Every music producer loves a new plug-in, especially when it's available for free, and is available on all common platforms, i.e., PC, Mac/VST, AU and RTAS. This multi-effect plug-in comes with only a few tweaking knobs, but can add a lot to a sound.
From a first glance at the surface of the Crusher's Graphical User Interface (GUI), one can notice that it has 5 main sections/modules; The Patch, Distortion, Filter, Compressor and Master sections, and each one can be activated separately from the ON button.
The Patch section has around twenty presets that one can choose from. One always has to be careful when working with presets because they might not be suitable for the respective sound that you are currently working on. However, some of them sound pretty good and are a very good starting point if you're not sure how it actually works. I've never actually worked with the given presets, but Tube Warmth and Ultra Phat sound quite good and a add a lot of tone and colour when put on bass and drums respectively.
This part of the GUI also includes a Randomize button. This basically gives you the possibility to mix/randomize settings on the Crusher for the sections that are switched on. It's quite a good function if you want to try things out and make some interesting settings.
The Distortion module is probably my favourite part of this plug-in. It includes two parameters that can be nicely mixed together to add a lot of colour to the sound. Tube provides a warm, analogue style overdrive, whereas Mech has a nastier sound. Blending them together can result in some beautiful textures, but keep an eye on the Volume because distortion tends to amplify the signal.
The Filter section also has two powerful parameters. The Cut-off is a 'low-pass filter'; fully open at 100% and you'll let all the frequencies through. Start turning down the knob and you'll get a nice response from the changing frequencies. Blend this with the Resonance parameter to boost the frequencies immediately surrounding the filter Cut-off point.
The Compressor section is very simple when compared to a full compressor plug-in. It basically has only one adjusting knob to alter the dynamic range and thus the apparent volume/loudness of the signal. Turn on the Phat Mode to add more punch and colour to sounds. Personally I like to use this function quite a lot on drums and 'rough/raw' sounds.
The last section is the Master, which includes an overall volume knob and a very useful Mix knob to adjust the wet/dry balance of the Crusher's output.
Overall, this plug-in is a very useful tool to have in your plug-in library. It also has MIDI capabilities for automation purposes. A bit of a down-side is that it tends to add punch/colour even when all the modules are off. On the other hand, use it creatively and you'll definitely love it.