13. May 2022 | News | Noizefield
Chop Suey – Review
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.
- overall sound
- tuning and pitch
- layering and phase
- 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Chop Suey can be purchased at the Traction website here: Traction | Chop Suey
Chop Suey Review
Overall Sound Quality
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.
There have been many kick machines in the past, but SINEE is a great idea that takes Native Instruments’ TRK-01 KICK one step further. DAWESOME will surely become one of the leading developers in the future.
Nice review, really cool and unique plugin!
I want to see how it works so I will do a test drive with the demo version.
Tight shaping tool
This appears to have what other kick editors lack. Precise control over the transients and tail without the layering mud.
Everything excites me about winning this giveaway
The plugin seems very useful to create the perfect kick drum for any type, and on top of that it has a perfect futuristic clean GUI, would love to have it.
Wow, I love to hear this tracktion in action !
I like 2 Chop & Suey my Kicks 4 Free ;-)
Very interesting new device, especially the very different approach to classic Layering.
Should be great fun to see how this works on other Sounds than percussive Elements.
New Methods unlocked
I love the plugins from tracktion and this one is definitily fire. I will be very creative with chop Suey
At first glance it seems like a very complete plugin and after reading the review it is clear that it is.
Tracktion makes really good plugins
I have been using your Daw and really like it, adding another product from your catalog would be great.
It looks very interesting. Tracktion always making fire plugins
It looks very interesting. Tracktion always making fire plugins
I’ve only just started producing electronic music again after a few years break. I didn’t even know the Chop Suey Plug In until now. Now that I’ve discovered it, it’s clear that I must have it. I often use multiple kick drums in a track and love to bend them. This tool should be a huge asset. It can hardly be more flexible.
This looks pretty interesting!
Would love to win.