We're currently living in the age of digital audio. Saturation is an incredibly powerful tool that is essential to any music producer.

But there are so many different Saturation plugins in the music production landscape, so we decided to create the ultimate list of the top Saturation plugins today that will help you find the perfect fit.


Halcyon

Saturation by SoundSpot



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Description


Some of the greatest recordings of all time come from the analogue age, boasting a warm and pleasing sonic character, but how can this be achieved in the digital domain? Simple - use saturation to add harmonics.

Whether you are using a little to add a touch of warmth, or driving the signal hard to create dirty and distorted sounds, saturation plays a key role in every great production. 

But not all saturation tools are created equal, and all to often producers find themselves stacking a combination of various saturation plugins, to get the sound they are searching for or control the need.

At SoundSpot® we decided that a one stop shop for saturation was needed, and began developing a plugin that would deliver amazing sound quality and character with all the control you need.

The Halcyon boasts a huge amount of control, allowing you to truly tailor the sound of your harmonic saturation. From smooth tape to warm tube and everything in between, the Halcyon can breath life into your productions and make them sound fantastic.

Visual Feedback

Sometimes a little visual feedback can be very useful in making the right decisions in your mix, and whilst we are strong advocates of “Trust Your Ears” we also understand that most listening environments in the age of bedroom production will be far from perfect. 

We felt that in the case of saturation, being able to see what you are adding and where would be extremely useful to most users, so with that in mind, we developed an analyser that displays a second frequency chart, showing the additional harmonics being added.

Selecting Your Range

You won’t always need to add saturation to the entire spectrum of a sound, so we created a simple and quick way to target an area of the frequency range. Just drag the yellow tabs to where you want the effect to begin and end, it’s that simple.

Quick Start Presets

When you’re in a hurry to complete a mix, the quick templates are just the ticket to get you in the right direction. Just navigate through Drums, Bass, Guitar, Synth and Vocal to get a starting point to speed up your work flow.

Mid/Side & Drive Drive Control

So you’ve got the frequency range selected, now it’s time to add the magic. Just turn the drive control up to start adding saturation, then use the mid/side outer ring to obtain the desired balance for the effect.

Attack, Release & Makeup Gain

Saturation is fundamentally compression, and as such the best way to control how it behaves is through attack and release parameters. These controls allow you to create every conceivable kind of saturation you desire. You can even use the Halcyon as a character compressor or a brick wall soft clip limiter, to smooth out vocals or glue sub groups together. You can use the makeup gain control to compensate for the saturation boost if required.

LFO

Movement in your production is crucial in order to keep the listener engaged and using the Halcyon LFO to add movement over time to the just the ticket to keep things interesting. The LFO controls only the saturated signal creating a truly unique effect. This effect yields great rewards on drums, as you can use the LFO combined with range to create a distinct groove to your percussive sounds.



Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


macOS:

  • 10.12 – 10.15 (older OS versions may work but are not tested)

Plugin Formats:

  • VST
  • VST3
  • AU
  • AAX (Pro Tools 11.0.2 or higher)

Windows

  • Windows 7, 8 or 10 (32 & 64-bit)

Plugin Formats: 

  • VST
  • VST3
  • AAX (Pro Tools 11.0.2 or higher)

Specification Requirements:

  • RAM: 8 GB RAM or more is recommended. Plus at least 8 GB hard disk space for installation.
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer.
  • Formats: In theory any 32 or 64-bit VST, VST3, AU, or AAX compatible host application should work.
  • Licensing: Internet access for activating licence key. Please ensure any outgoing connection blockers are deactivated.
  • Sample Rates: Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz, in both mono and stereo.

OS Compatibility



Boost X

Saturation by Initial Audio



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Description


Smart Saturation

Boost X is a dynamic and smart Saturation/Overdrive plugin. Used to make any sound warmer by adding extra harmonics.

Many other Saturation/Overdrive plugins use a static (stateless) algorithm that doesn’t change depending on the audio passed through. These effects rely on a gain boost, when the audio hits a certain threshold then Saturation is applied. They are either on or off and the amount of saturation is heavily dependent on the loudness of the audio passed into them.

Boost X is different, it reacts to the input audio and applies the perfect amount of saturation at the current loudness. This means even quiet sounds can be overdriven without any gain in loudness. Boost-X also compensates for perceived loudness, bringing the loudness down even further so you get nice rich harmonics added to your sound, without destroying the balance of your mix.

Boost X gives your sounds a rich depth and warmth that sits well in your mix, bringing your vocals and instruments to life with a true analog warmth and feel. Get it with Boost X – Dynamic Saturation.




Features

  • Dynamic saturation – Stateful saturation which dynamically responds to the input signal.
  • 16 times Oversampling – For maximum aliasing repression and highest quality sound.
  • 7 Saturation types.
  • Large amount knob for fine control.
  • High definition resizable GUI.

