“I was working with an artist, tracking vocals when all of a sudden the vocal started sounding fantastic. I looked over and saw the engineer turning a knob and I said 'WHAT IS THAT?!' - it was an API 525. It was bringing this vocal right out front and center in the song; I said I have to have one of those!”
— Daniel Tashian, Nashville, TN
Originally released in the 70's, the API 525 is a "feedback" type compressor. An input (threshold) control and output (make-up gain) control are provided, along with an additional "Ceiling" fine-tune function which can increase gain reduction (lower threshold) while simultaneously raising output level to match, so the user can alter dynamics "on the fly" without level changes. A compression/limit switch sets ratio at either 2:1 or 20:1. Attack time is as fast as 15u/s. Four auto release modes are offered via two switches, 0.1s, 0.5s, 1.5s, & 2.0s. A De-Ess function inserts an inverse vocal energy curve filter in the detector for effective sibilance/pop reduction. The 525 design has been taken from the original blue prints and spec control drawings from the API archives.
Release times vary with frequency, with high frequency / full bandwidth content released faster than lower frequencies for natural envelope tracking. Attack time is fixed, chosen to catch the fastest peaks, without "pumping". Equally useful as a tracking, mixdown or program compressor/limiter, the 525 utilizes "vintage" dynamics control and an easy to use multi-function control set. The 525 has a hard-wire bypass switch, a balanced input, and a pinout that is the same as all the other 500 series modules. Two or more 525s can be linked for multi-channel compression.
The API 525 Compressor makes use of the 2510 and 2520 op-amps and exhibits the reliability, long life, and uniformity which are characteristic of all API products.