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User Review

Awesome Compact Mic Pre - Reviews API Audio 212L

This is an API mic pre. API tends to make universally awesome gear, and their mic pres are top of the line. This is basically a stripped-down version of one of their 512 mic pres, which are arguably their best-known pre. It's a solid-state pre, is all analog. It's got an XLR connection. The unfortunate thing about this mic pre is that it isn't rack mountable, but it's small enough that that shouldn't really be a huge issue.


Using this mic pre is pretty easy overall. It doesn't have many extra features, just the pre, an input gain knob, and a -20db pad. The most obvious thing missing from here would be a phase reverse switch. However, since the vast majority of users are going to be using a DAW, you can switch the polarity within that DAW if necessary. Thus it's ultimately avoidable, as hardware polarity switching doesn't have a much better sound than digital.
The setup of this whole thing is really stripped down and simple. I didn't have any problems with it, and I wouldn't need a manual.


This is a really fantastic sounding mic pre. It has that classic API sound. Clear, full, and just warm enough without coloring the sound. The pre is the very definition of transparent, and doesn't lack in warmth and fullness either. You really don't need much else in the way of features here, sure there is no compression or EQ but if all fails you can use the DAW for those things. This pre can be used for just about anything. If you have a decent mic collection your tonal capabilities are quite varied with this. It's equally good with dynamic and condenser mics, as well as ribbons. I think the best results will come with the best mics, so don't get it unless you have a good enough mic collection to really make the most of it.


Overall I think this is a fantastic purchase. It's got everything you need and nothing more. Sure, it has fewer features than the full 512 but it's still got enough. For somebody looking to upgrade their home studio, this is a fantastic option without being too pricey. It could even work in a professional studio considering its quality. Overall, you can't really go wrong with this at all.