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


PC

  • Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only)
  • 4GB Ram
  • VST compatible DAW

Mac

  • OSX 10.6 or later (64-bit only)
  • 4GB Ram
  • VST or AU compatible DAW

OS Compatibility



Pumper Saturator

Saturation by W.A. Production



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Description


The Saturator Module of Pumper

Pumper Saturator is going to be your next go-to plugin for distortion and saturation.

The Saturator is second to none in giving your tracks the added warmth and depth that they need. The Saturator also creates a killer edge that you need in a modern world of recording, instant power and body for your sound!

With its easy-to-use graphic interface, you’ll be able to saturate and add some warmth to your sounds with just one knob, it’s just as easy as that. It can go from a light saturation to full-on distortion when you increase the amount of the saturation. It just sounds great on any sounds, including vocals, drums, bass and more!




Features

  • Rich analog sound
  • Easy to use saturation

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • macOS 10.15 and later (64-bit only) (M1 Apple Silicon Supported)

Formats:

  • Audio Units (AU)
  • VST
  • VST3

Windows

  • Windows 8 and later (32 & 64-bit) 

Formats:

  • VST
  • VST3

OS Compatibility



Make Me Scream

Saturation by W.A. Production



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Description


Two-Stage Saturation

In a world with so many options for distortion and saturation, where do you turn when you want an effect that really slams? W.A. Production have the solution to your saturation search, with Make Me Scream.

It’s a crazy sounding name for a crazy sounding plugin that contains a 2-stage effect, with 4 different distortion types and 4 alternate timbre modes. The musicality of your audio is maintained with a smart signal follower that shapes the distortion envelope in line with the transients of your track. To get the most from distortion it’s a good idea to feed the module a slightly saturated signal in the first place, so W.A. Production have added an adjustable preamp tube at the beginning of the signal chain. This 2-stage effect results in a far more dramatic sounds then regular distortion, as the initial tube processing gives the distortion a juicy overdriven signal to latch on to.

Of course, W.A. Production also included loads of presets to get your overdrive odyssey off to a flying start. These include settings for vocals, drums, bass, full mixes and even some guitar amp simulations. Use them as jumping-off points to tweak the audio to your taste.

4 Distortion Types

With a range of different distortion types, Make Me Scream can handle tasks from subtle saturation and excitement to batter-the-door-down distortion. The 4 modes are; Analog tube saturation, Soft clipping saturation, Regular distortion & Folded sinus distortion. Each of these 4 types of processing will produce a different character and it’s easy to see which mode you’re currently using with the handy interface graphics.

4 Timbre Modes

Depending on which distortion type and mode you use, you’ll hear the audio mangled in different ways. The 4 mode buttons allow access to different styles of processing, with each affecting the signal frequencies in their own way. These modes are named; Fuzz, Wall, Cliff and Make Me Scream (of course). Fuzz is a balanced mode, Wall creates a more muted tone that concentrates on bass, Cliff emphasises the mid-range frequencies and Make Me Scream mode brings out the higher frequencies.

Preamp Tube & Boost

Prior to the signal entering the distortion module, you can add analog tube saturation with the Preamp Tube slider. Then feed the signal level into the distortion unit as carefully or as recklessly as you like by using the Boost dial. This increases the gain on the incoming signal by up to +40db.

Filtering, Emphasis & Envelope Follower

The smart filter controls allow you to shape your distortion far more musically than more vanilla distortion plugins. Set the filter to High, Low or Bandpass modes and then set the Filter Cutoff to your taste. For example, you might only want to emphasise the highest frequencies on a whole track, or maybe just the lowest frequencies for a snarling bassline. The Emphasis dial sets the level of frequency boost, for a more pronounced effect around the cutoff frequency that you’ve chosen. The Envelope Follower dial makes the plugin react to the transients of the signal, creating a rhythmic and musical auto-wah feel.

Oversampling, Output & Ratio

Set the amount of internal oversampling from the default x1 up to x16, allowing users with enough CPU power to limit the unwanted non-harmonic artefacts in the processed audio. Use the Output slider to compensate for any gain boost or reduction caused by the distortion unit, allowing for very accurate comparisons when A/Bing. Use the Dry / Wet ratio control to dial in as much (or as little) of the distortion as you need. Use a conservative ratio for subtle top-end sparkle or push the dial further to bust your bass bins.

Visual Feedback

The live visual meter to the top right of the interface shows exactly what’s happening to the signal as it’s being processed in real-time. This allows for accurate monitoring each time you decide to make a change to the parameters. The boundary lines at the top and bottom of the meter show when you’re pushing the output signal beyond 0db, so it’s easy to tell the difference between the characterful distortion of Make Me Scream and the digital peaking of the plugin being driven beyond its limit.

Presets

With many included presets, it’s easy to find the perfect starting point for your own journey into distortion and saturation. Tailored to specific instruments, genres and effects, these factory options can be used on many types of audio. The presets include everything from subtle saturation to completely strangled and squashed processing. W. A. Production are real-life producers making creative plugins to help you achieve studio quality processing quickly and easily. Enjoy!




