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The I Heart NY compressor is already a favorite of many music makers. It’s popular because it makes parallel compression easy and affordable.See also: Free Compressor VST Plugins
When I was a young musician, I focused far more on composition and harmony than mixing or production techniques.
It wasn’t till a year or two into it that I took an interest in how the other side of the studio worked. Before then, I’d hear certain things mentioned often, and parallel compression was one of them.
So, for anyone who might be like I was back then, parallel compression, in simple terms, is when a dry (unprocessed) signal is mixed with a heavily compressed signal. It’s often used on drums, and it’s a great way to apply heavy compression without losing all sense of dynamics.
It’s also known as New York compression.
The I Heart NY plugin works by splitting your input signal in two. One signal goes straight through, and the other is sent through the Spank control.
The Spank knob controls how much high-ratio compression you want to apply to the parallel signal. It also adds some EQ and a filter that preserves some more of the low-end. Used on the right source, it can really beef up your sound.
The next stop on the GUI is the Parallel Signal fader, which controls the level of the parallel signal that is added to your dry signal. It’s effortless to use, but you do need to be responsible with the Parallel Signal fader. If you don’t adjust it accordingly to suit your dry signal, you won’t get the proper effect.
The Output knob controls the level of the combined signal. The last function to mention is the Solo button, which turns off the dry signal, giving you a standard compressor.
I can see why a lot of people like this plugin. It’s straightforward and effective.
New York compression is popular on drums, but it can be applied to just about anything when done tastefully; or distastefully if that’s what you’re going for. As dull as it may sound, drums and synths are my primary use for this kind of compression but feel free to go wild with it.
Lastly, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a longtime Loopcloud user, and I love it. It’s no sales pitch, I just have phases when I need access to a lot of samples, and I’ve always been able to find what I need there.
I Heart NY is available for macOS and Windows in AU, VST, VST3, and AAX formats.