Altering the sound characteristics with the help of distortion like effects has been present in music production for a long time. Consequently, over the past 3 decades we got introduced to some pretty interesting sound processing units that alter the sound in soft or crazy extreme ways. It is so fun to use distortion effects and explore their limits in terms of creative signal processing.


Crush Pack by Native Instruments


In the following tutorial, I will present you a set of 3 awesome plug-in units from the Crush Pack by Native instruments designed to bend the audio from mild to harsh and even crazy sounding end result. BITE, DIRT, and FREAK breath creative life into iconic effects. They are introducing a modern twists on the prized tone of early samplers, the timeless shred of a sophisticated stomp box, dynamic ring modulated sci-fi sounds, futuristic timbres, other-worldly radio broadcasts, and more.




It’s all about precision bit-crushing. Therefore, with this plug-in unit you will be able to recreate the prized sonic imperfections that defined hip-hop and dance musicís first golden era, or dial the bits right down to depth-charged extremes. In addition, it offers organic crunch of 80s digital sample rate reduction, from character-adding bite to bit-reduced oblivion, auto-input/output compensation, for controlled chaos and ability generate curious and noisy artifacts at low sample rates.





This is a organic-sounding distortion, crafted by sound designers. Therefore, flexible signal routing, blending, and other carefully crafted parameters allow a level of control not normally associated with distortion units. Moreover, an elegant and broad spectrum of distortion, add presence to synths, glue drum busses, decimate guitars. Additionally, it allows wave folding, introducing complex, dynamic timbres from simple sources like sine waves.





Three sound-bending modulation types offer retro radio lo-fi and wild side-chain ability, alongside classic AM, ring mod, and frequency shifting techniques. Therefore, it creates detuned horror-style vocals, rich metallic timbres, rhythmic side-chain, and more. Furthermore, it adds a whole universe of noise and inharmonic content to harmonic signals .It possesses radio mode which allows demodulation of signals and offers the sound of vintage broadcasts or alien transmissions. Stereo modulation feature is particularly effective on percussion.



Practical examples


So, after the initial introduction of these unique effect, lets move on to some practical sound audio examples on different sound sources within SoundBridge.



Here is a simple drum loop. First we will hear it unprocessed and then processed with the Bite effect with some additional automation of its parameters.


~Drum Loop – Unprocessed

~Drum Loop – Processed with Bite


Next, we have a baseline sequence. Again, we will first hear it unprocessed and then processed with the Dirt effect.


~Bassline – Unprocessed

~Bassline – Processed with Dirt


A fine example of altering the tonal characteristics of Synth Arp. could be expressed by using the Freak effect. Let’s hear the difference before and after the use of this effect gain with some additional parameter automation.


~Synth Arp. – Unprocessed

~Synth Arp. – Processed with Freak


Feel free to download the complete project here.