AR-1 Review – Kush’s Lushest, Thickest Tube Compressor

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Thursday, 4 July 2019
  • Time to read: 3 min.

AR-1 VINTAGE Mµ Review

Get the thick, glowing tone through a compressor developed by Kush Audio. AR-1 Variable-Mµ Compressor plugin under review today has its roots in Abbey Road and 50’s American Rock, made for fans of Analog the world over. For more about Kush, plugins see also our coverage on GOLDPLATE – DYNAMIC PLATE REVERB and our Novatron Review. Kush Audio recognized for their high-end analog gear and since several years for a growing number of unique and boutique style plugins have launched another plugin.


You download the plugin from Kush download page and register the plugin in iLOK. For Logic user who does not see the plugin after install Kush support recommends “Logic users, as of High Sierra you have to Log Out of your user account and log back in, or restart the machine completely, for Logic to see a newly installed plugin


With the AR-1 VINTAGE Mµ, the genuine RS124 has finally hit the plugin chain. The compressor wants to produce similar vibes as heard on Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and countless other classics. At its plugin heart, the AR-1 is a revised EMI RS124.

Do you wonder what compression is all about? Compression is reducing dynamic range on a track. It is reducing the variation in the loudest and quietest portions on an instrument, track or mix bus. When mixing, you need always to reduce the dynamic range of most audio signals to get a corrective or aesthetic result.

One of the numerous criticisms on other compressor plugin is their fast speed, to fast to many ears. Kush has approached this by utilizing delicate measuring tools to obsessively tune not just the rate, but also the taper of the attack and release.

AR-1 VINTAGE Mµ on Hedflux Master bus (in Bitwig Beta 3.9)

When you try yourself the demo, you will see that on many different instruments this compressor works very well and the results are pleasing to the ears. I tried it on synths, eurorack, strings, drums and more and could see this compressor becoming a top 5 compressor for myself. In the typical UBK style, with an EQ in front of the compressor in your chain, I received compressed tracks that made me smile.

User interface & Usability

The AR-1 plugin enhances the functionality of the emulated hardware. You can work with the actual values of the controls. Both the attack and release also have the capacity to go much quicker than the hardware. The UI was designed to make the use of the compressor simpler. The Tone knob allows fixing digital sonic issues like too much bite and not enough beef or too much of bite/meat with ease. I the usual Kush taste all controls are set up to shape the sound and protect you from overdoing it.

AR-1 VINTAGE Mµ by Kush Audio Presets


To buy it you do have two options really, buy a single license or use the Kush subscription license which covers AR-1 VINTAGE Mµ and all your other Kush plugins.

  • Full, Non-Expiring Software License – $99
  • Included in Kush Plugin Subscriptions – $9.99/month or $99.99/year

Rating:  Five Out of Five Stars

AR-1 is a sexy lush, warm compressor with a gorgeous vibe and tone. It is slow enough to manage the sound levels smoothly and warmly. All due to the implemented AR-1 new compressor algorithms that compress slowly. AR-1 is another addition to the boutique Swiss Armyplugin from Kush for both professionals and semiprofessional engineers.

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