Babelson offers its BB-CMP digital multiband compression effect in VST, AU, and AAX plugin formats for free ($149.99 value).
This offer is only available for a very limited time and requires the iLok License Manager for activation. The iLok License Manager is a free download that doesn’t require an iLok USB key.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff.
The BB-CMP is a multiband processor that allows you to split the input signal using the low pass and high pass filters. Splitting the input signal makes it possible to process each band individually before being summed as the final output. It offers compression, limiting, enhancing, and gate at the flick of a switch.
Processing each band individually lets you be more precise in the way you sculpt your sound. I like this particularly for drum compression with the slowest attack and fast release on the low end.
The slow attack allows the compressor to return to zero before the next kick comes. By doing that, you maintain that “human feel” without strangling it to death. You might want to apply a faster attack to the high end just to make sure it sits perfectly in the mix or even leave it untouched.
Each band comes with the expected adjusters; release, attack, ratio, threshold, color, and makeup gain. The threshold on each band is the largest knob, directly underneath the VU meters.
Overall, I like the GUI, standard mouse/trackpad fiddling aside; it’s a pretty intuitive layout. The arched slider filter control is positioned centrally between the VU meters, and you’ll find yourself reaching for it frequently as you tweak.
Directly beneath the filter control, there is a single button for switching between analog and digital modes. Depending on your settings, the difference between the two isn’t always dramatic. But, you can feel a little extra warmth/shine in analog mode, which adds character without any unwanted analog noise.
A less critical aspect of the GUI is that it looks fantastic. It’s never about style over substance, but the lovely vintage styling does add to the user experience.
I’ve had fun playing around with BB-CMP, and I’m looking forward to diving deeper into it. There are other free multiband compressors (such as Uraleq), limiters, and so on, but sometimes they have little quirks that remind you they are free plugins. Babelson’s BB-CMP feels like the paid plugin that it will soon be again.
BB-CMP is available in VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for compatible digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.
More info: BB-CMP ($149.99 value, free for a limited time)