Kush Audio Tweaker by TheDawg
I've had my Tweaker for about a week now and really put it through its paces in that time. I can tell you that this is by far the best addition to my studio of any single piece of gear I've ever bought. I don't say that lightly because I have other much more expensive compressor's in my inventory. But this Tweaker is really special and here's just a few reasons why:
My favorite knob on the Tweaker is the Drive knob! The saturation is incredibly rich, warm, and just overall amazing. I described it to a friend as being in the vein of a Decapitator, only its analog and way better! You will find yourself playing with this knob the most and when you find that sweet spot, it's like losing your virginity on prom night. We all remember how great that feeling was right? ok.
My next favorite knob is the Sidechain Shaper knob! The genius in the design of this box, unlike anything else created, is that you can pick what the detector "see's", and therefore reacts too. This really allows you to not only compress but to really shape and further design your sound going through the box.
Switching between these two release options, all other settings the same, will completely change the sound! The Fast/Dual Release option just further allows for more sound shaping and adds to the flexibility/versatility of this box.
For me, those three knobs/sections is the heart of this box and allows it to do some of the amazing things it does, like mimic an API 2500, LA-2a, Dynamite, Analog Tape with the "Analog Presets" Kush Audio provides. Of course, I did my own listening tests to see if these claims had any merit and I found out they did! This box is incredible and, as you can probably tell from reading this, it has me excited at all of possibility it offers.
Ok, so I am raving about the Tweaker and you're probably waiting for the "other foot to drop" about what's "bad" about this box. Nothing is bad about it, it sounds fantastic, has stepped pots for easy recall and analog presets, box stays cool when powered on for long periods of time, but there IS a learning curve to it!
Although the Tweaker has stepped pots for every knob, none of them are labeled with any numbers to tell you how much attack, drive, threshold, you are applying. If you're the super-technical type (i.e. having to look at numbers to apply compression settings) then you'll most likely struggle to learn this box. However, I think what Gregory did in creating the Tweaker this way is that it FORCES you to LISTEN to what the box is doing to the sound and not just look for numbers to dial up. I think this really reinforces the design philosophy of the Tweaker in that its meant to be listened too and to shape your sound in these vast ways. Metering falls into this same system where nothing is marked on the Tweaker to know exactly how much input, output, compression is happening. You just have to listen and the LED helps to guide you along in the process.
The Tweaker, as the word spreads amongst the mainstream engineer base, will soon become a highly sought after addition to studios. It is a modern day classic and I think people will see and agree soon enough. It's sound quality, features, and bang for the buck are all top notch! BUT buyer beware, you really have to commit yourself to learning the Tweaker to really reap the full benefits of what it can, and will, do for you, your music, and your mixes.