A longtime leader in analog console design, API desks have shaped hits from the Foo Fighters to Fleetwood Mac’s classic, Rumours. Introduced in 2003, API’s flagship Vision Console was crafted to uphold the company’s soulful sonic tradition while providing flexibility and features for modern workflows.
For the first time, you can have a complete channel strip of classic API punch, presence, and color with the API Vision Channel Strip plug-in — exclusively for UAD-2 DSP hardware and Apollo interfaces.
Harnessing UA’s groundbreaking Unison technology, the API Vision Channel Strip plug-in gives you all of the API Vision’s important impedance, gain stage “sweet spots,” and circuit behaviors that have made the Vision Channel Strip’s 212L preamp one of the most detailed and punchy preamps ever devised. The secret is Unison’s bi-directional control and communication from the API Vision Channel Strip plug-in to the physical mic preamps in the Apollo Twin, Apollo DUO, and Apollo QUAD.
Comprised of five classic API modules, the API Vision Channel Strip plug-in transforms your DAW into a high-end analog mixing desk, injecting your tracks with the sonic color and personality that has made API legendary. Take a quick tour of the five modules below.
Widely praised for its detail and warmth, the 212L Preamp finds its roots in the legendary API 2488 console — best known for the famed “LA sound” of the ’70s and ’80s. UA’s API Vision plug-in expertly models this preamp, right down to its custom 2520 API op-amp and transformers, giving you the unmistakable tone of its esteemed hardware counterpart.
An evolution of the iconic API 550A, the 550L EQ offers vintage flavor and modern tone shaping via an additional filter band and several new frequencies. API's “Proportional Q” circuitry widens the filter bandwidth at minimal settings, and narrows it at higher settings, resulting in a simple EQ that sounds musical — even when cranked.
A versatile compressor brimming with character, the 225L thrives on any instrument, in any genre — from a single track to an entire mix. With selectable “New” and “Old” functions, you’re afforded two delicious brands of compression, from mild to severe.
One of the most expressive gates ever devised, the 235L Noise Gate/Expander is possibly the fastest noise gate available — anywhere. The 235L serves a creative function as well, letting you shape a kick drum’s attack and contour in a host of ways, ranging from subtle and sublime to sick and stuttered.
A passive, sweepable filter, ideal for broad stroke EQ sculpting, the 215L Cut Filters are powerful tools designed to expertly craft your source material, while preserving its original tone.
What is the API Vision Channel Strip?
The API Vision Channel Strip is part of Universal Audio’s groundbreaking entry into microphone preamplifier and channel strip plug-in emulation with Unison™ integrated mic preamp technology. Based on API’s flagship Vision console, the UAD API Vision Channel Strip plug-in is the easiest way to turn your DAW into a colorful analog console, as it features the same indispensable API modules available in the famed console — the 212L Preamp, 215L Cut Filters, 550L EQ, 225L Compressor/Limiter, and the 235L Gate/Expander.
How do Unison-enabled UAD plug-ins work with Apollo’s built-in mic preamps?
Apollo’s mic preamplifiers are digitally controlled and offer high-resolution, ultra-transparent translation from microphone to converter. While fantastic sounding on their own, these preamps are also designed as an ideal starting point to add processing color through Unison-enabled UAD plug-ins. Specifically, Unison plug-ins control the analog impedance and gain structure of the Apollo’s physical mic preamps — so hardware and software works in tandem to very convincingly emulate classic tube and solid state preamp designs.
How do I use the API Vision Console Channel Strip while recording with Apollo?
Simply load the Unison plug-in into the “PREAMP” insert in the Apollo Console software. This enables near-zero latency recording with Mic, Line or Hi-Z inputs through the target preamp model. In addition to physical gain and input impedance control of the Apollo’s hardware preamps, Unison technology allows tactile control of preamp parameters. See the Apollo Software Manual Unison technology chapter for more information.
I own UAD-2 hardware and/or Apollo 16. Can I still use the API Vision Channel Strip? Yes. Unison-enabled UAD plug-ins can be used as standard UAD plug-ins inside your DAW of choice, or as realtime inserts in the Apollo Console. The Unison plug-ins are great for adding color and tone with any UAD-2 hardware, but the hardware preamp interaction is only possible on Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, and Apollo Twin (i.e., devices that have physical mic preamps).
Switchable analog impedance is not a feature found in Apollo’s original documentation. Why?
Apollo’s preamp operation does not feature input impedance switching, so no user access to the function was required. While the circuit has always been present in the unit, the feature is now operational to match the modeled input impedance of current and future preamp emulations, whether fixed or switchable (like the 610-B) providing physical, microphone to preamp resistive interaction.
How does the 212L Preamp model within the API Vision Channel Strip work in the Apollo Console or my DAW?
The API Vision Channel Strip's 212L module is internally padded to work at appropriate line level within the Apollo Console or your DAW environment. Use the API Vision Channel Strip as you would any other UAD plug-in, but with the benefit of modeled API input amplification as the first stage of the plug-in.
I already own the UAD API 500 Series EQ Collection. How does the 550L EQ in the API Vision Channel Strip compare to the 550A EQ?
UA’s 550A plug-in models an original 1970’s, 3-band 550A with the original frequency selections and amplifier behaviors. The 550L, on the other hand, is nearly identical to the modern API 550B 4-Band EQ (available in the API 500 series format), with the same expanded features and frequency selections. The API 550L on the Vision Channel Strip plug-in is exclusive to the UAD platform and is not available anywhere else except as part of the actual API Vision console or other modern API Consoles.
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