I had a goal last year to bring more choice of dynamic tone and shape to my work. After some research, I decided that the versatility of an API 2500 Bus Compressor was just what I needed. I had already tried the emulated plugin version by Waves Audio Ltd. and being a VCA compressor, I knew the gain reduction would be very transparent, making it perfect to master and mix with.
Being the type of guy who doesn’t mind waiting for a well priced, mint condition, used API 2500 to pop up on a local classified, i patiently waited and did just that. With just one day before the end of the year a local classified showed up and the next day it was in my studio rack.
I must say, the unit feels great, with just the right amount of recall knobs and switches. The sound is very versatile and can truly be shaped to your liking. Here are some initial notices:
It’s dual channel design lets the 2500 also function as two separate mono channels (however, all settings remain equal to both channels, meaning you can’t use channel 1 for a bass guitar and channel 2 for a guitar, since the settings would have to be different). The percentage of left to Right compressions are set with the LINK modes, I found setting the mode to 50% noticeably reduced the stereo image (sides) and brought up the mid definition.
The Old “feed back” (how the older 1176 and 660 type compressors worked) reduces the compression feel noticeably well, very smooth. The other RMS detector mode is the New “feed forward” compression mode, it’s got more bite and edge.
The “little more punch” Loud switch is indeed bold, This is one of the two Hi-Pass Filter options of the THRUST setting. The third options is Normal, and no Hi-Pass Filter is put into the circuit in this mode. The Med. mode HPF boosts the high-frequencies which makes the compressor react to high frequency RMS levels more.
There’s no doubt I need a lot more time with the 2500 before I know all it’s shapes. API is a class leader in making great sounding gear and I enthusiastically suggest any one to go out and listen to a this unit.