An often overlooked effect (bitcrushers), can bring your tracks to life if used correctly.
There’s one that comes with pretty much every synth, not to mention the one you probably already have stock within your DAW.
More often than not, all of these are very similar and you *at best* get a couple of controls, that don’t give you much precision.
There’s not many bitcrushers that are as in-depth and musical as the Free Krush bitcrusher by Tritik.
Tritik’s Krush Pro is one of the best bit crusher plugins available. It has an extensive modulation section, a clean and intuitive interface as well as plenty of great sounding effects.
- Great-sounding bitcrusher engine, with amazing options for customisation
- Crunchy, warm and Lo-Fi style distortion great for any genre to add bite to sound design or mixing
- Really simple to use with a great, clean UI
- Low CPU usage, and able to use many, many instances before overload
- Not as many features as other more expensive plugins
What’s a Bitcrusher?
If you’re not a nerd like us, then feel free to skip ahead, but we’ll try to explain bit crushers in simple terms.
In the same way that a video clip is comprised of individual frames, digital audio is made up of samples. If a standard video framerate is 60FPS and, you turn the framerate down, the video becomes stuttery and unpleasant.
An audio recording is tons of samples played in sequence.
The bit depth decides how detailed these samples are. Bit crushing reduces the number of samples in a recording. This lowers the quality, raises the noise floor, and adds distortion.
That may sound like a bad thing at first, but if used correctly, it’s an essential tool for achieving great dynamics or distortion in your sound. The sonic qualities you get from this kind of digital compression are entirely unique and sound great in context.
What Is Tritik Krush?
“With its bit crushing and downsampling algorithms, Krush combines the crispy taste of the digital realm with the warmth of its drive stage and analog modeled resonant filters. A modulation section allows you to quickly add extra life to the sound by modulating any parameter.” – (Tritik)
The sound palette produced by Krush ranges from the dirtiest digital effects to crunchy modulated colours, with all the classic and weirdest bit-crushing effects in between.”
We give the Krush a solid 4.8/5.
Tritik’s Krush is available in VST, AU and AAX formats
At its core, Krush is still a bit crusher.
Which means that you get, all of those beautifully rough dynamics in your audio. Where Krush stands apart, however, is its Modulation capabilities & stage bit depth reduction.
With its fully resizable clean & minimal interface, this free bitcrusher is a great addition to your toolkit.
And, let me tell you, we’ve used a lot of bit crushers.
Since we love the percussive and rhythmic qualities of bitcrushers, automation has usually been key for us to get the necessary movement into the bitcrusher. With the Krush, we’ve stopped doing that altogether because it makes modulation so simple.
Why Do We Love It?
A lot of the time, when making music daily and spending a lot of time on it, you’ll be looking for time wasters to cut out of your workflow.
The UI and the user experience of any plug-in or hardware device ultimately come down to how easy it is to use to get the most out of it.
That being said, the good people at Tritik know how to design a plugin.
It’s simple & minimal, but still colourful and exciting to look at.
All the controls are very well laid out, and even a beginner, will be able to see how to work this little puppy.
Tempo-synced modulation speed is a great feature to have in a bitcrusher, it’s a gold mine of interesting and dynamic sounds. Additionally, the fully resizable interface is something we wish a lot more plugin makers would include in their designs.
The clean and intuitive tooltips are also a great part of the user experience. In the plugin menu, you have all the information you would ever need about it. And it’s all explained in simple words, so you’re not overcome by engineer talk.
Here you’ll find all the main controls of Tritik Bitcrusher.
Drive, Crush and DWSP.
- Drive is self-explanatory, it’s essentially some hard gain.
- Crush reduces the bit depth of your audio, reducing the quality of audio samples.
- DWSP is downsampling, which reduces the sample rate.
Bit depth reduction, sample rate reduction and drive are very powerful tools, and you’re very rarely going to be using them maxed out.
A little here goes a long way. But don’t be scared to experiment, add some modulation and you’re on your way to a dynamic city.
Tritik also gives you a very simple filter section, which includes a low pass and high pass mode, as well as your frequency cutoff and resonance.
Our favourite way to use the filter section is in parallel:
- Set up a track that you want to bitcrush.
- Add Krush on a send and get your audio running through it.
- Now, set up your bitcrusher’s settings.
- When you’ve got a good thing going, use the filter to shape your bitcrusher’s output & voila!
Alternatively, you can use a low pass mode to get some excitement into your mids.
In Krush’s modulation section, what you get is essentially an LFO. The LFO has the usual Sine, Square and Triangle modes, in addition to a Random mode, where your Lfo will be randomized.
It can be dialled in to control any of the 5 controls mentioned previously, (Drive, Crush, DWSP, Freq, Res), or all dialled in at the same time.
If you’re into glitchy music and strange rhythms, you’ll love the randomness as much as we do.
The LFO is syncable to your DAW global bpm, and you get the usual selection of divisions to choose from. In addition to this, you can also have it going on its own clock to get a bit more of a wonky sound.
After you’ve got your LFO rate how you want it, it’s just a matter of choosing which parameter to control, and dialling in the corresponding knob.
TIP: If you need more precision when dialling the knobs, hold CTRL or CMD.
Sadly, one thing we were missing was any factory presets.
The preset functionality feels quite intuitive and easy to use, however, and the Freezer function is incredible.
You can freeze a parameter, which keeps it the exact same even if you are changing a preset to a different one. This is great, if you’ve made some presets already, and want to go through them while retaining your LFO speed and the amount of drive for example.
It’s also extremely easy to save patches and open them up later with the file-based preset system, so you can get creative & make some great presets to share with your buddies.
The Free BitCrusher Krush, by Tritik, is a no-brainer! It’s free my guy.
Mediocre preset system aside, the sound of this bit crusher is amazing.
It’s 100% the best free bitcrusher plugin on the market.
Krush’s clean and intuitive interface (which is fully re-sizeable), is very pleasing to use and never feels like it stifles your workflow. You can grab Krush, from Tritik’s website for free.
Want more from us?
Make sure to take a look at our list of the Top 50 VST plugins of 2020
Or if you’re interested in improving your bass mixing skills, check out our tutorial on how to compress your bass
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.