you get this make sure you have either a console or a good way to attenuate them before hitting the DAW or you may have nasty surprises- see my previous comments about workflow.
7- Had a Vintech once. Sold it.
8 and 9- great choice.
Old 2nd February 2014
  #126
Gear Maniac
 

Isn't this the same sort of form factor that Jeff at Classic API is currently working in? A small format console where you can switch out your 500 series components
Old 2nd February 2014
  #127
Lives for gear
While this thing looks cool, is is absurdly overpriced. The aurora sidecar is head and shoulders above the Box.
Old 3rd February 2014
  #128
Lives for gear
 
paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
While this thing looks cool, is is absurdly overpriced. The aurora sidecar is head and shoulders above the Box.
This is really an ignorant comment. Care to give a reason why? The API is a console the Aurura is not. They serve two different work flows.
Old 3rd February 2014
  #129
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul999 View Post
This is really an ignorant comment. Care to give a reason why? The API is a console the Aurura is not. They serve two different work flows.
I never said they have the same workflow. The aurora is a sidecar CONSOLE. And you call me ignorant.
Old 3rd February 2014
  #130
Lives for gear
 
paul999's Avatar
 

Geoff Tanner is very specific that the aurora side car is a sidecar not a console. It does not have bussing, auxes, talk back etc. are we talking semantics? Maybe.

Care to give of us a rational explanation as to why your claims have some legitimate merit. Why is the API overpriced? Why is the auroura so much better in your opinion?
Old 3rd February 2014
  #131
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul999 View Post
are we talking semantics?
Of course we are, I was just rebuking your strawman.


Here's the breakdown:

API:

6 slot lunchbox $450
2 550a $2000
2 527 $2000
4 channel pre $2700
chassis, summing, faders, monitoring, auxes $10000

Aurora:

8 gt4 eq $12000
8 preamps: $5000

chassis, summing, faders $3000


so all things being equal, basically you are paying $7000 for monitoring and auxes.
Old 3rd February 2014
  #132
Lives for gear
 
paul999's Avatar
 

At high profile audio the 8 gt 4 is $7000 and the pres are $5000. This leaves the frame and faders at $8k for the auroura. No, auxes, cueing etc.
Old 3rd February 2014
  #133
Lives for gear
 
Cucaio75's Avatar
 

Worth of noting two features that SOS point up in january number, about APi The Box:

1 You can patch your preamps into the 16 summing channels and use the balanced insert sends to feed your recording device. You’d still get the benefit of the aux sends and true zero-latency artist monitoring that way, and have a total of 20 channels, each with the useful SIP and solo-defeat mute,etc,options

So here you have A CONSOLE!!!

2 A mic input ( from onboard api's preamp or from your preamps out's sent to the input channels summing ) signal passes through four transformers, four 2520s, a 2501 and two 2510 gain blocks as it travels between the input XLR and the stereo mix-bus console output. If routed as we did, using the preamp direct outputs to feed a Pro Tools rig and returning via the summing inputs, the count goes up to five transformers, five 2520s, a 2501 and three 2510 gain stages. That’s clearly where the characteristically rich, punchy, unmistakably analogue API sound comes from!

Old 4th February 2014
  #134
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

has anybody heard one yet?
Old 6th February 2014
  #135
Gear Maniac
 

I have just bought one. I will be taking delivery later this month.

I fully understand why many people think it's functionally limited and overpriced. For me though, it is absolutely perfect - it is exactly what I've been looking for. Yes it's expensive, but I don't think the price is extortionate. Here's why:

I have a small project studio that has been gradually building up for the past 25 years. Many years ago I spent most of my time making music with bands, now I spend most of it mixing and recording solo artists (myself included). The latter is mostly a function of the size of my studio - it's very well appointed, but not physically large enough to comfortably hold even a small band in addition to myself.

Over time, I have amassed a large amount of outboard gear, much of it quite high end. Right now I'm running a hybrid setup built around an SSL X-Desk + X-Panda and it has worked pretty well for the last couple of years. I sum OTB and mix down to tape.

I may be getting old, but I have reached a point where space and minimalism are more important to me than gear. While everything I have still gets use, I don't need it all. I have just emptied out two 12U racks of gear, including some very nice pres and compressors that I can do without. I don't need to be able to record 18 inputs simultaneously, and quite honestly I never have needed to. Consolidating down to a few choice pieces around The Box is all I realistically need.

Why The Box when it would be cheaper to build the same thing out of components? I would almost equate it with the (perfectly valid) question: why buy a Mac when you can build a more powerful PC for a third of the price? Some people, such as myself (yes, I have a Mac too), place a significant premium on simple, reliable, all-in-one solutions. While my current setup works, my wiring is fairly convoluted, I'm starting to have maintenance costs, and whereas previously big bulging racks of gear were attractive to me, now I simply see them as cluttering up the place.

Build quality and minimizing maintenance is increasingly important to me - I have rapidly diminishing tolerance for any kind of downtime. If you've been hands-on with The Box, you will know that the build quality is exceptional (as is to be expected with API). It isn't even comparable to something like an X-Desk, which (no reflection on SSL) can't be expected to built to the same standards at its price point. The X-Desk is great for what it is, but it's flimsy.

Certainly The Box has a niche audience, but for a certain subset of users (small but serious project studios), the design and functionality is absolutely spot on. I fully expect that I am in a small minority, but that's fine. YMMV.

I am happy to report back in a couple of weeks after it's installed.
Old 6th February 2014
  #136
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfender View Post
I have just bought one. I will be taking delivery later this month.
Congratulations

I'm sure, the box is brillant for your application !

