Mixing engineers are on a never ending quest for low end. Not enough and your mix is weak and sounds like a demo. Have too much and it sounds bloated and boomy. Get it right and your mix is big and powerful sounding. That’s why there are tons of different techniques and plugins that focus only on the low frequencies of a mix. Another plugin in this category with a slightly different approach is Low Control from newcomer Black Salt Audio.
As the name implies, Low Control focuses on the low frequencies of a sound source, making it perfect for kick and bass especially, but useful for any other mix element that could use some additional low end enhancement. It’s simple in concept and execution, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful.
The plugin is centered around just two elements – a low frequency compressor (Control) and a frequency saturator (Enhance). The compressor provides a Threshold control, and the amount of compression is indicated on the Low Control meter. A Low Gain control allows you to dial in the amount of low end that you want. That said, the real key to all this is the Crossover slider control at the bottom of the panel. This sets the frequency where the compressor will begin to work.
The Enhance section of the processor is pretty simple, with a large Enhance control that sets the amount of harmonic saturation, and an Enhance Frequency control beneath it that sets where in the frequency spectrum the enhancement will occur.
There’s also a stereo output meter with an output control, and a Solo Low button that allows you to just hear the frequencies that you’re working on. Both the Control and Enhance sections can also be bypassed with on/off controls in the upper corners of the plugin.
Low Control costs $99 and is available for both Mac and PC on AU, VST3 and AAX plugin formats. You can find out more, and hear various examples of the plugin in use on the Black Salt Audio website, or check out the video below for a nice overview.