BitCrusher Hardware Effect

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BitCrusher Hardware Effect

Post by rpstro02 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:25 am

Does a BitCrusher effect pedal exist anywhere? I only know of SW effects. I want to know before I make one.
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Post by monolith » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:47 am

Um... Alesis modfx bitrman and Frostwave sonic alienator immediately come to mind.

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Post by Amos » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:48 am

I think there's also a bit-crushing frac-format module from the Harvestman.
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Post by sacredcow » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:53 am

Electribe ES-1 has it
EA-1 has a decimator
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Post by mok » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:02 am

I have three of these types. Frostwave Alienator, Alesis Bitrman, and Bugbrand BugCrusher '08.
Frostwave I think sounds the best of the bunch, and includes a nice resonant LPF to boot. It does both bit crushing and sample rate frequency reduction at the same time. Filter first, crusher first, filter only, and crusher only settings. Fantastic, and worth the $200-$300 you can spend. Possible cons: it is mono only, and has no bypass or footswitch. If you don't need these, this is the one for you.
Second in sonics is the BugCrusher. It has sample rate reduction via an analog sample-and-hold circuit with analog CV control for the Fs. Built in LPF which is switchable to a band-pass! CV/Footpedal inputs for both filter cutoff and s/h frequency. Easily the most versatile in a live setup. Sounds great too. Nicely placed bypass switch and lots of surface area to drop your foot on. Switchable input and output levels for line versus instrument levels! Possible cons: mono only, filter is always in circuit and comes post-crusher only. Also, foot pedal controls do not sweep the full range of the pots - still cool though. If these don't bother you and the need for a bypass exists, this is what you need. Good luck finding it though - they are sold in batches of less than 10 at a time and are all hand made over weeks by a nice guy in England. Be prepared to spend for quality and expression like this, along with that dang exchange rate! I'm talking $400 or so... (small aside - let me know if you are looking for this as I may have an extra one???)
Third but certainly not least, the Bitrman. Digital effect, but a h**l of a good sounding one. Built in compressor, distortion, bi-phase, and "bitrness". This control is either comb filter, decimator, bit reducer, frequency modulator, ring modulator, or frequency shifter. If Bitrness is controller #4, you can put that and the above effects in these orders: 1,2,3,4 : 4,3,2,1 : 3,2,1,4 : 4,1,2,3 : 1,4,3,2 : 2,4,3,1. You can imagine the fun. Has a bypass which is footswitchable via a standard 1/4" switch. Mono or Stereo(!) operation. Variable input gain as well. Hard to find as all the ModFX are out of production. Expect to pay close to $200 these days. Still worth it! Highly recommended is linking this with the Philtre which is tempo-syncable filter action. So much fun. I should get around one of these days putting up demos of all these fun effects. All of them I would say are hands-on effects - rarely will you set it and forget it and more often sweeping the crusher bits and filter bits will result in super fun. Good luck.

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Post by TrondC » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:27 am

mok wrote:I have three of these types. Frostwave Alienator, Alesis Bitrman, and Bugbrand BugCrusher '08.
Frostwave I think sounds the best of the bunch, and includes a nice resonant LPF to boot. It does both bit crushing and sample rate frequency reduction at the same time. Filter first, crusher first, filter only, and crusher only settings. Fantastic, and worth the $200-$300 you can spend. Possible cons: it is mono only, and has no bypass or footswitch. If you don't need these, this is the one for you.
Second in sonics is the BugCrusher. It has sample rate reduction via an analog sample-and-hold circuit with analog CV control for the Fs. Built in LPF which is switchable to a band-pass! CV/Footpedal inputs for both filter cutoff and s/h frequency. Easily the most versatile in a live setup. Sounds great too. Nicely placed bypass switch and lots of surface area to drop your foot on. Switchable input and output levels for line versus instrument levels! Possible cons: mono only, filter is always in circuit and comes post-crusher only. Also, foot pedal controls do not sweep the full range of the pots - still cool though. If these don't bother you and the need for a bypass exists, this is what you need. Good luck finding it though - they are sold in batches of less than 10 at a time and are all hand made over weeks by a nice guy in England. Be prepared to spend for quality and expression like this, along with that dang exchange rate! I'm talking $400 or so... (small aside - let me know if you are looking for this as I may have an extra one???)
Third but certainly not least, the Bitrman. Digital effect, but a h**l of a good sounding one. Built in compressor, distortion, bi-phase, and "bitrness". This control is either comb filter, decimator, bit reducer, frequency modulator, ring modulator, or frequency shifter. If Bitrness is controller #4, you can put that and the above effects in these orders: 1,2,3,4 : 4,3,2,1 : 3,2,1,4 : 4,1,2,3 : 1,4,3,2 : 2,4,3,1. You can imagine the fun. Has a bypass which is footswitchable via a standard 1/4" switch. Mono or Stereo(!) operation. Variable input gain as well. Hard to find as all the ModFX are out of production. Expect to pay close to $200 these days. Still worth it! Highly recommended is linking this with the Philtre which is tempo-syncable filter action. So much fun. I should get around one of these days putting up demos of all these fun effects. All of them I would say are hands-on effects - rarely will you set it and forget it and more often sweeping the crusher bits and filter bits will result in super fun. Good luck.
oh boy you MUST post some demos comparing the 3. I just have a thing for bit-crushers, and the one on my ESX sounds quite good, but I suspect that dedicated hardware boxes should sound even better still :) too bad the alienator has such a hefty price tag or I'd be all over it...

