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Customer Reviews 90 Reviews

4.92 out of 5 stars

by L. Mathers (9/1/2015):

Very solid, very musical EQ section. Works great, looks great, and sounds fantastic -… Read more

83 Reviews
7 Reviews
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Overview

API® 500 Series EQ Plug-In Collection

Key Features

  • Superior, licensed plug-in emulations of the most enduring API 500 Series EQs
    • API 550A discrete, 3-band bell/shelf parametric equalizer
    • API 560 discrete, 10-band graphic equalizer
  • Models the entire electronic path, including custom API 2520 op-amps and transformers, band interactions, and internal clipped filter distortion
  • Licensed and endorsed by Automated Processes, Inc.
  • Includes presets from famed engineers and producers, including Vance Powell, Ross Hogarth, Carl Glanville, Jeff Juliano, Eli Janney, and Darrell Thorp
  • Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface, available from authorized dealers worldwide

Read full features & specs

The World’s Most Accurate Emulations of API 500 Series EQs — Perfect for Mixing Guitar and Drums.

API’s classic 550A and 560 Series EQs left their indelible stamp on the legendary recordings of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and their popularity has exploded in the decades since. The 500 Series’ innovative modular design has become an industry standard, and Saul Walker’s vintage API EQ modules remain sought-after treasures by owners of studios both large and small. Today, Universal Audio brings you the definitive sound of the API 550A and 560 EQs as UAD plug-ins, faithfully capturing the characteristic filter shapes, complex band interactions, and unique filter amp distortion that until now only the genuine hardware could provide.

Painstakingly modeled on pristine early-1970s units provided to Universal Audio by Ross Hogarth and Capitol Studios, both the 550A and 560 plug-ins deliver API’s legendary powerful punch, low-frequency transparency, and ultra-tight imaging — with all the flavor and character of their hardware counterparts.

Notably, both the 550A and 560 EQ plug-ins offer stunningly accurate modeling of API’s custom 2520 op-amp and output transformer — widely credited with creating the “API sound.”  With its one-of-a-kind filter shaping, clipping behavior, and tight, punchy bottom end, the UAD API 500 Series EQ plug-ins are a must-have tool, especially for mixing guitar, bass and drums.

Watch the overview video.

History
Formed in 1968 by Saul Walker and Lou Lindauer, API (Automated Processes, Inc.) quickly became known with its innovative modular approach to equipment manufacturing. Their unique consoles and components — especially the 2520 op-amp — have long been prized among audio professionals for their extraordinary headroom and sonic character.
 
Introduced in 1971, the 550A was the standard channel EQ module on API’s first consoles. Its sonic quality quickly reached legendary status, and the 550A and 560 modules soon gained new popularity in custom designed consoles and the personal “lunchbox” racks of audio pros. Such is the demand for these units that API finally resumed production after several decades.

550A Parametric EQ
The 550A gives you three overlapping bands of parametric EQ at 15 points with up to ±12 dB of gain, controlled by three dual-ganged rotary switches. The HF and LF bands feature individually selectable peaking or shelving modes, plus an independent 50 Hz to 15 kHz band-pass filter. It’s the perfect secret weapon for helping drums and guitars stand out in the mix.

560 Graphic EQ
The 560 offers ten bands of graphic EQ, making it an ideal tool for shaping your mix with surgical precision. API’s proprietary “Proportional Q” intuitively widens bandwidth at lower boost/cut levels and narrows it at higher levels, giving you more musical control over precise bands of your mix.

$299.00

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$299.00

Reviews

Reviews

1 of 5
  • Eli Crews

    (Tape Op)

    “There’s definitely an intangible richness and thickening that happens to your sound when using these plug-ins…”

    Peter Katis

    (The National, Interpol, Tokyo Police Club)

    "The new UAD API 500 Series EQ Plug-in Collection is great. It’s more than just a cool graphic interface that tries to trick you into thinking you're hearing more than what's there.”

    Eli Janney

    (Jet, Ryan Adams, Wilco)

    “With the UAD 550A and 560 EQs at your disposal, you now have no excuse for bad sounding drums or vocals! [They’re] detailed and fat, with presence to die for.”

