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Baby Audio I Heart NY 2 Review- What You Should Know

Compression is an absolutely essential tool in producing, mixing, and mastering. So naturally, there is an abundance of compressor plugins on the market, each one offering very different uses and features. In this article, we dive into the IHNY2 compressor, by Baby Audio, to see what sets it apart from everything else.

Baby Audio INHY2 Parallel Compressor (Quick Review)

whippedcreamsounds

Overall Compression Sound, Punch and Clarity
Warmth and Colour
Ease of Use
Applications on Buses and Individual Instruments
Versatility
UI
Compression transparency

Verdict

Baby Audio's IHNY-2 makes every sound you throw at it, thicker, warmer, punchier… just better. Clean, punchy, warm New York-style compression without the unwanted harmonics and hiss, giving the punch you need for a modern, in-your-face sound. A must-have for all producers and audio engineers.

4.6

Is INHY2 Worth it?

Compatibility: VST, AU, AAX, NKS ( Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.17+, 64-bit only)
Price:
$69 (intro price $39 – Sept 30th 2022, upgrade $19)

The answer is yes! The easy-to-use UI and controls, how quick it is to get a good sound out of it, and the sheer quality of the sound for the price, make this deceptively simple plugin incredibly easy to say yes to. The INHY is no one trick pony with this new addition.

Pros

✅ Incredibly clean, punchy compression that doesn't introduce unwanted harmonics or hiss

✅ Fantastic and unique tweak settings such as the punch, harmonics, and shape controls

✅ Sounds great! Not just on a bus, but on individual instruments too

✅ Exceptionally quick workflow. With a few button presses, you'll get great-sounding compression

✅ Intuitive UI makes using the plugin fun whilst discovering new options that you may not have thought of in another plugin

✅ Not too heavy on the CPU

Cons

Whilst visually pleasing and intuitive, sometimes the UI can make visualizing what the compression does to the sound difficult, which may be unhelpful to beginners using this product.

The harmonics and shape settings could offer further customization, as the harmonic setting is limited to the mid-range and the shape is limited to essentially scooping out the mids.

Gain reduction amount is not very clear

What is INHY 2 and What Does it Do?

baby audio i heart ny 2 parallel compressor

The INHY2 compressor builds upon its predecessor, offering a simple yet effective version of the New York style parallel compression sound. However, this time it comes with far more control and customisation options, allowing real command over the sound.

The New York style compression traditionally has a huge powerful sound but doesn't sacrifice dynamics for this power by having the compression on a separate bus . Baby Audio have sought to emulate this classic sound with this plugin.

The newly added settings to the I Heart NY parallel compressor combined with Baby Audio's usual complex algorithm offer true precision and character with a true parallel compression workflow that also works on individual instruments as well as the traditional use of buses.

Parallel compression is very helpful in helping parts of a track come to the front of the mix, whether that be thundering drum sounds, in your face vocals or speaker-shaking bass. Parallel compression is usually blended on a bus with the dry signal to give your sound an addictively punchy flavor, using settings such as high ratio compression and a fully wet audio signal.

How Does It Sound?

The I Heart NY 2 is quickly noticeable for how punchy yet transparent it sounds.

Putting it on a drum bus, cranking the compression amount, punch, and harmonics settings, instantly beefs up drum loops, giving them the addictive knock and crunch they need. To put it shortly, it does what it's supposed to and sounds punchy doing it, while remaining transparent.

We were very impressed with how much you can push this simple plugin to give varying results, and just how quickly you can get a good sound set up in.

We found this parallel compression plugin very useful on both our Ableton Live audio effect racks and on a separate bus for drums, vocals or bass.

Additionally, when compared with industry-standard plugins on a drum bus, such as the Waves CLA compressors and Fabfilter Pro-C2, we found that the I Heart NY offered the most punch and precision.

We left a few examples below for you to listen to and discern for yourself.

Sound Examples

Drums (Before)

Drums (After)

Bass (Before)

Bass (After)

Vocals (Before)

Vocals (After)

What Features Do I Get With INHY2?

Visualiser and Slider

baby audio IHNY2 dry wet control

As usual with Baby Audio products, what helps it stand out immediately is the ease of use and the UI. With a draggable slider to adjust the dry wet signal and amount alongside a visualiser that allows you to see the attack and release of the compressor, it's easy to not only hear, but see how the compressor is affecting the audio.

This way of dragging the slider around makes it really easy to get a good sound quickly, which can then be edited in more detail later on. It's fantastic for worfklow!

Autogain and Output

autogain and output control parallel compressor

The output setting here works like any usual output knob in a compressor, it controls how loud the volume is after the dry and wet signal have been blended.

The autogain setting attenuates the gain in real time and adjusts to the settings you use. This allows you to hear the compression for what it is really doing to the signal, and avoids you being tricked into thinking it sounds better because it's louder.

Another great thing (which really shouldn't be great because it should just be standard) is, that Baby Audio doesn't automatically open every new instance with an increased output gain to make you think it sounds better. This is a technique used by some plugin manufacturers to trick you into thinking the sound is better with the plugin by default.

