API’s The Channel Strip is a 500 series compressor, EQ, and preamp all on one rack mountable device. It’s more or less a combination of three of their 500 series processors, so if you own the 512C mic preamp, 550A EQ, and 527 compressor, you won’t notice any major changes in quality. However, if you don’t, it’s great to be able to combine three devices into one and rack mount them out of the way. With 11 different I/O jacks, including XLR channel out and TRS line input, you’ll find plenty of ways to connect devices. The Channel Strip does have a few faults, but it is handy to use and does get the job done.
One of the issues is that the layout of the controls is a bit odd. For one, API didn’t just fuse three products together—the controls on The Channel Strip don’t always match up to the controls on the three individual devices. That’s not too big of a problem, but it does mean you’ll need to get familiar with The Channel Strip before you can really use it effectively. A few other things, such as the lack of a dedicated output gain control on the compressor, are a bit annoying. Read more