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Kush Audio Premieres Revolutionary UBK-1 Software Plug-In
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Bryce
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#1
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
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Kush Audio Premieres Revolutionary UBK-1 Software Plug-In

New York City, NY – American manufacturer Kush Audio is unveiling its first software product: the UBK-1, a groundbreaking three-stage dynamics processor with simultaneous serial and parallel audio paths that open up unprecedented levels of control over a sound’s shape, tone, and harmonic character.

The processor has three engines - Saturation, Compression, and Density. Five meticulously tweaked compressor curves are provided, all based on the popular UBK FATSO hardware. A high pass (HP) sidechain filter with an unusually wide frequency sweep allows for unorthodox shapes of compression. Two “Tele” style rockers control the wet/dry Mixes, and feature several optimized preset positions as well as fully variable operation. A Headroom control simultaneously adjusts the sidechain level of all three engines without affecting the plugin’s output level. At the end of the chain, the Density engine adds an additional frequency-selective compressor/harmonic saturator, with a switch for targeting the mids or highs. The cumulative effect of these three engines is a thickness and musicality typically associated with expensive analog processing.

“I'm an analog guy, so I wanted to create a plug-in with an intuitively simple but deep interface that bends sound and inspires my creativity the way my hardware does,” said designer Gregory Scott. ”I’m proud to say that this thing delivers in spades, on all fronts.”

The UBK-1 will be available in RTAS, AU and VST for Mac and PC. Mac RTAS is available immediately, with other versions expected by the end of 2011. The $299 selling price includes one master license valid for all available formats and platforms.

Gregory Scott will be personally demonstrating the UBK-1 at the NYC AES show in booth 253.





dB
#2
15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
  #2
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where is it avail immediately? not on either sites.
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15th October 2011
Old 15th October 2011
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Unveiling at AES.

- c
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#4
16th October 2011
Old 16th October 2011
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i hope they will have an introductary price that's a lil cheaper. i don't wanna have to spend 300 bucks and i expect this to be a must-have.
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16th October 2011
Old 16th October 2011
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After it's unveiling at AES, where will it be available for purchase?
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16th October 2011
Old 16th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liz_g View Post
After it's unveiling at AES, where will it be available for purchase?
Online only and Ilok I think....
Don't care... I will buy it like his UBK Fatso and Clariphonic
#7
16th October 2011
Old 16th October 2011
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Is it just me - or is the design of the GUI for this plug - slightly reminiscent of Lindell's X17 Compressor design...?
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Mmmmhhzzz let see... Yeah they do share some same color and edge's + switch's and knobs. It's just the "old skool vintage look" @ 100%.
Sound wise the same?! Don't think so... same price? Hell no! The only problem here is... How the hell I'm going to afford all the two @ the same time!

Kush UBK-1 Plugin:


Lindell X17 hardware compressor:
#9
17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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For that kind of money, it would need to be excellent.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubthumper View Post
For that kind of money, it would need to be excellent.
Even so.. it's still a hefty price tag... No doubt it will be unique, and maybe even geared towards a niche market, but it would be a great way to get new folks in the door for his hardware. I don't mind paying for a quality plugin, but I feel, (and may change my mind), that $299 is too much for a compie plug.. (especially since I have so many already).

Maybe at an $149 introductory price I would buy it right off.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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nobody wants to pay for anything. if it's too much for you don't buy it. you are working now without it. maybe it from all my years of paying for TDM plugins but prices for plugins now are pretty cheap.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Interesting! I really hope that's not the actual size of the GUI . . seems really squished and cluttered to me at that res, those poor little mini VUs :[ Something about the overly rounded graphics makes it look like it's made from Chocolate :]

I'm sure it'll be awesome though, just wondering why they didn't make it look consistent with these:




I guess this product announcement also explains why Greg Scott was so funny about the 'Don't Crack' Clarisonix plugin! It didn't make sense to me until now :]

I look forward to trying out a demo!
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#14
17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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how many compressors is too many? i'll try to ignore this one but it won't be easy...

congrats Greg i'm sure you'll do great with this guy.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Looks well interesting...dying to try it!
Hey Greg, nice to see that us plugin users get to share your expertise as well...
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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What's Gregorie's most honest take on it compared to his hardware version? (I know it might be a long shot) I hope it's not ilok or anything lame like that. Mabook Pro - 2 USB ports!!
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Hello there kind Gearslutz members..

