Thursday, October 10, 2013

chipcrusher re-sampling vs frequency response

Quite a few users have complained about chipcrusher's peculiar 'dry' frequency response compared to what they get with other common decimator plugins. This post hopefully will explain a few things.

Lets say we bypass the bit reduction, distortion and post filtering and only concentrate on the task of downsampling the plugin's input signal. which would be say at 96kHz. and that chipcrusher's re-sampler would be at 44.1kHz, its internal maximum.

There are two important aspects to consider:

1)Typical results achievable using a vintage sampler is very different from 'your typical Bitcrusher VST'.

99% of bitcrushers/decimator plugin out there use the same tired algorithm that was posted more than 10 years ago on This method does NOT band limit the input signal prior to the downsampling, it just sample and holds using a counter... any sample!

This is not what classic samplers did. Any engineer with half a brain at least tried to filter analog audio signal so it wouldn't contain harmonics over the Nyquist frequency of the target sample rate!. If you skip this pass, you will get extra aliasing all over the spectrum.

2)Not all lowpass filters are created equal.

All versions of chipcrusher prior to v1.005(available soon) used a CPU friendly downsampling setting which - in retrospect - might not have suited everyone's taste since it was not steep enough for high frequency content.

You can see chipcrusher's default precision somewhere in this animation made using 96kHz -> 44.1kHz with a white noise as source. All the other settings will be available. We have added a new 'Precision' parameter to set the steepness/cpu use ratio you desire. BTW The first picture in the lot is from a "do not pre filter" setting, we offer 6 such settings, from 6 point spline to truncation. Aliases like crazy, but to each is own.