API Audio remains at the forefront of the analog console domain with their newest offering, the 2448 recording console. Drawing on the heritage of their classic 2488 console, which dominated the LA recording world in the 1970s and 1980s, API Audio has brought out a worthy successor to the legend.
The API Audio 2448 is a fully analog console that injects a host of modern features into the rich history of API console design. All analog, all day long – this is a realm that API knows like no other. This reviewed console features a twin audio path design: 2 complete audio paths in every channel, for true ‘inline’ simultaneous analog tracking and monitoring.
Throughout our Buyer's Guide, you'll be able to learn more about the basic 24-channel configuration and set-up of the API Audio 2448 console. The API Audio 2448 console is available in three different configurations, including 24 channels, 32 channels and 40 channels.
Basic 24-Channel API Audio 2448 Console Specs
24 Channels of Input, each with EQ & Mic Preamp
24 Faders (with optional automation)
8 Auxiliary Buses
8 Summing Buses
4 Stereo Returns
1 Stereo Bus
[Optional]1 Stereo Bus Compressor (529C)
8 Spaces for any VPR Alliance 500 Series module
Paths of Glory
Each channel on the 2448 consists of 2 signal paths, known as the Large Fader Path (for initial input and tracking) and the Small Fader Path (for playback monitoring). The combination of the 2, along with the 4 Stereo Returns, provides 56 channels of audio for mixdown via the Program Bus. Both of these paths are contained in the 648C channel module, and either path can be used for tracking or mixing, depending on the needs of the user.
Larger Fader Paths
The Large Fader Path provides everything you need to track and assign your audio signals. Employing a variation on the classic API 212L mic pre, the preamp section provides the essential tools of 48v phantom power, a -20dB pad, a peak input LED and up to +55dB of gain.
The default signal to the Large Fader Path is the balanced, low-impedance Line Input, which can be hit with a -6dB pad before it flows to the classic API 550A equalizer. It can then have its polarity reversed and/or run through a High Pass Filter of -3dB at 50Hz. The signal can be panned between the Left & Right Program Buses
or the Odd & Even selections of the 8 Summing Buses (when engaged). Naturally, the signal can be Soloed or Muted as necessary.
By default, the Large Fader Path feeds the Direct Outputs and eight Auxiliary Sends. The Auxes are 4 mono and 2 stereo sends, each with level control, an on/off switch (illuminated), and a pan pot for the stereo sends. All of the sends can be either Pre- or Post-Fader. Aux Send 7/8 can also be routed directly to the Summing Buses 1-4.
Smaller Fader Paths
The Small Fader Path provides everything you need to mix your audio signals. Its overall level control (up to +10dB of gain) is accomplished with a rotary potentiometer, rather than a sliding fader. This can be disabled to allow audio to pass at unity gain.
The default signal to the Small Fader path is the output of the mic preamp. To provide flexibility, the Alternate Line Input can be chosen instead; this replaces the mic preamp feed with a Line level input via the D-sub connector.
The input signal of the Small Fader Path has its own peak LED indicator, and can be sent to the classic API 550A equalizer if desired. It can then have its polarity reversed and/or run through a High Pass Filter of -3dB at 50Hz. The signal can be panned between the Left & Right Program Buses (by default) or the Odd & Even selections of the 8 Summing Buses (when engaged); it can also be routed to the Direct Outs or to Auxes 5-8. And of course, the signal can be Soloed or Muted.
Has Anybody Seen the Bridge?
The API 2448 provides a meter bridge with full analog VU metering, in a classic black/red scale on a yellow background for easy visibility. All Input channels have a medium-size VU meter, with the first 8 doubling as meters for the Summing Buses. Over the Master Section, the 8 Auxes and 4 Stereo Returns have their own set of small meters, while the Stereo Program Bus is displayed on the largest pair. All meters are illuminated.
The 840C multi-function routing module provides the controls for the channel VU meters. The default source for the channel meters is the Direct Output, but both the Large and Small Fader Inputs can be chosen instead. The VU CH button cycles through these three options, which are indicated by an LED. Selecting VU BUS instead will display the output of the Summing Buses.
API Audio’s 265C module provides a choice between using the 8 small VU meters for the 4 Stereo Returns (the default setting), or the 8 Auxiliary Sends.
The console’s 845C Monitor Control module selects the source for the Main Stereo Meters; the default is the stereo program master, while the Aux Sends and Solo Bus can also be displayed, as well as 6-Track playback.
The Meter Bridge is completed by LED indicators for the power supply voltages, as well as a built-in talkback microphone.
Master Of Your Own Domain
API 2448 console features a comprehensive Master Section that allows you to control and process your signals for both tracking and mixing. This section houses the controls for:
Control Room monitoring functions
For processing and adding color to your sound, there are four Stereo Returns located on the 265C module; these can take their input from either a D-sub Line Level (default), the 8 internal Auxiliary Buses or the 8 500 Series slots in the Master Section. These inputs can be summed to Mono, after which a Stereo Insert Return is also available. This is followed by a 100mm long-throw fader with up to +10dB of gain. The post-fader output is mutable, and can be assigned to the Program Bus or to the Summing Buses 7 & 8.