Features

  • 2-stage Screaming Distortion & Saturation
  • 4 Distortion types & 4 Timbre modes
  • Additional tube preamp module
  • Musical-sounding transient follower
  • Frequency filtering
  • Visual feedback
  • Responsive & CPU friendly
  • Factory presets
  • Full PDF Manual & Tutorial video

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • macOS 10.15 and later (64-bit only) (M1 Apple Silicon Supported)
  • VST, VST3, AU, AAX

Windows

  • Windows 8 or later (64-bit only)
  • VST, VST3, AAX

Please Note:  AAX format requires Pro Tools 11 or higher.

OS Compatibility



Megaphone

Saturation by AudioThing



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Description


Bullhorn / Loudspeaker Emulation

Megaphone is a plug-in that emulates a bullhorn/loudspeaker effect, which features two loudspeaker emulations, feedback (slapback) control and a noise section. Megaphone can be used to make any audio source sound as if it’s being played by a bullhorn.

Feedback

Feedback

The feedback section is essentially a slapback effect. When using megaphones, the output of the loudspeaker can be captured again by the input microphone, introducing a delay/reflection and the usual feedback tones (those can be triggered with high gain sources and feedback amount higher than 50%).

Noise:

  • ​The megaphone noises can be enabled by the Trigger button. There are two types of noise: Button and Burst. You can balance the mix between the two noises with the Source parameter.
  • The button noise is the noise made by clicking on the megaphone button to enable its microphone.
  • The burst is the typical background noise of the loudspeaker.
  • If the envelope is enabled, the Burst noise will follow the transients of the input signal.



Features

  • 2 Loudspeaker emulations
  • Overdrive + Bandwidth control
  • Feedback / Slapback
  • Preset system with randomizer
  • Formats: VST, AU, and AAX (64-bit only)
  • Platforms: OSX, Windows
  • 2019/11/29: New Version 1.5.1 Changelog

  • Added: macOS 10.15 Catalina support
  • Added: Parameter Lock
  • Added: Edit Value option for Knobs
  • Added: Notification System
  • Improved: CPU and memory usage
  • Fixed: DSP not updating properly on some presets
  • Fixed: Minor graphics issues when closing multiple plugins

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac:

  • OS X 10.7 – macOS 10.15 (64-bit only)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM
  • VST2, VST3, AU, or AAX, (64-bit host required)

Windows:

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 (64-bit only)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 4 GB RAM
  • VST2, VST3, or AAX (64-bit host required)

Important note: this software is 64-bit compatible only and will not function on 32-bit systems.

OS Compatibility



Valves

Saturation by AudioThing



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Description


Vintage Tube Overdrive

Valves is a vintage valve emulation plugin with multimode resonant filter and cabinet/EQ section.

The valve section is modelled after classic vintage tubes, with added grit and custom gain control.

The filter section is modelled after a classic ladder filter (2-pole or 4-pole) with low pass, high pass, bandpass and notch modes.

The cabinet/EQ section features a selection of modelled cabinets with classic bass and treble EQ controls.

Warm-Up

With up to 16x oversampling, Valves can be used to add that authentic tube character to your tracks.

Using the built-in Cabinet/EQ section you can emulate several types of guitar amplifiers and further shape the overdrive sound.

The state variable filter features LowPass, HighPass, BandPass, and Notch modes. It can be used pre or post-valve.




Features

  • Tube Overdrive
  • 8 cabinets with Bass and Treble EQ
  • State Variable Filter: LP, HP, BP, and Notch (2 or 4-pole)
  • 16x Oversample
  • 35 Presets
  • Resizable Window
  • Preset system with randomizer

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Windows

  • Windows 7, 8, 10
  • 2GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM
  • VST2, VST3, or AAX (64-bit only)

Mac

  • OS X 10.9 – macOS 11 Big Sur
  • 2GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM
  • VST2, VST3, AU, or AAX (64-bit only)
  • Universal 2 Binary

OS Compatibility



DAW Cassette

Saturation by Klevgrand



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Description


Tape Deck Emulation

Bring your sound back to the golden age of cassette tapes (minus the tangle)

DAW Cassette brings back the magic era of the 1980s by emulating the sound of a tape deck. Saturation, distortion, noise, wobble, it's all there. While there's no real rational logic to it, the sound color gives us chills down the spines, (or it might be the mullet haircut that tickles). Fresh.

Choose your preferred level of cassetteness with the different controls for input/output gain, tape/motor/head quality, and tape/noise type. Now, look in the mirror and get stunned by your new mullet haircut.

Anatomy

1. Quality - Use these controls to set the desired quality of the Tape (magnetic band saturation), Head (frequency response), and Motor (speed consistency).

