Parallel compression is a trick that everyone loves once they try it. The problem is that it takes a little time to set up if you use the classic technique of a separate buss and return with various processors on the insert. Thankfully we’ve been seeing blend controls on many new compressors which almost gets you there, but that can be taken to yet another level with a dedicated parallel processor plugin. That’s exactly what the new Parallel Aggressor plugin from Baby Audio does.
Parallel Aggressor is not a simple parallel compression plugin. In fact it takes parallel processing several steps beyond with 3 controllable channels – Dry (the original signal), Spank (a heavily compressed duplicate), and Heat (a heavily saturated duplicate).
The Spank channel offers a punchy compression algorithm designed to adapt to your audio signal. There’s a separate control to select the amount of compression besides the channel level control, plus Style injection buttons for Extra Punch, Extra Smack, a fixed Sidechain Filter, and Mono selections.
Heat is a warm, analog modeled, saturation algorithm with an aggressive bite. It also has a separate control to select the amount of saturation besides the channel level control, plus Style injection buttons for Extra Hot, Tone for more midrange bite, 150Hz High-Pass Filter, and 7.5kHz Low-Pass Filter.
The plugin also features Auto Gain to ensure that the combined output of the two processed signals roughly matches the input/dry level. This is important because it’s easy for a plugin this powerful to get out of control if you’re not careful.
The UI is novel with either a dark, grey, or light interface and some interesting visual indicators for the amount of processing that your adding via the semi-circles on each side of the plugin, as well as the halo indicators around the Spank and Heat amount controls.
Baby Audio’s Parallel Aggressor is available for just $49. There’s a free trial version available, but it outputs 5 seconds of silence every 60 seconds until the plugin is activated with a license key. It will work on both Mac and PC platforms and with most DAWs.
You can find out more, plus listen to a number of examples on the dedicated page, or check out the video below.