Home » News » Kit Plugins and Blackbird Studio Collaborate to Release of The Bb A5 Channel Strip Plug-in

Kit’s Bb A5 is Modeled After Two Highly-sought Out Api Legacy Consoles in Blackbird Studio B and D

Bb A5 Features the Sound of the Api 212l Preamp and Characteristics of Three Coveted Eq’s From the Consoles Known for Countless Chart-topping Records

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 28, 2023) – KIT Plugins and Blackbird Studio are bringing the sound of an iconic API Legacy console to DAWs everywhere with the release of BB A5, the channel strip plug-in modeled after two highly-sought out consoles in Blackbird Studio B and D. The API Legacy consoles are known as some of the best-sounding consoles to be used in a commercial studio and for countless chart-topping records. Delivered with sonic precision, the BB A5 captures the tone of the 212L preamp and characteristics from three of the most coveted API EQ’s including the iconic three-band 550A, the four-band 550L and the proportional Q-based graphic equalizer 560L. Creators can now access the same sounds used on countless hit songs today starting with a limited-time introductory price of $150, by visiting https://kitplugins.com/products/bb-a5.

With careful consideration and a thorough analysis, KIT’s team collaborated closely with Blackbird Studio Owner John McBride to capture the essence of the API 212L saturation, and the nuances of the console’s EQ’s, analog hum and the character of the master buss. 

“The API Legacy is a major part of Blackbird. It was important that the BB A5 capture the sound and vibe of the hardware as a whole, not just one of the channels. My first experience with the plug-in was shooting it out with the real thing and I was ecstatic with how close it was. The BB A5 replicates the feel of the desks in Studio B and D beautifully,” said John McBride, Owner, Blackbird Studio.

“The BB A5 is the largest project we have taken on yet. It was paramount that we deliver a product that lives up to the sonic reputation of our other products and still capture the feel of the original hardware. My team and I worked tirelessly hand in hand with John and Blackbird for over a year to create this plug-in. I couldn’t be happier with the result as the A5 is already a mainstay in my mixing toolbox,” said Matthew Kleinman, Founder of KIT Plugins.

Already gaining popularity among music creators, producers and audio engineers are welcoming the meticulously crafted emulation lauding; 

“The A5 is a very welcome addition to my own mixing. All 3 of the classic eq styles in one plug-in with easy access hi/lo pass filters is a big deal to me. Add the mic pre “weight” to that and you can’t go wrong.” 

– Joe Carrell, 11X GRAMMY-nominated Audio Engineer

“I immediately go to the kick and take away a little 500 and add a little 63. I’ve always loved the API Legacy console and this plugin replicates it beautifully. It sounds like I’m in D!”

– Steve Marcantonio, GRAMMY-winning Producer and Recording Engineer

“It’s absolutely gorgeous sounding. The first plugin, in my opinion, to nail the proper API sound.” 

-Joseph J. Chudyk, Multi-Platinum Mixer (IDK, Kane Brown, The Band CAMINO)

The BB A5 plug-in will also be added to KIT’s Blackbird Studio Bundle which includes the 7-band BB Mo-Q (used in Martina McBride’s vocal chain), the award-winning BB N105 channel strip plug-in and the BB N73 their recently released 1073 emulation. The collection is available today for a limited-time introductory price of $275, here: https://kitplugins.com/products/blackbird-bundle.

BB A5 Key Features: 

212L Preamp

  • Turn up the 212L preamp to add slight compression and harmonic content to your sound, including auto gain control.
  • -20 dB Pad (before preamp)
  • Polarity switch inverts the signal 180 degrees to fix phase issues.
  • A set of high and low pass filters (20 Hz – 600 Hz HPF & 300 Hz – 20 kHz LPF)

 

Three Separate API EQ’s From the Legacy Consoles

KIT’s BB A5, 55A EQ

KIT’s BB A5, 55A EQ

550A (55A) – The Iconic 3-band EQ from API that uses 2520 op-amps and includes a filter switch, applying a high and low pass filter set.

  • High Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 2.5 kHz, 5 kHz, 7 kHz, 10 kHz, 12.5 kHz, 15 kHz, 20 kHz *With shelf/bell toggle
  • Mid Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 200 Hz, 400 Hz, 600 Hz, 800 Hz, 1.5 kHz, 3 kHz, 5 kHz
  • Low Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 30 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 200 Hz, 300 Hz, 400 Hz *With bell/shelf toggle
  • Stepped EQ Toggle: Users can choose between the standard API stepped EQ gain values or continuous gain allowing more control over the curve of the EQ.

