chipcrusher banner

Retro-Digital Multi-Effect

Nostalgic for vintage sound encodings, 80s computer speakers, or the SPC Delay from a famous 16-bit console? chipcrusher's got all that, plus grit (background noise) and filter-impulse responses.

chipcrusher screenshot

How does it sound?

There is a wide spectrum of results achievable with chipcrusher. Here are a few use cases:

  • Uniquely destroy/mangle a beat, a guitar or any other audio track.
  • Play single hits and emulate the sound of old samplers.
  • Add ‘accurate dirt’ to chipsounds’s output.
  • Emulate a classic 16-bit console's "Delay/verb" to a track

There are four main components in chipcrusher: DAC Encoding, SPC Delay, Background Noise and Cabinet. The audio inputs first go to the DAC Encoding. Then gets processed by the SPC Delay, mixed with the Background Noise to finally get sent to the Cabinet stage. Of course, each component can be bypassed on demand without muting the audio.

TryBuySystem compatibility

1. DAC Encoding

More than a mere bitcrusher

chipcrusher’s DAC Encoding does the following passes on the input sound:

  • Resamples the audio input from the host’s sample rate to a user specified ‘virtual’ sample rate.
  • Encodes/decodes that data by using one of 16 distinct specified techniques. (See the list below)
  • Change the weighting of bits in the DAC to emulate non-monotonic behavior.
  • Oversamples the decoded data to mimic the behavior of specific DACs. (Zero-Order Hold, PWM, etc)
  • Applies basic filtering: one pole low pass (RC Filter) and high pass (AC Coupling)
  • Finally it downsamples the result back into the output host sample rate.

Simple Encodings

  • PCM (Linear Pulse-Code Modulation):
    Examples: Compact Disc (if 16-bit/44.1kHz), E-Mu SP12 (12-bit/27.5kHz) E-Mu SP1200 (12-bit/26.04kHz)
  • FPCM (Floating-point pulse-code modulation):
    Example: The YM301X series DAC used for Yamaha’s 4OP FM synthesizers encoded audio on 10.3-bits.
  • DPCM (Differential pulse-code modulation):
    Example: Delta modulation channel provided by the RP2A03/RP2A07 CPUs used in the Big N’s 8-bit console uses Bits=6 and Parameter=1

Adaptive Encodings

  • BRR (Bit Rate Reduction)
    Example: Specific ADPCM Encoding used in the  S-DSP of the SNES.
  • YADPCM :
    Examples: N’s ‘wii-mote’ and various Yamaha FM chips for sample playback.
  • HAAR Transform:
    A unique blend of triangle waveforms.
  • A-Law and μ-Law:
    Examples: Early US samplers and drum machines which used AM6070/AM6072 ICs like the LINN Drum machines, and the E-MU Emulator I/II/Drumulator.
  • DIALOGIC:
    Example: MSM(OKI)6295 Used in LOTS of late 80′s and early 90′s arcade titles (All non Q-sound CPS1 titles)
  • CVSD (continuously variable slope delta modulation):
    Example: Suzanne Ciani's voice in the Pinball classic 'Xenon'

1-bit Density Encodings

  • PWM (Pulse-width modulation):
    Examples: Some legacy software on the Apple II SoftDAC (3 and 4-bit versions) and DAC522. You will find that they are NASTY sounding. You have been warned.
  • PDM (Pulse-density modulation):
    This is usually run at VERY high sample rates, SACD/DSD uses 2.8224 MHz, but since here we only have straight PCM for input, whose rate depends on the host rate (typically 44.1/48/96kHz), it is quite useless to use PDM at higher frequency, since we don’t have extra information to encode in time.

Vocal Encodings

  • LPC10:
    Example: Speak & Spell
  • MOZER:
    Example: Berzerk, Impossible Mission
  • SP0256:
    Example: Intellivoice, Various speech modules for vintage computers.
  • Vocoder:
    Example: Really?

2. SPC Delay

This recreates the sound of the SPC's delay effect, which is responsible for the wash-like quality that the SPC gives to orchestral soundtracks such as in Final Fantasy 3. Another well known use is the cavern effect in Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country. It is also sometimes misused – particularly in fighting games that used a very short length and high feedback to try to make a reverb effect(in vain).

3. Background Noise

Noises were carefully recorded and looped from our collection of gear (consoles and arcade boards) which were also used for the research behind chipsounds.  Just select the preset and adjust volume to taste. Note: default volumes should be used if you want to keep it subtle.

Some units generate different noises depending on external factors, for instance, it is well known that the Commodore 64 and Vectrex background noises were directly related to what was displayed at a particular time on the screen.  In this case various noises are available.

4. Cabinet

How does it work?

A very efficient convolution engine allows chipcrusher’s sound (which can be very harsh at times) to go through a few of the most well loved vintage gaming devices, computers or monitors. Each impulse gives a totally different tonal quality to the sound.
The available impulses are split into 5 categories.

Computers

Speaker and Casings impulses of various PC clones but also three Apple classics, the Apple IIe and the Apple IIGS.

Apple IIe
Apple IIGS
PC Speaker
and more...

Filters

Mostly filled with the 3 variants of AMIGA Original Chip Set machines (A500, A1000 and A2000), with the infamous LED filters on and off. We also included the extreme lowpass filter from the SK1.

SK1
AMIGA 2000
AMIGA 400
and more...

Monitors

From the classic Commodore monitors used with the C64, to the Mac Plus and even a 50s Television set.

Mac Plus
AMIGA
50s TV
and more...

Game devices

Most portable gaming devices, or speaker-bearing devices of the day including a Coleco Mini-Arcade, and a fullsize Galaxian Arcade Cabinet and Nintend_ VS cabinet. A Oui-Mote, a Vectrex, 4 different gameboy’s (DMG-1, CGB, GBA and GBA clam shell) and more!

VS Cab
Speaknspell
GB
and more...

Music instruments

Various classic drum machines, keyboards who came with a speaker.

Stylophone
SK1
SHS10
and more...

System compatibility

chipcrusher can run either as:
Win32
Win64
OSX32
OSX64
VST® Plug-In
NO
NO
Audio Units™ Plug-In
NO
NO
NO
ProTools AAX® Plug-In
NO
NO

requirements

  • PC: Windows 7 (x64) or higher
  • macOS: 10.9 or higher
  • CPU: Intel/AMD dual core or more
  • RAM: 1GB or more
  • Disk space: about 32 MB
This plug-in supports Native Instruments’ NKS format. It is compatible with Maschine and Kontrol S-Series keyboards.

All available products

sforzando