To maximize the utility of the Stereo Returns, load the 500 Series modules of your choice for compression, limiting and tone shaping of every description. These modules can be used in pairs in conjunction with the Stereo Returns, or as individually patchable processors. Complement the classic tone of the API mic pre/EQ with even more sonic sculpting.
Stereo Bus Compressor
The [Optional] 529C Stereo Bus Compressor gives the final sheen to your mix, gluing it together to give it a cohesive three-dimensionality. Based on the wildly popular 2500 model, the 529C was the first dual-slot 500 Series module ever made by API, and it finds the perfect home in the 2448.
Loaded with 2520 and 2510 discrete op amps, the 529C was designed to provide lots of compression parameters in a tight package. The Old/New option even gives you a choice between old school feedback compression or new school feed-forward style.
The remainder of the 265C module contains the 8 Auxiliary Sends. These are situated in 4 pairs above their associated Stereo Returns (sends 1-2 are Stereo Return 1, etc). The Aux Sends have their own on/off switch, and provide for an External Input, Level control up to +6dB, Solo control, Talkback insertion (headphone feeds), VU meter routing, and a balanced, line-level output from the D-sub connector.
API Audio’s 168C Summing Bus Module contains the routing and control for all 8 buses, as well as an external input to the Program Bus. Each Summing Bus has its own on/off switch, Level pot (up to unity gain), Solo button, and assignments for the Left & Right Program Buses (these can be overridden by the rear panel ¼” TRS input switching jacks).
Control Room Monitor
For the flexibility, you’ll need to route and monitor for tracking and mixing, the 845C Control Room Monitor Control is the ultimate tool. Choose a Source to monitor from among the Program Bus, Aux Sends, or external 6-track playback for 5.1 monitoring. These are fed to the output control section, where it can be switched off, attenuated via the Dim Level pot, summed to Mono, and routed to the Main speakers, as well as two Alternative monitoring systems.
From there, the 268C Output Master takes over. The 268C’s six individual Monitor outs can be switched on/off, as well as allowing calibration of the trim pots before final send to the rear panel Control Room Output connectors.
Stereo Program Bus Master
The 268C Stereo Program Bus Master is the last link in the chain, taking input from the Stereo Bus Compressor, as well as the Program Inserts. A Trim control with calibration determines the output level of the Program Bus, while the on/off switch does exactly that. The 440C Master Fader and Inserts can also be upgraded with optional automation.
Automate For Life
API Audio’s 2448 console can be ordered with an optional Final Touch™ moving-fader and switch automation system, or added later as an upgrade. Final Touch™ is a cross-platform system that provides moving faders and automated Mute or Insert for all Channels, Stereo Returns and the Program Master, as well as 2 automated Control Group Masters, and MIDI and SMPTE timecode synchronization. A built-in computer and touchscreen provide the interface, and no external computer is required.
Bringing Up The Rear
The rear panel of the 2448 has all the connectivity you need to interface with your studio equipment:
3-pin XLRs provide the Inputs for Microphone, Line, and 6-track playback; and L/R Outputs for the Program Bus, Alt 1 & 2 Control Room Monitors, and the 5.1 surround channels.
25-pin D-sub connectors provide the Direct Outs, Aux Send and Bus Mix Outs, and the Inputs for the Stereo Return and the 6-track playback, as well as all of the Alt Line Inputs to each channel.
¼” TRS jacks provide for all the Send/Return patching of the 2448. They are used for both the Large and Small Fader Path Sends & Returns; the Bus Mix Input, the Aux Sends External Input, the Stereo Return Inserts, the Return 500 Series slots, and the Program Bus Insert Send/Return.
Various ports provide for interfacing with MIDI, HDMI, USB, SMPTE and Automation.
An Echo Returns
It’s been decades since API Audio has brought out a console with a direct lineage to the legendary 2488. Customers have been asking for years to get a console that is larger than the compact footprint of the 1608, but not as extensive as the Legacy and Vision consoles.
After lengthy development and consideration of customer workflows, API Audio has finally delivered an updated classic, the all-analog 2488, available in 24 channel, 32 channel and 40 channel configurations. With its modern build quality, stellar customer support, slots for customizing your modules, and all the in-your-face tone of an API Audio console, there’s no reason to wait any longer.
API Audio 2448 Console 24-Channel Standard Configuration
24 648C Dual Signal-path Channel modules with Mic/Line Inputs & Direct Output
24 Channel Faders
3 Peak Indicators Per Channel
16 550A Equalizers
8 560 Equalizers
1 Complete Master Section
8 Summing Buses
8 Auxiliary Buses
8 500 Series Slots (empty)
4 Stereo Returns
1 Stereo Bus
[Optional] 1 529C Stereo Bus Compressor
4 Stereo Return Faders
1 Stereo Master Fader
6 External Input Monitoring (for 5.1 Surround)
Comprehensive Rear Patch Connections
Optional Final Touch™ Automation System with 2 Automatable Control Group Masters
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