2. Emul80ies - Different types of cassette tape, as well as Noise reduction emulation.

3. Trim the sound, not the mullet - Input, Output, Mix. Serve chilled.

Flip It

1. Let it bleed - Adjust the amount of channel crosstalk.

2. Bring on the noise - Fine level noise adjustment for every noise taste.

3. Built to tilt - Skew the tape head angle for some nice phase issues.

4. Graphic Equalizer - Four excellent bands for your excellent band.




Features

  • Choose between three different tape types (Normal, Chrome, Metal)
  • Control the noise level with Dolby emulation (including a noise-free option, Dolby K)
  • Tape-, head- and motor quality knobs for dialing in the perfect sound
  • Additional input gain, output gain, and dry/wet mix parameters

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


  • macOS 10.10 or later (optimized for the M1-processor)
  • Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • AU, VST-2, VST-3, AAX

OS Compatibility



BLEASS Saturator

Saturation by BLEASS



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Description


Versatile Motion Waveshaper

BLEASS Saturator has been designed to energize your basses, crush your drums, explode your leads in a beautiful yet destructive sound saturation. The BLEASS Saturator Effect Plugin features a multi-band gain drive, 9 different WaveShaper algorithms, a Pre/Post Bitcrusher, and a LFO to bring motion to your saturation!

This versatile saturation effect processor comes packed with 40 Factory Presets, from classic stereo Drive to crazy metallic bitcrushed Saturations. A clear User Interface guides you through the different stages of sound saturation while offering you a crispy sound design experience through a mesmerizing dynamic WaveShaper Visualizer.

The Multi-Band Drive Stage allows you to set the Drive up to 60db. Activate the EQ mode and set the range of the Low and High Band Frequency parameters. Move the 3 sliders to set Low, Mid & High EQ Gains up to 60db as well.

The WaveShaper Stage allows you to choose between 9 different Algorithms, from classic “Hard” and “Soft” Clip up to “Polynomial Order 5”. A high definition WaveShaper displays the different waveform Algorithms: view in real-time the effects of the Offset, Depth, Period and Strength parameters, which you can set with the four dedicated controls.

The Bit Crusher Stage can be set to Off, Pre & Post the WaveShaper stage, which gives a high versatility to your sound waveshaping. Set the Depth and rate amounts of bit reduction, which can be modulated by the LFO.

The LFO Stage offers 6 different waveforms, Beat and Sync Free modes, Rate, Offset, Stereo Phase, and Amount which you can visualize thanks to the LFO Stereo Meter. The 12 Modulation targets are: Drive, High Frequency, Low Frequency, Low Gain, Mid Gain, High Gain, Offset, Depth, Period and Strength, Bit Depth, and Bit Rate.




Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


PC

  • Windows 8 and later (64-bit)
  • VST3

Mac

  • macOS 10.9 and later (64-bit only) (including macOS 11 Big Sur and M1 processors)
  • VST3 / Audio Unit

Format

  • BLEASS Saturator is not a standalone product, it requires host software.
  • BLEASS Saturator is compatible with all VST3 / Audio Unit compatible DAWs.

OS Compatibility



Distinct!

Saturation by Kiive Audio



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Description


A Unique Distortion Box

Based on the incredible harmonic saturation found in the Overstayer: Modular Channel “Distinct!” packs all of those rich harmonic characteristics into an easy to use plugin.

Create subtle saturation to warm up drums, vocals, and mix bus, or drive this plugin into oblivion to create crazy fuzz bass tones, distorted vocal fx, and insane synth sounds. Use the added HF and LF knob to shape your sound before hitting the distortion.

Mode Buttons

The mode buttons control the type of saturation / distortion that the plugin will produce. ODD will generate third-order harmonics. Giving you an edgy / gritty sounding distortion. EVEN will generate second-order harmonics. Giving you a more pleasing saturation and rich tone. DIGT is a digital soft clipper. Perfect for drums or mastering. This setting also adds in a bit of high mids to push your through the speakers.

The Controls

For the controls, you will find seven knobs (Distort, HF, LF, HPF, SAT, Input and output) 

  • Distort - This is your main controller. Use this knob to add in saturation and distortion based on your “mode” selection. 
  • HF - this knob allows you to add up to 12dB of presence and sheen. This module is pre-distortion so you can use it to shape the distortion characteristics.
  • LF - this knob allows you to add up to 12dB of low end thump and thickness. This module is pre-distortion so you can use it to shape the distortion characteristics.
  • HPF - This is just a simple highpass filter. Use it to highpass your signal up to 420Hz ;)
  • SAT - The sat knob allows you to add in additional saturation to your sound. This is a non linear algorithm, so the values of your distort and input knobs will directly affect the sound you get from this parameter. Kiive Audio recommend just playing around with this knob or trying out some of the included presets to hear what it's really capable of.
  • Input / Output - These are just standard clean gain knobs to add or decrease volume in and out of the plugin.



Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


macOS

  • OS X 10.7 or higher (macOS 10.13 or higher recommended) 
  • Compatible with M1 but not as native
  • Processor: 1 GHz Intel Dual Core or higher
  • Screen resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher
  • Formats: VST, AU, AAX
  • 64-bit DAW support only

Windows

  • Windows 7 and above
  • Processor: 1 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor or AMD equivalent
  • Screen resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher
  • Formats: VST, AAX
  • 64-bit DAW support only

OS Compatibility



Helper Saturator 2

Saturation by W.A. Production



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Description


Helper Saturator 2 is also available in the Helper Series 2 Bundle.

