There’s no shortage of free bitcrusher plugins out there. But if you need one that’s incredibly simple to use and doesn’t fuss with complicated features, look no further than PCM2612 by Inphonik.
What Is PCM2612?
PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit is a free bitcrusher plugin by Inphonik. The plugin takes the PCM Playback feature from their RYM2612 Iconic FM Synthesizer, and packages it as a standalone effects unit.
It’s immediately satisfying to use and gives you a tasty 16-bit crunch that only the Sega Genesis could provide.
PCM2612 is available in VST, AU, and AAX formats. You can also add it as a Rack Extension in Reason, or download it for iOS in the App Store.
It has a super simple design that lets you get the sound you want right away. No fussing with endless parameters and settings.
There are only four settings you can control:
- Distortion Level (DAC Prescaler)
- Switchable Output Filter
- Dry/Wet Signal
- Mono or Stereo
On top of that, PCM2612 lets you change the size and shape of the GUI.
Let’s take a look at some of these features.
Unlike other bitcrusher plugins, there aren’t separate settings for the sample rate and bit depth. There’s just one giant knob that screams “USE ME!”
You won’t be tweaking multiple dials to get the sound you want, which makes things a lot easier in most cases.
Switchable Output Filter
You can choose between two output filters:
- Legacy: This filter is modeled after the Sega Genesis’ amp circuitry.
- Crystal Clear: A purely digital output signal
Experiment with both and find the best sound for your mix.
PCM2612 lets you toggle between two form factors.
First, there’s a smaller box unit, which fits nicely on just about any screen. Then there’s the wider rack unit, which fits well on wider screens.
You can also scale the size of the display, which is nice for accessibility.
All these settings are cosmetic and don’t affect the plugin’s performance in any way.
Alternatives To PCM2612
There are plenty of other plugins that do what PCM2612 does. We even put together a list of free bitcrusher VSTs you can download right now.
One of the plugins we mentioned in that list is TAL-Bitcrusher. It’s a beginner-friendly bitcrusher that works in any DAW.
Download PCM2612 Right Now
This plugin is free. So it’s a no-brainer you should get it.
Adding a little distortion to your tracks can be the secret ingredient to making awesome music.
I love this plugin, and I think it’s well worth the download.
You Might Also Like This Other Video Game FX Plugin
If you’re a video game fan and want another FX plugin, you should check out SNESVerb from Impact Soundworks.
It helps you create the Super Nintendo’s signature delay effect, which can be heard in countless SNES game soundtracks. It also works as a downsampler to create other lo-fi sounds.
Check out our in-depth SNESVerb review to see what else it can do.
SNESVerb is a lightweight plugin for creating the ping-ponging reverb effect used in 16-bit video game soundtracks. It's also useful for other lo-fi processing effects.