Sterling Sound Adds API Gear

Oct 7, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors

Sterling Sound recently purchased 19 API 550 equalizers. Mastering engineer and partner Greg Calbi was first introduced to API in the mid-'90s, while working with Geoff Emerick on a remaster of "Band on the Run."

"When I'm considering a piece of equipment," Calbi explained, "I need to know that it does something that nothing else does. There are two things that the API 550 does extremely well: It filters subsonic information in a way that keeps the shape of the original signal but gets rid of the excess in a very precise and musical way. It's hard to describe, but the 550 does something that is very difficult for an equalizer to achieve.

"But the 550 does something else that most equalizers can't: add warmth in the 400 to 600 cycle range in a clean and defined way. With digital mixes especially, you're always looking to add warmth without losing clarity. By this time, everyone is looking to avoid the overly crisp but somewhat cold sound of digital music. The API 550 does an outstanding job of keeping a mix in perspective and smoothing things out. All of our mastering suites have 550s in them, so that should tell you something about how our staff has responded to them. The most recent project I used them on was Emmylou Harris' new album, which will be coming out in October on Nonesuch. I was able to add warmth to Emmylou's voice without sacrificing anything, and the results were outstanding."

For more on the gear, visit the company's distributor at

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