Helper Saturator 2 is an audio effect VST plugin professionally designed to apply saturation to the audio signal. Helper Saturator 2 is not just a simple saturation plug-in, it also comes with 2 filter features, 2 types of saturation modules and ability to be able to process 5 different types of audio signal.

With Helper Saturator 2, you have 2 options of saturation to use on your sounds. It features 2 saturation modules, which are Tube distortion and Tape distortion. They both add analog “warmth” to your sounds without over-distorting them. Helper Saturator 2 can be used in varieties of audio mixing cases: you may use it to get good results with drums, bass, and vocal tracks, over sub-mixes and of course over complete mixes.

With its both low pass and high pass filter modules, you’ll be able to cut off unwanted frequencies from the saturated audio signal. The possibilities are endless as you use the filter modules for creative purposes such as crafting new unique sounds. With the input and output gain control, proper gain staging can be done before and after the saturation process. You can choose to saturate different types of audio signal from the audio source – Stereo, Mid, Side, Left & Right.




Features

  • Analog Saturation
  • Simple user interface (stylish & easy to use)
  • Clean filter modules
  • 10 Factory presets 
  • Responsive & CPU friendly
  • Resizable user interface

Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


  • Windows 8 or later (32 / 64 bit)
  • macOS 10.15 and later (64-bit only) (M1 Apple Silicon Supported)
  • AAX - ProTools 11 or higher

Important Note: The AAX format requires Pro Tools 11 or higher.

OS Compatibility



Analog Pro

Saturation by Initial Audio



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Description


Analog Pro brings to life your digital audio by simulating the way Analog hardware such as tape machines, valves and vinyl turntables warm up and saturate your audio. We recreated the imperfections of playing back audio from a Tape or a turntable via the Wow and Flutter controls. Analog Pro has a variety of user adjustable controls including Noise Level, Noise Type, Impulse Type, Impulse Mix, Emphasis, Stereo, Lowcut, Highcut, Wow, Flutter and Amount, giving plenty of scope for the user to adjust the sound to their liking.

Analog Pro sounds great on real instruments such as pianos and brass and can really make your instruments stand out in your mix, sounding like they are being played back from a Tape or Turntable.

Analog Pro comes with an easy to use and resizable interface, use the Amount knob to control how much Analog Pro affects the signal.



Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


PC:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • 4GB Ram
  • VST Compatible DAW such as FL Studio, Reaper, Reason, Cubase, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Machine, MPC Ren and many more 

Mac:

  • OSX 10.6 (64-bit only)
  • 4GB Ram
  • VST or AU compatible DAW such as Logic, FL Studio, Reaper, Reason, Cubase, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Machine, MPC Ren and many more​

OS Compatibility



Punisher

Saturation by denise



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Description


Add Colour with Tape-Style Saturation

Punisher is tape-style saturator with a unique way to control the colouration of the drive effect. You can use it to add flavour and character to synths, vocals and drums, or to entire beats or mixes.

Most saturator plugins have very limited features for affecting the colouration of the drive effect. Punisher uses a unique internal push/pull equalizer curve to tailor your saturation effect to your track. This way you can, for example, only target the high end of a drum beat, preserving the kick transients in a very natural way. Or only target the mid-range of a synth to retain its definition.

Punisher is part of the upcoming denise 'God Mode’ plugin, that allows full control over the internal push/pull equalizer curve and a blend of three different distortion types.




Features

  • Tape-style saturation.
  • Shape the colouration of your drive effect.
  • Unique push/pull EQ curve.
  • Smooth EQ curve transitions.
  • Easy to use.

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • OS X 10.7 or newer (including Big Sur/M1)
  • VST, VST3, AU, AAX (64-bit only)

PC

  • Windows 7 and higher
  • VST, VST3, AAX (64-bit only)

OS Compatibility



Phat Booster

Saturation by Singomakers



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Description


IQ Samples are very proud to present a new plugin, Phat Booster. Simple in use, Phat Booster has a modern scalable design with a PHAT sound. Phat Booster is a one-knob plugin with 4 different algorithms to add fatness and power to your sound.

Expect to find 4 different Algorithms (modes), Tone Fader, Phase Reverse Button and Pre-Fader Filters (Off / 45 Hz cut / 60 Hz cut).

Phat Booster is a powerful tool to add some fatness to basses, synths, drums and even powerful low-end to vocals.




Features

  • 4 Modes / Algorithms 
  • scalable design
  • Input Volume +6 -12 db
  • Output Volume +6 - 12 
  • Tone Fader
  • Phase Reverse Button
  • Pre-Fader Filters (Off / 45 Hz cut / 60 Hz cut)

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • macOS 10.11 or higher (Intel only)
  • Formats: VST, AU

Windows

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Formats: VST 2, VST 3

OS Compatibility



Satyrus

Saturation by W.A. Production



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Description


Distortion is Beautiful

Distortion is beautiful. It can give sounds life, character, grit, warmth, body, and more. However, different distortions can have wildly different qualities, so it is vital to have various options at your disposal to design your perfect sounds. That's where Satyrus by W. A. Production comes in!

