BitRate is a semi-modular 8bit drum machine for Reaktor 5.8.

Offering a variety of sound generation styles, all based on digital synthesis from the late 80s and early 90s, BitRate is a gritty device with a retro heart of silicone.

Key Features:

  • 5 drum slots into which you can load any one of 13 different sound modules
  • 4 main sound engine types, each based on a different style of lo-fi digital sound generation
  • A built-in sequencer with 2 modulation sequences per drum
  • Automatic tempo-synchronization when used in a host
  • EQ, Compressor, and Speaker Simulator master effects

More Details

Click on the links below to navigate quickly through the page.

» Audio Demos

» Videos

» Product Details

» Free Kits Download

» Purchase

» System Requirements

Audio Demos


Product Details

Retro Digital Sound

BitRate offers 4 main sound engines:

BR_Chip The CHIP engine contains 5 modules based on the sound chips used in video game consoles of the 8bit era. These modules are ideal for any musician interested in chiptune, or for adding a little retro-nostalgia to your tracks.
BR_IAOP IA-OP stands for Icebreaker Audio Operator, and is a 2 operator FM synthesis engine based loosely on the Yamaha FM chips used in PC soundcards and 16bit game consoles from the early 90s. The engine has two modes: Additive and Frequency Modulation; and a control set designed specifically for creating drum sounds.
BR_SMPThe SMP engine is a sampler with a twist. Based on toy keyboards from the late 80s, the SMP engine not only features 50 individual samples, but also a custom built sample Core Cell with “circuit bending” controls.
BR_GlitchAnd lastly, the Gl!tch modules. These are not based on any kind of specific synthesis style, but are more a result of DIY experiments with a harsh digital edge. Kind of like Atari Punk Consoles, but in software.

Drum Machine Features

  • Modulation:

    Each of the 5 drums has its own sequencer channel, with two modulation sequences. The modulation sequences can be routed to virtually any sound parameter of the drum.

  • Effects:

    The sound can then be further sculpted by a per-channel EQ; mixed using the channel strip; then further processed using the master EQ, bus compression, and a speaker simulation effect.

  • Routing:

    You also have the option to route the individual drum channels through their own outputs to your soundcard or host DAW. In addition to this, there is an Aux Send channel available for creating a sub mix for external processing.

  • Triggering:

    If you don’t want to use the built-in sequencer, that’s ok, the drums can also be triggered via MIDI input.

Authenticity and Flexibility

Although no single device was specifically emulated, the aim for the sound engines was to stay true to the selected synthesis styles. Volume envelopes, tuning characteristics, and many other small details were analysed and replicated.
BitRate offers, among other things, the most accurate chip-style synthesis available for Reaktor.
A sample engine needed to be coded in core from scratch in order to accurately emulate the gritty pitch-shifting and circuit bending possibilities of late 80s keyboards.
The sound of BitRate may be accurate, but the features were designed to make the instrument easy to use, yet also flexible. The clunky interfaces, bad integration, lack of sync options, and hardware faults are no longer an issue – no need to blow on cartridges!

Updates in version 1.1

  • Velocity Sensitivity and Sequencing
  • On/Off switches for Master Effects
  • Improvements to the channel EQ
  • Lower CPU usage

Free Sampled Kits

Bitkits, a collection of 10 free drum kits, made using samples generated by BitRate, is available from Uppercussion.

Supported Formats:

  • Maschine
  • Live 9
  • Battery
  • and more…

» Download now from the Uppercussion website.


BitRate is available now for £20 ($30)

Buy Now

Purchase via Paypal

» Go to the product page to purchase BitRate as part of a bundle.

System Requirements

  • Mac or PC running a full version Native Instruments Reaktor 5.8 or later
  • Download size: 7.82MB zipped (58.4MB uncompressed)
  • Note: BitRate does not run in Reaktor Player – a full version of Reaktor is required.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.