If you’re looking for a little color or maximum crunch on guitar, drums, and whatnot, check out Camel Audio’s just-released free Mac/Windows plug-in:

CamelCrusher for Mac (AU/VST) and Windows (VST)

Even though it’s free, CamelCrusher has some pretty fantastic features:

  1. Distortion: Tube and “mech” for analog- and digital-style crunch
  2. Filter: Analog-modeled for a warm sound

  3. Compressor: The compressor actually sounds quite nice; there’s just one knob (“amount”) but it’s likely to be extremely versatile … see also the “phat” mode
  4. Performance and exploration features: A set of presets (including some more subtle sounds like “British Clean”), a randomize feature, plus MIDI Learn.

The inclusion of MIDI Learn and the simplicity of the design could make this especially useful for live performance / DJing in tools like Ableton Live. I threw it on some drums in a Live project so you can hear how it sounds with a few of the presets:

Camel Drums

Yes, you can crunch the soul out of your drums, but there are some subtler effects in there for when you calm down and decide to behave yourself. Camel is hoping you’ll upgrade to their excellent, musical CamelPhat effect or one of their other nice products.