The Mainframe Bit Crusher takes us back in time to when Pac Man and Donkey Kong ruled the arcades, to when the Commodore 64 was high tech. It provides sample rate reduction ranging from 48kHz to 110Hz. The Mainframe’s sample rate range is wide enough to take you from sounds that are quite pristine to sounds that are unrecognizable when compared to the input signal.
It also provides bit crushing ranging from 24-bit to 1-bit. What does that mean? Bit crushing is bit depth reduction. Back to our CD example… CDs used a 16-bit bit depth meaning that each of its samples was represented by 16-bits of information. Higher bit depths can accurately represent a greater dynamic range while bit crushing increases the number of sampling errors and creatively degrades the sound to bring us back to those nasty “old school” sounds we love.
The Mainframe’s selectable High/Low/Band-Pass filter lets the user shape the artifacts of the bit crushing and sample rate. Another very cool feature is its Sample Rate Tuning Mode where the pedal analyzes your input signal in real-time and sets the sample rate to match the pitch of your signal, or a set interval above your signal. This allows you to set the sample rate to match the key of a song, or it will continually adjust the sample rate based on what you play.