Chop Suey – Review

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Chop Suey - The last kick drum plug-in you'll ever need.

Chop Suey originally means "mixed and cut" and comes from an Asian dish. In the case of the Chop Suey plug-in, it's all about cutting and mixing samples - specifically kick drum samples.
But let's forget about the delicious Asian food for a second and focus on producing modern electronic music. All genres of bass music have one thing in common and that is the bass drum aka kick drum (short kick). That's the reason why there are literally millions of kick drum samples in countless sample libraries.

No more bleeding ears!

Who doesn't know the procedure of listening to countless kicks in a row to find the perfect fit for the track you're working on.... until your ears are ringing and the neighbors call the police (...again for various reasons).

Before we get into what chop suey is and what it can do, it might be useful to consider why we all go through this arduous process of searching for the perfect kick and why we spend so much time with our kick drums.

  1. overall sound
  2. tuning and pitch
  3. layering and phase
  4. processing with EQ, compressor, etc.

This could be the standard procedure: first select a good sounding sample library and a kick drum - the kick should fit the genre and mood of a track. Once you have found a kick, it is usually in the wrong key / pitch. The search starts all over again or the kick will be tuned by hand - which is not easy at all. In most cases, some component of the selected kick is unwanted or underrepresented and the classic layering process takes its course. An extra noise or click to accentuate the transient, and of course another super low-end bass drum to fatten it up, are quite common these days. The experts will try to find and fix the phase problems that creep in from stacking the kicks. Last but not least, the kick, which consists of several samples, is generously processed with equalizer and your favorite compressor.

And then?
Let's start from the beginning again, because somehow it doesn't fit anymore. :)

Chop Suey does make a few steps different and actually offers an all-around carefree package that also saves a lot of time and nerves, but first things first.

Why is Chop Suey different?

The most obvious difference is that Chop Suey does not stack or layer the samples on top of each other but one after the other. This is clever, extremely efficient and makes perfect sense, as the theory shows that a classic kick drum sample consists of 3 parts that are played back in time. The first part is the transient, which represents the attack and timbre. The second part, the body, as the name suggests, defines the body of the kick, i.e. how punchy, aggressive or soft the kick is. The last/ third part defines the tail, i.e. the end of the sample, and thus defines the boom and the impact.

Image

In Chop Suey, a patch consists of exactly these 3 parts. Each part can be a different sample that is crossfaded over time. For each of the transition points the position of the crossfade can be chosen. The whole thing is extremely well represented in the waveform display of Chop Suey. Above all, the extremely short transient range can also be viewed and edited excellently with the Skew control. I have never seen this feature before - great.

The good recognition of the pitch of the sample(s) is also exceptional. The hours of finetuning have come to an end.

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Everything on board

From here on, I could describe the further range of functions. For example, a created patch can directly dropped into the DAW and an exact sample wave file is calculated. Or a pitch and filter envelope can be applied with unlimited nodes that can be adjusted exactly to all needs. Also on board is a filter with resonance and saturation as well as analog modeled distortion. There are many more functions and features, but they would rather inflate this review. I would like to refer to the very good manual that can be found on the Tracktion website.

A new star in the kick drum plugin sky?

Definitely YES!
There are already a lot of paid but also free kick drum plugins (At this point we would like to point out our free plugin kick machine), but Chop Suey goes a completely different way and proves that it can be done differently. Thereby you can create official kick drums in the blink of an eye and that in a fraction of the time. Yes, you can do almost everything by hand with a good audio editor, but some steps are not very easy and require a lot of experience - especially the recognition of the pitch and aligning the phase. If you work mainly with samples and want to create new creations from them, Chop Suey is the best choice.

Do you like chop suey as much as we do?
Then subscribe to our newsletter, we will give away a copy of Chop Suey in the May 2022 issue.

Price
Intro: $57.85
Regular: $89.00

Chop Suey can be purchased at the Traction website here: Traction | Chop Suey

Chop Suey Review
  • Overall Sound Quality
  • Features
  • Stability
  • Workflow
  • Pricing

Summary

A new star in the kick drum plug-in sky?

Definitely YES! There are already a lot of paid but also free kick drum plug-ins (At this point we would like to point out our free plug-in kick machine), but Chop Suey goes a completely different way and proves that it can be done differently. Thereby you can create official kick drums in the blink of an eye and that in a fraction of the time. Yes, you can do almost everything by hand with a good audio editor, but some steps are not very easy and require a lot of experience - especially the recognition of the pitch and aligning the phase. If you work mainly with samples and want to create new creations from them, Chop Suey is the best choice.

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