Satyrus is a unique saturation and distortion effect plugin built to provide you with an incredible sounding shine that you won't get anywhere else. Satyrus includes 8 wonderfully different distortion and saturation modules with an endless range of potential uses:

  • Power Distortion: The KING of distortions, with a drastic effect on levels.
  • Fresnel Distortion: A unique sounding distortion that can be used on pretty much any sound.
  • Hyperbolic Overdrive: Ideal for editing strong and popping attack-heavy sound FX like shots, explosions, thunder, etc.
  • Logarithmic Colouration: A hybrid of distortion and saturation, great for making vocals shine.
  • Circular Projection: One of the most energy-rich and downright BRUTAL distortions, particularly useful for low and deep Sustain and Release sounds, like pads or synth bass.
  • Cosine Modulation: Similar to Circular Projection but a bit more subtle.
  • Satyric Crunch: A peculiar blend of Fresnel Saturation with the typical "crunch" of a distortion.

No matter what kind of music/audio you create, Satyrus is sure to become a much-used favourite when you need to give a sound life and character. The wide variety of distortion/saturation types gives you unparalleled flexibility and control when designing your sounds, and W.A Production know that you'll love how simple it is to use! Get your hands on Satyrus today and start creating your most unique sounds ever!




Features

  • 8 unique distortion/saturation modules
  • The input level controls the intensity of the distortion.
  • Realtime curve and amplitude visual feedback
  • Mono and stereo modes
  • Simple and intuitive GUI
  • Responsive & CPU friendly
  • Saves user-created presets
  • Full PDF Manual & Tutorial video

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


  • Windows 8 or later (64-bit only)
  • macOS 10.15 and later (64-bit only) (M1 Apple Silicon Supported)

Important Notes:

  • AAX format requires ProTools 11 or higher.
  • An internet connection is required to authorise and use this software.

OS Compatibility



Bad Tape

Saturation by denise



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Description


How bad can it be?

Go out of tune and of the grid with the Bad Tape from denise.

The Bad Tape is the next plugin from denise audio. denise like to describe it as a tape harming (#tapeharm) effect plugin. Its focus is on creating extreme tape artifacts... and man does it sound bad. The inspiration for the Bad Tape came from denise team member Enrico 'nrec' Tiberi: “I was using a lot of my old Akai 4000 DS MK2 reel to reel tape recorder pressing the tape to slow it down as an effect and that made me want a plugin that could control how to break the sound without having to use my fingers each time and without all the cables and fuss that analog hardware inevitably brings”.

Combining a good old vintage tape sound with harming features makes the Bad Tape a very creative and versatile tool. Want an “out of tune and off the grid” beat or a wonky drum groove? Just keep the detune button pressed and it will create a tape-stop in real time. Press it shortly for slight slow-downs and speed-ups, or use wow and shake to make it go in and out of tune and go off-grid periodically. Use the mix knob to create tracks that are heavily saturated and detuned, with additional interesting tape artifacts like hiss, squeal and harm. The Bad Tape can be used to colour and detune your whole track, or it can be applied to just one bar at the end of a section to help introduce some variation and lead in the next section of your song.




Features

  • Mix: Smoothly mix in different extreme tape artifacts with great precision.
  • Detune (Tape stop): Slow down the tape in real time, as if you would press your finger on the tape reel.
  • Wobble & Shake: Randomly detune the pitch of your track like your tape machine has an inconsistent playback speed.
  • Harm: Introduce failing tape artifacts with subtle bitcrushing.
  • Squeal & Noize: Add old tape machine noises for character and vibe.
  • Colour & Speed: Adjust the colour and speed of the tape for a unique flavour.
  • Saturate your tracks for that good old vintage tape sound. Warm and smooth character due to hysteresis emulation.
  • Comes with presets for synth, drums, bass and classic tape-style effects.
  • Low CPU usage & works offline without dongles or complex licence managers.

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Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac:

  • OS X 10.7 or newer (64-bit only) - Big Sur (M1) included
  • VST, VST3, AU, AAX

​Windows: 

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • VST, VST3, AAX

OS Compatibility



TAIP

Saturation by Baby Audio



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Description


Warm Up Your Sound

Tape recordings have a musical quality that digital mixes often lack. TAIP brings this quality into your DAW. It will add some authentic analogue heat to your tracks, without the need to route any audio outside the box.

Tape plugins are not a new concept. However, this emulation method is. Instead of using traditional DSP, Baby Audio has developed TAIP around an AI algorithm designed to decipher the invisible nuances of analogue circuits.

