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UJAM Beatmaker Cozy

Plug-in Instrument By Atheen Spencer
Published September 2023


Rating ***** 5/5 Stars

The latest in UJAM’s Beatmaker collection is Cozy, released with the aim of tapping into the lo‑fi market that has become so popular in recent years, by offering a collection of lazy, slightly delayed retro hip‑hop beats. According to the UJAM website, top‑quality samples have been used here and then degraded to achieve the retro feel.

As with all Beatmaker plug‑ins, you can select your kit on the top left (10 to choose from with 16 instruments each). To the left of the kit selector you can balance between kick and snare or dial each of them out altogether. Along with the standard drum sounds, you have claps, percussion and accents. The control to the right is referred to by UJAM as their Special control, with each UJAM plug‑in having a different feature here. In this instance it’s called Nostalgia and allows you to increase the lo‑fi feel by adding a little vinyl noise, smoothing out the transients and bringing in some tube warmth, all in one dial.

In the upper‑right corner you have an integrated Finisher, which allows you to add 12 different retro effects, with an Amount control for bringing in the level of the effect and a Beat Intensity control for increasing overall velocity.

C1‑Eb2 on your keyboard will trigger one‑shot samples, while C3‑Bb4 triggers various patterns that cover Intros, Verses, Choruses, Fills, Breaks and Endings. With 20 drum patterns to choose from, each containing 23 variations, that gives you a lot of inspiration to get started with. The newer UJAM plug‑ins now feature MIDI drag and drop, so you can use the patterns here to get started quickly, then easily tailor the parts to add a more human touch to your finished track. The micro‑timing control can also be used to humanise a track by offering a more relaxed quantisation.

Each of the kits can be mixed and matched — if a kit is mostly working for you but the snare is too harsh, switch it out for another by highlighting the drum on the instrument panel and using the controls below to select a replacement. Also in this panel are individual volume, decay, pitch and filter controls for more fine‑tuning.

Beatmaker sounds can be sent to individual outputs, thus allowing for even more control over panning, mixing and additional effects.

Finally, the master panel in the bottom‑right section offers a Filter sweep (ideal for lo‑fi), Saturation, a Maximiser and an Ambience control, with the option of selecting your reverb from the menu above. Beatmaker sounds can be sent to individual outputs, thus allowing for even more control over panning, mixing and additional effects.

Cozy is a simple‑to‑use but very effective plug‑in, with a usable collection of drum sounds that are a great alternative to loops and perfectly suited to lo‑fi, hip‑hop, trip‑hop and smooth grooves.