Plogue Chipcrusher Review

Both the new and older generations seem to love the sonic qualities of the machines used in the 80’s gaming and home computer revolution. Plogue is a company that feels the same – it has already meticulously emulated the tiny details of many a classic machine’s sound chips for the chipsound virtual instrument.

Manufacturer Plogue
Price £38.08


Chipcrusher is an extension of this love of authentic-sounding old-school, but rather than being a sound source, it is instead a processing effect that offers DAC emulation, speaker IR capture and many other lo-fi attributes that help to create the old-school magic.

Exploring the presets demonstrates that this plug-in also covers any general lo-fi audio equipment from the 80s domestic home, such as telephones and children’s toys. The first main modifier offers a choice of DAC encoding. This allows for anything from slight to horrendous digital quality reduction-based distortion.

Next, among typical bit- and sample-rate-reduction tools is a control called Monotonicity. This lets you control a fixed pitch resonance that works in tandem with quality-reduction. At its most extreme it will override any pitch information in your audio. An RC Filter is also useful, which effectively controls another flavour of fidelity.

Many captured background noises are available, including the screen buzzes of a computer plugged in to a domestic CRT TV. The final stage of processing is speaker emulation, which covers some great resonant old computer boxes, a history of hand-held games machines and even classic arcade machine cabinets. The general tone of chipcrusher is the same nasty ones that were a byproduct of their age, and therefore represents a unique sonic flavour for your toolbox.