Manufacturer API is expanding its analog console heritage by introducing the new MC531 Monitor Controller. This is a desktop-bound, standalone version of the monitoring facility built into an API console’s center section. It’s no less of a boutique product than anything else API, featuring the level of craftsmanship you’d expect from a flagship outing.
API MC531 Monitor Controller
The MC531 is designed as a fully-featured monitor control for DAW-centric workflows. To ensure an accurate reference for each audio source, API buffered all 5 inputs with 2510 op-amps and added the kind of functionality that belongs to large-format consoles. That, and some modern flourishes. Think of 3 stereo balanced line inputs and outputs, digital audio input (AES3/USB), 3.5mm input (front and rear), Bluetooth, balanced subwoofer output, 2 stereo headphone outputs, built-in Talkback mic, and balanced unity level meter output for connecting to an external metering system.
The built-in metering is established from an 18-segment stereo LED meter. The control set includes mute, mono, trim, and dim controls for the stereo outputs, a headphone source selection toggle switch, and buttons for all the switching involved in monitor selection. The front panel is API in and out, complete with square knobs and colored lights. Looking at it, I just want to blow up some tracks with some of the API emulations I own!
While pro audio is the kind of game where you tend to get what you pay for, capable monitor controllers for around USD 2000 less do exist. Behringer’s takes on the Mackie Big Knob series offer significant value for money. The Behringer STUDIO XL debuted in August last year and it’s a big ol’ box for USD 250. You can read more about it here.
Price and availability
The MSRP for the API MC531 is USD 2495. Check with your API dealer for availability.
- API MC531 front: API
- API MC531 rear: API