200/500 Series
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Word from the Street
SmithLee Productions

Who:Justin Fisher

What:Chief Engineer

Where:St. Louis, Missouri

API Gear:550As, 527s, 3124+, lunchbox®

From the Street:

"When we bought our first 3124+, which was a while ago, we were looking into some new gear to expand our front end so I was asking many of my audio friends what they liked in terms of a four-channel pre. Consistently, people were telling me that API was the way to go. At that point in time, I had obviously heard of API, but I had never really tried it for myself. I went with the suggestions of my peers and bought the 3124+. Pretty much everything they said they liked about API was right on the money: punch, mid-range presence, bite, clarity; it was all there in spades. I use the 3124+ on drums and guitars quite frequently and I've never been disappointed.

"Years later, I was looking to replace another name-brand compressor and EQ that just weren't doing anything for me. I was at the AES convention listening to some modules and was just blown away by the 550A and, especially, the 527 compressor! They were exactly what I was looking for. With a little help from Jordan Shirks from API, I purchased them as soon as I was back in town. The 527 is literally the most versatile compressor I've ever used. I actually bought two of them to use as either individual compressors while tracking and mixing or to use the "link" feature, turning them into a makeshift 2500 two-bus compressor when I'm mixing. The 527 has so many features! I have nothing but positive things to say about API."

About Justin Fisher:

Justin Fisher got his start at SmithLee Productions nearly a decade ago as an intern who worked his way up the ranks to become the company's chief engineer. SmithLee Productions, which was founded in 1979, is located in the heart of St. Louis, Missouri, and houses multiple control rooms and vocal booths, a large tracking room, a video editing suite and additional production areas. Fisher and the rest of the studio team at have recorded such artists as Brian McKnight, Kelly Pickler and Story of the Year as well as a number of electronic rock, hard rock, hip-hop and jazz musicians for which they have won a handful of Emmy and Telly awards. Fisher is also the creator of GEARage Sale™ — a biannual event for audio professionals and musicians to sell or swap their gear — and an audio production instructor at his alma mater, Webster University.

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Contact: email:; phone: 314.647.3900; Studio Twitter, Artist Twitter

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