    Vance Powell

    (Jack White, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)

    "Finally — a 550A EQ plug-in that actually sounds like the real one."

    Computer Music Magazine

    "We have to say that the Waves equivalents pale into insignificance in the shadow of these vastly superior emulations."

  • Vaughan Merrick

    (Amy Winehouse, Jason Mraz)

    "The new [UAD API 500 Series EQ] plug-ins are great! Their open, clear sound is immediately apparent...These are a very welcome addition to the UA suite."

    Ross Hogarth

    (R.E.M, Keb' Mo, Ziggy Marley)

    “The new API 500 Series EQs are just slamming. The grit and punch are all there.”

    J.J. Blair

    (Rod Stewart, George Benson)

    “[When mixing in the box,] nothing allows me to shape the tone of certain instruments and have them sit in a mix as musically as the [UAD] API 560 EQ does.”

    The Glitch Mob

    "The new [UAD API 500 Series EQ Collection] has the best graphic EQ plug-in out there. Hands down no contest."

    Jacknife Lee

    (R.E.M)

    “I love the new plugs. The [UAD] LA2A is f@*#n' awesome. API! Well done. This is great.”

  • Mark Needham

    (The Killers, Neon Trees, P!nk)

    “The [UAD] LA-2A and API Series plug-ins not only feel and sound like my real ones, they react the same when I push them hard, which is so cool.”

    Miles Walker

    (Rihanna, Katy Perry, Wiz Khalifa)

    “With these the new [UAD API 500 Series EQ] plug-ins, I've got all the great sound I love from the original 500 EQs, and not limited to only a few channels of it! Amazing model, down to the color it puts on even in bypass mode. I'm fully amazed.”

    Ryan Hewitt

    (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Avett Brothers)

    “The [UAD] 550A plug-in captures the dirt and aggressiveness of the original and sounds fantastic, and the [UAD] 560 is a god send on drums, just like the original, but without the recall nightmares.”

    Paul Hagar

    (Goo Goo Dolls, Jonas Brothers)

    “Some other emulations sound a bit harsh when pushed, but not the [UAD API 500 Series EQ plug-ins]. They still sound as musical as the real ones, even when pushed hard.”

    Carl Glanville

    (U2, Billy Joel, Counting Crows)

    "Both the UAD API 550A and 560 EQ plug-ins have precisely the sound I have come to expect from these classic EQs. Simple, humble, but oh, so effective!”

  • Eric Persing

    Spectrasonics

    "I think I might have been one of the loudest voices screaming for API emulations on the UAD platform, because they are some of my most often used hardware EQs...I'm absolutely thrilled about the results.”

    Jeff Balding

    (LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill)

    “I love the variety in sonic choices with the [UAD LA-2A Collection.] The [UAD API 500 Series EQs] are the best API plug-ins I've heard.”

    Darrell Thorp

    (Beck, Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg)

    “With the UAD API 550A EQ, I am completely blown away how accurate the modeling of the EQ and 2520 line amp is. The depth, detail, and tone are so closely matched to the original.”

    Jeff Juliano

    (John Mayer, Shinedown, Train)

    "I've been a die hard API fan for 20 years. UA knocked this one out of the park. Twice."

    Vance Powell

    (Jack White, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)

    "The API fix-it-all that actually fixes it all."

  • Dean Coleman

    “After coming off the hardware, the [UAD API 500 Series EQ Plug-In Collection] feels just like home to me.”

    J.J. Blair

    (Rod Stewart, George Benson)

    “The [UAD] API 550A plug-in [is] what I reach for first when I want roundness, smooth, clear highs, and punchy mids.”

