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User Review

moosers's review - API Audio 212L

The API Audio 212L is a mini microphone preamplifier that is a module for a 200 series rack casing. The 200 series rack is a smaller, less popular version of the incredibly popular 500 series casings. You won't see this mic preamp around too much, but it's got the same sort of sound with less features at a cheaper price than the 500 series modules. This is an analog module that isn't rack mountable or usable outside of a 200 series lunchbox casing which includes XLR jacks and a power supply for all of the modules in it.


Using the API Audio 212L module is incredibly simple. Even if you aren't too experienced with mic preamps, this would be a good place to start since it's so simple. It's really small, so it's understandable that they wouldn't have much room for features like on some like a 512 module. It's just got a knob for setting your gain and buttons for a -20 db pad and +48 v phantom power. I haven't had a need to check out the manual and probably never will.


Don't be fooled by the smaller stature of the API Audio 212L as it's definitely got the clean and classic API sound. The only feature that it's really missing is a phase switch, but while using this you can just reverse phase within your DAW if necessary. I haven't had a chance to shoot it out with something like the API 512, but I would bet that the sound would be pretty close if not exactly the same. I recently used the 212L at a studio that had a full rack of these and other 200 series modules. The preamp is definitely suitable for recording across the board, as it's got that clean API sound that is definitely applicable to any and all applications.


Of course when choosing the API Audio 212L you aren't just choosing this module, as you need to commit to a full rack of 200 series modules really since you'll also need the casing and power supply to run this or any other 200 series modules. There are a lot less options in terms of modules in the 200 series, but the trade off is that they're also less expensive. If you're considering getting an API lunchbox rack of some kind, I'd definitely encourage you to check out both the 200 and 500 series options to see what will work best for you...