Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
6514 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:28 pm

Finally get to talk about this!

Just copying and pasting the Gearslutz announcement...
Kush’s Newest Secret Weapon is…

Very, Very Old



Image




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFBDd7zD9QA




AR-1
from Lisson Grove Digital by Kush


Get the thick, fiery tone heard on Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and countless other classics.

$99, No Ilok Dongle Required, at The House of Kush


Note: Abbey Road in no way endorses this plugin, its creators, or the use of Kush (while mixing or otherwise…)



The History:

AR-1 is a variable-mµ tube compressor whose roots are in the raucous 50’s, yet it enjoys a posh, tea-sipping British image thanks to its use at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in the late 60’s, on the later Beatles and earlier Pink Floyd records.

At its core, the AR-1 is a modified EMI RS124 and, in fact, was originally named ‘R-124’ until Abbey Road’s legal team crashed the party. Ironically, the EMI RS124 was itself simply a modified version of another company’s product, the venerable Altec 436 compressor. Make of that what you will!


The Facts:

The AR-1 plugin enhances the functionality of the hardware as only a plugin can. For starters, you can see the actual values of the controls. The release is fully variable as opposed to stepped, although you can click directly on Releases #1-4 to emulate the legendary “Beatles” timings of the original analog.

Both the attack and release also have the ability to go much faster than the hardware. Having the full range of modern release times eliminated the need for the ‘Infinite Hold’ feature of the original, and made the plugin much simpler to use when going for heavily compressed sounds.

The Tone knob has been reinvented to allow the plugin to fix common digital sonic issues (too much bite and not enough beef) rather than common analog ones (too much beef and not enough bite).

There’s a 60Hz sidechain switch added to reduce unwanted pumping, and an IO Gain link to mitigate the dramatic volume swings that happen when driving the Input.

Finally, the Threshold knob can fully disable the compression while retaining the input and output circuitry, which can then be driven into some of the loveliest distortion this side of the pond.


The Hype:

A common gripe about plugin compressors, and digital sounds in general, is that they’re “too fast.” Even when a plugin’s attack time measures identical to the hardware, it generally sounds markedly different and is both too aggressive and not ‘firm’ enough, with excessive high frequency energy and a lack of low end muscle.

AR-1 solves that problem and represents a significant step forward for Kush’s modeling of analog compressors, featuring a new and (as far as we know,) industry-first method for calculating and applying not just the speed of the attack and the release, but their taper as well.

This new algorithm affects not just the compressor’s ‘action’, it also has a profound effect on the psychoacoustic perception of the tone of the compression. Warm and smooth, arguably the most overused marketing terms in the audio world, really do apply in this case.

AR-1 is a gentle beast that’s still capable of cooking a sound to a deliciously charred crisp, so be adventurous and see where she’ll take you!


Gregory Scott - ubk

$99, no iLok dongle required!

Find out more at The House of Kush



Image
It sounds fantastic. Check out the Youtube video. This has been all over the place on bass, vocals, and guitars during the beta. Very thick sound. Super groovy. No hold control, but not needed IMO due to the wider range of Attack and Release options.

Gain staging (and the IO Link) is a little weird: increasing the threshold will up the gain on this unit, so start with threshold. After you dial that in, adjust the output gain down to compensate. Once you've level matched, you can use the IO link switch to experiment with different input gain levels and not have the gain jump around too much. The idea is to push the input for saturation as needed The Tone knob is no joke either. Sounds great in both directions!

It's based on this (which is based on the RS124): http://unityaudioproducts.co.uk/lisson_grove.php

User avatar
Niowiad
KVRist
441 posts since 25 Jan, 2017

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:38 pm

Absolutely and beautifully packaged.
Perfect blend of hardware style/sound and software usability (I/O link, channel link, sidechain selection, oversampling selection, mixknob). That's what kept me away from MagicDeathEye, unfortunately.

Luckily no dongle required. I'm getting this one. :harp:

rageix
KVRist
37 posts since 9 Jun, 2018

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:57 pm

The say no iLok dongle is required but is a soft iLok license needed? Seems like some of there plugins are a dongle or soft license but it doesn't say explicitly on the sales page. Would be nice if they streamlined them to all be the same.

escalona
KVRist
404 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:01 pm

Just when I thought "I have more than 75 compressors, I think I'm good..."

:love: :tu: :hyper: :clap:

User avatar
JunSev
KVRian
595 posts since 14 Sep, 2017

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:04 pm

No iLok Dongle!

