Pixelator - Unique Bitcrushing Plugin
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Pixelator is an ultra-precise bitcrusher plugin created by JST for sound design and music production. This bitcrushing solution was created with input from producers, sound designers, and musicians to ensure that each mode allows you to create low resolution audio and bit crushed sound with unique sonic characteristics and maximum accuracy.
It’s also incredibly effective for sonic exploration and 8-bit/chiptune-style music!
What is Bitcrushing?
Bitcrushing is a sound effect that is created by reducing the number of bits used to represent a sound wave. Bitcrushing can be used to create a variety of effects, such as making a sound distorted, crunchy, or lo-fi. The easiest way to achieve these effects is through the use of a bitcrusher plugin like Pixelator. In music, bitcrushing is often used to create a distorted or crunchy sound. It can also be used to create a lo-fi sound, which can be desirable for certain genres of music, such as hip hop and electronic music.
In movies and TV, bitcrushing is often used to create tension, unease, or danger. It can be used in place of clippers like JST Clip on explosions and other loud noises and is often added to film scores to tie the music back to the environment.
In video games, bitcrushing is often used to create a retro or nostalgic sound or as a layer to maximize the impactfulness of sounds as you might hear in movies. In recent years, bitcrushing has become increasingly common in first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty.
5 Bitcrushing Modes
Pixelator offers five unique algorithms for bitcrushing, defined as mothat you can select from within the plugin. With two Sample & Hold options, two Liner options, and a unique Zero Pad mode, you’ve got lots of choices when it comes to how you manipulate your audio.
Sample & Hold I
Sample and hold is a technique used to reduce the sample rate and bit depth of audio. It works by repeatedly sampling the audio signal at a lower rate and then storing the value of each sample in a register. The register can only hold a certain number of bits, so when the audio signal is sampled at a lower rate, the values of the samples are rounded down to the nearest value that can be stored in the register. This process of rounding down the values of the samples causes the audio signal to be degraded in quality.
Sample & Hold II
The alternate Sample & Hold mode follows the same process as Sample & Hold I, but instead of rounding down to the nearest value that can be stored in the register, it holds and repeats the maximum value encountered in the previous block, applying this maximum value to subsequent samples until the start of the next block.
This mode applies linear interpolation within each block of audio, introducing more high-frequency loss as sample division is increased and bit depth is reduced.
Linear interpretation is a method of converting high-fidelity signals to low-fidelity signals by sampling the high-fidelity signal at regular intervals and then converting each sample to a low-fidelity value. This method causes high-frequency loss in audio because the low-fidelity values are not able to represent the full range of frequencies in the high-fidelity signal.
The higher the Sample Division, the more distorted the representation of the audio will be.
Like Linear I, this mode uses a form of linear interpolation to bitcrush audio. Instead of rounding down the values as Linear I does, it rounds up instead — behaving similarly to how Sample & Hold II does.
As with all modes, more sample division and lower bit depths create a more processed sound.
In Zero Pad mode, a different algorithm is applied that starts a new block using the input samples directly and pads the remaining space within each block with zeros. This is an effect that is commonly offered in other bitcrushers — offering a unique audio experience for any sounds processed through it.
What You'll Get
Supported Operating Systems
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VST and VST3 are trademarks of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH.
Mac OSX and Audio Unit are trademarks of Apple, Inc.
AAX is a trademark of Avid, Inc.
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft, Inc.