A bitcrusher reduces the sampling rate and resolution of a signal without any filtering, resulting in aliasing and quantization noise. When a digital signal is resampled at a lower sampling rate it creates copies of the signal (aliasing). Unlike a fuzz, these copies are not harmonically related to the original signal. Samplers and digital audio workstations use filters to remove the aliased components, but they are essential to a bitcrusher's character.
When too few bits are used to represent a signal, each sample is rounded to the nearest allowed value and no longer matches the true signal level. The rounding errors cause noise, called quantization noise, because the actual signal is approximated using a small set of values. 8-bit computer audio is a good example of quantization noise, but the Red Panda Bitcrusher can go all the way down to 1 bit.
Bit crushers are great for shredding your signal, but they can also make your ears bleed. We spent months tweaking to make a more musical bit crusher (but it can still shred).
- Stereo bit crusher
- Works with guitar, bass, and line level instruments
- Flexible inputs and outputs for self-oscillation and feedback loops
- Custom knob responses provide wide range along with more control in the most useful ranges
- Proprietary bit reduction algorithm incorporating a noise gate and fractional bit depths
- Developed using the Line 6 ToneCore® DSP Development Kit
- All new custom DSP code
- Works with stereo or mono ToneCore® docks. We highly recommend a stereo dock!
- The tracking mode switch has different functions depending on whether tracking is on or off:
- Tracking on (green LED):
- Track - Sampling rate decreases as pitch increases.
- Env Sampling rate modulated by the envelope detector.
- Track + Sampling rate increases as pitch increases.
- Tracking off (orange LED):
- Hold (Track -): Sampling rate is held at its last value (including modulation).
- Off: Sampling rate is unaffected.
- Hold (Track +): Sampling rate is held at its last value (including modulation).
- Tracking on (green LED):
- Mix knob controls wet/dry balance.
- Env knob does two things:
- Modulate the wet/dry mix by the input signal's envelope.
- In “env” tracking mode, it also modulates the sampling rate by the envelope.
- Crush control reduces the number of bits used to represent the signal, from 24 bits (0%) to 1 bit (100%). With quiet guitar pickups, the signal level will increase as the crush control is cranked up. Line-level signals will be attentuated. (When necessary, you can mix in some of the dry signal to keep the level more consistent.)
- Freq control sets the sampling rate. Middle settings add inharmonic distortion, lower settings shred the input signal.
- LFO knob controls how much the sampling rate is modulated by the LFO. Speed knob controls the LFO rate, from slow modulation (0%) to audio rates (100%).
- The LFO waveform can be switched between sine, square, and random step (sample and hold). Sine is good for modulation. Square has a similar sound to ring modulation at higher rates. Random works well for computers in sci-fi movies.
- Bit depth: 1 to 24 bits fractional)
- Sampling rate: 152 Hz - 39 kHz
- LFO rate: 0.125 - 32 Hz
- LFO waveform: sine/square/random
- Pitch tracking: monophonic
- 100 MIPS DSP
- 3,837 bytes code size
- Stereo or mono operation
- Tap/bypass switch
- Requires 90 mA, center negative 9V DC power supply or 9V battery (we recommend using the Line 6 DC1 power supply)
- (2009-10-22) Red Panda Bitcrusher - guitar demo by Red Panda
- (2009-10-30) Red Panda Bitcrusher - bass guitar demo by Red Panda
- (2009-11-21) Red Panda Bitcrushed Drums by Red Panda
- (2009-12-05) More Doubling Tricks with Red Panda Bitcrusher by Red Panda
- (2014-10-27) Red Panda Bitmap bitcrusher by JustNickMusic