User Ratings

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Average Rating (90 Reviews)
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    badass
    by L. Mathers(Tuesday 1 September, 2015)

    Very solid, very musical EQ section. Works great, looks great, and sounds fantastic - what more do you need? Read More

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    • 5 Star
    Essential drum and bass producers EQ
    by M. Ryder(Friday 28 August, 2015)

    I have the waves version but the whole through put of the UAD design is like Apple software is to a Mac, It's all at a super high grade and I'm sure people with the real thing might argue i can say that to me this is as good as the real thing gets and a true UAD plugin, done as only they… Read More

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    • 5 Star
    easy and effective
    by a. srabstein(Monday 3 August, 2015)

    really friendly and deeply musical! Read More

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    • 5 Star
    Best API 500 series plugins out there!
    by H. Petersson(Tuesday 28 April, 2015)

    There are a couple of API 500 emulations out there that I really like, but these are by far the best sounding ones. I didn't expect to be wanting these since I have the API Vision but I really do. Magical stuff. It gets a point off for two reasons. The knobs don't translate well to a GUI… Read More

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    Top Stuff!
    by K. Hegyi(Friday 17 April, 2015)

    My go to EQ. 560 is the best thing ever! Really really fast and easy to dial in the sounds you want! It always sounds good in the mix and that's what matters! 10/10 Read More

$299.00

Artists
  • Tony Platt

    Legendary engineer/producer Tony Platt has tracked and mixed some of the most legendary albums ever recorded. Here, he talks about his role in creating the Marshall Plexi Super Lead plug-in and his history with the Marshall amp. Read More

    Dave Tozer

    Here, Dave Tozer details how you can synthesize a powerful UAD/Logic Pro X production workflow. Read More

    Ken Lewis Crafts Hits for Fun, Kanye West

    Top acts call on Ken Lewis to turn their musical ideas into platinum hits. Read More

$299.00

Features & Specs

Features

  • Superior, licensed plug-in emulations of the most enduring API 500 Series EQs
    • API 550A discrete, 3-band bell/shelf parametric equalizer
    • API 560 discrete, 10-band graphic equalizer
  • Models the entire electronic path, including custom API 2520 op-amps and transformers, band interactions, and internal clipped filter distortion
  • Licensed and endorsed by Automated Processes, Inc.
  • Includes presets from famed engineers and producers, including Vance Powell, Ross Hogarth, Carl Glanville, Jeff Juliano, Eli Janney, and Darrell Thorp
  • Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface, available from authorized dealers worldwide

See the UAD Instance Chart here

Parameter Specifications

API 550A

  • High Frequency (Bell/Shelf) concentric switch: 5, 7, 10, 12.5, 15 kHz; frequency label provides frequency cycle button
  • High Frequency Gain concentric switch: -12, -9, -6, 4, 2, 0, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 dB
  • Mid Frequency (Bell) concentric switch: .4, .8, 1.5, 3, 5 kHz; frequency label provides frequency cycle button
  • Mid Frequency Gain concentric switch: -12, -9, -6, 4, 2, 0, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 dB
  • Low Frequency (Bell/Shelf) concentric switch: 50, 100, 200, 300, 400 Hz; frequency label provides frequency cycle button
  • Low Frequency Gain concentric switch: -12, -9, -6, 4, 2, 0, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 dB
  • Bandpass filter switch: Applies a 50Hz-15kHz bandpass filter to the entire signal
  • HF Shelf switch: Switches HF band from Bell to Shelf
  • LF Shelf switch: Switches LF band from Bell to Shelf
  • Output Gain knob: ∞ to +12 dB providing clean uncolored gain. “0” label provides RTZ (return to zero) button
  • EQ Bypass button: Disables/enables EQ filters, but leaves amp modeling and system filtering active
  • Power button: Disables/enables all DSP processing

API 560

  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 16 kHz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 8 kHz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 4 kHz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 2 kHz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 1 kHz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 500 Hz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 250 Hz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 125 Hz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 63 Hz
  • Frequency slider, ±12 dB, 31 Hz
  • Output Gain knob: ∞ to +12 dB providing clean uncolored gain. “0” label provides RTZ (return to zero) button
  • EQ Bypass button: Disables/enables EQ filters, but leaves amp modeling and system filtering active
  • Power button: Disables/enables all DSP processing
$299.00

Docs

Apollo Software Manual (Thunderbolt)

Apollo Software Manual (FireWire)

UAD Plug-Ins Manual

UAD System Manual

UA Product Catalog

$299.00