R.
Old 6th February 2014
  #137
Lives for gear
 

mfender : I'm very curious what your impression will be moving from the SSL solution to the API.
Old 7th February 2014
  #138
Lives for gear
 
paul999's Avatar
 

I'm very happy for you. I just don't think it is over priced. API gear is some of the best sounding, well priced gear around.
Old 7th February 2014
  #139
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
no sought API makes some good stuff but bang for the buck I rather buy a bunch of Heritage audio instead dollar for dollar Heritage stuff is way better IMVHO.
Old 22nd February 2014
  #140
Gear Maniac
 

The Box has been delivered and I finished plumbing it in on Tuesday, so I've had a few days with it so far. I had to spend a fair bit of time soldering new cables since there are so many TRS connectors on the back, but it wasn't too bad.

First impressions as expected: fantastic. It looks and feels beautiful, and the sound is incredible. And it's really heavy; I was worried about putting my back out just moving the thing.

The sound difference coming from the SSL X-Desks is more than I expected; I was ready for the difference at the low end, but the change in the mids is a little more pronounced that I thought it would be. I've always found the SSL to be very clear and transparent, but the API seems to bring out significantly more detail in the mids. On a mix I'm working on right now, I can clearly hear some subtleties in my monitors (Focals) that I was previously straining to catch.

But probably the best change is the workflow. Everything just makes more sense now. As previously mentioned, I never really have any need to track more than a couple of inputs at once, but it's actually really easy to track much more using the summing channels. There's a huge amount of I/O flexibility round the back, and the the center section and solo functions are very strong

In fact, I was pleased to discover that with some sneaky patchbay wiring, it's actually pretty easy to use the built-in 550As and 500 slots during mixing, even though the manual implies this isn't possible.

So in summary: I'm thrilled with it. I won't say I couldn't be happier: if I could wish for a couple more things it would be dedicated aux returns and signal indicators on the summing channels. But neither are essential, and it's an imperfect world, so no harm done.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some mixing to do
Old 23rd February 2014
  #141
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfender View Post
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some mixing to do
Cool

I'm happy for you !

And thanks for the report.

R.
Old 7th April 2014
  #142
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack P View Post
There's an in depth review in this months sound on sound.
And one in the March issue of Audio Media - AudioMedia: API The Box

...and one in the March issue of Resolution.
Old 8th April 2014
  #143
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Just ain't right... something funny about it... mainly the price. Sorry but it really flabbergasted me, like really really. The promo video was awkward as well. And I hate that giant expanse of empty black space on the front of it that's not being used, it just screams out "empty air space." The shape and size of is unpleasant, too. I would buy $17K of various and sundry API components that would probably add up to more usefulness than The Box before buying The Box. YMMV, my 170K cents.
Old 9th April 2014
  #144
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I would buy $17K of various and sundry API components that would probably add up to more usefulness than The Box before buying The Box.
We don't think you can ....... but ........ maybe you can.

Just curious to see what would be on your list.
Old 9th April 2014
  #145
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
My opinion is that API could be the perfect partner to my Future Radar 6

Recording that way is pure pleasure in my world , these summer nights just my DX 7 , connected to the API and the RADAR in record mode ...Let your imagination goes

RHAAAA can't wait to do this
Old 10th April 2014
  #146
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I haven't done the pricing, but I like the 500 series preamps and EQ (550a or b, maybe a 560), along with the rackmount line mixers, 8MX2. I might skip the compression, not sure. I would probably go for a 2500 though with this dream budget of $17k, maybe a 525 or two. I wonder what that would all add up to? I know faders are probably nicer to mix on than knobs, though, for the levels. Maybe I would just sum on the line mixer and mix in the DAW. Or maybe I would go crazy and mix on an Allen and Heath ZED with the API stuff on the mix buss and channel inserts. 2500 and pair of preamps with line pads for color, on the mix.
Old 10th April 2014
  #147
Lives for gear
 
paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy Leloup View Post
My opinion is that API could be the perfect partner to my Future Radar 6

Recording that way is pure pleasure in my world , these summer nights just my DX 7 , connected to the API and the RADAR in record mode ...Let your imagination goes

RHAAAA can't wait to do this
That sounds like a killer setup.
Old 10th April 2014
  #148
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
I'm just tired with all these guys who are here speaking about prices pages after pages in this brilliant thread ...

Dudes if it's expensive , take a Mackie , if it's weak for buss mixing or whatever take a 5088 etc etc etc ....

Ther is one thing that is so difficult to cost , the peace in your mind , what I call my " quest is over " factor ...

You could not imagine how cool it is when you are at this point ...

Unfortunately for me , my "quest is over " factor was with Radar , Neumann M 269 etc etc etc , some " expensive " factors actually ...but nevermind...

an wrong choice is even more expensive ...I'm a " buy once , buy right " guy

The API BOx as someone else said could be the ticket with the new radar6.... My " Symphobia " and " Omnisphère " through that combo ...WOW , add a Lexicon 480 L ( as I get ) and you're there ..some AML 73 500 format to get the Neve side of things , a brilliant NPNG to make love with my KM 56's ...and you are just at the doors of Heaven.

Like the gearslutz Tom Lelli ( Croaker ) Console + Radar = FUN ( also very important to consider in my world )

A buddy comes at home with his acoustic guitar ....ok coffee?? , yes please !! arming tracks ?? yes please et voilà a really enthusiastic way of making music..... What else to say ?? Not going to sub pages of PT or whatever...no BS , just mic placement , API and Radar , focus on music and sound !!!!!



Pro Tools and Logic can sleep well with this kind of combo ...period

This moment when you have achieved your quest is PRICELESS
Old 17th April 2014
  #149
Any updates from people who have actually bought / used one of these?
Old 18th April 2014
  #150
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snail View Post
Any updates from people who have actually bought / used one of these?
I'm still loving mine.

Happy to answer any questions you might have.
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