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June 2017 Giveaway

API 527 Compressor/Limiter Reviews

4.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Questions about the API 527 Compressor/Limiter?

Questions about the API 527 Compressor/Limiter?

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  • Giovanni Rios
    from Miami, FL USA May 19, 2011Music Background:
    Singer & Music Producer

    wonderful and effective !!

    wonderful and effective compressor and limiter. API 527 compressor is great especially on vocals, guitar, percussion etc. etc. try it and see.

  • Giovanni Rios
    from Miami, FL USA May 11, 2011Music Background:
    Singer & Music Producer

    Wow! Great Compressor/Limiter

    API is truly! the compressor / limiter API 527 is wonderful, natural produce incredible clarity and does not color the signal. Good use on vocals, guitar, percussion, bass etc. etc. Try it and see.

  • HH
    from Nashville, TN November 6, 2010Music Background:
    Artist, Writer, Producer

    Sensational, The new standard!!

    I was nervous about this because no one had reviewed it yet, well let me help you out. This is one of the most versatile compressors period! I'm working now with an A-list producer in nashville and he picked this for our lead vocal compressor! It's been great for anything we've tried it on! AMAZING!!!!

  • Jeff
    from Morganton, NC January 31, 2012Music Background:
    Home Studio, Pro Musician


    Everything I thought it would be!

  • chris jones
    from san francisco, ca September 26, 2011Music Background:

    Good Utilitarian Compressor

    This is my first/only outboard compressor for my home studio and when comparing it to the sounds of my plugin comps, well... there is no comparison.

    I have used this to track vocals (very good in the "new" setting on "soft"), bass and guitars, and it's absolutely fantastic as a limiter in that it's fairly clean (not dark, or bright, just transparent with warmth).

    I have also run drums, keys, and everything else through this in the mixing process, and it has a lot of attitude and creates the "grab" effect without much coloration. The "Thrust" feature is invaluable for letting you get the top end to sustain and pump without sacrificing the lows. This is an invaluable tool.

    This is a great all-around compressor. Being able to switch between Old and New modes is like having two types in one, and the ability to link 2 of these is a great way to get close to the 2500 sound on a budget (I want this setup as my buss compressor eventually).

    Criticisms are that it took me about a month to get used to the settings on this thing: The multiple modes are actually overwhelming and the attack/release/ratio settings are really different from other types of comps I have used. To make matters worse, the old and new settings completely change the character of the unit, making it necessary to readjust between the two (you can't just A/B the switch usually). The sacrifice for versatility is that it's not a "set-it-and-forget-it" type comp. It takes a lot of tweaking to get things right.

    That being said, this is an all-around great compressor and if you can only have one, this will do everything you need it to. No complaints, other than it's making me want more types of comps!

  • Dan Popp
    from Akron, OH March 4, 2014Music Background:
    Commercial Recording

    A Somewhat Contrarian Review

    I wouldn't call this unit "transparent." If my Crane Song Trakker in "Clean" mode is transparent, then the API 527 is something else. It brings a little of that API vintage rock & roll character, I think.

    Nor would I call this a "limiter," since it won't clamp down fast enough to actually limit in my application, which is voiceovers.

    What it does, rather, is give you some flexibility, especially with the New/Old and Hard/Soft toggles. I've even used it in a pinch to de-ess by playing with the controls in Thrust mode.

    It's not the quietest or the cleanest compressor in my arsenal, but it will give you "big and loud" with ease. I use it in my main signal chain every day, so it's doing something right.

  • Nate Vaughan
    from Los Angeles, CA July 19, 2014Music Background:
    Small-budget Producer

    Attack is not as fast as other "flexible" compressors

    I was looking for more flexibility. As another user observed, the fastest attack time is not quick enough to grab transients in many applications. This includes vocals, bass, drums, and acoustic guitars. The 527 cannot clamp down quick enough to bring down the attack and bring up the resonance of a tom hit, for example.

    One application I did quite like it on was a drum "glue" mic. While tracking drums, I put a LDC in omni over the kick drum and smashed it with the 527. It was pumping, gluey goodness. I also used it for light tracking compression of vocals, aiming at 1.5-4db of gain reduction, and did a nice job.

    Another complaint is that the resolution of gain reduction LEDs is too spread out in the low compression range. If you want to use it to take 4-5db off the peaks of a source while tracking, you will have to use a lot of guesswork as the first 3 LEDs are 1.5, 4, and 6 DB of gain reduction. I suppose this would imply that the compressor is intended for more aggressive applications, but with the transient problem noted above, I didn't find it terribly helpful for aggressive compression.

    I didn't have much luck in a year of owning the 527.

  • George cain
    from Augusta, ga October 22, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, home studio owner

    Nice mojo

    This unit can really give you variety of mojo based on hard or soft knee and old and new. Very very good sound.

    I have only one big complaint. It does not have enough gain.
    Like only 10 db. The 2500 has 25 db of gain. La2 a has 40db.
    So 527 too noisey for me.
    Maybe I'll get the 2500.

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