API® 2500 Bus Compressor
An obsessively accurate emulation of API’s flagship compressor.
The API 2500 Bus Compressor is a permanent fixture on the stereo bus of many of the world's top engineers and producers. Considered the best of the Paul Wolff-era API circuit designs, this famed compressor adds energy, movement, and tone to stereo mixes and subgroups unlike any other compressor.
The API 2500 Bus Compressor plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is a spot-on emulation of this classic compressor, capturing its all-discrete signal path with Thrust® circuitry — and features a fanatically detailed modeling of API's custom transformers and 2510 and 2520 op amps.
Now You Can:
Glue together your stereo mixes and subgroups with the world’s finest circuit emulation of the iconic API 2500 compressor
Select between "Old” and "New” compression, with feedback or feed-forward sounds
Sharpen your workflow with plug‑in‑only Mix and Headroom controls
Punch up low frequencies with API's patented Thrust technology
Contour your mix's stereo interaction with percent-based L/R Link controls
Mix with artist presets from Jeff Balding (Faith Hill), Vance Powell (Jack White), Ryan Hewitt (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and more
Take a Listen
API 2500 5-Minute Tip
Learn how to use the API 2500 on drums, bass, guitars, and your entire mix.
The Only End-to-End API 2500 Emulation
Poring over proprietary "for-your-eyes-only" schematics made available to Universal Audio by API, our team of DSP experts analyzed two classic API 2500s — rackmount and in-console — ensuring one of UA's tightest behavioral circuit models to date. Working together with API's engineers, we scrutinized every facet of the plug-in against its analog counterpart, delivering the definitive representation of this iconic compressor. Early beta testing with UA artists confirmed that the plug-in ranks among the most accurate analog emulations in UA history.
Built for the 2-Bus
API designed the 2500 compressor with program material firmly in mind. Its Release control includes fixed or variable options, while the Attack, Threshold, and Ratio controls offer musical tweaking throughout their range, making the API 2500 a toneful dynamics overlord for your stereo bus.
Shaping Tone and Dynamics
The API 2500 allows selection between three custom-voiced compression Knees — Soft, Medium, and Hard. You can shape the tone further with two compression types; "Old" for characterful peak-detection harkening back to API's earliest, highly-coveted 525, or "New", which features a modern feed-forward design.
Thrust Control for Unmatched Punch
Taken from their Paragon series of consoles, the API 2500’s Thrust feature puts a filter before the RMS detector, evening high and low frequency energy — so neither triggers the compressor more than the other. This gives you a tight hallmark API punch beyond any other compressor.
Enhance Energy and Motion
Most compressors only allow you to turn left/right linking on or off. The API 2500 Bus Compressor Link parameters allow for precision control of your mix's L/R dynamic interaction. Set exactly how much dependence — or independence — you want your L/R spatial dynamics field to have, and hone your dynamic contours even further with the Shape control.
“The API 2500 Bus Compressor is the only piece of analog gear that’s stayed consistent with me through the years. Now with the UAD plug-in there is finally a worthy model.”
– Vance Powell (Jack White, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)
My go-to bus compressor now!Read More
Pretty darn close to the real thing.
I've had the hardware 2500 for a number of years now as my main stereo is compressor. I tested out the waves version and the UAD version and decided on the UAD one. It's REALLY close to the original....Read More
Almost like the real thing
It sounds almost exactly like an API 2500 compressor. I'd say we're 90% there. It does have the API attitude, but doesn't have the tone. The bass is much bigger and tighter in the hardware, and dense...Read More
Beautiful sounding on drum and mix buss.Read More
as for me, the best hardware bus compressor and now best software bus compressor everRead More
Painstakingly modeled by Universal Audio's plugin design team, licensed and authenticated by Automated Processes, Inc.,
Beloved Paul Wolff-era API design, exclusively measured from the all-discrete, in-console version of the 2500
Provides the entire circuit path and control set of the API hardware including custom API op amps and transformers
Signature API 2500 features include patented Thrust® sidechain filtering, "New" and "Old" Compressor Types, and Variable Sidechain Link
Plug-in-only features include Dry/Wet parallel processing and Headroom for user-customizable operating level
Includes artist presets from Vance Powell, Jeff Balding, Ryan Hewitt and Adam Hawkins
API 2500 Bus Compressor
My go-to bus compressor now!
