Best Free Saturation Plugins
Many engineers rely on the saturation process to round up some signals that sound a bit thin compared to what that signal should sound like. Well, for that reason these plugins and this whole process were created – saturation of the sound.
By creating and adding/emphasizing the upper harmonics of the signal, they are actually introducing more content to the sound that sounds pleasant and that even an inexperienced listener will like.
Here in this article, we will focus on sharing the best free saturation plugins you can get on the world wide web that will help you with this task. Also, if you are on a budget or you do not have a budget at all – this freeware will undoubtedly come in handy when you are at the stage of using saturation for mixing your song.
We just want to let you know that we’ll list these free saturation plugin reviews in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.
Listed below are our Top 10 Free Saturation Plugins for 2023:
1. Tube Amp by Voxengo
Voxengo is one other developer that creates some nice free plugins. A few of them are saturation plugins just like the TubeAmp, whereas different free plugins from Voxengo vary from metering, to delay and equalization. Relating to the Tube Amp, there’s undoubtedly loads to get excited about.
Within the first panel to the left, there are three rotaries – drive, bias, and a low-pass filter. 2 modes supply completely different tube distortion sorts, with mode 1 being quieter and mode 2 being extra pronounced and noticeable.
Drive will increase the amplitude of the harmonics, bias, alters the balance between the unique signal and the harmonics, and the low pass filter attenuates the high-frequency vary. Moreover, we now have an output gain rotary and a meter displaying the present standing of the amplitude in dB.
A Saturation function will increase the gain of the harmonics and causes the unique signal’s gain to lower when the drive rotary is raised. An oversampling operation to the right of the saturation function will increase the sampling rate to lower any aliasing which may happen at lower sampling rates.
2. FerricTDS by Variety of Sound
FerricTDS is a tape saturation plugin by Variety Of Sound. The plugin supports 64-bit DAWs on Windows and will add the much-needed saturation based on a tape to your signal.
In contrast to most different tape saturation plugins, FerricTDS solely focuses on the positive effects of analog tape. It doesn’t simulate the pitch inconsistencies, hiss, noise, or different lo-fi properties of tape recordings.
As an alternative, FerricTDS emulates the harmonic distortion and dynamics of analog tape. It really works tremendously well as a saturation gadget and a delicate compression device that brings out your audio’s finer details.
The saturation models have soft and hard clipping and saturation, additionally, some tone controls will allow you to shape the sound of the inserted saturation. Overall, the plugin is very easy to use with a simple UI. Since it’s free and it’s a nice remodel of analog saturation, you don’t have anything to lose to try it out but lots to gain from it!
3. XPressor by e-phonic
XPressor is another free saturation plugin with dynamics processing and oversampling options. It has three processing modes (soft clipping, hard clipping, and a wave folder algorithm), a pair of filters, and up to 8 times oversampling.
The Drive knob sets the quantity of saturation that’s added to the signal and the dynamics knob controls the compression. The plugin additionally includes a Dry/Wet knob for fast and straightforward parallel processing.
It’s perfect for adding some warmth to the signal you might be working on and the extra dynamic processor will help you in controlling the amount of saturation added. Additionally, with the cut-off filters, you’ll have extra management over the sound.
Though it really works properly on quite a lot of instruments and audio sources, XPressor is ideal to be used on drums. Apply light saturation and compression to make your drums cut through the mix.
4. Szechuan Saturator by CodaLabs
Szechuan Saturator is a free saturation plugin made by Coda Labs. The software program is out there in AU and VST3 plugin formats for Windows and macOS.
It may well deliver numerous saturation sorts, starting from light tube-style warmth to overdrive and distortion. You should utilize it on individual channels like drums or digital synths, in addition to the master bus.
The unusual factor about Szechuan Saturator is that it includes a built-in modulator. The consumer can freely regulate the modulation depth and quantity. We discovered that it’s best used when added to the drum group to add some bite to the entire drum sound.
Apart from on applying it on a single track or group, you’ll be able to add it on the master buss and add some compressed loudness to the mix with some harmonics that may round up the entire sound of your music. Worth trying!
5. PreBOX by Analog Obsession
Analog Obsession is a superb developer that is mentioned quite a bit on these free plugin lists. The reason is, that they provide some nice free plugins that model themselves off of well-known analog tools.
That is positively the case with the PreBox preamp plugin. Whether or not you’re trying to add some character to a digitally recorded signal, or you wish to crush a signal through a bus or auxiliary track, the PreBOX is an easy but versatile choice.
