Kush Audio Clariphonic DSP – Gearjunkies Review

Kush Audio’s Clariphonic DSP is a parallel high shelving eq, which in itself it’s a quite unique proces. The DSP code behind this plugin is made by Studio Devil. It’s an emulation of the hardware Clariphonic made by Kush Audio themselves.

First off a short explanation of parallel equalisation. Almost everyone knows by now the proces of new york compression. Taking a signal, bus it and smacking the hell out of the buss signal with a compressor  and later blend in the original uncompressed signal. Parallel eq is basically the same proces but this time the bussing is done internally in the plugin and the proces is not compression but equiing. When the signal enters one of the channels in the plugin it’s split 3 ways, 1 is the  Full Frequency channel and isn’t altered or processed in any way.  The other 2 channels are filtered through their own eq circuit and can be blended back in via the FOCUS and CLARITY controls. This results in a very nice top end that can lift the high frequencies up in a very transparant and natural way.

KUSH AUDIO is already known for it’s hardware and other plugins like the UBK compressor and PUSHER.  The man behind this company time and time again proves he has a set of golden ears and knows what to listen for when choosing settings. Also this time he doesn’t dissapoint, very carefully crafted eq settings are provided.

On the GUI the settings are easily recognisable. The FOCUS engine is devided in the following settings. Lift, Open and Tight & Diffuse whereby the center setting of Tight and Diffuse is basically an off position muting the entire FOCUS engine from the signal path.  Then there’s the CLARITY engine with the options Presence, Sheen, Shimmer and Silk. In the middle is the off position for muting the CLARITY engine. An engage knob in the center of the plugin is provided for checking what the entire plugin does on the signal.

Some info on the eq settings.

  • LIFT: starting from 800 HZ 
  • OPEN: Upper mids from 3KHZ
  • TIGHT: is a bell curve
  • DIFFUSE: is a shelving plateau.

For example: you need to open up the mix and reaching into the highest frequencies but with a very slight boost, you should select open to start lifting the frequencies from 3KHZ onwards and select Diffuse to make a shelving plateau that can very slightly boost all the freq above 3 khz and thus lift the whole mix up.

Moving on to the clarity options: This engine is for the ultra smooth highs and for some socalled expensive sheen on your signal or mix.

  • PRESENCE: this gives some bite to the signal 5KHZ.
  • SHEEN: Treble 9KHZ
  • SHIMMER: very high freq 19KHZ
  • SILK: Pure air 39KHZ.

This engine has some great options to make your signal sound more silky and expensive for lack of a better word. These frequencies often sound very bad when boosted on regular eq’s, but not so with the CLARIPHONIC DSP. Very nice and natural high is possible through this engine. The SILK option especially is very nice for delicate mastering projects.

Final thoughts:

This plugin is a very precise tool for the job, but very easy to overdo. It sounds so natural that you can easily fall into the trap of adding to much. A small tip is to back it off by at least half the amount that you have dialed in. You can use it on all kinds of signals and it’s delicate enough for the masterbus even. I especially recommend it on vocals that are de-essed first and then add the good sounding highs back in again via the clariphonic. It’s an absolute joy to work with.

For more info check: www.thehouseofkush.com

Rob Fabrie

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