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Baby Audio Comeback Kid review

How does the full version of Baby Audio’s new delay shape up?

  • £39
  • $49
Baby Audio Comeback Kid
(Image: © Future)

Pros

  • Great and varied sound.
  • Particularly like the Shaper sections and Ducker option.
  • Easy controls and no hidden menus.
  • Good range of presets.

Cons

  • Flavor options can be a little subtle and indistinct.

What is it?

Last month’s Computer Music had a rather great freebie in the shape of Baby Audio’s Baby Comeback CM, a plugin especially put together for us by Baby Audio and an exceptional delay that is capable of providing sublime results. 

It is based on Comeback Kid, Baby Audio’s latest delay, so now it’s time to look at this bigger version to see what you get for not such a big outlay.

As we fell in love with our freebie, you won’t be surprised to learn that there’s a lot more to love in Comeback Kid. Like Baby Comeback CM, Kid has three BPM-synced modes – Straight, Dotted and Triplet – to offer different timed delays, while the main Time dial allows you to select intervals down to 1/64th note.

Those pretty cool Flavor options are also included again, which add a lot of character to the sound. However, this time you get to dial in the actual amounts of Tape effect (for saturation), Swirl (for phasing) and Sauce (for a shimmery reverb), while a Cheap button gives you a kind of low bit-rate distortion, but quite a subtle one. 

These are great effects overall, if sometimes a little indistinct from one another.
Over on the opposite bottom left corner you get a set of Stereo options to bring width to the delays, either with a Pan control, Wider or Richer, which uses a pitch-shifting algorithm for a more dramatic widening effect. 

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A Shaper on the top left offers two quite dramatic filtering options, while the Attack and Sustain dials introduce some transient designing so you can emphasise certain elements to be delayed – we had some terrific results on pretty simple sounds, homing in on specific frequencies and then emphasising the effect with the Sustain dial.

You can also hear it in full effect on some of the presets like one called Pick Up The Telephone. Needless to say things get pretty dramatic when you start dialling in different times and increase the feedback with the main dials and the output mix, but a useful Ducker control also cleans things up a little as it ducks the delay when the dry signal plays.

Performance and verdict

Use the presets, learn the plugin

With any plugin, we always say it’s best to dive in and experiment rather than just use presets, but in this case they not only provide a great starting point and give you an indication of the breadth of sound available, but also help you to understand how each section on the UI will impact on the overall Kid sound.

There are some great slapback type delays (Slapback Vibe) that can be boosted with that Sustain dial; some quite dynamic effects where the Ducker can be heard in full effect (Chaos Motion); and others (Metal Box) where the Hi-Cut dial ably affects the transients. 

Others like Lots Of Sauce are pure, evocative ambience where, if you nudge the Feedback and mix dials up, you’ll be instantly chilled; and at the other end of the scale, Guitar Lead Dirty Slap gives you cleaner and perhaps more mix friendly, tighter delays, and displays the breadth of sound Comeback Kid is capable of.

Conclusion

As we’ve already given our seal of approval to the cutdown version, it’s almost inevitable that Comeback Kid will get a thumbs up from us, and it really does, especially for the price. 

We particularly love messing around with the envelope and filter options and that Ducker dial adds a touch of class, all meaning that Comeback Kid really can deliver a varied, quality sound that is right up there with that from much pricier options. 

And of course if you don’t believe us, buy our last issue for a flavour of what this Kid can deliver.

MusicRadar verdict: Comeback Kid is an easy to use but surprisingly flexible delay that rewards experimentation, giving a great sound.

The web says

"It’s hard to ignore Comeback Kid’s multi-faceted presets. This is more than just a delay plug-in, with presets that add lo-fi crunch, chorus, movement and a variety of delay types. Perhaps it would be best served by adding multiple instances to a bus and applying various blends of colour and time for some wicked sound-design action."
MusicTech

"Comeback Kid is a blast to use. Just like the Baby Audio I Heart NY plugin, by tweaking the controls it’s easy to get good results quickly, including some unique, ear-popping effects."
Recording Mag

"Comeback Kid is more than just a delay. It can be used as an effect in itself with all of the flavor, stereo, and transient designer glory you could ever need. Pair it with SUPER VHS, and you’ve got a monster on your hands."
Everything Recording

 

Hands-on demos

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Specifications

  • Type: Plugin delay (VST, VST3, AU, AAX)
  • Key Features: 61 presets, Flavor section with 14 controls to change character of effect; Off-mode allows plugin tools to be used on dry signal; Daytime/Night time display modes
  • System requirements: Mac OS 10.7 and newer; PC Windows 7 and newer
  • DAW compatibility: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason and more
  • Contact: Baby Audio