Thank you for your comments and feedback. I'd like to make two points if I may:

1) We expect to go live with our online store on Friday, October 21st, where the UBK-1 plug in will be available for purchase, as well as a 10-day trial version, to all iLok-equiped customers.

2) Greg and I spent a lot of time discussing, considering, arguing and consternating over the price. The development took five times longer than we had anticipated, and the associated costs were not trivial. The UBK-1 is not an emulation of a hardware compressor, so the design criteria evolved and expanded during the alpha testing. The more Greg played with it, the more feature ideas and sonic possibilities presented themselves to him - the best of which were then aded or adapted into the code and GUI.

We had hoped to have the UBK-1 released at last year's AES in San Francisco, and then at this year's NAMM show, but its evolution was not complete and like Paul Masson Wines, Kush Audio will sell no plug-in before its time.

So after a year and a half in development and several months of intensive beta, the UBK-1 is ready for prime time. I had originaly wanted to price it at $599, Greg talked me down to $499 and then $399, which I still think it is worth.

He beat me up even more before the Alto presentation last month to try and convince me that $299 was the right price. I think he's nuts but he won the argument so $299 it is.

We'll post a link to the web store as soon as it's live. We should have a list of authorized Kush Audio dealers at that point that will also have it available.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames View Post
What's Gregorie's most honest take on it compared to his hardware version? (I know it might be a long shot) I hope it's not ilok or anything lame like that. Mabook Pro - 2 USB ports!!
It's not a software version of hardware.

It is it's own thing.

It does use iLok.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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WTF is wrong with people? $299 for a professional tool? Seems reasonable to me!!
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17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilWave View Post
Hello there kind Gearslutz members..

Thank you for your comments and feedback. I'd like to make two points if I may:

1) We expect to go live with our online store on Friday, October 21st, where the UBK-1 plug in will be available for purchase, as well as a 10-day trial version, to all iLok-equiped customers.

2) Greg and I spent a lot of time discussing, considering, arguing and consternating over the price. The development took five times longer than we had anticipated, and the associated costs were not trivial. The UBK-1 is not an emulation of a hardware compressor, so the design criteria evolved and expanded during the alpha testing. The more Greg played with it, the more feature ideas and sonic possibilities presented themselves to him - the best of which were then aded or adapted into the code and GUI.

We had hoped to have the UBK-1 released at last year's AES in San Francisco, and then at this year's NAMM show, but its evolution was not complete and like Paul Masson Wines, Kush Audio will sell no plug-in before its time.

So after a year and a half in development and several months of intensive beta, the UBK-1 is ready for prime time. I had originaly wanted to price it at $599, Greg talked me down to $499 and then $399, which I still think it is worth.

He beat me up even more before the Alto presentation last month to try and convince me that $299 was the right price. I think he's nuts but he won the argument so $299 it is.

We'll post a link to the web store as soon as it's live. We should have a list of authorized Kush Audio dealers at that point that will also have it available.

I think Greg is right about the lowest price being the best one.

Most of us here have lots of plugs and there is not much incentive to buy another "x" unless it is unique or very inexpensive.

As I'm pretty certain you will have the unique taken care of, so the $299 price point will probably draw people in, but if it was higher than that there's no way I would even consider it.

There are a lot of very usable hardware comps you could grab when you go a little higher in price than than, and I know that I would rather buy something that is more "permanent" for that kinda outlay.

There's not that much $ floating around for most doing sound engineering professionally, so every little bit counts, cause I gotta make it back, from musicians who are paying me, who are not likely to see any money out of selling their product (the music) either.

In fact, I think gear is the probably one of the most profitable field's left in audio cause you can sell based on people dreams of glory, rather than the reality of the gaping hole in the market at the other end (which is similar to a pro studio's appeal to the amateur musician, I admit).

I know this is a bit of a downer, but it is the reality for many of the very talented artists I work with in my studio - So I really appreciate Greg's push to keep things affordable, which in turn helps me keep things affordable for the real heart and soul of the whole thing, the musicians.
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
It's not a software version of hardware.

It is it's own thing..
That says it all
#22
17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Believe me, I get that most folks have a lot of plugins already; I also know I'm a freak because I only have 2 commercial plugs in my setup!

