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Dist OPAMP-21

Distortion Plugin by Arturia
Dist OPAMP-21

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Dist OPAMP-21 by Arturia is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Win 8.1+ PC: 4 GB RAM; 2 GHz CPU.
1GB free hard disk space
VST 2.4 (64-bit), VST 3 (64-bit), AAX (64-bits with PT 11), Audio Unit (64-bit), NKS* (64-bit DAWs only).
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Dist OPAMP-21

Amped distortion classic.

Dist OPAMP-21 is a distortion and saturation effect inspired by a guitar pedal cult classic, known for its direct amp-like sound. Add mix-cutting punch, harmonic color, and pure aggression to any sound with a certified studio legend enhanced for DAW production.

Studio-to-stage saturation

Whether it's that gritty rough edge, that in-your-face impact, or that final transparent boost you're after, Dist OPAMP-21 delivers the full range of crisp, urgent, colorful distortion and saturation that you've been looking for.

Amp-like distortion

Just like its hardware ancestor, Dist OPAMP-21 delivers a unique flavor of solid state guitar amp-style grit; responsive, organic, immediate, and as hot as you need it to be.

Character unlocked

Explore hundreds of possible distortion configurations with Dist OPAMP-21's deceptively simple controls; combine its 4 modes with up to 8 'character' switches to find your own crunchy flavor.

For any sound

From adding sizzling heat to your vocals, to adding amped analog character to your instrument tracks, to saturating your whole drum bus, Dist OPAMP-21 is a true distortion Swiss army knife.

Modern enhancements

Surpass the traditional possibilities of guitar pedals and studio gear for a DAW-friendly workflow; enjoy a host of additional contemporary features, from parallel processing to expanded stereo controls.

Amped sound in a few clicks

Sometimes a sound just needs a little 'more'. Maybe it's more volume, more detail, more sustain, more warmth, or more presence - whatever it is, you want 'more' of it. That's where Dist OPAMP-21 comes in.

Reinvigorate any sound with the thrill of guitar amp presence, the harmonic depth of cascaded op-amp circuitry, and that elusive sense of 'more' that sometimes only analog distortion can bring. The best bit? Get all this and more in a few clicks, no audio expertise necessary.

From mix-smoothing saturation to all-out distorted attitude, Dist OPAMP-21 is a go-to that you never realized you needed. Perfect for when your guitars need extra richness and bite in a mix, your vocals need a touch of extra presence and a grungy edge, or your drums could use a little extra punch - once it's engaged and cranked in your mix, you'll never look back.

Stompbox feel, studio sound

Dist OPAMP-21 is designed to strike the perfect balance between software effect flexibility and tactile guitar pedal immediacy. Plug in, experiment, customize, and enjoy - just like the real thing.

But this classic pedal turned studio staple has been enhanced with a number of extra features, designed to make it that little bit more creative, flexible, and fun as a DAW distortion toolkit.

Artists corner

Romesh Dodangoda

Producer / Mixer Motorhead, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend, Twin Atlantic.

"The OPAMP-21 by Arturia is a brilliant recreation of a piece of gear I use all the time! A secret weapon for drums and vocals, it's not just for guitar! "

Steve Levine

Producer / Engineer (Culture Club / Beach Boys).

"The DIST-OPAMP 21 amp sounds terrific on guitar tracks - really helps the mid range of the guitar blend with the vocals."

Thiago Baggio

Recording & Mixing Engineer.

"So versatile and sounds so good. Dist OPAMP-21 has already replaced my go to distortion plugin for bass and vocals right away and will live in my mixing template from now on, it was a no brainer."

A direct hit

Let's step back in time to the late '80s, at a time when the world of music technology was witnessing innovation after innovation.

Sampling was fast becoming the in-thing, analog synthesizers were being upstaged by their sharper digital descendents, and guitar players were discovering the compact, reliable, consistent alternative to valve amps that was solid state technology.

This growing demand in alternatives to the old-school of heavy, temperamental amps was answered by a number of manufacturers and industry names, who raced to emulate the elusive tube sound - that's where Tech 21 came in. The SansAmp was released in 1989, and it was a guitar pedal that immediately looked like it had a lot going on under the hood. More than just a distortion pedal, this little black box was designed to give guitarists a convincing amped-up sound straight into the desk. To this day, it's considered the first 'amp in a box' solution offered to musicians.

By today's standards, its amp emulation may not be perfect. But, like many innovative and novel bits of gear, it ultimately transcended its original purpose. Its relative wealth of controls, modes, and coloration options made it a surprisingly effective saturator, great for injecting grit and warmth into any sound. Its notoriety landed it in the hands of countless musicians, from Kurt Cobain's iconic screaming guitars to Tchad Blake's signature parallel saturation heard on records by Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, and many more. Today, Dist OPAMP-21 puts all that op-amp character - and more - right in your DAW.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 5.00 from 1 review
Dist OPAMP-21

Reviewed By Faydit [all]
July 26th, 2022
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

Really very good sounding plugin, also with a lot of useful additions and improvements, if compared to the original pedal.

The only complaint, I have, is, that you cannot deactivate the cabinet/speaker/microphone section in Normal, Lead and Bass mode or are able to additionally activate it in Modern mode. Not that these sections sound bad, quite the opposite, but if Arturia adds on the one hand a lot of useful features, it does not make much sense to me, if it on the other hand limits such an important section as the cabinet/speaker/microphone section only to a fixed, built-in option.

Adding another IR, if there already is one built-in, does not make much sense as it will not improve the sound, but I think, I am not the only user, who would - at least sometimes - like to use his own IR's sometimes instead of the built-in one or just to have this option too.

Of course you can use an external IR for the modern voicing, but if you prefer eg. the Lead or Bass voicing instead, you cannot deactivate the built-in one unfortunately.

On the other hand some new features like the Pre-Drive and Post-Drive filters/eq's are really very useful for perfect sound shaping, just to name some of them.

Apart from my single complaint, from which I hope, that it maybe will be added in a future upgrade, a really very good sounding and working plugin, not only for guitar and bass. To be honest, I have already heard worse sounding guitar or bass tube amp plugins, which usually also sonically are less flexible.

This sonic flexibility also makes this plugin to a simple, but effective all-round option for a lot of different, good sounding results, especially, if you look for some quick, easily adjustable, but good sounding results.

Arturia quality, meanwhile also available for guitar and bass are good news. At least for me.

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