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

      N. Assolo

      July 19, 2019


      Je n'en attendais pas moins! Super pratique, facile à utiliser, et quel son!!

      M. Flores

      July 18, 2019

      Astonishingly Accurate

      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.

      S. pucheu

      July 15, 2019

      Absolutely amazing

      Fantastic sounding compressor

      UAD User

      July 11, 2019

      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.

      A. Kouvatsis

      July 9, 2019


      Really this plug is fantastic! I don’t have the hardware but to me hear so good! Must!!!

      m. olivier

      July 4, 2019

      HAPPY 2500

      So cool to get it in the rack. Fat and Punchy

      S. Peterson

      July 2, 2019

      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...

      C. Horsethief

      June 26, 2019

      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 .

      B. Cauti

      June 24, 2019


      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!

      C. Patrick

      June 21, 2019

      GoTo Tool for Drums

      So powerful for Clubkicks!
      I use it in every Session
      Love it!!

      S. Presley

      June 21, 2019

      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!

      S. BEDJA

      June 20, 2019


      Très efficace

      M. Shortanov

      June 20, 2019

      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 !

      M. CISCATO

      June 19, 2019


      Put it anywhere you like.
      The compressor will immediately feel the difference.
      My favorite compressor!!!!

      Great work UAD

      K. Haritatos

      June 18, 2019

      API 2500

      So match character! It will be my favourite drum buss.

      P. Drube

      June 18, 2019

      THE bus compressor!

      Put it on the master bus, just a tiny gain reduction and a lot of the mixing is already done! Awesome...I also have the waves version, but this one sounds for me much more fuller and rounder. Thanks UAD

      D. Frankhuizen

      June 16, 2019


      Huge Bus compressor, apply liberally. Or just use it once. All to taste but this sounds just like the hardware.

      G. Livingston

      June 15, 2019

      API makes it bang!

      It makes my drums pop and brings all of my mixes together! It's the glue that binds us!

      R. Holl

      June 15, 2019

      API 2500

      I have the original API 2500 - The UAD Plug-In does not have to hide!
      Great ! Thanks UAD !

      n. jean-pierre

      June 14, 2019

      Excellent plugins

      Ce compresseur réputé apporte aux mixages stéréo et aux sous-groupes l’énergie, le mouvement et un son comme aucun autre, avec une précision absolue.