Hey guys, what’s going on? Looking for some decent bitcrusher VST plugins? I got you!
Bitcrushing may be a simple effect that you don’t put much thought into, but it’s important to find the right plugin for it.
Every bitcrusher VST uses their own algorithms and its own cool features that you can use to speed up or ease up the process — for example, smoothing, modulation, or an ability to control the sample rate reduction.
Luckily for you, there is no need to go over all the specs and try out the so-called best bitcrusher plugins one by one.
I’ll go over the top ones for you and highlight the main features, pros, and cons.
Best Bit Crusher Plugins (They Are All Free)
Alright, let’s begin!
1) Geektronic VST by Novaflash
Geektronic bitcrusher features a relatively simple (I would almost say too simple) design. I don’t personally love the aesthetics of the interface because it looks like a game I would play on my GameBoy. However, that’s not a reason to underestimate it.
After all, the Geektronic bitcrusher VST plugin is a freeware. As opposed to something fancier (like Omnisphere that costs $500+), the developers here are simply helping out the community of musicians, which I respect. It comes with only 7 knobs (3 for the crusher, 2 for color, and 2 for output), but that’s essentially all you need to get going.
2) DBlue Crusher VST by illformed
If you are using FL Studio, you’ll notice how DBlue Crusher almost looks like a built-in plugin within your DAW – simple and straight-to-the-point. The VST is rather straightforward with only 6 knobs. To be honest, that’s enough for such a simple plugin, as long as you know what you are doing.
With this bitcrusher plugin, you can control the sample reduction, bit depth, smoothing, foldback, and mix. I found smooth mode a little less useful than other 5, but it was still fun to play around with. Overall, DBlue Crusher VST is pretty useful.
3) CMT Bitcrusher VST by CMT
As you can see, CMT Bitcrusher VST doesn’t look like something out of this world either – it’s as simple as it gets. If you want to apply harsh distortion for your bass or some kind of glitchy sounds, there is no easier to use VST plugin for such task.
Due to its simplicity, it also works flawlessly and never gives you a hard time, as opposed to more advanced and complex bitcrusher plugins out there.
Don’t get underwhelmed by CMT Bitcrusher plugin simplicity, as it’s more powerful than you expect, as long as your creativity is there.
4) Krush VST by Tritik
Krush VST plugin sure looks a lot more futuristic in comparison to the bitcrusher plugins we’ve taken a look earlier. It also has many more features, controls, modulations, and presets.
It’s not just bitcrushing, but also clipping, filtering, downsampling, and other features. Combine the crispy taste of the digital world with the warmth of analog modeled resonant filters, and you got the Krush VST plugin.
The intuitive design may not be the most intuitive for beginners, but after a few minutes of tweaking the controls around, you’ll easily get the hang of it. The controls include bit depth and sample rate reduction, low-pass and high-pass filters, the ability to control the modulation speed and depth, and a whole lot more.
Krush is nicely designed and more importantly stable, and works on both PC and Mac computers. It’s also available in 4 languages, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, which is a nice thing to do by the developers.
If you are looking for a quality bitcrusher VST that’s there to last, I can’t recommend Krush enough.
By the way, Krush has released the premium version of the plugin in June 2019, so I really hope they won’t strip out all the features in the free one (I am sure they got better things to do).
5) Multiband Bitcrusher I VST by Hilofi
This bad boy isn’t just a bitcrusher VST, but also a downsample plugin. With 4 frequency bands to select from, Multiband Bitcrusher I sends them over to either get bitcrushed or grinded, to squash your signal up to the desired sound.
The design is simple, but the plugin has a lot of controls, mainly because of the frequency bands targeted (so multiply by 4). I would say it’s a little harder for beginners who don’t yet have a concept of a frequency range but will fit anyone with mediocre and better knowledge.
It’s definitely a catch if you know how to use it.
6) TB TimeMachine VST by ToneBoosters
TimeMachine is also a good choice for a bitcrusher VST plugin. Designed to emulate famous vintage samplers, it works wonders when used on drums.
Try listening closely, and you’ll notice the added harmonics and punch, thanks to the plugin. While you can also use it to crush sounds, I suggest using it for the sole purpose of enhancing the sampled drums quality.
Overall, TB TimeMachine is a wonderful and functional, yet simple and straightforward bitcrusher plugin that works the best on drums.
7) Camel Crusher VST
Camel Crusher is another bitcrusher plugin that specializes in distortion and compression. Distortion comes in two types – tube and mechanical. I loved the fact that you can simply blend the two together without picking which one you like more.
As a result, you get more variety of tones and textures.
There is also a warm and smooth low-pass filter with lots of resonance that gives you better control of the sound. While it may look simple with only 7 knobs and 1 button, it’s one of the easiest-to-use compressors out there with only one knob controlling everything.
Lastly, I can’t judge a free plugin too hard, but it’s actually a decent tool with a lot of different ways to enhance the sound of your drums, guitar, and other instruments!
8) +decimate VST by SoundHack
Alright, this bitcrusher does look a little odd, at least in my opinion. However, it’s a pretty cool bitcrusher VST that’s not as complex as it seems. In fact, it only has 2 controls, which are named “depth” and “averaging,” which implies the average smp number.
I don’t like the design a whole lot, as it’s rather confusing at first sight. It also comes with too many unnecessary elements (I am talking about the colored squares). However, it’s not bad for adding aliasing and decimation noise, which is what +decimate is primarily used for.
Commonly Asked Questions
Let's go over the most common questions producer ask about bitcrushers and bitcrusher VST plugins now.
What Is a Bitcrusher VST?
Bitcrusher is a plugin that reduces the bit depth of the audio signal being processed, which results in audible degradation. It works pretty well for a variety of mixing and sound design tasks, depending on the amount you apply.
For example, the smaller amount can help you change your dull average-sounding drums into something more crispy to imitate the old-school analog drum samplers. The higher amount, on the other hand, can help you create distorted bass, glitchy sounds, etc.
What Does a Bitcrusher Do?
Quantization noise. As a result, you get either a warmer sound impression or a harsh one, depending on what you are using a bitcrusher for.
What Is The Bit Reduction?
It’s the effect that creates distortion by lowering the amount of bit depth in audio. Lower settings will turn the sound harsh, while higher settings will turn it into something vintage and warm.
Conclusion – Bitcrusher VST
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the list of best bitcrusher plugins. While not all of them look futuristic and out-of-this-world, they do their job well, and that’s what VST plugins are for.
I respect all the developers releasing freeware out there because it helps aspiring producers who don’t have a lot of money to blow a whole lot.
I can complain about the design or features for as long as I want (and you do too), but the fact that the developers went out of their way to come up with a free bitcrusher VST deserves nothing but respect.