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API Turns 40 at AES

Jessup, Maryland - Sept. 2009:
API, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, has become legendary in the recording industry for its high-end analog mixing consoles and outboard signal processing equipment. But while vintage API equipment, like the famed Legacy console and racks and racks of outboard products are still highly prized, the company has not been content to rest on its laurels, and remains the leader in analog recording gear with the more recent introduction of such products as the groundbreaking Vision surround mixing console, the popular, small frame 1608 console, the TEC Award-winning 7600 input module, and DSM Series of DAW monitor racks. Most recently, API has established a brand new line of specialty analog rack-mount equipment with the JDK Audio (formerly Arsenal Audio by API) line.

More than four decades after API was originally established, sales of the company's outboard signal processors remain brisk and, indeed, have enjoyed a resurgence with analog audio aficionados around the world in recent years, stimulated by the introduction of the Vision console. Installations of the company's mixing consoles are also strong with fans of the company's discrete analog designs, such as John McBride, whose renowned Blackbird Studio in Nashville houses two API Legacy Plus desks - including the largest ever built - as well as two new 1608 consoles, with a third available for rental.

In the late 1960s, Saul Walker, who had an ongoing interest in radio and studio electronics from his college days, partnered with Lou Lindauer to establish the new, and soon to be legendary, Automated Processes Incorporated (API) on Long Island, New York. In 1969 the pair began to design and manufacture their own components, starting with faders and amplifiers. Walker designed his own proprietary op amp, the 2520, which is now generally recognized as one of the best audio op amps ever designed. The 2520 became central to many of Walker's API designs, including the 512 mic pre, 550A equalizer, 525 compressor, 560 graphic equalizer, 312 mic amp, 325 line amp and 1604 console, among others. He also developed the API 960, the first programmable, continuously variable, parametric equalizer.

"API first appeared on the scene as the music recording industry really started to explode," says company president, Larry Droppa. "Forty years after that golden age, during which API has established itself as the preeminent American manufacturer of discrete analog recording consoles and signal processors, engineers appreciate more than ever the warmth, punch, and life that our equipment brings to today's digital production setups. Here's to the next forty years!"

To celebrate four decades as a leading analog audio products manufacturer, API will be hosting a party during the AES Convention at the storied Roseland Ballroom in New York City's Theater District on Saturday, October 10th at 7:30pm. Food, drinks, live entertainment, and guest appearances (of every vintage and from both sides of the console!) A limited number of laminate invitations are available. To secure your laminate, e-mail Mark Seman (mseman @ to have your name put on the guest list. Laminates can be picked up during the AES show by visiting the API booth #355.