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KIT Plugins Smash — A Mix Real-World Review…in the USVI

Recording in the remote setting of the US Virgin Islands, our review team put KIT Plugins' new Smash dynamics plug to the test.

kit plugins smash

Every year, Mix contributors Rich Tozzoli, Mike Dwyer and Bruce MacPherson decamp to St. John, USVI, and temporarily turn a house into a studio where they record TV cues while also testing new equipment and software, resulting in a bevy of Mix Real-World Reviews written in a unique part of the real world.

Sometimes you want a super-tweakable compressor with a ton of controls to dial something in just so. Other times, you just want something that’s fast, easy and fun. That’s where Smash from KIT Plugins comes in—inspired by the sound of analog amplifier circuits.

The main knob controls a series of compressors and saturators, all carefully tweaked by KIT to give you an enormous range of sonic possibilities at a single twist. The first half of the knob’s range offers subtle to moderate compression, perfect for vocals, guitars or anything that needs a little control and a bit of attitude. Twist the knob past halfway, and things start to get perfectly nasty.

This is where you’ll find the aggressive, pumping, saturated sounds that give Smash its name. If you like the attitude that these extreme settings give but find it’s making things a little abrasive, Smash has you covered with the addition of the Hi-Cut knob. This controls a high shelf, allowing you to duck down any potential harshness, perfect for taming cymbals while smashing drum tracks.

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Combine that with the built-in mix knob for easy parallel processing, and you have everything you need with three simple knobs. Just smash, tame and blend. One of our favorite features of Smash is the lo-fi button. Hitting this gives you that classic midrange-y, slightly telephone-y sound. Combine this with some heavy compression and saturation, and Smash becomes a one-stop shop for gritty, vibey, lo-fi sounds. On this trip, we put this to good use, automating both the main control and the lo-fi button on drums to create interesting drop sections throughout the songs.

If you’re looking for super-precise dynamic control, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for an inspiring, easy-to-use compressor that will give you new and interesting sounds in seconds, Smash might be just what you’re looking for.