There is no denying that dynamics are crucial for a good sounding mix. Moreover, the efforts to polish a track with various dynamic processors seems to be never-ending. Fortunately, there are some unique processors which are delivering some great results. Therefore in the following tutorial, we’ll cover a software emulation of analog outboard gear named UBK-1 by Kush Audio.
Kush Audio UBK-1
The Kush Audio is known for their high-end analog gear, but recently they started to make software versions of their popular units. Generally, the primary feature of the UBK-1 compressor is the movement. What makes this plugin unique is the series of three distinct texturizing and motion generating engines, which are arranged in the serial and parallel interface. The result of that particular processor architecture is a very creative tool that gives you the power to shape, enhance and even to completely redefine the groove of every element in your mix.
Let’s start by adding a fresh instance of the UBK-1 on the master channel of the short loop that I have previously made. We will go over UBK-1 features and parameters followed by some practical audio examples.
Upon opening of UBK-1 interface, we can see kind of vintage interface with knobs and vintage looking levers.
One of the most critical parameters of UBK-a is the “Headroom” control, and it’s the first thing you should grab when you open a fresh instance of this plugin. The idea here is to dial in the internal operating level perfectly so that you can get the widest possible range of sweet spot in Saturation, Compression and Density engines represented by those three big knobs. The “Headroom” control basically controls the amount of all three mentioned engines.
Next, below the “Headroom” we have the DRY/Wet control which we will not bother to cover in detail. The “Saturation” engine ranges from subtle to heavy, and this is where the first section of UBK-1 interface ends.
The second section is reserved for actual compression. You can set the amount of the compression, followed by a Dry/Wet mix and a range of different compression characters.
Lastly, we have a third section where you can set the “Density” from light to thick followed by a switch for tops and the mids. Finally, we see a master gain knob.
After a brief introduction let us jump into the practical audio examples. Firstly, we will listen to the unprocessed sequence and then processed with UBK-1 in 2 different ways. Of Course, it will be pointless to squash this sequence with settings of the UBK-1 pushed to the extreme. Therefore, we will handle it rather subtly. I advise you to use a pair of studio monitors or good quality headphones in order to hear the difference properly.
~Loop – Unprocessed
~Processed with UBK-1-1
~Processed with UBK-1-2