Codec

Modern Degradation

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codec plugin screenshot on a solid background with a shadow
Codec is for sound destruction.

Unlike other plugins that simulate degradation in “old school” ways like vinyl, tape or cassette, Codec degrades sound in the most common way we hear today, through internet compression algorithms!

Codec is essentially a container that holds an audio compressor (not that kind of compressor) so you can compress and then decompress your sound, in real time, in your DAW of choice.

Highlights

Mode Selection

The internal state of the algorithm can also be altered. You can switch between a “voice” mode and a “music” mode. Each of these modes respond to incoming sounds a bit differently.

A *Bit* of Crunch

You can take Codec to it’s limits via the crunch section. Massive amounts of gain can be applied to the frequency section of your choosing, and then removed once compression & decompression have been completed, keeping your sound at the same volume but adding even more artifacts.

Packet Drop

Codec can simulate a poor internet connection through the use of it’s “Loss” system (as well as how ‘lost packets’ are handled). Packets can either be lost totally (and the internal algorithm will try to “reconstruct” your sound in real-time), or they can be held and repeated (for a super glitchy effect).

Overview

Don’t want to read Codec’s manual? That’s fine; Check out this longer video for a deep dive into Codec’s controls & concepts

What Others are Saying

While many audio degradation plugins are designed to add vinyl, tape or cassette-style vibes, Lese’s Codec freebie takes a more contemporary approach: it’s based on the sound of internet compression algorithms.

The visualizer at the top displays your audio as a cute pixel animation, and I literally wish I could use it as a screensaver.

I’ve tried dozens of bit reduces and tape/ mp3 effects, so my initial expectations were honestly pretty low. But the pink minimalistic UI, with bizarre pixel display drew me in. Described as an “internet compression algorithm” I knew, and was correct, that I might really enjoy this one.

Updates

Blog posts related to Codec

  • Bitrate adjustment for real-time packet size constraint
  • Bandwidth selector feature, allowing for bandwidth adjustment beyond filtering out artifacts
  • Coloration (crunch) option
  • Packet loss simulation
  • A funky visualizer
  • Fully vectorized, resizable interface

Windows: Supports VST3 & AAX

MacOS: Supports VST3, AU & AAX (Intel and ARM)

A Manual for Codec is included with the download package via Email.