API® 2500 Bus Compressor

API® 2500 Bus Compressor


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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

Take a Listen
API 2500 5-Minute Tip
API 2500 5-Minute Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Watch The Reviews

      Key Features

      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

      Customer Reviews

      API 2500 Bus Compressor

      Overall Rating

      J. Morrison

      January 13, 2022


      Use this on anything, track’s, groups, mixbus & mastering, awesome!

      UAD User

      January 11, 2022


      I put this on my percussion bus and the section just sing! You can hear the effect of the compression in action, but that's not a bad thing in the case of this plugin as the compression is incredibly musical. I'm lucky enough to have used a real API 2500 Bus Compressor and this plugin sounds just like it. Brilliant!

      S. Eaton

      January 7, 2022

      Produces expected results, which is a good thing!

      Can be a little "thick" in the low mids like the hardware so you need to be careful if your mixes often suffer from low-mid build up, but overall it's very good and probably the best emulation out there. The only thing more 2500 than this is the actual hardware. I like the fact UA have now started including functions that aren't on the hardware too like mix controls etc.

      N. Edwards

      January 2, 2022


      Love this bus compressor. So useful having the mix control.

      L. Martella

      December 15, 2021

      Great plug-in

      Great plug-in, manages to give precision and character

      R. Matthews

      November 29, 2021

      Unreal!! This is amazing!! Great sound!!! UAD ROCKS!!

      A. Thomas

      November 9, 2021

      Wow, great & flexible compressor.

      I have many of the UA compressors. I love this for a simple and flexible compressor with a bit of vibe.

      Works great on almost anything: vocals, bass, busses…

      It works really well as the integrated extension in Luna - nice to be able to dial it in just in the mix window and use native processing rather than the UA DSP resources.

      Its variable compression ratio and switchable options really allow a lot of compression choices from one unit, but it also adds a bit of clean, warm vibe.

      T. KIM

      August 17, 2021

      API 2500 good to any buss but I recommend drum buss

      just put it and 1,2 db GR then magic happen

      C. Lema

      July 16, 2021


      Un glue para el Mixbus , los hace suave y sutil.

      W. Son

      July 16, 2021

      The best compressor for Korean traditional drum.

      I like this on Janggu sounds. Clean and beautiful.

      P. Pacey

      July 14, 2021

      Been waiting to pull the trigger on this for a while...

      Just use it mainly for the mix glue and bus glue as intended and works a charm. spot on.

      A. Miyamoto

      July 7, 2021


      I also own a version of waves, but I feel that UAD is closer to the real thing. Both are wonderful.

      F. zakariya

      June 24, 2021

      Great bus compressor with caractere

      I love it in drum bus very clean and powerful

      Y. Lu

      June 23, 2021

      Great bus compressor

      Using it through LUNA now all the time, especially for mastering.

      T. Turner

      June 22, 2021

      Compression with character.

      I have worked with this compressor in real life but never owned one personally. I’ve had emulations before that didn’t get it right until now. UA nailed it.

      B. Jordana

      June 18, 2021



      B. Vincent

      June 16, 2021

      I lOVE it! my fav VCA comp!

      I use waves api2500 . now my dream came true able to use api2500 UAD!

      G. Perez

      June 11, 2021

      Love it

      Good for anything gives it that live juice and power

      L. Tian Siung

      June 8, 2021

      Always on Drum Bus

      It stay on my drum bus all the time

      T. Lanese

      May 16, 2021

      The best way to refine a mix

      very efficient on drums and mix buss; rich of harmonics and super versatile on everything needs more punch