But in the same way that I didn't just put out another eq --- I put out the Clariphonic --- this plugin is absolutely unlike anything any of you own. It was coded from the ground up using brand new algorithms, no copy-and-paste code or textbook/cookbook knockoffs. And I tweaked the response and behavior of the compressors the same way I did for the UBK Fatso, using my ears and nothing but my ears; no test equipment or measurements of any kind were used to 'emulate'.

What I went for with this plugin was 'feel', specifically the way analog responds to and treats transients and how that relates to the *movement* of the sound. I wanted to be able to turn knobs at random and have unexpected and inspiring things happen, I wanted to have the result put a smile on my face.

Suffice to say, this thing has put many smiles on my face, I daresay it changes the game on several levels.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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#23
17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJames View Post
What's Gregorie's most honest take on it compared to his hardware version? (I know it might be a long shot)

I know this question is going to come up a lot, so here's the most blunt and honest assessment I know how to give:

1) this plugin is not an emulation of the UBK Fatso, although I tweaked the compressor curves by ear to produce a musicality and motion in the compressed signal that is *extraordinarily* close. When it comes to how the plug levels the sound vs. the hardware, I find them to be interchangeable.

2) this plugin, like every other plugin known to humanity, does not have the subtly sweet but meaningful analog colorations of the hardware. With the current state of technology it cannot be done, anyone who says or implies otherwise is selling a lie, and I'd like to be the first manufacturer of both hardware and software to unequivocally state that if you want that extra 10% of love that analog gives, you have to spend the money, there's no way around it.

3) on the flipside, this plugin does forms and degrees of compression that the hardware could never in a million years approximate, because digital has WAAYY more headroom. So where the UBK Fatso's squeeze goes from 1 to 10, the UBK-1's squeeze goes from 1 to 30, and that difference alone makes this tool capable of some eye-popping forms of distortion and compression.


Beyond all that, the serial/parallel matrix on this plug gives you an insane amount of control over the leading edge of the transient, and by accumulating the unique properties of the 3 sections you can shave a spiky, unruly sound all the way down into pillowy softness if you so desire, or blow it up into an artfully-controlled firestorm of pumping distortions.

So it doesn't replace any piece of hardware, but neither is it a pale substitute for one. It is a remarkable feat of engineering and design that pushes the limits of what we can expect from our technology, and hopefully it will help people to push the limits of their creativity and make amazing music to give over to the world.


Gregory Scott - ubk
#24
17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Thanks for the info Greg - this does interest me, as I find transient taming to be one of my most frequent mix tasks, ITB, and if it allows me to work quicker, it pays for itself rather fast.

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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I know this question is going to come up a lot, so here's is the most blunt and honest assessment I know how to give:

1) this plugin is not an emulation of the UBK Fatso, although I tweaked the compressor curves by ear to produce a musicality and motion in the compressed signal that is *extraordinarily* close. When it comes to how the plug levels the sound vs. the hardware, I find them to be interchangeable.

2) this plugin, like every other plugin known to humanity, does not have the subtly sweet but meaningful analog colorations of the hardware. With the current state of technology it cannot be done, anyone who says or implies otherwise is selling a lie, and I'd like to be the first manufacturer of both hardware and software to unequivocally state that if you want that extra 10% of love that analog gives, you have to spend the money, there's no way around it.

3) on the flipside, this plugin does forms and degrees of compression that the hardware could never in a million years approximate, because digital has WAAYY more headroom. So where the UBK Fatso's squeeze goes from 1 to 10, the UBK-1's squeeze goes from 1 to 30, and that difference alone makes this tool capable of some eye-popping forms of distortion and compression.


Beyond all that, the serial/parallel matrix on this plug gives you an insane amount of control over the leading edge of the transient, and by accumulating the unique properties of the 3 sections you can shave a spiky, unruly sound all the way down into pillowy softness if you so desire, or blow it up into an artfully-controlled firestorm of pumping distortions.

So it doesn't replace any piece of hardware, but neither is it a pale substitute for one. It is a remarkable feat of engineering and design that pushes the limits of what we can expect from our technology, and hopefully it will help people to push the limits of their creativity and make amazing music to give over to the world.


Gregory Scott - ubk

Great description Greg!! Looking forward to hearing it. Can you comment on the particular limitations of the demo mode? 2 weeks or a limited time, 30 minutes and then shut down, tone every 30 seconds or ??? Thanks.