The result is a truly faithful tape emulation that’s intuitive and creative in use – with some added features to accommodate a modern workflow. Use TAIP to bring a touch of warmth and glue to your tracks, or ‘drive it like you hate it’ as an alternative to your distortion plugins.

Highlights

  • AI-powered algorithm, giving you the true warmth and behaviour of analogue tape.
  • Flexible feature set, allowing you to create a custom ‘tape flavour’ for any need.
  • Use TAIP to add musical saturation and glue to drums, instruments, vocals, and beyond.

TAIP is Baby Audio's creation of the ideal ‘Tape Machine’ for the DAW-era, combining an authentic vintage sound with a modern feature set. Its parameters will let you customize the right tape flavour for any need.

Putting the 'AI' in TAIP

‘AI’ is an overused - and often misused - term. But Baby Audio believe it’s the future of music technology. It just needs to be used genuinely and with a legitimate purpose.

For a hardware emulation project like TAIP, AI offers an alternative - and in Baby Audio's opinion more faithful - approach over the traditional DSP method. Where a normal DSP emulation would entail ‘guesstimating’ the effect of various analogue components and their mutual dependencies, TAIP can use AI / neural networks to accurately decipher the sonic qualities that make a tape machine sound and behave in the way it does. This happens by feeding an algorithm various training data of dry vs. processed audio and teaching it to identify the exact characteristics that make up the difference. Once these differences have been learned by the AI, TAIP can apply them to new audio.

This process may sound overly digital for a plugin that brings an analogue sound. But the reality is that ‘analogue’ and ‘digital’ are two fundamentally different domains. To get a computer to behave (or sound!) in a certain way, it helps to think like it does. Re-creating an ‘analogue-style’ signal path in DSP is thinking about the problem like a human. The AI approach helps to solve the problem like a machine would – for a more faithful emulation.

Presets

TAIP comes loaded with 135 presets created by friends of Baby Audio - including: 

  • Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, Bloc Party, Elton John)
  • Max Jaeger (Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Drake, Calvin Harris)
  • Eestbound (Travis Scott, Young Thug, Jazz Cartier)
  • Rob Kleiner (Sia, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Cee Lo)
  • Cesar Sogbe (Prince, David Byrne, Jennifer Lopez)

Display Options

  • Switch between three backgrounds (Black / Gray / White)
  • Plugin window fully resizable




Features

  • DRIVE: Traditionally, tape machines were designed to colour the sound as little as possible. TAIP is not. You can use the DRIVE knob to add just as much colour as you need - from a subtle touch of heat to heavy distortion.
  • MIX/TAPE FLANGING: MIX lets you run your tape in parallel. You can combine MIX and WEAR to get a classic ‘tape flanging’ effect. This is caused by the wow and flutter of WEAR running in parallel with the dry track.
  • MODEL: While SINGLE is a regular tape emulation, DUAL creates a series of two tape emulations chained together under the hood, each applying half of the DRIVE value. This will add slightly more weight to your signal.
  • LO-SHAPE / HI-SHAPE: These sliders let you saturate the low/high end more or less than the rest of the frequency spectrum. (Example: Warm up a drum bus without distorting the low frequencies).
  • GLUE: Tape machines are known to introduce a pleasing compression-like effect due to their low dynamic range. TAIP lets you add this effect – or even exaggerate it. Use GLUE for subtle cohesion or as an actual compressor.
  • NOISE: Let's you add tape noise to taste – or avoid it altogether.
  • WEAR: Combines wow, flutter, and an altered frequency response curve to emulate a worn-out tape machine.
  • PRESENCE: Part of the tape warmth comes from an attenuated high-end. PRESENCE allows you to decide how much of that attenuation you want. It can bring back the brightness that is sometimes lost on tape.
  • INPUT: Choose between NORMAL or HOT (more distorted) input levels without affecting the output volume.
  • AUTO GAIN: Allows you to add more DRIVE while keeping a consistent plugin output level.

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


macOS:

  • macOS 10.7 and up (including Catalina & Big Sur).
  • Plugin Formats: VST, VST3, AU, AAX
  • DAW's Supported: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason + more.
  • Compatibility: 64-bit compatible only.

Windows:

  • Windows 7 and up.
  • Plugin formats: VST, VST3, AAX
  • DAWs supported: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason + more.
  • Compatibility: 64-bit and 32-bit compatible.

Please Note: An internet connection is required to authorise this software.

OS Compatibility



STA Preamp 2

Saturation by Audified



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Description


Adding 5 types of valve saturation to your tracks, preamp is the core effect of the Summing Tube Amplifier series.

The Tube Heart

STA (Summing Tube Amplifier) uses two signal paths, one is processed by modulation or spectral change and the other is not processed. These two signals are mixed on a vacuum tube. That gives “ordinary” effects like Flanger or Phaser, really unique and warm character. 

The valve saturation colour depends on the Mode selection. Changing the type of the tube circuit, affects the tube working point and frequency response.