 

550L (55L) – A 4-band integrated circuit EQ, designed primarily for large format consoles and based on the 550B except with 2510 op-amps and different center frequencies.

KIT’s BB A5, 55L EQ

KIT’s BB A5, 55L EQ

  • High Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 2.5 kHz, 5 kHz, 7 kHz, 10 kHz, 12.5 kHz, 15 kHz, 20 kHz *With shelf/bell toggle
  • HMF Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 800 Hz, 1.5 kHz, 3 kHz, 5 kHz, 8 kHz, 10 kHz, 12.5 kHz
  • LMF Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 75 Hz, 150 Hz, 180 Hz, 240 Hz, 500 Hz, 700 Hz, 1 kHz
  • Low Band: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 30 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 200 Hz, 300 Hz, 400 Hz *With bell/shelf toggle
  • Stepped EQ Toggle: Users can choose between the standard API stepped EQ gain values or continuous gain allowing more control over the curve of the EQ.

 

560L (56L) – A proportional Q-based graphic equalizer that boosts and cuts set frequencies (+/-) 12 dB) with a narrowed bandwidth as the gain is adjusted.

KIT’S BB A5, 56L EQ

KIT’S BB A5, 56L EQ

  • Graphic EQ Controls: +/-12 dB at the following frequencies 31 Hz, 63 Hz, 125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 4 kHz, 8 kHz, 16 kHz

 

Fader (-96 dB to +10 dB of gain before the master buss)

 

Master Section

  • Analog Hum toggle with 3 levels of effect and a hum link to control the hum of all your A5 instances, adding a minor 60 Hz cycle replicating the sound of using real analog gear.
  • Master Buss designed to replicate the unique tone and effect of an API master buss amp, the master section on the BB A5 is inspired by the master channel from Blackbird’s API Legacy console. Bring your tracks to life with subtle compression and saturation. Located after the big fader in the signal chain, you can drive into the master section to achieve the desired effect and use the output trim to compensate.

The BB A5 Plugin runs on MAC and PC, supports mono and stereo, and is compatible with all major DAWs that support the following formats (64-bit only); VST3 (Steinberg Virtual Studio Technology 3), AU (macOS Audio Unit), and AAX (Avid Audio Extension). View the full comprehensive overview here: https://kitplugins.com/products/bb-a5.

About KIT Plugins

Praised for some of the industry’s best sounding plug-ins, KIT’s emulations have been featured by Billboard, Mix Magazine, Sound On Sound, Tape Op, MusicTech, American Songwriter, Produce Like A Pro and more. Most recently recognized by Mix as one of the “Top 23 Companies to Watch in 2023,” KIT Plugins aims to bring the best “real-world” recreations of rare analog gear. Their famous BB N105 V2 plug-in was the first-ever channel strip emulation of the rare analog console in Blackbird Studio A, where musicians from Taylor Swift to Beck, and Dolly Parton have recorded. Their recently released BB Mo-Q recreates one of the original Motown EQs used on legendary tracks from “Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye), “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” (The Temptations) and “Dancing In The Street” (Martha and The Vandellas). Revolutionizing the way artists and producers create music, KIT has also released the Blackbird High Gain Profile Pack for Kemper featured by Guitar.com and SonicScoop along with the beloved CORE Series, their SMASH dynamics plugin and the Burier Saturation plugin. KIT was founded by Matthew Kleinman, an audio engineer, producer and entrepreneur who has worked with some of the most prestigious producers, studios and companies in the music and audio industry including Howard Benson, Aaron Pearce, Big Machine Records, Forge Recording and more. For more information, visit https://kitplugins.com/.

About Blackbird Studio

Blackbird Studio is Nashville’s premier recording studio, where the legends make records. Founded by sound engineer John McBride in 2002, Blackbird is renowned for its production facilities and for its unparalleled collection of vintage and modern recording equipment. The Blackbird complex now includes nine studios and The Blackbird Academy, a post-secondary audio engineering school. For more information, visit https://www.blackbirdstudio.com/ and theblackbirdacademy.com.

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