Oakland, California’s 25th Street Recording opened its doors with an all-discrete, fully-analogue, 64-channel API Vision Console six years ago. Today, the console is still keeping 25th Street booked and busy. Among those who have called the studio home are all-star producer Joe Chiccarelli, when he is in town, ’80s icon Sheila E., Norteño mega-band Los Tigres Del Norte, and guitar hero Joe Satriani. Twenty-fifth Street draws in high-profile clients with the help of the well-earned reputation and versatile capabilities of the API Vision.
Studio manager John Schimpf says there’s one thing his diverse clients all have in common: “Everyone who comes through here loves the API Vision. In this business, people don’t hesitate to complain, but I never get complaints about the Vision.” Schimpf and studio owner Dave Lichtenstein were drawn to the console in part because of API’s sonic heritage – which appeals to artists and engineers in equal measure.
John Cuniberti, Satriani’s long-time engineer says he has nostalgia for the API sound: “I grew up on vintage API consoles. The Vision is a zero-compromise, full-blooded embodiment of the classic API sound,” a sound which he believes “strikes the perfect balance between ‘organic personality’ and ‘high-fidelity’.” During his time at 25th Street, Cuniberti explains that the Vision was a “critical component” of the overdub process. “The Vision was the tool that effectively told us whether we were done with a song or not.”
Part of Schimpf’s confidence is due to the Vision’s flexibility. Schimpf asserts that the console, “really shines when we have big-input sessions,” and believes that flexibility is welcoming to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of their experience level. “Engineers are free to create a custom signal flow, but the default configuration is straightforward and intuitive.” That was put to the test with Los Tigres’ latest recording Realidades.
The band’s Grammy-winning engineer Alfonso Rodenas says “When we recorded at 25th Street Recording, I used its patchbay to move EQs and preamps all over the place. It integrated beautifully with 25th Street’s outboard gear and allowed me to easily print the effects I wanted to print – and to hear, but not print – the effects that I didn’t want to commit to. It helped to create the beautiful sound of Realidades.” Rodenas continues, “I love the easy workflow of the Vision. It contributed to the inspired atmosphere in which the band performed at its best.”
Schimpf is looking forward to many more years with the Vision. “The audio quality is excellent,” he added. “It’s an amazing piece of sonic equipment. In all, the API Vision is an inspiring instrument that fosters creativity and delivers solid-sounding recordings.”