Compatibility: Win, Mac, VST2 AU, AAX, 32-bit only
What Is Camel Crusher (Explained)
Camel Crusher is a free multi-effect VST plugin made by Camel Audio, that offers two distortion modes including, distortion and compression, which you can blend between. This will add colour, crunch and harmonics to your sound. It’s great for bass, guitar, drums, and more!
Made by Camel Audio way back in 2005, Camel Crusher has been a staple plugin for a lot of music producers around the world. Perfect for crushing synths and adding warmth and sweetness, Camel Crusher is perfect for any electronic music production.
Being the FREE younger brother of camel audio’s Camel Phat, camel crusher is a bit more stripped back. It fully holds it’s own against other big names in the distortion plugin market, like the Soundtoys Decapitator and iZotope Trash. While the latter two can cost a pretty penny, Camel Crusher is entirely FREE.
While the Camel Crusher vst plugin is amazing at destroying your sounds, it’s best characteristics come out, when used in a subtle way. The algorithms that camel audio used for this plugin add depth and warmth as well as some high-end sparkle to your sounds.
The high-quality crisp and clean sound that is so characteristic of the Camel Audio Camel Crusher, makes this one of the best saturation effects you can add to your music. In fact, it’s so good, it’s one of the only saturation plugins we like to use on our masters.
All in all, Camel Audio made an incredible plugin, that’s stood the test of time, and will continue to do so.
Features and User Interface
- Two different distortion types.
- Warm, analogue-modelled resonant low-pass filter.
- High quality, easy-to-use compressor, with ‘Phat’ mode.
- Powerful ‘MIDI Learn’ function.
- A collection of useful Preset patches to get you started.
- Randomize for instant inspiration.”
The User Interface of Camel Crusher is very simple and easy to understand, yet, very powerful, and you can drive it a lot.
The main layout of this VST plugin separates into 4 groups, Distortion, Filter, Compressor and Master control modules.
The distortion section has two knobs, ‘Tube’ and ‘Mech’. Tube is a tube saturator, which can be used for subtly warming up your synths, guitars or the entire master channel.
The Mech knob is a more mechanical sounding distortion. This is the knob you’ll want to use, if you’re looking to completely destroy your audio.
The filter in Camel Crusher is a standard style low pass filter, that comes with a cut off and resonance control. If you’re familiar with filters, you’ll have no issue using this one.
The low pass filter removes frequencies above your threshold. This can be a great way to remove some harshness from your extremely distorted audio.
Using a standard style low pass filter can be useful, but we would have liked more filter modes, to adjust the distortion filter even further.
In general however, the camel crusher filter has a warm, smooth sound, which any producer could use to great effect.
Unlike standard compressors, the one that appears in Camel Crusher, does not have any controls for attack, release or threshold. In the name of simplicity, you’ll have two knobs, correlating to ‘Amount’ and ‘Phat’ respectively.
The Amount controls the dynamic reduction and boost of your compressor, while the Phat mode control, supercharges the compressor even further.
TIP: We love pushing this compressor on percussions and details. It helps bring out roughness and some top end texture in your audio if mixed in subtly.
The master section consists of Volume and a dry/wet knob (Mix). The Volume and Mix controls are great for layering texture on your tracks, while the volume can be a great tool for achieving proper gain staging.
Camel crusher by camel audio comes with 20 presets, designed to encompass the wide spectrum of possible distortion effects. Presets range from “Dream”, to “Annihilate” and “YouWereWarned”.
You can also save your own presets, or, provided you can find them, use third-party presets from the internet.
Camel Crusher features one of our favourite music production plugin features. A randomize button.
Something we wish all effects VST plugins would have, a randomize button. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to spend a while, tweaking and designing the perfect sound.
That’s when you just want to click a button, and see where it leads. More often than not, this can be a source of great inspiration.
Additionally, each of the 4 interface blocks, have their own “on/off” toggle. This can be used to select which settings you want to get randomized, and which you want to stay unaffected.
All controls in Camel Crusher have a midi learn feature, which can be accessed by right-clicking on any effects modules. The module can then be controlled by midi, leading to more organic performances.
While testing, we found that assigning some of the more powerful controls to knobs on a MIDI contoller, can give you a nice layer of distortion you can dial in during more climactic parts of your song.
Used in tandem with a reverb, this can add a whole new layer of atmosphere to your sounds.
Camel Crusher Review
Camel Crusher by camel audio is an incredible distortion VST plugin. A lot of music production pros use it, and it’s FREE, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t have it in your arsenal.
Maybe you can’t afford a soundtoys decapitator, or want a versatile and easy to use distortion multi effect, to get a warm smooth tone. Maybe you just want to press randomize and destroy your guitars, or just create nice tube saturation patches.
And not to worry, even though it’s discontinued, you can still use camelcrusher by camel audio in your music production workflows.
What Happened To Camel Audio? (Explained)
Camel Audio is probably best known for their “Alchemy” synth. Nowadays you’ll find this synth bundled along with the Apple Logic Pro X as well as Mainstage. Sadly, other great camel audio products like the camel phat are no longer available.
Back in 2015, Apple acquired Camel Audio, to integrate it into Logic Pro and Mainstage. Camel Audio, then announced that they would be shutting down in January and removed all software for download.
Sadly, if you’re a windows user, Camel Crusher is pretty much the best you can get.
Is Camel Crusher 64 bit?
Yes, the Camel Crusher installer has both 32-bit and 64-bit VST plugin formats. It will work on both Mac and Windows. Just download the plugin, and run the installer.
How Do Install Camel Crusher (Solved)?
If it’s your first time installing a vst plugin on Mac or Windows, it might seem like a daunting task at first. Not to fear, it’s extremely simple.
Most plugin downloads come in the form of an installer. If you’re on Mac, this is as simple as opening the file, and dragging and dropping the plugin.
On Windows, you’ll have to go through an installation. During this installation it’s key, to set the install directory to be the same folder, that your DAW is set to look in for plugins. This is usually at C:/Program Files/VstPlugins.
Make sure to install the correct version of the plugin, since, most installers come wth many format options, like AAX, VST2, VST3 etc. (VST’s usually install as .dll files)
Usually, the main reason why a plugin might not be appearing in your DAW, it’s either that it’s not in the right folder, or you’ve installed a 32-bit plugin in a 64-bit folder.
Toms is a music producer & DJ, born and raised in Post Soviet Latvia. Currently based in Brighton, Toms has had over 6 years of experience with all things production and in that time, he’s done a tonne of cool stuff! He’s played multiple festivals, had experience in the field with mixing & mastering and even become a freelance journalist in the music industry.
Toms currently creates music under the alias Sovereign. Producing music that’s intimate and subtle, while full of edge and energy, the young producer combines the artistic sounds of Trip Hop artists like Massive Attack, with the energy and youthfulness of producers like Flume, Jamie XX and Yaeji. You can check his stuff on Soundcloud.