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api 2500 vs ssl bus comp Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 24th December 2014
  #1
Gear Addict
 

api 2500 vs ssl bus comp

I currently use an SSL bus comp for almost all of my mixes. I do mostly folk, bluegrass,country. I have been looking at the API 2500 lately and want to get some opinions on the differences. I am not interested in the plugin versions. Thanks!

-tguy
Old 24th December 2014
  #2
Gear Nut
 

i have both , same "punchy" style compressor but the 2500 is far more versatile with all his parameters , the two works great together , the 2500 for drum bus and SSL for the 2 bus
Old 24th December 2014
  #3
Deleted User
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For your kind of music, have you thought about something like a Vari Mu?
Old 24th December 2014
  #4
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XKAudio's Avatar
 

I would say the vari mu is a good option for soft acoustic stuff... I hate to put a compressor to genres but the 2500 certainly adds some ballsy dirt that can be associated with aggression, great for rock drums... Again, very versatile...

The ssl sort of makes things flatter. It sometimes makes acoustic stuff seem sterile... A bit like the feed forward mode on the 2500.
Old 25th December 2014
  #5
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ARIEL's Avatar
I hAVE an SSL , a couple of Shadow Hills Dual Vandergraphs and have used the API . I found the API was great different than the SSL , Made the tone a bit rounder ina good way , the SSL being very snappy . But with the API I used it as 2 Bus comp , very low ratio and I barely touched the needles . I found that you could here it more so if had greater reduction going on . But for my tastes I dig the Vandergraphs the most . Amazing bits of gear made by Peter .
Old 25th December 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
I have an SSL and a VariMu. For acoustic stuff a Manley Vari Mu is beautiful. However, for a lot less money the Buzz Audio SOC 1.1 can produce excellent results too. I also have one of these.
Old 26th December 2014
  #7
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The API in feedback mode will be slower and possibly add a touch more colour, though when I had a shot with it, it wasn't working for me, to many options and almost a nightmare to mix into, it did some nice tricks, though too far away from where I felt 2 x 527's could be! I'll now stick with a Al Smart C1LA or a C2 dual mono/stereo Crush for the beautiful sheen it imparts on anything you stick through it, not even the SSL x-Logic could not better that Sheen and the Crush when used is brilliant, variable EQ Crush.....would be a dream....( hope your reading this daily DB) on another Al Smart device including Alan Smart compression.

I'll use Neve, Drawmer, Summit and a few devices I shall not mention so eBay prices don't go thru the Phucking roof! Manley or TubeTech sounds great for the stuff your recording, whatever you use inc an SSL I'd make sure you were at 2:1 or 4:1 w/ medium to slowish Attack and Auto Release....that way you'll catch all the transient info and no low end will suffer, you might even mult 2 sub mixes and combine the output multed. Good luck I'm sure others will roll in with preferred Compressors, though I see no problem using an SSL type comp!
Old 26th December 2014
  #8
2500 doesn't do it for me on 2-buss, in any genre.

For the stuff you're doing, a Manley Varimu can be pretty awesome. I'd probably lean towards that. I've also had good luck with my Dramastic Obsidian, which is my usual mix buss comp, but if you're trying to get away from the VCA thing, maybe it's not for you.

The BAE 10DC can also be pretty cool. A bit of Neve-ish low midrange, but without the super-fast attack times you get with a 2254 or 33609 (unless you want that...the 10DC gives you the option of several attack times).
Old 26th December 2014
  #9
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Swurveman's Avatar
I would call the 2500 more punchy. If you want to hear your snare pop out from your drum bus, put a 2500 on it. I don't have an SSL but I have a Smart C2 which I use on my mix bus. It is much uniformly smoother than the 2500 imo.
Old 26th December 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 

The most succinct way of putting it might be like this:

With an API 2500 you really have to work the compressor and set it so it will still feel the same at the end of a Mix on the Master Buss Insert/Output.

With a SSL or Smart C1/2 or Obsidian you set up your ratio, insert on the Master buss/Output and keep the same consistent level settings possibly switching it in and out to make sure your knocking off enough dB's though not killing the dynamic range, and saving those transients that create the "Glue" word that's thrown around.

Some people find magic with the API 2500 others with the SSL/Smart type VCA compressors.

Regards
TheLastByte
Old 26th December 2014
  #11
I love both the API and SSl and would be happy with either for punchy 2 bus uses. Since I have have a Portico comp, I use it fr the same purpose and have not purchased the API or SSL. If I was, it would be the SSL as I believe it has a cleaner snappier character.
Old 26th December 2014
  #12
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I never liked the 2500. to be it was overly hard and flat sounding and made things seem smaller. Just completely not what I was looking for. It does have so many settings so who knows maybe there are settings I never tried that would have appealed to me.

