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NB01 - distortion/sustainer

NB01 - distortion/sustainer
NB01 - distortion/sustainer by Noizebox Industries is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for Windows and Linux. It functions as a VST Plugin.
Win 10, 64-bit DAW. Older windows versions are not guaranteed to work.
x86 cpu, 64-bit only.
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NB01 - distortion/sustainer is the first plugin from Noizebox Industries. Made for KVR DC21.

Inspired by a circuit from an ancient guitar pedal that was originally intended as a soft-distortion-sustainer for guitars. Giving that singing sustain without a lot of harsh distortion. This is a modern take on the same circuit, not a straight up clone, more of a work-alike inspired by the original circuit. Though a fair amount of work has gone into modelling the peculiar anomalies of an overdriven, asymmetrically clipping, amplifier circuit with a FET-based feedback loop that works like a crude compressor, prone to overcompensating.

NB01 adds control over the amount of compression applied and the response time. It its fastest setting it is not really a compressor as it starts altering the waveform of the incoming sound. It also add tone controls for more versatility in shaping the sound. The tone controls are a mix of pre and post filtering that makes them interact with the overdriven amplifier circuit in interesting ways.

The signal chain is processed with 4x times oversampling with high quality elliptical downsampling filters to limit aliasing and accurate modelling. Real time parameter smoothing for glitch-free operation. Written in native C++ for performance and small footprint. Hardware accelerated, vector based UI.

Use it as overdrive before a guitar amp plugin for a sweet, compressed and singing tone. Preferably with a bit of midrange boost to cut through. It's is also perfect for destroying drum loops. Either by rolling off the bass and making the compressor slam the transients.

Or by cranking up the low end for really making the compressor duck like crazy on the kicks, by setting the response time to moderately fast, you can tweak the gain knob to find a sweetspot where the bass triggers the compression in just the right way.

Or try it on any other material, lofi vocals, adding grime to basslines or any other creative ways of destroying sounds.


  • Gain: Sets the gain of the circuit, higher values produce more distortion.
  • Compression amount: Sets the amount of compression applied. There's a lot of range here. At extreme settings the compression will be negative, i.e. a 3 dB volume increase will result in more than 3 dB gain reduction. This can cause a bubbling/pumping/grinding artefacts at some combinations of high reaction speed and high compression when the circuit switches back and forth between overcompensation. This is not a bug, it's a feature and lot's of weird distortions can be discovered here.
  • Compression Speed: Sets the reaction time of the compressor feedback, higher values create more distortion as the compressor starts to chew on the waveform rather that the envelope of the sound.
  • Stereo: This switches between Fully independent stereo processing, stereo processing with linked compressors and mono processing.
  • Tone: lo, mid, high: Tone controls are fairly straight forward. All controls at 12 o clock means a reasonably flat response. Tone controls are also a combination of pre and post clipping, which creates more interesting textures.
  • Scope: Just for amusement really. but it's fun to watch.
  • Master level: Sets the output volume for balancing the mix.

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Comments & Discussion for Noizebox Industries NB01 - distortion/sustainer

Discussion: Active
3 July 2021 at 10:36am

Very nice-does some interesting things-good work.

30 July 2021 at 12:10pm

I was not impressed by the fact that most entries to the 2021 KVR Developer Challenge were much the same ideas, most were variations. While I respect and admire the skill it's obvious to contemplate that such ideas ultimately get lost in the throng of similar products, in the wake of there being so many similar free plug-ins, ultimately.

Yours does something else. Very surprising, either you're very skilled or you came across some good examples and are now learning advanced techniques. That can sometimes equate to skill, either way; good luck and thankyou for sharing.

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