PC Kush Audio AR-1 v1.0.7
AR-1 is a variable-mu tube compressor whose roots are in the raucous sound of the rockin’ American 50’s, yet it enjoys a posh, tea-sipping British image thanks to its use at Abbey Road Studios in late 60’s, notably on the later Beatles and earlier Pink Floyd records. Kush painstakingly captured the sweet breakup of AR-1’s beefy tubes being driven into the dirt, then added more than a half dozen significant UI and functional enhancements. The resulting emulation is every bit as chunky as the original, and 10x more flexible.
For starters, you get to see the actual values of the controls (!!!). The release is fully variable (as opposed to stepped) and both attack & release can be set significantly faster than the original hardware, allowing for a much wider range of compressive ‘voices’ and textures.
But the real magic of AR-1 lies under the hood, with new algorithms that step Kush’s digital compressor technology forward. One of the most common complaints 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, resulting in transients that are excessively bright while lacking in low end impact.
Kush has addressed this by using our most sensitive measuring equipment — UBK’s ears — to obsessively tune not just the speed, but also the taper of the attack and release. As a result, AR-1 is a gentle beast that’s still capable of cooking a sound to a deliciously charred crisp. ‘Warm’ and ‘Smooth’ – arguably the most overused marketing terms in the audio world – really do apply. So be adventurous, and see where she’ll take you!
What is your favorite music genre?