Ok but does still need the Ilok/Pace software? this is presented as some "good news", but this is just a little step (no dongle), not a big change at all.

escalona
KVRist
404 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:24 pm

11% CPU usage on a drum bus, but still totally worth it. It sounds magnificent.

User avatar
DJErmac
KVRian
881 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:41 pm

At first I really disliked the sound : too agressive in the high frequencies. Then I understood how to use the plugin properly. This compressor is greater than great. I've compared it with everything I own, it's on the top of the top.

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
6514 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:06 pm

JunSev wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:04 pm
No iLok Dongle!

Ok but does still need the Ilok/Pace software? this is presented as some "good news", but this is just a little step (no dongle), not a big change at all.
The options are iLok hardware, iLok machine auth, or the iLok cloud (upcoming I believe). So if you just hate Pace with a passion, then this will be a no-go. Me? I've got two iLok dongles, both were free via promotions from developers, and the larger of the two has over 130 licenses on it. I can't personally complain about it as I haven't really had issues.

User avatar
pekbro
KVRAF
2692 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:39 pm

Seems excellent, as is typical with Kush Audio. Although, I thought myself already set with
the Novatron :tu:

User avatar
JunSev
KVRian
595 posts since 14 Sep, 2017

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:46 pm

Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:06 pm
JunSev wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:04 pm
No iLok Dongle!

Ok but does still need the Ilok/Pace software? this is presented as some "good news", but this is just a little step (no dongle), not a big change at all.
The options are iLok hardware, iLok machine auth, or the iLok cloud (upcoming I believe). So if you just hate Pace with a passion, then this will be a no-go. Me? I've got two iLok dongles, both were free via promotions from developers, and the larger of the two has over 130 licenses on it. I can't personally complain about it as I haven't really had issues.
That's almost a miracle, because me and many others had very bad experiences with Ilok/Pace software before, and also I don't like the ilok dongle or the yearly fee for "protection" ZDT, or the ridiculous amount of money I would need to pay if I lost my license if my machine stop working, system updates and more unfortunate situations that might/will have place if Ilok doesn't want to recognize my own machine or more; almost as if it were programed obsolescence. All meaning: Dependency. The software you paid is only yours as long as the company is there.

But if it is working for you go ahead, there is a reason why I simply don't like Ilok and never will.

And these are just some few cases, go trough the pages in each of these topic and see is not an isolated case in each topic:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=505000

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=503489

viewtopic.php?t=509684

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=504402&p=7071973#p7071973

User avatar
Rockatansky
KVRist
296 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:55 pm

Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:06 pm
The options are iLok hardware, iLok machine auth, or the iLok cloud (upcoming I believe).
Don't know about Cloud, but iLok software required, machine or dongle activation possible. FWIW, none of my Kush licenses offer Cloud activation, some don't even offer machine activation, so I'm not going to hold my breath for Cloud.
Screenshot 2019-06-26 at 02.50.12.png
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Confucamus.

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
6514 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:28 pm

Rockatansky wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:55 pm
Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:06 pm
The options are iLok hardware, iLok machine auth, or the iLok cloud (upcoming I believe).
Don't know about Cloud, but iLok software required, machine or dongle activation possible. FWIW, none of my Kush licenses offer Cloud activation, some don't even offer machine activation, so I'm not going to hold my breath for Cloud.

Screenshot 2019-06-26 at 02.50.12.png
Greg just said on Gearslutz they're transitioning the entire product line to allow for any of the three.

escalona
KVRist
404 posts since 16 Jan, 2018 from Portland, OR USA

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:11 pm

Another thread that turned into iLok debate...
Guys, the compressor is awesome. It sounds awesome. Give it a try, you'll be happy.

s28
KVRist
249 posts since 9 Aug, 2017

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:28 pm

It sounds good on first impressions, will dig into it more.. Excited to be able to try Novatron when that becomes dongle free as well, that looks great.

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
6514 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Re: Kush AR-1: Fat, Old, Gritty Tube Compression… No iLok Dongle!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:55 pm

s28 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:28 pm
It sounds good on first impressions, will dig into it more.. Excited to be able to try Novatron when that becomes dongle free as well, that looks great.
Novatron would be my desert island compressor and for one reason above all others: it's hard to make it sound bad. The thing is just a giant sweet spot. And versatile too.

We're just spoiled for options these days.

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