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Bitcrusher'd!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DanGouge, Apr 4, 2009.


  1. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    So my keyboard player did a synth recording of a bass part I had done and it sounded awesome 'cause he'd gone and bitcrushed it like crazy.

    I've done some looking and right now I'm seriously considering going for the Catalinbread Heliotrope as my bitcrushing emulator. Is there anything else out there that I should consider? I have heard good things about the bugcrusher but also that it's hard to come by.
     
  2. rnilson

    rnilson

    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Yes, the heliotrope is one of the only "bitcrushers" in pedal form that is still in production. Other hard to find options are bug crusher, alesis bitrman, and a long awaited but not out yet Malekko Holley Erectus.
    If you post the track we can tell you if the heliotrope can get you there. It is not what I would call a classic bit crushed sound, although it does do some of that. It does do a nice digital type emulation though.
     
  3. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I've got a Heliotrope, and am still awaiting the Holley Erectus which apparently is now going to be a true digital bitcrusher.

    The WMD Geiger Counter is another pedal that can do "bitcrushing-like" tones, and a lot of dirty, lo-fi distortion as well. Lots of sound samples (some on bass) on their website.

    As for the Heliotrope, obviously it isn't really a bit crusher, being an analog pedal. I believe what's going on is that it works similar to a ring modulator to some degree. A ring mod will take your input frequency and the carrier frequency and add and subtract them, spitting out both tons (sum and difference). I believe the Catalinbread just kicks out the difference of the two tones. So with the gain off, it sounds like a somewhat more subtle ring mod.

    And with the gain adding some fuzz, it gives it a more lo-fi quality. It's a fun box, but one caveat is that it is unpredictable in terms of what you'll get note to note. You might pluck one note and get a gong/bell like ring mod type tone and then a half fret away you get a high pulsing dissonance.

    My main use for it is to run it in front of the Moog Low Pass with a filter regulating cutoff for synthy sounds.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    Yeah, the only way to properly bit crush is to do it digitally.
     
  5. I use the Bitrman, and love it. Keep in mind though that it is really not a stompbox. Its bypass switch is just a plastic button, and I would definitely advise again stomping on it full-force. I tend to do a light toe-tap on it. All of that aside, the sound it puts out is the cat's pajamas
     
  6. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    weird that this thread just popped up.. ive been producing my bands next album for the last few weeks, and theres quite a bit of bitcrushing.. on keyboard solos / as an abstract effect..

    i diddnt know they existed in pedal form.. this may end up costing me some cash, that i probobly dont have..

    how does bitcrushing react to bass tracks..does it preserve some bottom?
     
  7. rnilson

    rnilson

    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Well, I think you need to realize like Big O said the heliotrope is not true bit crushing. I don't know of a pedal that is in production that does true digital bit reduction.
    True bit reduction can do really cool things to the low end. The heliotrope on the other hand does reduce the low in most settings.
     
  8. Not in production, no. The two that I know of that do real digital bit reduction (the Bitrman and the Frostwave Sonic Alienator) have both been discontinued.
     
  9. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    Sounds like I might have to proceed with developing one. I've talked about this with a co-worker and we've come up with some neat ideas. He said it's easy to do.
     
  10. rnilson

    rnilson

    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    I would buy one.
     
  11. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    Any idea about a street date for that one?
     
  12. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Hard to say. I tossed emails back and forth with Josh in January and he said it would be finalized in "a couple months" but then again, I think everyone thought the new Malekko delays would be available by now. And their reverb pedal seemed to come out of nowhere.

    I get the feeling a LOT is going on over at Malekko so it's hard to tell which products will be out when.
     
  13. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    It looks like they are releasing a whole bunch of modules.

    They even have an Echo 600 module in their laboratory section now.
     
  14. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Jun 16, 2008
    PL
    I hope Josh won't forget about PlasterCaster. In fact this is the only pedal I'm looking forward.
     
  15. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I never did hear any details on that one. Is is a new version of the Mu-Tron Octave Divider, or am I thinking of something else?
     
  16. ScottB.

    ScottB.

    Sep 14, 2008
    Devon, UK
    What is bitcrushing?
     
  17. rnilson

    rnilson

    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    It is a digital process where the sample rate of a noise is reduced. Think original nintendo sounds.
     

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