Pretty darn close to the real thing.
I've had the hardware 2500 for a number of years now as my main stereo is compressor. I tested out the waves version and the UAD version and decided on the UAD one. It's REALLY close to the original. I've switched between the plugin and the hardware in sessions and they perform the same and sound almost identical.
The only spot the plugin lacks is the sonic 'bloom' the original has when boosting the makeup gain knob.
Almost like the real thing
It sounds almost exactly like an API 2500 compressor. I'd say we're 90% there. It does have the API attitude, but doesn't have the tone. The bass is much bigger and tighter in the hardware, and dense mixes tend to collapse when compressed hard on the software, which doesn't happen with the hardware. However, I have to admit UA did a great job and for a fraction of the cost of a real 2500, it's up to you to decide if the difference is worth it or not (probably worth it if you're doing some mastering though).
Beautiful sounding on drum and mix buss.
as for me, the best hardware bus compressor and now best software bus compressor ever
I bought a 3 plug in package recently, and for some reason chose the Dangerous BAX Collection as my third option. I was at that point where I knew I wanted the SVT, and the AMS Verb...and thought why the hell not try the BAX. THE NEXT DAY, I demoed the API 2500 and instantly had the most intense buyers remorse!
This thing sounds so good on everything. I run it on the 2 bus, the drum bus, guitar bus...the list goes on. Not to mention all the amazing features, the mix knob being my favorite for that sweet parallel compression.
I immediately emailed UAD and begged them to swap the license for the BAX for the API 2500, a week went by and I was sad....UNTIL I GOT AN EMAIL CONFIRMING THE SWITCH HAPPENED. Endless thanks to UAD for making amazing products and helping out a customer who made a thoughtless decision due to an itchy trigger finger.
This thing rules.
PI 2500 Bus Compressor
best api 2500 emulation
Instantly my go to compressor for buses.
It's great on everything, but especially great on drums. Get that pop that you know and love!
My favorite plug-in. Killer for synths!
Great work from UAD best emulation, works really fine for me.
Nice. Another great plugin from UA.
Character with compression as a bonus!
I reach for this on the 2-bus for the textural warmth and image enhancement it brings in droves, whether I particularly need compression or not. It's like compression is a bonus. Of course it helps that it's also a great compressor, but that's almost not its primary feature for me!
This plug-in is simply amazing. It handles whatever you throw at it with complete authority and creates space in a way that is very rare.
The tonal nuances and detail it brings is very special and suits what I want in sonics perfectly.
Smooth Like Butter
This compressor can go anywhere and do anything. Putting it on any instrument, track, or mix, immediately glues it together in a subtle and beautiful way. There is something about API 2500's signature compression sound that really adds depth and soul to whatever goes through it.
API Goodness abounds...
I have a bunch of API 500 series gear including the 525 compressor. While I can't say the plugin sounds just like the API 2500 hardware unit, it most definitely has that "API" character. It is fantastic on drum and mix busses.
Deep and beautiful
Great piece of kit. It has a learning curve as there are a lot of controls, but it's all very meaningful. Sounds stunning.
Drum Bus dream come true.
Using this across the drum bus tightens everything and adds a fatness that wouldn't translate other wise. Sometimes, I use a very hard settling on it and drive the input so that it almost clips, giving it a overdriven sound which can be fun. I wouldn't say this compressor is transparent so I'm not sure I would use it on the stereo bus but it's perfect over my drums, couldn't be happier.