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Saturation Plugins: What You Need to Know

In a nutshell, saturation is the phenomenon of adding harmonics or distortion to a signal to add warmth and character. This can give your sounds extra depth and texture in a mix. While it may sound complicated, saturation is actually quite easy to achieve using plugins. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite saturation plugins.

FabFilter Saturn 2

The FabFilter Saturn 2 is one of the most popular plugins for adding color and texture to any audio track. It has two sets of distortion modules that can be used in combination with each other for powerful sonic manipulation. The plugin also includes several filters, an envelope generator, and an extensive modulation section that allows you to create intricate sounds from subtle background noise to roaring leads. This plugin is perfect for those who want to get creative with their sound design. 

iZotope Trash 2

My personal favorite on bass and acid processing, iZotope’s Trash 2 features a wide range of customizable distortion algorithms. The multiband processing capability allows you to go absolutely nuts on mangling sounds in the mid range, while preserving a smooth, unaffected low end. Check out the “Subtle -> Add Muscle” preset for a great starting point.

Softube Saturation Knob

The Softube Saturation Knob is another great tool for adding warmth and character to your mixes. As the name implies, this plugin allows you control over how much or how little saturation you want in your mix by simply turning up or down its knob-like interface. It also offers several different pre-set modes such as “Soft”, “Medium”, and “Hard” which allow you to quickly dial in different levels of distortion without having to tweak too many settings yourself. This makes it perfect for those who just need a quick solution without getting too deep into sound design techniques like equalization or compression settings.  

Sonnox Oxford Saturator

This award-winning plugin is one of the go-to choices for most producers. It has a simple user interface that makes it easy to dial in exactly what you want, and its low CPU usage ensures that your computer won’t slow down while you’re working on a track. It also has several helpful presets so you can quickly find the type of saturation sound you’re looking for.

Go Forth, Rebel Artist.

Saturation plugins are essential tools if you are looking for ways to add warmth and character to your audio tracks or mixes. Each plugin offers its own set of features but all of them provide an effective way to add depth and texture without having too much technical knowledge about sound design techniques like equalization or compression settings. Whether you’re just starting out with music production or already have years of experience under your belt, these plugins will help take your music production skills up a notch!