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Re: BitCrusher Hardware Effect

Post by tallowwaters » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:13 pm

rpstro02 wrote:Does a BitCrusher effect pedal exist anywhere? I only know of SW effects. I want to know before I make one.
Are you kidding? Is your only form of research asking on a web page. I would lock this, but at least some useful information is coming out.

Mok- would you kindly add your reveiws in the review sticky?
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Post by hageir » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:25 pm

The Alesis Ineko has a decimator too..
The Elektron Machinedrum & Monomachine both have inputs and both have SRR (Sample Rate Reduction) the UW (if you sample the inputs) has BRR (Bit Rate Reduction) for the samples.

The MPC 2000XL also has a bitcrusher, IIRC..

I don't know what a Decimator is, but there are some Behringer racks that have them (I remember it from another Bit Crusher thread on VSE) ;)
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Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:41 pm

hageir wrote:The Alesis Ineko has a decimator too..
Yup it do, and it also has a ton of other effects like ring mod, freq mod, filters, delays, reverbs, distortions, chorus, phase, flanging, and some other strangeness. The Ineko doesn't really make for a good Bitrman replacement, as part of what makes the Bitrman so charming are the chaining of the effects. What order you set the effects in dictates the sound, just like changing around the order of your guitar pedals. The Ineko also only does one effect at a time, whereas you can get all four going on the Bitrman. Also, in that vein, you might look for the Alesis Akira, the rackmount version of the Ineko. I believe it is controllable via MIDI.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:59 pm

The Evolver is also a hardware bitcrusher, but doesn't have as many different possible sounds in it as the Alienator. But you can crush stuff, filter it, have it go through a tempo sync'd VCA, distort it and then crush it again. It can be pretty wild if you want it to be.

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Post by rpstro02 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:07 am

mok wrote:I have three of these types. Frostwave Alienator, Alesis Bitrman, and Bugbrand BugCrusher '08.
Frostwave I think sounds the best of the bunch, and includes a nice resonant LPF to boot. It does both bit crushing and sample rate frequency reduction at the same time. Filter first, crusher first, filter only, and crusher only settings. Fantastic, and worth the $200-$300 you can spend. Possible cons: it is mono only, and has no bypass or footswitch. If you don't need these, this is the one for you.
Second in sonics is the BugCrusher. It has sample rate reduction via an analog sample-and-hold circuit with analog CV control for the Fs. Built in LPF which is switchable to a band-pass! CV/Footpedal inputs for both filter cutoff and s/h frequency. Easily the most versatile in a live setup. Sounds great too. Nicely placed bypass switch and lots of surface area to drop your foot on. Switchable input and output levels for line versus instrument levels! Possible cons: mono only, filter is always in circuit and comes post-crusher only. Also, foot pedal controls do not sweep the full range of the pots - still cool though. If these don't bother you and the need for a bypass exists, this is what you need. Good luck finding it though - they are sold in batches of less than 10 at a time and are all hand made over weeks by a nice guy in England. Be prepared to spend for quality and expression like this, along with that dang exchange rate! I'm talking $400 or so... (small aside - let me know if you are looking for this as I may have an extra one???)
Third but certainly not least, the Bitrman. Digital effect, but a h**l of a good sounding one. Built in compressor, distortion, bi-phase, and "bitrness". This control is either comb filter, decimator, bit reducer, frequency modulator, ring modulator, or frequency shifter. If Bitrness is controller #4, you can put that and the above effects in these orders: 1,2,3,4 : 4,3,2,1 : 3,2,1,4 : 4,1,2,3 : 1,4,3,2 : 2,4,3,1. You can imagine the fun. Has a bypass which is footswitchable via a standard 1/4" switch. Mono or Stereo(!) operation. Variable input gain as well. Hard to find as all the ModFX are out of production. Expect to pay close to $200 these days. Still worth it! Highly recommended is linking this with the Philtre which is tempo-syncable filter action. So much fun. I should get around one of these days putting up demos of all these fun effects. All of them I would say are hands-on effects - rarely will you set it and forget it and more often sweeping the crusher bits and filter bits will result in super fun. Good luck.

This is very detailed and helpful to me. Thanks a lot mok!
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Post by meatlog » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:26 am

Coming soon from The Harvestman:

Image

It's a lot like a Malgorithm with an internal modulator and a guitar-optimized signal path.

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Post by kvnvk » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:56 pm

fookin' sweet... :D

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Post by aeon » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:10 pm

Two modular devices exist that you could build your own bitcrushers on:

Clavia Nord Modular series (MicroMod would be inexpensive and it would do so much else too!)

Eventide DSP4K and greater (not including the Eclipse)

Both these choices would allow for total control of response, bitcrush and decimate, linear/log scaling, envelope response time, serial/parallel, additional filtering, glitching, etc.


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Post by dthestampede » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:01 am

boss/ roland sp samplers. just bout all of them feature bit reduction. sample @ the lowest audio rate then bit crush resample then overdrive/ distort! instant digital HARDCORE!
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