5 valve circuit modes available 

  • P - Presence – the higher amount of mid-high frequencies allows better cutting through the mix. 
  • V - Vintage – has smoother highs and more even harmonics. 
  • B - Brown – has almost flat response with only light high frequencies roll off and nice higher harmonics punch. 
  • W - White – has higher amount of higher frequencies and the ratio between the even and odd harmonics is balanced. 
  • L - LoFi – contains less low and high frequencies. 
  • We are making our plugins as real as possible with all the natural analog feeling and side effects.

There is some low frequency noise in some tube modes. It is a natural result of the tube configuration we are using in STA.



Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.9 - Mac OS X 10.14
  • AAX 32b, AAX 64b, AU 32b, AU 64b, VST2 32b, VST2 64b, VST3 32b, VST3 64b

Windows

  • Windows 7 - Windows 10
  • AAX 32b, AAX 64b, VST2 32b, VST2 64b, VST3 32b, VST3 64b

OS Compatibility



SATV Saturator

Saturation by Mellowmuse



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Description


SATV is an analogue modelled saturation plug-in that adds harmonic depth and richness to any track. Equally suited to individual instruments or multi-track drum kits, SATV allows you to effortlessly change the harmonic content and dynamics of your whole mix.

The four selectable saturation models: Transistor, Transformer, Tube and Tape allow a wide range of sound-shaping options, from subtle warming to extreme crunch. The Group control allows all instances with the same number to be controlled as a group, making ensemble changes easy.




Features

  • Four unique analogue modelled saturation modes.
  • Variable input drive, mix and output.
  • Control multiple instance groups.
  • Phase switch.
  • 4x oversampling.
  • 64bit internal processing.

Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


  • Windows 10 or above
  • Mac OSX 10.9 or above
  • 64-bit only
  • VST, VST3, AU and AAX

OS Compatibility



God Mode

Saturation by denise



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Description


God Mode

Let There Be Distortion

The God Mode introduces a new push-pull technology giving you full control over what frequencies to saturate and distort. Its node EQ graph and linear phase filters allow for unlimited options to shape the colouration of your sound.

The God Mode makes use of a push-pull technology inspired by the legendary analogue Pultec EQ, a passive tube eq from the 50s, widely used in the 70s/80s for both broadcasting and mixing. The Pultec EQ would ‘push’ the gain for a certain frequency range into its tube circuit, and would then ‘pull’ it back again, to smooth out the frequency response. This creates a sound close to the original but with a nice warmth added to the boosted frequency ranges. God Mode introduces a modern version of this technique.

The first step to using God Mode is to boost or ‘push’ certain frequencies in your track that you like to be more saturated or distorted. You can, for example, use one shelf to boost the highs and one peak to boost a certain colour or resonance. Because you push these frequencies harder into the saturation algorithm, they will be naturally more affected by it. The second step is to decide if and how much ‘pull’ to apply to the boosted frequencies. This gives you creative control over the amount of colouration and the option to create a perfectly balanced frequency response for your track. The result: a beautifully saturated signal, specifically coloured according to the frequencies ‘pushed’.

The God Mode doesn't stop there though. It has a ‘live’ mode for recording, that uses regular filters without latency instead of linear phase filters. It has a side-chain to create rhythmic distortion effects, and you can pan the wet and dry sound individually. In addition, one of the three drive effects uses a ‘on steroids’ version of the Tape Analog VM™ algorithm from the Bad Tape. It allows for subtle saturation on the master as well as crazy over the top distortion effects on bass, vocals and synths.




Features

  • Super easy to use Graph
  • Unique Push & Pull technology
  • Tape Analog VM™ algorithm on steroids also featured in denise' Bad Tape plugin
  • Linear Phase Filters: Pristine sound quality and in-phase dry/wet mixing
  • Individual dry/wet panning
  • Live recording Mode
  • Create rhythmical drive with the ‘side-tape’ side chain
  • Subtle to extreme use on single track instruments, busses & mastering

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • OS X 10.7 or newer (Big Sur/M1 supported)
  • VST, VST3, AU, AAX (64-bit only)

PC

  • Windows 7 and higher (64-bit only)
  •  VST, VST3, AAX

OS Compatibility



PUNISH Lite

Saturation by Heavyocity



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Description


No Good Mix Goes Un-PUNISHed

After nearly a decade of devastation, the purest form of Heavyocity's iconic effect is now available as a standalone fx plugin. Introducing PUNISH Lite. Pulled straight from Heavyocity's award-winning line of virtual instruments, PUNISH Lite runs the gamut of drive and saturation, pushing your sources from subtle heat to full-on fire. Featuring a studio's worth of analogue punch packed into a single, central knob, PUNISH Lite makes it easy to go from warmth and snap to total destruction.



Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Operating Systems:

  • Mac: OS X 10.14 (Mojave) or later (64-bit only) *Native M1 currently not supported
  • Windows 10 or later (64-bit only)

Available Plugin Formats:

  • AAX, VST, and Audio Units (AU) Formats

Please Note:

  • Internet connection is required to activate this software

OS Compatibility