Review: API 560 EQ
Positives:* Sound fantastic on any source
* Adds punchiness
* Saturates and tames high frequencies and brings midrange forward.
* Really brings out low end without making it muddy.
* Cleans up and gives a "sweetening" sound to a dull sounding source.
* Small and Portable
Negatives:* need a 500 series Chassis/Lunchbox to run.
* Frequencies are chosen and can't be manipulated (Which can be a good thing)
Graphic EQs in a studio? You might be pleasantly surprised
If you were like me when I first got into audio, seeing an API 560 in someones rack in their studio would make you think “Why/when would you want/use a graphic EQ on a mix?” And then……I finally heard it. Then it made sense. It’s definitely not any kind of hobby tool, it’s a serious tool that packs a lot of punch. And punch it does have! Running a dull sounding signal through the eq without actually boosting or cutting anywhere, gives a smooth, yet punchy quality that makes your transients come to life. Its a fantastic drum processor. Using it on a kick drum, you start to understand and appreciate why those specific frequencies where chosen. On the Kick, A blend of 31 and 63 hertz being boosted was like magic. The Kick drum sounded real and in your face. It drives your speakers into overtime and gets those cones out of their comfort zone. Only API gear has this incredible transient response that really make percussion stick out. Then I removed a little muddiness on the midrange around 250, it made the kick sound like a record. Man, was I impressed. Next, I tried it on guitars, and it knocked it out of the ballpark. Especially hot guitars (Loud), The Op-amp works in a sweetening way and tames the obnoxious 3-6k range where guitars usually overshadow everything else and tame in a musical way that allows you to push those range of frequencies, which any other EQ has you attenuating them. They are never sharp. I added some midrange at 500 and a small amount around 250 hertz and it made a paper thin electric guitar recording sound like a million dollars. It immediately sounded the like the best thing in the entire song. I can’t stress enough how much I loved this unit on low end. On bass, it shines like no other processor I’ve heard, probably due to the minimal phase shifting. API is known for how it brings forward the midrange while taming everything else, and this was exactly what this bass needed. Adding some 500 and 1Khz mad the bass audible and more understandable in a full mix. The plucks from each bass note stuck out and were now distinguishable.
I loved adding some 2k and 4k on vocals. Female vocals were sweet without sounding harsh at all. It even had me adding/boosting frequencies I would normally not boost like 8k and 16k. It was never too overwhelming. It just added air to the sound and never became too much. You can easily over do it. On a snare, I added some weight and body to it with boosting some 125 and 250 hertz. I then brought out the snappiness of the initial hit with a bit of 2k. A processor like this can make EQing in the box an easier transition, in which you can really hear aggressively what its supposed to sound like when boosting or cutting on an EQ in the box, as opposed to EQing on this piece. It’s fairly inexpensive and you can use it on pretty much any source. I couldn’t find anything I couldn’t use it on. I plan on purchasing one of these as soon as I can. I’m sure I won’t be the only one thinking that.