API Audio has a reputation for building recording consoles and outboard equipment that deliver a recognisable thick, warm analog sound. API’s approach to audio circuit design revolved around a concept called the ‘discrete operational amplifier’ module, or ‘DOA’. This simple but elegant transistorised gain stage was known as the 2520, and it formed a basic building block for API’s studio consoles. The 2520 DOA is still used to this day in ‘API discrete products’, and it undoubtedly forms a key part of the legendary sound character for which API have become known. The 500-series modular format was invented by API and they are well known for their 500 series of recording modules, rack enclosures and the portable lunchbox. Started in 1969 as a large-format console company, today API is one of the few companies still producing products that deliver that warm analog “magic” that we all love.

API The Box

Summing Mixer and Recording Console

For those looking to bring home the legendary API console analog warm and punchy sound that is optimised for the digital era and are working on a smaller budget, The Box is the option for you. This console uses the same circuitry and components as every other API console and features a smaller footprint so it won’t take up as much space in your studio.

  • Eight input channels with Mic Preamp, Line Input and Hi Pass Filter
  • Eight 500 Series slots (1 per input channel)
  • Direct Out on Input Channels
  • On-Board Stereo Bus Compressor w/ ability to assign to program bus or input channels 1-4
  • Instrument Direct Inputs on channels 1-4
  • Sixteen summing channels (24 channels during mix)
  • 0dB bypass switch for each summing channel
  • 4-Segment LED Metering on each summing channel
  • Stereo program bus with master fader, insert, and external input
  • One stereo and mono auxiliary sends/buses
  • Stereo cue send/bus & headphone system
  • PFL, AFL, and Solo-In-Place solo modes with stereo solo bus
  • Full-featured monitor section that supports two stereo monitor systems
  • Talkback system
  • Comprehensive rear panel connections with balanced inputs and output
  • Integrated power supply
API 550A 500 Series Equalizer

Very few equalisers in the world enjoy the respect and admiration of the coveted API 550ADesigned by the now legendary Saul Walker in the late 60s, the discrete 550A was first used as a modular OEM equalizer.  As the industry rapidly embraced the sonic quality of the 550A, it quickly found its way into many custom console designs by Frank DeMedio and other leading engineers.  Many of these consoles are still in use today. Forty years later, the 550A remains the standard against which other EQs are measured and it has played a major role in the recording industry for decades.  Still copied but never duplicated, the 550A became API’s standard channel module EQ when the company began manufacturing consoles in 1971.  With virtually all existing units spoken for, popular demand for this EQ resulted in API finally resuming production in 2004. 

  • Three bands of classic API equalization
  • Each band offers five API selected frequency centers
  • Reciprocal and repeatable filtering
  • Maximum 12 dB of boost/cut per band
  • EQ bands 1 and 3 offer shelf/peak switching
  • “Proportional Q” narrows filter Q at extremes
  • Traditional API fully discrete circuit design
  • High headroom: +30 dB clip level

API 512v 500 Mic Preamp

The API 512 preamp design is a classic but now there are even more reasons to love it. Although the original 512 preamp was soon succeeded by the 512b and, later, by the 512c, its design topology — a transformer-balanced input feeding API’s own 312 microphone preamp card with its proprietary 2520 discrete op-amp and 2503 balancing output transformer — has been carried forward pretty much unchanged since the 1960s, into the latest member of the dynasty, the 512v 500-series microphone preamplifier. By any standard, the API 512v is a superb microphone preamplifier with its own distinctive sonic signature. The way that this latest variant of the 512c enables you to drive its transformers whilst still maintaining your level matching with the next link in your audio setup opens up a range of artistic decisions on how you manipulate transformer-based distortion to create the sound that you want to hear.

  • Mic Preamp with 65 dB of gain
  • Variable Output Level Control from 65 dB to -∞
  • 3:1 Output Transformer Tap selection
  • Front and Back Panel Mic Input Access
  • Line/Instrument Preamp with 45 dB of gain
  • Front Panel Combo-style XLR + 1/4 inch Line/Instrument Input
  • LED VU meter for Gain Level Indication
  • 20 dB pad switch, applies to mic/line/instrument
  • 48 V Phantom switchable power
  • Traditional API circuit design

API 527 500 Compressor

Possibly the most flexible compressor ever, the API 527 is a one-stop compression box. It offers the features, flexibility and performance of the company’s other VCA-based compressors, such as the 225L and the renowned 2500 Stereo Compressor, in a convenient 500 Series module that packs a lot of punch into a small form factor. Plus, the 527 circuit incorporates API’s discrete 2510 and 2520 op-amps and a transformer output, so you get all the signature sonic character associated with API compressors.

  • Audio circuit uses the 2510 and 2520 Discrete Op Amps with transformer output
  • Continuously variable detented Threshold control
  • Continuously variable detented Attack and Release controls
  • Continuously variable detented Ratio control
  • Output Fader level control
  • 10-segment VU/gain reduction meter with selector switch
  • Overload LED
  • Link switch for multiple unit interdependent compression linking
  • New/Old switch for feed-forward or feed-back compression
  • Hard/Soft compression curve knee switch
  • Patented Thrust switch for frequency-dependent side-chain control
  • In switch with hard relay bypass when in the Out position
API 8 – Slot 500 Series Lunchbox

The API 500-8B 8-Channel 500 Series lunchbox includes all of the features that have made the 500-6B so well regarded in the industry, including DB-25 (D-Sub) connectors for easy I/O, universal power supply (100 or 250V, 47 to 63Hz), phantom power, and easy rack-mounting with optional rack-ear kit. Built for robust performance, with new toggle switches for channel linking.

  • 8 slots with 250mA of power per slot
  • Full compatibility with API 500 Series and VPR-approved modules
  • DB25 connectivity on the rear panel
  • Phantom power
  • Optional rack ears available for rack mounting
  • Toggle switches for channel linking
  • Rubber feet & carrying handle for portability
  • Rugged steel chassis
  • Perfect for remote recording of Vocalist and Instruments
  • Includes external power supply

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