Api 2500 vs Al Smart Mix buss compressor

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Ron Florentine, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. I am ready to purchase a mixbuss compressor and i have narrowed it
    downed to either API 2500 or smart C2.I do all types of music but the
    bulk of my bussiness is the alternatve rock .I am looking for a
    compressor that will glue all the tracks together,give me that major
    labal sound and also add putch and attitude to the mix.So I am not
    looking for a transparent compressor(Cranesong).
    I am having a hard time finding many post for the API 2500 so I am
    looking for opinions from people who have had a chance to work with
    them.I own an Avalon 747 that I would use with either the API or Smart
    for the EQ and maybe just a DB or 2 of reduction...doing the majoriaty
    of my compression in the API or Smart.I am open to other suggestions
    but these to seemed to be at the top of my list with the Focusrite Red
    3 and the Manley Vari-Mu coming in next.
    If someone has used both the API & Smart if they can describe the
    difference that would be very helpful.Thanx in advance for you
    opinions and time it is greatly appreciated!!!
  2. I do a lot of alt rock and I have an SSL clone (which is roughly same as alan
    smart) and a Focusrtie Red 3. I love them both. Never tried the API. The
    SSL adds more attitude and balls, the Focusrite has more glamour. I have no
    fucking clue what the hell I just meant by those descriptive words, so take it
    lightly. I'll fiinish by saying that both the Red 3 and SSL/Smart are great on
    the two buss for alt rock and are used by many top notch alt rock mixers.
    Steve
  3. PRODT 4U2

    PRODT 4U2 Guest

    I will try and shed some light on the matter
    for you though nothing short of getting the units in and giving them a critical
    listen will you be sure. I have the Red 3, the Alan Smart C2, and have owned
    the Manley Mu along with A/Bing the API2500. Here's my feelings. You've
    probably heard the Mu will get soft in the low end if pushed to hard and I can
    verify that though it's said their T-Bar modification solves this. Don't know
    never heard it. The Mu has a sweet sound you either like it or you don't. The
    Alan Smart C2 sounds great but I don't like
    it on the mix buss as I find it makes things sound small. I use it on the drum
    bus and that's where it shines to me. The C2 has this crush mode which IMO
    sounds like a glorified exciter. I'm sure it has it's uses but I never use it
    and it woundn't work on a mix anyway. I went thru a number of compressors
    before I finally got in a Red 3 and that's what I was looking for. It has a
    clarity or should I say Hi Fi sound which is tight sounding in the low end
    which the Mu wasn't and it has a wider
    and more defind stereo image than either the Smart C2 or API. The API sounds
    good but like the Smart it doesn't have the definition of the Red 3. Like the
    Smart the API sounds good on the drum buss. I've heard others describe the Red
    3 as bright sounding and it is but it is not harsh.
    The Red 3 is a finese compressor by that I mean you cannot slam it. 2-3 DB of
    compression is where it sounds good and is all you need from it.Get up around
    5or6 DB and it gets dark sounding. As one engineer once commented he kiss's the
    Red 3. When I read that I knew what he mean't. My feeling is get your mix 95%
    their then kiss it with the Red 3 as the final glue. As for the Cranesong STC8
    their are many who sing it's praise. I'm not one of them. The rave is how
    transparent it is. I can vouch for that, you will hear no change no matter what
    the setting and their's a ga-zillion of them. Great if your conducting a
    science project to determine if their's some 4th or 5th order harmonics at the
    tail end of a reverb in the meridian galaxy.
    I find it bland and quite boring. Just my opinion. You may want to try the
    Pendulum ES-8. Though I haven't had it in my studio I heard it at the AES and
    it sounded fantastic. Hope my comments help you in your decision.
  4. I might as well follow his review saying that I got a Red 3 for sale and it
    kicks ass on two buss. email me if interested
  5. ROMCHA

    ROMCHA Guest

    << I might as well follow his review saying that I got a Red 3 for sale and it
    kicks ass on two buss. email me if interested >>


    yea right
  6. ><< I might as well follow his review saying that I got a Red 3 for sale and
    >it
    >kicks ass on two buss. email me if interested >>


    >yea right


    yeah right what? please let the mystery end.
  7. brian lucey

    brian lucey Guest

    I might as well follow his review saying that I got a Red 3 for sale and
    > >it
    > >kicks ass on two buss. email me if interested >>

    >
    > >yea right

    >
    > yeah right what? please let the mystery end.


    If it's so great why sell it ... is his point I think?

    Like the Smart the API sounds good on the drum buss. I've heard others
    describe the Red
    3 as bright sounding and it is but it is not harsh.
    The Red 3 is a finese compressor by that I mean you cannot slam it. 2-3 DB
    of
    compression is where it sounds good and is all you need from it.Get up
    around
    5or6 DB and it gets dark sounding. As one engineer once commented he kiss's
    the
    Red 3. When I read that I knew what he mean't. My feeling is get your mix
    95%
    their then kiss it with the Red 3 as the final glue. As for the Cranesong
    STC8
    their are many who sing it's praise. I'm not one of them. The rave is how
    transparent it is. I can vouch for that, you will hear no change no matter
    what
    the setting and their's a ga-zillion of them. Great if your conducting a
    science project to determine if their's some 4th or 5th order harmonics at
    the
    tail end of a reverb in the meridian galaxy.>>

    I wrote a review of the API 2500 which should be in next Tape Op.

    (I have owned the Mu with T Bar, a Smart C1. I own the STC-8, Trakkers,
    Distressors, MC76.)

    The 2500 is very API sounding in the old mode. The new mode is cleaner top
    to bottom but not the same grab as the Smart C1. The C1 comes in right
    afther the transients and has a sound that's very cool. The 2500 new mode
    is simply a clean comp that needs more attack settings.

    The API would be fun for the old mode, if you had many other things, but for
    2 mix its too much color for me.

    The Mu was also too much moosh, as I mix mostly from tape to tape.

    The STC-8 can musically tilt or simply crush signals either with the
    Compressor or the Limiter and is the best mastering comp there is IMO. If
    you want color, get Trakers, Distressors, 1176s and the like. To diss the
    STC-8 is foolish, however. It's amazing.
  8. >If it's so great why sell it ... is his point I think?

    If that is the poster's point, then allow me to retort... I see people
    selling Neve 1081s, Trident 80B boards, Distressors... this must mean that
    all of these things suck because the person is selling them.
    Steve
  9. blacklinemusic@aol.com (BlacklineMusic) wrote in message news:<20030820155134.06372.00000385@mb-m19.aol.com>...
    > >If it's so great why sell it ... is his point I think?

    >
    > If that is the poster's point, then allow me to retort... I see people
    > selling Neve 1081s, Trident 80B boards, Distressors... this must mean that
    > all of these things suck because the person is selling them.
    > Steve

    Thanks for all the input so far it is greatly appreciated!I didnt
    realize this is such a heated topic.I have heard great things about
    the Focusrite Red 3 but most of the comments were based off the older
    version of the Red 3 that had both an input &output transformer giving
    it more of that Neve-ish flavor.The Newer one has only a output
    transformer.Many said the majic was lost with that design change.
    Has anyone heard the difference between the older version and the
    newer one.About what year did they change tha unit?
    Still seeking more opinions on the API 2500....it seems like it
    has so many more option than most others for tha mixbus,but the best
    overall sound is more important than anything else.In the new mode how
    well does the API do the ssl thing?( I know I should just but a SSL)
    I know all this stuff is subjective ,but since I cant hear these
    units prior to buying ,opinions are impotant.Thanks again for your
    time!!

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