If we have a look at the frequency analyzer we are able to see that we have now our unique 5 test tones, but once we turn the plugin on we create varied harmonics that change in amplitude and order with every totally different preamp model type.
The input rotary increases the amplitude of the input, whereas the output does the same to the output. Rising the input gain whereas lowering the output can create much more harmonics and makes this plugin a real saturation plugin.
6. Roth-AIR by Rothmann
Want extra air in your mix? Extra crispy highs? Well, say what’s up to your good free saturation VST – Roth-AIR. You could have in all probability been there. Irrespective of how hard you tweak a sound, you need it to come out more. One thing is missing, and the equalization isn’t cutting it.
That’s the place Roth-AIR might help you – on all of your sounds. Apply it to any sound you need to make crispy. Dial in your frequency, and threshold and use the big AIR knob.
The basic great point with all of the plugins on this list is that it’s free and but it offers perks that even some paid options aren’t able to.
Your vocals, guitars, synth, or no matter you set it on now sound crisp, beautiful, and pop out of your audio system like glimmering crystals. This plugin works this magic through the use of a mix of multiband compression and mild saturation of your high frequencies. The outcomes are unimaginable.
7. DirtyPumper by SNFK Music
DirtyPumper is an excessive saturator that “ruins” a mix. In case you are after some hard saturation that’s on the brink to become a distortion, then this is the plugin for you.
It was designed with drum processing in thoughts, but it could possibly simply saturate anything you want. It sounds very nice on signals that must have some extra aggressiveness to it and being a freeware simply provides the essential Yes to it.
Listed here are some of the parameters that it has in order to introduce you to the UI of this plugin and what can it do for you.
- Dirt: Shapes the sound and drives it to its limits – warps harmonics and balance.
- Drive: This will increase the input gain and different inner parameters.
- Lowpass: Adds low-pass filter to the input signal – helps emulate hotter sounds.
- Pos/Neg knobs: Impacts the positive and negative amplitudes.
8. SGA1566 by Shattered Glass Audio
Shattered Glass Audio’s SGA 1566 provides you with a single-channel classic tube preamp. The entire circuit is simulated in real-time to get you that genuine analog sound.
Use the SGA 1566 as a saturation compressor to spice up the heat of your track. Or add a little bit of grit with the tube overdrive. It has a number of knobs that can help you to form the saturation you’re after and it has the options of stereo and mono works to fit your needs.
Best used on the low-end signals like bass and kick, but additionally is an effective alternative when you want to fatten out a vocal as well. The latest model is also lighter on your CPU, so your computer is not going to suffer from it!
9. FreeAMP by Klevgrand
FreeAMP is a simplified model of Klevgrand’s flagship analog modeling plugin known as REAMP. It encompasses a mixture of saturation algorithms from the entire version of the software.
Similar to the MIA Fat plugin, you’ll solely have 1 knob that will provide you with the specified quantity of distortion. Select how much of the distortion will emerge with the unique sound by using the mix knob and select the best output volume. Use the metering on the backside to see how the signal is behaving.
The saturation algorithm utilized in FreeAMP is a novel mixture of tape and tube distortion. As such, it really works nicely on all kinds of audio sources.
The consumer interface consists of three management parameters solely. The Drive knob sets the amount of saturation, the Mix knob controls the relative ranges of the dry and processed audio, and the Output knob sets the master quantity.
10. BPB Saturator by Bedroom Producers
BPB Saturator was created by Bedroom Producers Blog and is supposed to be a subtler, extra nuanced model of their BPB Dirty Filter. Whereas the Dirty Filter excels at actually aggressive and over-the-top saturation, the Saturator is ideal for softer saturation. There are six knobs with completely different capabilities.
One thing actually cool about this plugin is that it could actually mix both tube saturation and tape saturation, so it isn’t necessary to have separate plugins to attain this effect. Because it has a low-pass filter, the higher frequencies could be taken away which helps to provide a saturation effect extra reminiscent of an analog saturator.
In accordance with Bedroom Producers Blog, it may be used on bass sounds, digital instruments, drum loops, and even the mix as a complete. This makes it a fairly versatile plugin. Because of its minimalistic design and easy controls, it is easy on the CPU and could be run by lower-spec computer systems.
Well, we compiled another great list of free saturation plugins that you can use for your mixes. We also believe that our community will appreciate these suggestions since not everybody is in power to buy premium plugins.
Paying homage to all the hard-working developers that are providing us with freebies to use that are of high quality. Hats off to you ladies and gentlemen.
If you are having any questions or concerns about the plugins, please let us know in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to answer!