Chowdhury DSP has just released his newest plugin, the ChowKick – a freeware kick modeling synth plugin.
Ah, the kick. Widely considered the foundation of any modern song – unless you’re doing ambient, orchestral, piano ballad, or singer-songwriter stuff. But outside of that, the most important element to building a song around.See also: BPB Analog Kicks – 200 FREE Kick Samples From 6 Analog Machines
Most of us have more kick samples than there are atoms in the known universe. Still, they tend to just stay there – even more thorough drum kits that separate kicks into categories (acoustic, electronic, analog, 808, etc.) are great, but it’s not a perfect solution.
Over the last few years, I’ve personally found it a lot more rewarding to use drum synth plugins to model my own stuff. It’s a cool little sound design experience, and you get to create exactly the sample you’re looking for.
When it comes to the free stuff, however, most plugins are either sample-based or try to emulate classic drum machines.
Jatin Chowdhury, known better as Chowdhury DSP, creator of one of the best drive pedal emulations of all time – the ChowCentaur – is back with a fantastic kick drum synth plugin.
ChowKick is very well laid-out – you can control the shape on the left. On the right is the resonant filter, so you can really shape the pulse you’ve created into sounding like a drum sound.
You even have an oscillator at the top – something that should be mandatory for anything that makes sounds.
The user can control the number of voices, change resonance modes between Linear, Basic, and Bouncy, and even play the kick like an instrument for that 808 bassline. And if you mouse over stuff, it tells you exactly what each control parameter does.
Here’s how the developer describes ChowKick:
“Chow Kick is a kick drum synthesizer based on creative physical modeling of old drum machine circuits. Along with a highly parameterizable pulse shaper, Chow Kick uses a resonant filter with several nonlinear modes, creating a wide range of possibilities for sound designers. The kick drum can also be easily “tuned” with incoming MIDI notes to match the key of your song!”
Great-sounding plugins don’t always come with sleek interfaces, but this one is a true one-two punch.
Oh, and it’s available for iOS as well! AND it’s open-source! Really no reason to miss out on this one at all.
Now we’re just waiting for the ChowCowbell.
More info: ChowKick (8.69 MB download size, EXE installer, available in VST/AU plugin format for Windows, macOS, Linux, and iOS)
The model is simple, so don’t expect modern EDM kicks out of it. Nothing wrong with that, does the old-school analog thing well. I’ll definitely watch for improvements and added features.
Let’s be real though: EDM kicks extremely played out at this point anyway.
I see “Chowdhury DSP”, I grab it.
And sure enough, it’s great.
Simple controls and fast workflow. I will use this for layering with other stuff to help get the kick to exactly where I need it to be. Add a bit more meat, or click, this has you covered. If you combo it with your favourite distortion or saturation after you can achieve a ton. I tried it out with BPB’s free saturator, and it worked very well.
Fantastic. What an absolute gem to the audio community.
Agreed, Chowdhury makes some excellent stuff.
Glad to hear that BPB Saturator is getting some love, too. :)
If he really makes the cowbell modeler it should naturally be called ChowBell
Haha, indeed! :D
Can it be made velocity-sensitive? (Sorry if I’m just missing something obvious.)