Bass guitar is a fundamental instrument in the context of a rhythm section and can take much processing in order to sit properly and do its job in a mix. Developers and bass aficionados NeuralDSP released a processor (plug-in & standalone) wholly dedicated to crafting a sick bass guitar tone. It’s called Parallax and it can be described as incorporating proven contemporary bass augmentation and mixing techniques into a flexible multi-band processor.
At its core is the method of parallel bass processing where treble frequencies are typically distorted and low frequencies are heavily compressed to obtain a big and present tone. Though there is more to Parallax, of course. The arsenal includes a distortion unit with separate controls for the mid and high-frequency spectrums to balance between thickness and clarity.
The bus compressor unit is tailored for low end enhancement and includes a low-pass filter to remove a specific amount of bass from the distorted sound. A six-band graphic equalizer is available for fine frequency tuning and a cabinet simulator with virtual microphone positioning, exclusively affecting Mid and High bands, finishes the plug-in. To get you started, Parallax includes over 100 presets from a good deal of competent artists and producers such as Nolly Getgood, Ermin Hamidovic and Kane Churko.
As a bass distortion and enhancement tool, Parallax seems to go a long way. Of course, the need for its particular processing methods is dependant on the genre of music you are dealing with. Then again, if you like your funk and jazz tunes with a growling bass tone, by all means have at it!
Price and availability
Priced EUR 99, Parallax is available in 64-bit VST, VST3, AU, AAX, and standalone versions for Windows and Mac computers. It’s authorized via the free iLock License Manager software. An iLok USB dongle is not required.