Processing To 'Tape' With API 500 Series Modules

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 6 years ago
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In this video James trys out some API 500 series modules when tracking a small number of drum mics. You will hear 2 passes of a drum take. The first with no processing to tape and the second where EQ and Compression are committed to the recording. There are many approaches to modern studio recording and this is just 2 of them but which way do you work? Do you tweak it later or commit to a sound when tracking. Let us know what you think.

💬 Comments
Author

Sounded SO much better without your processing. Great example of why it is better to record straight.

Author — David Pringuer

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I've just mixed an entire album that was recorded on an ssl desk, api pres and great universal audio compressors and I have to say getting it right the first time is great! Everything sounds amazing and perfectly in place. If you get it right on the way in, very minimal processing is then required to get it to that 'sweet spot' stage.

Author — Mo Khan

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I personally prefer to spend all the time I can moving microphones, tuning drums, altering the room etc... Then when it comes to the mix stage - with a completed track - I find it far easier and quicker to make the correct processing decisions. Even when mixing completely 'dry' tracks compared to pre-treated ones, I would generally be using that same amount of effects, just with more extreme settings. Also when your sending tracks to be mixed, IMO, you may as well spend your time making the changes that the mixer can't, once it's recorded everyone has the same tools.

Author — Oliver Norman

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I find this interesting because I record the same way. Being that I have both hardware & plug-ins I get the sound I want before I dropping things into PT. I will admit I still record to tape, I still enjoy recording to tape first, and then dropping things into PT to do what I call surgery. Then at times I may not go into PT at all, this is the beautiful thing about having outboard gear! :)

Author — mixc8

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Very interesting. I'd like to see the same thing done with the BAE 500 Series modules as well.

Author — Oncle Mack

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yes, indeed. the snare drum threw the whole thing off.
i think that "getting it right on the way in" is a big part of the process. I don't have any 500 series units, but i do have a rack comp that i use to create some serious makeup before things reach my zoom r16. 500 series units are pricy, but totally add so much character to a mix.

Author — Shuadama

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I'm with you James, I think it's best to get it right when you're tracking and not rely on fixing it in the mix.

Author — regmonmusic

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I'm a musician of some extent. I'm just getting seriously into professional stand-alone implementation. I really really love crap like this. just watching and listening to a sound musician show and demonstrate various sorts of exotic esoteric gear is better then a cuddle ( what can I say, I'm 55 with different practical goals, those being recording and money) eventually I'm gonna have to attend a formal class for this, but I'm an over achiever and prefer being prepared.--- my most gracious and luscious thank you's, Sir Doug of Sound.

Author — douglas williams

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Getting the best sound right away during the recording makes sense for me. I am just starting to learn more about that process. I have a great mic setup for my TAMA Starclassic ( Neumann KM 184´s for Overheads, Audix D6 on Kick, Earthworks SR25 on Snare, DM20´s on Toms, Soyuz 013 FET on HiHat ), but for recording and tracking only a TSACAM Model 24 now, with all it´s internal mic preamps. Live it does sound good, recorded not so much, of course I know that the TSACAM does record dry and not processed. But during mixing afterwards in Logic Pro....I don't get the result which I want to. I am considering to change my setup now with Series 500 analog gear, using preamps, EQ, Compressors, all connected to an Apollo x16.

Author — mrsayang

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Since so much stuff is done in pieces anymore I like to cut my drums a little hairy, not out of control but I want all of tone the drum can give me, so I focus on getting good mics and levels and then deal with compression and eq later on. That way I can more appropriately flex my tones as more tracks are added.

Author — Szajna Dynasty Media

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I love the API EQ's but the 527 is ok for me. I prefer the API 2500 or even the API 529 as they offer more features than the skinny 527 which didn't have room for the additional thrust features. With that being said, I believe the UAD API 550 and 560 get very close to the hardware. The UAD plug in compressors are in the family but not as close as the EQ

Author — Keef Richards

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If I have a stereo setup with 3 modules for each channel, left and right, how does the signal get from module to module? Do you patch it on the back side or is it done internally somehow? Thinking about getting a two channel mic pre - eq - compressor lunchbox.

Author — bitspacemusic

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Sounded SO much better with your processing. Great example why it is better to record with API.

Author — ne_skaju

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I normally do everything in terms of processing after it is the DAW.
But i don't feel to bad about some EQ on the way in but never compression. compression mistakes are hard to solve.

Author — Josh Jeggs

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Video title should be changed to "Can some of the better analog gear make up for poorly tuned drums?" It'd get more hits.

Author — John Doe

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Interesting snare sound . Get the drums (Tuning, treatment ect.) right and all else will take care of themselves. All the preamps and compressors won't help if the source isn't up to snuff. IMHO of course

Author — Donald Rowe

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Getting it right on the way in is expensive! This is my goal as well in the coming year and it's going to cost between $5, 000-10, 000 depending on what I buy.

Author — RealHomeRecording.com

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I try and get it right on the way in but try not to get a very "characterised " sound sort of, just so it doesn't lock me in if later on I wanted let's say, hihat with more shimmer and I've taken most off on the way in

Author — anotherpatriot

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I prefer to get it right on the way in with good preamps and AD converters then do the rest in the box.

Author — jdl

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Hey James, you should try the LSR VLB525 plugin that emulates that hardware to see how close they got it.I'm sure they nailed it but, would be a great video to see what'cha think.
Waves API versions nailed them as well. Good times in the box for sure...

Author — imsrprod