Lese’s Codec plug-in brings the nostalgia of slow internet connections and digital compression to your DAW – and it’s free

“We figured it would only be fair to provide it for free”

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Boutique developer Lese has released a new plug-in to emulate internet compression algorithms, degrading audio in a distinctly digital and modern way.

The plug-in’s retro-inspired GUI consists of parameters for Loss, Bitrate, Bandwidth, Crunch, Frequency and Width. Selectable Voice mode, Music mode and Low-latency modes handle incoming audio in different ways, while the plug-in’s Loss system simulates poor internet connection via ‘lost packets’; which can either be lost totally, in which case the algorithm will try to reconstruct sounds in real-time, or they can be held and repeated to create a glitching effect.

The Crunch section is where the Codec can be taken to its extreme, with the potential to add and remove frequency band-specific gain, adding to the amount of artefacts in the sound.

“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!” Lese says. “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.

“Since Codec is basically just a container, we figured it would only be fair to provide it for free as a VST3 and AU plugin, so enjoy!”

A creative and off-kilter developer, Lese’s objective, in its own words, is to fill ‘auditory niches’. “We design unique systems, built from the ground up to work a bit differently from other audio plugins,” it says, and Codec is certainly demonstrative of this.

Check out a run through of Lese’s Codec plug-in here:

Codec is available now for free as a VST3 and AU plug-in for macOS and Windows. For more, head to lese.io

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