I'm not a huge SSL bus comp fan but I understand its appeal. It can definitely bring cohesion to a mix without being over the top
Old 26th December 2014
  #13
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
SSL is more transparent/boring glue indeed
The API is more ballsy, more colour, mojo. But you need to spend time with it, in order to know what you're looking for and dial it in properly. It's not a set and forget box.
If you want a great set and forget box, that transparently can compress 20dB, raise your RMS and widen your stereofield, take a CharterOak SCL-1, this box is hardwired to my mixbus as first device. NEVER dissapoints. It's like a content guardian/coach that just brings anything up spec when entering the mix-bus
Old 26th December 2014
  #14
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Yes I have an SCL-1 on my mixbus as well. Remarkable comp, transparent and effortless


Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogue Mastering View Post
SSL is more transparent/boring glue indeed
The API is more ballsy, more colour, mojo. But you need to spend time with it, in order to know what you're looking for and dial it in properly. It's not a set and forget box.
If you want a great set and forget box, that transparently can compress 20dB, raise your RMS and widen your stereofield, take a CharterOak SCL-1, this box is hardwired to my mixbus as first device. NEVER dissapoints. It's like a content guardian/coach that just brings anything up spec when entering the mix-bus
Old 28th December 2014
  #15
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Minutia again re Compressors.......There are a Thousand threads here that cover this, in reality its low end theory and more so a phucking waste of money if the OP has no idea? Worst to Best case scenario - get an ALAN SMART 500 series Smart C1LA compressor, feed forward & back, buggered in both worlds
Old 29th December 2014
  #16
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skythemusic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogue Mastering View Post
SSL is more transparent/boring glue indeed
The API is more ballsy, more colour, mojo. But you need to spend time with it, in order to know what you're looking for and dial it in properly. It's not a set and forget box.
If you want a great set and forget box, that transparently can compress 20dB, raise your RMS and widen your stereofield, take a CharterOak SCL-1, this box is hardwired to my mixbus as first device. NEVER dissapoints. It's like a content guardian/coach that just brings anything up spec when entering the mix-bus
I had the SCL1 on my mixbuss for some time and I am considering it again (also just got a PEQ1 which I am looking forward to trying). Lately I have been trying out the Thermionic Phoenix mostly along with the Overstayer VCA. I would really like a 2500 for drum bus, not sure it would fit normally on the 2 bus though I have really only used the Waves version which is just ok.
Old 29th December 2014
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by skythemusic View Post
I had the SCL1 on my mixbuss for some time and I am considering it again (also just got a PEQ1 which I am looking forward to trying). Lately I have been trying out the Thermionic Phoenix mostly along with the Overstayer VCA. I would really like a 2500 for drum bus, not sure it would fit normally on the 2 bus though I have really only used the Waves version which is just ok.
The Waves 2500 is one of the worst plugin approximations of a piece of hardware that I know of. It's just way, waaay off. Definitely don't use that as a benchmark for anything.
Old 29th December 2014
  #18
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skythemusic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
The Waves 2500 is one of the worst plugin approximations of a piece of hardware that I know of. It's just way, waaay off. Definitely don't use that as a benchmark for anything.
I kind of figured, especially hearing so many mixes with the hardware 2500 which I always seem to gravitate towards on drums. I plan on getting one in the spring.
Old 29th December 2014
  #19
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shortstory's Avatar
For Bluegrass & Country, you may want to give a Fearn VY-7 a listen.

It's a tube comp/limiter with variable attack/release & variable knee. It's a wonderful comp for acoustic based music like country, jazz, etc.
Old 29th December 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstory View Post
For Bluegrass & Country, you may want to give a Fearn VY-7 a listen.

It's a tube comp/limiter with variable attack/release & variable knee. It's a wonderful comp for acoustic based music like country, jazz, etc.
+1
vt-7
Old 30th December 2014
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
The Waves 2500 is one of the worst plugin approximations of a piece of hardware that I know of. It's just way, waaay off. Definitely don't use that as a benchmark for anything.
That may very well be true, but the Waves 2500 is still a quite useful, and good sounding tool.
Old 31st December 2014
  #22
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
The Waves 2500 is one of the worst plugin approximations of a piece of hardware that I know of. It's just way, waaay off. Definitely don't use that as a benchmark for anything.
+1 Its an over exaggerated, plasticky approximation.

Anyways, my experience with the hardware is that it doesn't work on everything and when it does, its often in a way that surprises me. On drum buss, it is KILLER. Tons of vibe, punch, and just gives things that 3D quality. It can be great on vocals too.

On 2 buss, it can certainly make things sound smaller if you aren't careful. It is definitely not a set it and forget it device. On the right source though it can add some serious movement and energy. I produce a mixed bag and typically find myself liking it more on more aggressive, in your face stuff than more laid back styles.
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