Price: $39.99 (iOS $12.99)
Our Rating: 4.7/5
We have reviewed multiple plugins by Klevgrand, and always find that they have a sense of minimalism and ease of use akin to iOS apps (which is probably why they get ported to the system so often). Degrader brings a distortion/bitcrusher to their lineup to accompany similar lo-fi releases such as DAW Cassette and DAW LP.
Degrader is available on Mac and PC in AU/VST/AAX formats. The GUI is very pretty, and consists of controls for Bit Depth, Sample Rate, Jitter, Saturation and more. Degrader allows the user to resample a signal anywhere between 250Hz and 96kHz, with a low pass filter including pre and post fader controls. Bit depth can be altered continuously between 3 and 24 bits resolution, resulting in some very crispy, hairy noises. Parameter linking is also useful here, a feature that can really speed up your automation when designing complex sounds.
The overall sound is rather crunchy, and somewhat reminiscent of more desirable bit crushing experienced on older hardware samplers (the presets offer emulation of vintage hardware too). There is enough range to go from AKAI emulation to all out computerised mutation. It works well for futzing, creating 8 bit effects or even simulating a video game environment by placing it on your sound effects bus. In a musical context, it sounds great for drum processing. We used it on a recent project where we had to vocalise a robot, Degrader added a tasty dose of extra spice to the mix that helped make the voices more believable.
It would be nice to see some convolution added to the plugin, reminiscent of that featured in McDSP Futzbox. Impulse responses of hardware units could add an extra dimension to the sound, that for the most part is already exceptional.
The Bottom Line
Most DAWs can bitcrush a signal, but not all have the interface, ease of use and classic sound that Degrader has.
344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester.