A small revolution happened a few years ago when API Audio decided to open up its very popular 500 series format to the industry.
The 500 Series is a modular audio system introduced in the late 1990s by API Audio. It consists of a rack-mounted chassis that can accommodate multiple 500-series modules, which are individual pieces of analogue audio processing equipment. Each module is designed to perform a specific function, such as mic preamplification, equalisation, compression, or reverb, and can be easily swapped in and out of the rack.
The 500 Series has become popular among audio engineers and producers due to its compact size, flexibility, and high-quality sound. It allows users to customise their signal chain by mixing and matching different modules from various manufacturers and is often used in recording studios, live sound reinforcement, and broadcast applications.
Whilst the 500 series in concept is actually taken directly from their console line, this has led to not quite a replacement but certainly an augmentation from pure rack processors to power supply-less modules. Because the power is already provided and the modules are small, they can be cheaper than their rackmount equivalents.
You can have a Neve Mic-pre, FET, VCA or OPTO compressor and an API EQ all in the same housing for a fraction of these processors' cost as rack units. This has opened up serious recording to even more people and, once again, increased the sonic palette available. Pretty much every processor and style of sound is available for the 500 series.
High-Quality Mic-Preamps, Tube mic-pres, Tube compressors, Fairchild style compressors and all types of EQ: Parametric, Graphic and Pultec circuits. Then there are Filters, Headphone Amps, De-essers, and some AD/DA converters available in this format.
There are sometimes compromises to be made, and the 'Is the 500-Series For Me' article covers many of the areas in question.
However, these compromises are, for the most part, accepted due to the fact they are much less expensive than comparable rackmount units and are often used as additions to already well-stocked racks. With thousands of empty 500 series slots, KMR has a wide selection for demos in your creative space.Back to top.