BITPUNK - A Digital Degradation Plug-In

Vicious sounds via a two-channel bit-swapping engine   23-Jun-23

United Plugins has announced availability of BITPUNK from founding partner JMG Sound. They describe it as anchored around an advanced bit-swapping engine that takes two source channels (A and B) and ruthlessly rips the bits from one to another to manipulate them in various vicious-sounding ways, with audio damage limitation being far from its intended audio remit as a punk attitude-pushing powerful and versatile digital degradation effect plug-in like no other. Here's the details in the company's own words..

Powerful bit manipulation
Far from simply being a loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music popularised in the late-Seventies, punk effectively turned pop music and its attendant culture on its head with resonating attitude. As such, the punk attitude-pushing BITPUNK from United Plugins founding partner JMG Sound allows anyone to experience the raw energy of digital degradation as the ultimate effect plug-in for bit manipulation, unleashing its immense power to transform their sound through a wide range of bit-altering techniques, including swapping, crushing, inverting, and morphing. An array of cutting-edge bit-mangling effects -- enhanced by master compression (PRESS), saturation (HEAT), and hard clipping (CLIP) -- collectively conspire to make BITPUNK stand proud as the pinnacle of bit plug-ins, pushing the boundaries of sonic exploration like never before.

Enhance or destroy
As a punk attitude-pushing powerful and versatile digital degradation effect plug-in like no other, BITPUNK can subtly enhance sound in various ways -- add top-end crunch with some bit-crushing and rate reduction, smooth it out with filters, and beef up the low end with feedback, then compress and saturate for ultimate enhancement; but by its very nature, it can just as easily smash the life out of those bits, deforming them with frequency shifting and glitch effects, then overdrive everything through aggressive compression and hard clipping. Indeed, it can go from subtle sonic magic to all-out degradation, deformation, and destruction.

Swapping bits
An advanced bit-swapping engine powers BITPUNK towards doing what it is it does. Indeed, its main focus is to swap bits from two sources. SWAP MODE selects how the sources will be swapped; MORPH progressively swaps the bits from BITPUNK's colour-coded -- A (green) and B (red) -- channels, with each bit being individually crossfaded with the next to enable smooth transitions between bits -- great for transitions and automating, while GRID allows each bit to be independently swapped from A to B -- good for setting a custom bit pattern. Put it this way, though: those two sources must be different in some way for bit-swapping to take effect, which is why the two channels provide several effects to achieve this, including a RATE reducer -- create crunchy-sounding top end by using sparingly or, alternatively, achieve lo-fi broken arcade-type effects by smashing it hard; square wave frequency shifter (SHIFT) -- uses a dirty lo-fi algorithm with square-wave modulation; SYNC (syncable) DELAY -- short values create cool phasing effects; self-explanatory HP (high-pass) and LP (low-pass) filters; plus more besides. BITPUNK also has a SIDECHAIN input as part of its B MODE SELECTION, so users can route any audio into its B channel to then swap bits between the two signals, allowing for smooth morphing between two completely different sound sources in very unique ways. Said SIDECHAIN can also be used to duplicate the input signal so external effects can be used to create the differences between the two channels.

A new kind of crush
BITPUNK's B MODE SELECTION also includes a MUTE mode, making it possible for users to swap bits from the input with silenced bits for the classic bit-crushing eff ect. It is well worth noting here, however, that while standard bit crushers silence the bits starting from the highest to the lowest, BITPUNK users can silence them in any order they wish, making for a modern twist on a classic effect. Enhancements to finalise the sound can additionally be made after finishing deforming and degrading the audio with BITPUNK's bit effects, thanks to its inclusion of an aggressive compressor (PRESS), soft clipping diode saturation (HEAT), HP and LP filters, and a hard clipper (CLIP); use them to tame harshness, fatten the sound, or overdrive it into oblivion, then blend the overall effect with the master DRY/WET mix. Musically speaking, an enormous range of damage, of course, can be inflicted. Is it any wonder, then, that award-winning producer, sound designer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist Zardonic (a.k.a. Federico Augusto Agreda Alvarez), the Venezuela born-and-bred 2016 Union Rock Show Awards winner famed for finding the perfect flashpoint between the heavy metal and electronic music worlds, without reservation calls it his "... favourite f*****g plug-in of all time."

Key features:

  • Anchored around an advanced bit-swapping engine that takes two source channels and ruthlessly rips the bits from one to another
  • Transforms sound through a wide range of bit-altering techniques -- including swapping, crushing, inverting, and morphing -- to go from subtle sonic magic to all-out degradation, deformation, and destruction
  • Silences the bits in any order, making for a modern twist on the classic bit-crushing effect
  • Finalises the sound with further enhancements, having deformed and degraded the audio with bit effects

 

Pricing and Availability:
JMG Sound's BITPUNK is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of only €19.00 EUR until August 8, 2023 -- rising thereafter to its regular price of €79.00 EUR -- as an AAX-, AU-, VST-, and VST3-compatible plug-in (using internal 64-bit audio processing capable of handling any sample rate) directly from its dedicated webpage where a 15-day, fully-functional trial version for macOS 10.10 and newer and Windows 8/10/11 can also be downloaded for free.

Note that no iLok, dongle, or internet access is required for BITPUNK activation. (All United Plugins software uses license files for activation and owners can freely use purchased software -- with free-for-life updates -- on all their computers, as long as they are the user.)
 

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