Bill
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17th October 2011
Old 17th October 2011
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I'm really looking forward to test driving this one! People are so funny (strange, not funny "ha-ha") about plugins vs. hardware and about price. Hardware is hardware and software is software and Greg's totally right that we shouldn't expect or want one to do what the other does. The beauty about where we are now is that it's getting easier all the time to have a blend of the two in almost any size studio.

Wanting software to do exactly what hardware does is a little like ordering sushi at a Greek diner--you'll be happier with the Gyro. Play to the strengths of the medium; not to its weaknesses or breaking points (unless that's what you're going for!). And keeping with the food metaphor, the success of a dish has a lot to do with the taste of the chef. Greg has proven to have great and consistent taste (whether you like it or not is a separate question) and whatever this plugin is, I anticipate all the functions will have been executed with an ear towards musicality and ease of use.
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17th October 2011
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I'm not really an "active" plugin user these days, but I'm curious what the CPU usage of this plugin is? Is it a resource hog? Is it optimized for gazillions of instances? In other words, is this the kind of plugin that you could have on every channel of a 32 channel mix at 48 kHz?

thanks,
Brad
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17th October 2011
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17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
WTF is wrong with people? $299 for a professional tool? Seems reasonable to me!!
As a software developer for most of my professional life I think this is a bargain. Software design, debugging, and marketing ain't cheap to do! At least not for anything worth getting.

I think Greg is pretty right on though about lowering the price as much as they did, $400-500 would not be competitive, $300 seems to be the sweet spot for higher end plugs.
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#30
17th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I know this question is going to come up a lot, so here's is the most blunt and honest assessment I know how to give:

1) this plugin is not an emulation of the UBK Fatso, although I tweaked the compressor curves by ear to produce a musicality and motion in the compressed signal that is *extraordinarily* close. When it comes to how the plug levels the sound vs. the hardware, I find them to be interchangeable.

2) this plugin, like every other plugin known to humanity, does not have the subtly sweet but meaningful analog colorations of the hardware. With the current state of technology it cannot be done, anyone who says or implies otherwise is selling a lie, and I'd like to be the first manufacturer of both hardware and software to unequivocally state that if you want that extra 10% of love that analog gives, you have to spend the money, there's no way around it.

3) on the flipside, this plugin does forms and degrees of compression that the hardware could never in a million years approximate, because digital has WAAYY more headroom. So where the UBK Fatso's squeeze goes from 1 to 10, the UBK-1's squeeze goes from 1 to 30, and that difference alone makes this tool capable of some eye-popping forms of distortion and compression.


Beyond all that, the serial/parallel matrix on this plug gives you an insane amount of control over the leading edge of the transient, and by accumulating the unique properties of the 3 sections you can shave a spiky, unruly sound all the way down into pillowy softness if you so desire, or blow it up into an artfully-controlled firestorm of pumping distortions.

So it doesn't replace any piece of hardware, but neither is it a pale substitute for one. It is a remarkable feat of engineering and design that pushes the limits of what we can expect from our technology, and hopefully it will help people to push the limits of their creativity and make amazing music to give over to the world.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Thanks Gregory - Given your honesty I think your opinions of how good it is will be reliable. From your previous post it sounds like it's going to be a wonderful treat to those ITB mixers and masterers. I'm excited as I can't afford the hardware and it would be difficult to integrate into my setup anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Believe me, I get that most folks have a lot of plugins already; I also know I'm a freak because I only have 2 commercial plugs in my setup!

But in the same way that I didn't just put out another eq --- I put out the Clariphonic --- this plugin is absolutely unlike anything any of you own. It was coded from the ground up using brand new algorithms, no copy-and-paste code or textbook/cookbook knockoffs. And I tweaked the response and behavior of the compressors the same way I did for the UBK Fatso, using my ears and nothing but my ears; no test equipment or measurements of any kind were used to 'emulate'.

What I went for with this plugin was 'feel', specifically the way analog responds to and treats transients and how that relates to the *movement* of the sound. I wanted to be able to turn knobs at random and have unexpected and inspiring things happen, I wanted to have the result put a smile on my face.

Suffice to say, this thing has put many smiles on my face, I daresay it changes the game on several levels.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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