Saturation Tools for 2021

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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484 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:51 am

Kazi7 wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:59 am
Voxengo Tube Amp - very underrated gem
I have the premium bundle and still use this one as well.

242 posts since 5 Jul, 2004

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:47 am

radiator still better than many and it s tweaked in 1 minute, for that sound it s great.. the problem is that many saturator don t have depth and mojo ,beeing hardwware or software for example i had a api chanel strip it s amazing , it s quitee fast and sound great but if you drive it hard it just break with a horrible sound, kinda like a waveshaper or softclipper, many plugins break in a simlar way . .Decapitator could be great if it was cleaner , it has the depth and mojo of hardware but the transients are not musical and the sound not organic and the high tend to sound quiete fast digital on some source , radiator is a bit better emulation i think.
Last edited by kobal on Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

189 posts since 18 Jul, 2021

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:54 am

kobal wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:47 am
it s quitee fast and sound great but if you drive it hard it just break with a horrible sound, kinda like a waveshaper or softclipper.
both those things are forms of saturation (assuming the waveshaping is flat-topping rather than folding).

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6631 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:13 am

Dark Fiber wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:55 pm
Halonmusic wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:18 pm
Dark Fiber wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:14 am
SlickEQ GE
Head Crusher v2
Trash 2
there is no input (drive) on slick eg though :(
In SlickEQ (free version) and SlickEQ GE you can drive the various saturation types with the "calibrate" setting.
yes that is indeed true
EnergyXT3 - Reaper | Roland SH201 - Waldorf Rocket | SoundCloud - Bandcamp

769 posts since 28 Jul, 2006

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:52 am

Usually when I reach for a saturation/distortion plug-in my first consideration is how "soft" or "hard" it sounds. What I consider soft or hard has a lot to do with how mellow and euphonic the high end and high mids are. If it starts getting abrasive in this area I consider it hard. Abrasive doesn't necessarily mean bad, it's context dependent. I suspect, but have not verified, that things I consider "soft" tend to round off transients more, making things seem less harsh.

IKM tapes - Soft. Very, very mellow saturation, just like analog 16 track tape I've used. Like sponge that soaks up harshness.

Tone projects Kelvin - Medium. A good balance that always seems useable. Can get slightly hard at times. Hard to dial in but once you find your setting it's irreplaceable Cannot really get super soft while still sounding good.

Goodhertz Tupe Soft. Sounds like IKM Tapes but with more ways to adjust and tailor the sound.

SDDR - Soft-medium. This one is adjustable and can go from pretty soft to pretty hard, but the general character is on the softer end.

IVGI - Soft. I just downloaded this recently but I've already reached for it over SDDR on a track, because I knew I wanted it's sound and I didn't want to futz around with the million options and models that SDDR gives you. I just wanted something quick. Quick, soft, great sounding saturation.

Waves Abbey Roads Saturator - Hard. This one is hard to pin down. It sounds kinda bad by itself unless in tiny amounts, but when combined with a very soft saturator afterward in the effects chain, it can sound incredible. This lives on my snare sounds, many times combined with one or two other softer saturators.

Audio Assault head crusher v2 - Soft. Sounds really good when you find the right settings. Like SDDR but doesn't have as many sweet spots.

242 posts since 5 Jul, 2004

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:12 am

sk note marconi is pretty decent for nevish color , wavearts tube saturator used lightly is very good as well for tube color, i tested many of the newer ones and i have to say these one with radiator are hard to beat cause they are very close to hardware sound i know, for that sound i m not sure anyhting better has been done from what i tested but there is so much plugins now.. also i have find depth/ mojo with analog obsession and black rooster , i will demo kelvin and tupe these seems very popular

2133 posts since 12 Nov, 2014

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:56 am

Blackbox HG-2
Elysia Karacter
Elysia Phil's Cascade
IK Saturator-X
IK Tape Machines
SPL TwinTube
SPL Vitalizer
Vertigo VSM-3
Waves Abbey Road J37
Waves Abbey Road Saturator
Waves Aphex Exciter
Waves Cobalt Saphira
Waves Kramer Master Tape
Waves Vitamin

Basically I mix and match based on the overall sonic aesthetics of the project, the context and what I think the sound needs.

2908 posts since 2 Oct, 2004

Post Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:50 pm

Softube Saturation knob is alot more useable now that they've updated it to include an output trim and some proper gain matching. It sounds very good when it's properly gain staged, you hit the sweet spot and you know you're not getting fooled by levels.
Orion Platinum, Muzys 2

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