Solo Button

ihny2 review solo button

The solo button allows you to isolate the wet or parallel signal, which can be great in helping you understand how the compression is affecting the original audio. This is very useful for hearing what you are doing and making sure that you are making informed decisions when mixing.

Tweak

baby audio ihny2 review tweak panel

Here is where this plugin gets really interesting. The sheer amount of options in the “tweak” panel, combined with how simple they are to use, is fantastic for shaping your compressor's sound.

By pressing the tweak button, you are provided with 7 different characteristics of compression, with the ability to adjust it to your liking. Firstly, you have the typical attack and release setting (which wasn't present on the first I Heart NY Compressor).

attack and release settings IHNY2

After attack and release, you have a ratio control that sits before the first set of unique settings, which are the punch and harmonics controls.

The punch setting beefs up the low end in a greatly satisfying way, while the harmonics feature creates additional harmonics in the midrange, avoiding potential resonance in the low and high end.

This is one of the features that really sets IHNY-2 apart from the other parallel compression and compression tools available on the market. You can tweak and push the sound in many directions before having to reach for another effect to sculpt your sound.

harmonics and punch IHNY2

Next up, you get a shape setting, which allows the tonal shape of the compression to have the mids scooped from it (if desired). This is extremely useful to have when carving spaces out in mixes. In scenarios where you want the mid-range to be occupied by other instruments than your bass sound, for instance, the shaping functionality is brilliant.

tilt and low-end preservation

Finally, you get tilt, high and low-end preservation filter settings, which are amazing to use when you want to quickly shift the sound of your compressor from bright to dark or to filter out the lows quickly and easily.

Specifically, the low-end preservation setting is extremely useful. There are many instances where you don't want to compress the low-end sub frequencies of your bass, and rather than opening up an annoying audio effect rack chain or set of busses – IHNY-2 allows you to do this with the click of a button.

Using these features can give you a very precise, controlled parallel compression sound, and we're all for it.

What About The Technical Stuff?

How Hard is the INHY2 on The CPU?

baby audio IHNY2 cpu stress test mac settings

We stress-tested the IHNY-2 on a 2017 iMac, running Monterey 12.5 with 16GB RAM and a 4.2GHz quad-core. Using just over 20 instances of the plugin open with several tracks in the project and a high sample rate, there were no crashes, but the CPU increased to 50% usage.

We also opened up the INHY2 on one project that was very intense on the CPU and happily found that it didn't add much more weight to the processor, or even affect the playback of the project.

This is very lightweight and will easily run on most newer systems.

What Does My System Need To Run It?

The Baby Audio INHY2 is compatible with Mac OS 10.7 and up (including Native and also PC Windows 7 and up. The plugin is also compatible with all major DAWs such as Logic, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, FL Studio, Reaper, Reason, Cubase, Bitwig etc.

What About UI & Utility? How Easy is It To Use & Any Stand-out Features?

baby audio i heart ny 2 parallel compressor

IHNY-2 is exceptionally easy to use. The visualiser and parallel signal slider buttons, make it a joy to use and quick to get a good sound – which helps to mold an environment where a productive workflow is present.

Additionally, the stripped-back UI doesn't strip back on control, giving you a plethora of options to create compression the way you want it to sound.

The preset browser is simple and easy to use, like most Baby Audio products. However, we didn't get to explore it fully as the presets were not out at the time of using it. Additionally we weren't able to resize it, but we're not sure if that's an early access thing or not.

All in all, IHNY-2 is an aesthetically pleasing plugin, that yields advanced results. Our only nitpick (and it really is a nitpick), is that it's difficult to see what the compressor is doing. This makes it something we would recommend beginners avoid until they understand compression.

How Does INHY2 Stand Up To The Competition?

When tested against the Waves CLA compressors and FabFilter Pro C2, IHNY-2 stood up well. With a simple design, precise sound, and transparency, IHNY-2 is a fantastic option for setting up a parallel compression in your mix.

Tested against plugins such as the CLA compressors by Waves for parallel processing, we found that Baby Audio's effort brought more clarity, punch, and precision in the mix when comparing solely on sound.

The UI is a lot simpler than the competition but still allows for total control over the sound. In fact, IHNY-2 includes a lot of features that simply aren't available in a lot of compressors on the market (mentioned above).

The one downside, when compared, is that it's difficult to see how the compression is affecting audio in real-time, as there doesn't seem to be any visual feedback.

Baby Audio INHY2 Parallel Compressor (Quick Review)

whippedcreamsounds

Overall Compression Sound, Punch and Clarity
Warmth and Colour
Ease of Use
Applications on Buses and Individual Instruments
Versatility
UI
Transparency

Verdict

Baby Audio's IHNY-2 makes every sound you throw at it, thicker, warmer, punchier… just better. Clean, punchy, warm New York-style compression without the unwanted harmonics and hiss, giving the punch you need for a modern, in-your-face sound. A must-have for all producers and audio engineers.

4.6
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