[sdiy] The API Lunchbox format

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Sun May 3 23:30:13 CEST 2015

Ah, you're right, Tom. I was looking at designing for API 500 over a decade ago, and the details had faded. At the time, I was comparing API 500 ±16.5 V to analog mixing consoles with ±28 V, which made API 500 seem underpowered.

Compared to modular, with some standards as high as ±18 V, but Euro at ±12 V, API 500 wouldn't necessarily be a huge step down in quality.

In any case, I don't see much benefit in designing new synthesizer modules for API 500. But it would make sense to patch synth voices through an API 500 lunch box for effects and other processing. Personally, I'd probably want to keep them separate. A lunch box is too small to fix much of a modular synth into, so you'd need a couple of racks anyway - might as well make one API 500 for processing and the other Euro for synthesis, and then just patch between them. I recall that API 500 have XLR connectors on the back, so running those through a patch bay to convert to phone or banana plugs would help integrate API 500 into a modular setup.


On May 1, 2015, at 2:16 AM, Tom Bugs <admin at bugbrand.co.uk> wrote:
> But it is +/-16V rails?!
> (maybe early API ones were under-powered -- seems like they're now typical 250mA per 'slot')
> On 01/05/2015 06:31, rsdio at audiobanshee.com wrote:
>> Someone wanted to hire me to design for API 500, and I thought it was underpowered for high-end audio with only ±12 V rails. It's a bit of a quality step down from some high-end audio processors. However, that's the standard modular rail voltage for EuroRack, so API 500  wouldn't really be a step back in that sense, although some modulars are ±15 V or even ±18 V.
>> I agree with someone else in this thread (?) who said that API 500 would be great if you have multiple formats in a tall rack. You could have one or more 19" rack-mounted cases in a 12U rack and then mix and match - some API 500, some Euro, some Moog, etc.
>> Brian
>> On Apr 30, 2015, at 12:18 AM, "Lanterman, Aaron" <lanterma at ece.gatech.edu> wrote:
>>> I found myself casually wondering if it might make an interesting semi-modular synthesis platform.
>>> - Aaron

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