Finally! Now you don’t have to wait for your computer to start glitching out – you can make it happen yourself, with this inexpensive Max for Live device.

Okay, so technically what we’re talking about is a “stockastic sample freezing effect.” Since it’s a Max for Live Device, you can drop its audio-munching powers on any track you want, making for glitched out percussion, vocals, or whatever you like. But if you’ve ever watched a computer melt down and listened to the resulting sounds and thought, “hey, actually, I could use that” – this is for you.

The reason it matches a BSOD is, computer stability issues cause the digital audio buffer to “freeze” on particular sounds rather than continue to process buffered audio normally. (Digital audio systems give the illusion of running in real time, without losing a continuous stream of audio, by dividing digital audio into chunks and feeding those chunks in sequence to the audio card… so that if the machine falls behind a few samples, you won’t notice.)

This creation is the second Max for Live invention from Isotonik Studios today – happy Valentine’s Day, y’all – and carries the price of €9.52. For that, you get some control over the effect – especially since it isn’t actually crashing your machine. The developers describe the parameters as follows:

Freeze: control the gate frequency in time signatures
Width: make the gating wider or tighter
Dry/Wet: master dry/wet control

And all of this is MIDI-controllable.

If you want to live more dangerously, the classic Smart Electronix effect Buffer Override actually does screw around with your machine. The work of developer Sophia Poirier, this is the opposite of what would normally constitute a stable plug-in. The idea: it “overcomes your host app’s audio processing buffer size and then (unsuccessfully) overrides that new buffer size to be a smaller buffer size.”

Beware, as that will actually cause some hosts to, you know, crash. But Buffer Override is free. (Well, it’d be a bit strange to charge for that!)

For safer, more playable operation, you should stick to Isotonik Studios’ creation. Have at it:

  • chaircrusher

    Buffer Override is one of my favorite old-timey VST effects!

    And no, it doesn’t actually crash your machine, or at least it never did mine.

    • chaircrusher

      It also isn’t available 64 bit, though source code is available. I’d try to build it but I actively avoid software development on my music machine.

  • ernceccodortona

    Hi, I’m the BSOD developer, Ernesto Cecco D’Ortona: first off BSOD is a StrangeLines product, being distributed by Isotonik Studios. Lastly BSOD doesn’t crash anything, it just ryhtmically freezes a sample from the incoming signal. Have fun and follow

    • Baron Von Creepz

      The color is certinaly spot-on!

  • Samuel Holland

    I went to undergrad with Sophia Poirier while she was making the Smartelectronix stuff! The early 2000s were a heady time in South Florida… back when laptops were COOL to use live, and I would play live sets by lugging my tower PC around until I got one of my own! Thanks for posting Buffer Override, good stuff. I think she went on to work for Cycling 74, then I lost track.

    • Samuel Holland

      Oddly enough, BO never crashed Jeskola Buzz, which would crash all the time and had no auto-save or undo…

  • EricM

    Used to use Buffer Override quite a bit (many, many years ago) and it never crashed my computer, so don’t worry about trying it out.

  • disqus_nURY1n6kAG

    crazyivan.dll you cowards