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The Best Saturation Plugins

The Best Saturation Plugins


In this article, we will share our top picks for the best saturation plugins.

The importance of having different saturators

Audio saturators are a popular tool in the world of music production. They add harmonic distortion or saturation to an audio signal, similar to how distortion effects work. The purpose of saturators is to give tracks warmth, character, and color, and to make them sound more aggressive or edgy.

Saturators are especially popular in guitar and bass-heavy genres like rock, metal, and punk, where they’re used to create the iconic distorted guitar sound that characterizes these genres. However, they’re not limited to these instruments and can be used on a wide range of other instruments like drums, vocals, and synths, to create a variety of effects.

Beyond adding character and grit, saturators can bring out specific frequencies or harmonics in a sound. This can be particularly helpful in the mixing and mastering process, where engineers use them to balance and shape the frequency content of a track.

It’s worth noting that not all saturator plugins are the same. This allows producers and engineers to experiment with different plugins and combinations, resulting in unique and interesting tones that set their tracks apart from others.

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The best Saturation plugins

So, what are the best plugins for saturation?

Here’s a list of the best deals available on AudioPluginDeals.

Arturia Tape MELLO-FI

Tape MELLO-FI is a lo-fi plugin that captures the unique imperfections of tape in perfect detail. It provides all your lo-fi needs within seconds, with a simple interface straight out of a classic studio. The plugin features pitchy flutters, warm saturation, subtle distortion, and velvety smooth filtered sounds that can be used on any track or project to create nostalgic vibes. It also includes a vintage preamp, low-pass and high-pass filters, and tape noise to bring old-school life to your projects. Additionally, the plugin offers gritty distortion, instant-response tape behavior, and a stereo widener. Tape MELLO-FI is expertly-engineered to behave like tape, from the wows and flutters to a clickable tape wheel. It’s a must-have tool for producers, beat-makers, and sound designers who want to add character and attitude to their production.

Go get Arturia Tape MELLO-FI

Black Rooster Audio MAGNETITE

Black Rooster Audio has meticulously replicated the sonic characteristics of analog tape, including Class A recording and playback amplifiers, tape response and saturation, NAB pre- and de-emphasis EQs, various tape speeds and bias levels, as well as hiss and hum. They have even included an adjustable wow and flutter feature to emulate frequency modulation due to motor speed fluctuations.

To ensure maximum performance despite complex computations, DSP operations are pipelined using the SSE2 instruction set. Additionally, the plug-ins feature auto-adjusted oversampling that efficiently attenuates aliasing artifacts using a low latency linear phase Dolph-Chebyshev poly-phase design. The oversampling is tailored to the session’s sample rate, saving valuable CPU power while providing the most transparent sound possible.

Go get Black Rooster Audio MAGNETITE

Diginoiz Trapdrive

TRAPDRIVE is a newly launched distortion plugin for trap music and similar genres. It’s tough, rough, and even drastic, giving your tracks that edgy sound that stands out in a wild way. If you’re a fan of Xxxtentacion’s “Look At Me,” Scarlxrd’s “Heart Attack,” Bones’ “HDMI,” and other similar tunes, and you need uncompromising distortion in your productions, then this plugin is for you!

This plugin is perfect for distorting 808 and bass sounds, vocals, guitars, and synths. You can even use it on buses or mixes if you’re feeling adventurous. With eight types of distortion to choose from, including arctan function, hard clipping, bipolar exponential, unipolar exponential, and bit crushing, among others, you can easily create the sound you want without worrying about the theory. Just turn up the Amount knob and enjoy the sound of violence!

Go get Diginoiz Trapdrive

Have Audio NASTRO Soundscapes

Experience the warm, gritty, and nostalgic sound of tape with NASTRO Soundscapes by Have Audio. This Kontakt 6 library is the first release of an exciting new series called NASTRO, which explores the world of tapes and reels, capturing their unique sonic character and charm.

NASTRO Soundscapes offers a powerful 4-track tape machine experience with a wide range of sounds carefully sampled from different instruments. Users can choose from lead sounds, loops, textures, noises, and arpeggios that cover various genres and moods. Mix and match different sound sources to create custom patches.

To give an authentic, noisy tape sound, all material is re-processed through vintage tape devices, walkmans, boomboxes, VHS, and rare cassette players. This results in subtle variations, imperfections, and artifacts that make each sound unique and alive.

NASTRO Soundscapes also includes a built-in FX section with 58 IR effects created from analog equipment and tape devices. Users can add reverb, delay, distortion, modulation, and more to enhance their soundscapes.

More than a sample library, NASTRO Soundscapes is a creative tool that inspires users to create music with a retro vibe and a modern twist. It’s perfect for creating ambient atmospheres, cinematic scores, or experimental tracks.

Go get Have Audio NASTRO Soundscapes

IK Multimedia T-RackS 5 SE

T-RackS, pioneered by IK Multimedia in 1999, is considered the top mastering software for creating hit records. IK Multimedia has been delivering high-quality digital processors ever since, making T-RackS the go-to choice for thousands of hit records.

T-RackS 5 SE is a step up from the previous versions, featuring a new audio engine, 10 amazing modules in a flexible processor chain, professional metering tools, a sleek single-window interface, and an album assembly section that allows for exporting tracks in multiple formats. The software provides everything needed to transform raw mixes into polished masterpieces, ready for streaming, digital delivery, or CD printing.

In this bundle, you can find the Classic Clipper. The Classic T-RackS Clipper processor provides an alternative dynamics control option that uses peak clipping to manage peaks instead of standard peak limiting. Peak clipping is a more transparent process, making it a popular choice among mastering engineers. Despite its powerful engine, the Classic T-RackS Clipper is easy to use, with just three controls: Gain, Slope, and Output.

Go get IK Multimedia T-RackS 5 SE

Venomode Maximal 3

Maximal 3 is a powerful audio plugin that features true-peak, lookahead, brickwall limiting, ensuring there are no overshoots from intersample peaks no matter how hard the signal is pushed. It includes four different limiter modes, and attack and release controls, allowing for clean and transparent loudness maximising or gluing a bus together. The plugin also has a dedicated loudness metering section that displays the LUFS and true-peak value of the signal, based on the ITU-R BS.1770-4 specification, with the option to set the target loudness of the meters to any level.

Maximal 3 includes variable soft clipping that can be used as a creative tool to add warmth to tracks or to shave off rampant peaks before limiting. The plugin’s adjustable curve from hard to soft allows chopping transients or adding saturation to both individual tracks and whole mixes. To help limit aliasing and catch inter-sample peaks, Maximal 3 offers up to 16x oversampling. Using linear-phase resampling filters, the plugin’s high-quality oversampling algorithm cleanly upsamples the signal before applying the limiting and brings the sample rate back to the original.

Go get Venomode Maximal 3

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