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Kush Audio UBK-1 Plugin Breakdown

Hey, what’s up guys? I’ve got a new video for you this week, but I wanted to take a look at the UBK-1 from Kush Audio.

This is a super creative, super musical, super expressive, it does a lot of really cool things, it can really make your drums or your instruments or whatever breath and move. You can really use it to sort of alter the groove to an extent.

Really cool tool. Anyways, I’ve got it on a drum buss here. It sounds like this.


Right. Let’s solo these drums and break this plug-in down. So let’s go through the controls.

It’s sort of — I think of it as three tools in one. We have a saturation section, we have a compressor, and then we have this density section.

Each of these sections can be turned on and off by clicking on the meter, which is great, because it allows you to sort of solo and mute and sort of feel what each of these individual pieces are bringing to the whole big picture of the whole thing.

So saturation. It does what it does. It adds more saturation to it. You’ve got this big knob that goes from subtle to heavy. Let’s turn off these.

You have a mix rocker too. So we can go from all the way wet to these preset sort of recipes between 20/80, 40/60, and 70/30.

So we’ll start all the way wet and crank this up, and you can hear what that does.

[drums, adjusting saturation]

Then we can sort of mix this in to taste.


Cool. We move over to the center, we get to this compressor section, which is the most fun part of this entire plug-in.

Again, we have a mix rocker, we’ve got some high pass filtering. I’m going to leave that out for now. Our overall knob here from mild to intense compression.

And then we have five separate compressors. Not five different settings. Each of these is sort of its own attack, release, knee, threshold, sort of recipe for compression.

You’ve got one, two, three, four, five different ones. We go with Splat, Smooth, Glue, Squish, and Crush. I’m going to go with Glue here, and we’ll slowly kick this knob up.

[drums, adjusting compression]

You can really hear how it sort of affects the transients and the whole flow and movement of the whole thing. It really allows things to really start to breath and become really musical.


That’s crush.

So our kick drum is kind of gone away, so I’m going to roll this high pass filter up and bring that up, which should bring our kick drum up in front of our faces a little more.


And then again, we’re working in parallel, so I can mix this in to our liking.


This is where we started.

[drums, no UBK, then with UBK]

So now we have this whole density section, which is going to be really hard to explain, and I’m probably going to botch it, but the way I’ve sort of wrapped my brain around it is that it’s compression saturation, kind of is how I think about it.

You can apply it to either the top end or the mids. What I’ll do is I’m going to cake this on pretty thick, and then I’ll just sort of bypass it and you can see what happens.


It’s on the top end right now.


Adds a little magic up in the top end.

Now let’s check it out on the mids.


Kind of makes it a little meaner sounding. Would be really cool on guitars or something.

So that’s our density. I’m going to dial this back.


Then we have a master knob, which is gain. Turn it up it gets louder, turn it down it gets softer.

Then last but not least, we have the headroom control. It’s got two lights. The none is a clip light. If it turns red, it’s clipping, it’s distortion. It’s not necessarily a bad sound, it’s just a sound, so if you like that sound, get that light to turn red.

Then you have ample. Basically, when you set your headroom, this is the first control you should touch when you put this plug-in on a track. I’ll say that again, because it’s important.

Get your headroom setup before you move anything else when you put this plug-in in. Basically, you want this green ample light to come on about as much as it is off. You want it to hit all of the major transients so we kind of get that sweet spot in there.


But the cool thing about this is it sort of acts as like, an overall master sort of mix control for the entire plug-in. So say you get this thing setup the way you like it. You can take this headroom control, turn it to the right, and it gives the plug-in more headroom, so you’re going to have less of everything.

Then say you just want — like, you like the setting you have, but you want to oversaturate everything more, you starve it of headroom, crank it more down to the left, and you’re going to get more saturation, more compression, more density overall.

Let’s kind of play with that.


And that’s that, guys.


Check it out in the track.


A couple of other small points. I have this on a drum buss down here.

Now you could also take this thing and use it completely wet in all modes. If you wanted, and you could put it on another aux like you would a drum compression buss or just like you’d use anything in parallel compression.

Then you can just sort of feather that fader in however you like is another way to work with it. I’ve been using it for about a week now and I’ve been getting some pretty fun sounds out of it. It’s been a real joy.

Check this plug-in out. It’s priced great. The guys over at Kush Audio are super passionate. They just put out some killer hardware and plug-in products.

So yeah, that’s it. Like the video, subscribe. We do new videos every week. Go check out the mixing contest that’s still going on until September 1st. Download the tracks, do your mix, upload it to SoundCloud. Win a plug-in from Softube. The TSAR-1R reverb. Great little reverb plug-in, it was the previous video we just did.

Anyways, like us on Facebook, holler at me on Twitter, I love talking to you guys.

That’s all I’ve got. I’ll see you in the next video. Later.




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