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)
“The API 2500 is my all-time favorite drum bus compressor. The Punch and sound is unmatched by any other in it's class. This is a must have in any studio.”
“The API 2500 plug‑in has all the same character and punch as the original hardware.”
– Adam Hawkins (Twenty One Pilots, Switchfoot, Keith Urban)
Watch The Reviews
November 5, 2019
hands down the closest you will get next to the real unit itself.... in comparison to waves ua plugin has a cleaner sound and slightly more high end..Read More
October 24, 2019
Fantastic on drums
I use this bus compressor on drum. It sounds fantanstic.Read More
September 3, 2019
ABSOLUTE TONE BEAST
Very versatile color box as well as dynamics shaper. Learning curve is not too steep, but once you get it....this thing is an absolute beast.Read More
August 27, 2019
Versatile, but also specifically suited to what I like
I've had my share of pricey compressor plugins. Many of them i liked and do like very much. I never found a bus comp that I absolutely loved before this one. I spent some time doing...Read More
August 13, 2019
no other words ...fantastic!Read More
July 23, 2019
Good glues mix. Especially good for dance music...Read 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
hands down the closest you will get next to the real unit itself.... in comparison to waves ua plugin has a cleaner sound and slightly more high end..
Fantastic on drums
I use this bus compressor on drum. It sounds fantanstic.
ABSOLUTE TONE BEAST
Very versatile color box as well as dynamics shaper. Learning curve is not too steep, but once you get it....this thing is an absolute beast.
Versatile, but also specifically suited to what I like
I've had my share of pricey compressor plugins. Many of them i liked and do like very much. I never found a bus comp that I absolutely loved before this one. I spent some time doing shootouts recently with the UA 2500 and G Bus Comp against several comparable compressors. The SSL, which I don't own but now want quite badly, was the easiest to get everything to really snap hard. Paired up against other SSL emulations, I was surprised how much it actually stood out. It has a thicker, bassier quality that I've heard some say isnt characteristic of the hardware but i dont know nor care much about that. I work on plenty of hip hop and electronic stuff, including my own projects, and the "roundness" of it really appealed to me, especially since it kicks like a mule. Which brings me back to the 2500. It was the only one in the running with the SSL but ultimately won the shootout for me because I can imitate the snappiness of the G comp with a bit of tweaking but I also get thrust, another compression mode, and something really nice happening with the mids. More importantly the 2500 does something i really like with drums. Its hard to describe, but I feel that - especially with syncopated drum patterns some quirk of the attack and release stages just move with the groove in a really pleasing way. Utterly subjective, unscientific nonsense but my impression was that while the SSL made drums and transients just lovely, the 2500 compelled me to nod my head when I brought it out of bypass. Just a great comp among great comps.
no other words ...fantastic!
Good glues mix. Especially good for dance music...
Je n'en attendais pas moins! Super pratique, facile à utiliser, et quel son!!
I Had already used other 2500 plug-ings, But they are no match for this one. It responds just like the hardware. But it's affordable for everyone. It's my new go-to Compresor.
Fantastic sounding compressor
API 2500 -- Immediate Punch
Creates immediate punch and brings out the vibe of the mix.
Love the mix nob, as well as the HP and LP filters.
Works as advertised on drum busses.
Very handy as a 2-buss mixing tool.
Really this plug is fantastic! I don’t have the hardware but to me hear so good! Must!!!
So cool to get it in the rack. Fat and Punchy
From "great" to "wow!"
The API 2500 is my new favorite drum buss compressor. I had a drummer in who I have worked with for years. He always likes the drum sounds we get but after inserting the API 2500 on the drum buss, he was visibly happy. From "great" to "wow!" I'll take that any day.
Now if you could only make a Great River unison preamp...
Preserves guitar grit, crunch and clarity ...
I had read reviews of the hardware unit and it’s ability to feed signal back in that helped preserve the nuanced grit and crunch in heavy guitars... So I had high expectations, and what I got was great— exactly what I have come to expect from all UAD plugs. Solid five stars .
THE MAGICAL DRUM BUS!
I use this almost every time on my drum bus! It just has that glue that everyone is looking for. 10/10 recommend this for every engineer!
GoTo Tool for Drums
So powerful for Clubkicks!
I use it in every Session
Better mixes right away
I just got this and only just started using this on a mix I'm currently doing, so I don't yet have extensive experience to write a comprehensive review. But, as soon as I connected it and called up one of the presets, I could instantly hear a punchier and warmer sound than I've been getting from my UAD SSL G Bus Compressor I've been using for years now. The API has a much bigger set of controls for sound shaping, so this is likely to be my go-to bus compressor from now on!
This beast is a killer machine !
So soft and delicate. So strong and fast. This is must have piece of gear. Thank you UAD team !
Put it anywhere you like.
The compressor will immediately feel the difference.
My favorite compressor!!!!
Great work UAD