In digital audio workstations (DAW) that we use for creating, mixing, and mustering our audio tracks, whenever the audio signal goes beyond 0dB, the DAW engine considers it as hard clipping, creates an unwanted bad type of distortion.
This free VST plugin has two processing modes which offer two distinct saturation algorithm. Other features like 64-bit floating-point processing, up to 175% GUI scaling, up to x8 oversampling, and AB comparison which allows comparing multiple settings simultaneously.
In good old analog days, the mix engineers needed to push the tape beyond 0 dB to achieve soft clipping as the audio signal clips but opposite to digital clipping this type of analog clipping is somehow appealing to the people and it sounds very musical.
A most important reason to use saturation plugins when mixing inside DAW is to get that analog magical sound and bring back the life to the mixes.
These are some free saturation VST plugins that are practical and can be used as your regular saturation VST. There is no particular order, each free saturation VST plugin has its own characteristics and sounds good.
- PreBOX by Analog Obsession (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- Saturation Knob by Softube (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- X-Tube by Xenium Audio (VST for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows)
- IVGI by Klanghelm (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- Tube Saturator Vintage by Wave Arts (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- FreeAMP by Klevgrand (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- PhreePhuzz by LVC Audio (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- Tube Amp 2 by Voxengo (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- MSaturator by MeldaProduction (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- SGA1566 by Shattered Glass Audio (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
- Saturate by BlueLab (VST/AU for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows & Mac)
PreBOX is a preamp modeler VST plugin made by Analog Obsession, it contains/emulates eleven PreAmp models(mic/line). Each preamp model has its character, dynamics, and transient with two knobs to control input, and the output also Lowpass and Highpass Filters from V76 circuit.
Some preamp models have a subtle saturation effect and some have pumping distortion, you can increase the amount of saturation by increasing the input gain knob. PreAmp models this VST plugin emulates are
- SS Nine
- Tape Color
- New 81
- Quad Core
Download: PreBOX by Analog Obsession(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
Saturation Knob is a free saturation VST plugin by Softube, gives you an analog modeled distortion output, it is a perfect and simplest way to add some grit to any incoming audio signal. The saturation knob has one knob to control the amount of saturation you want to add with additional options to affect low, high, or both.
The only thing that is missing is the makeup or volume control. Use this tip! If you are making trap music then use the saturation knob to add an extra punch and harmonics to kick drum and snares. Or you can use it as a send effect channel to use as a parallel effect. Add harmonics to 808s and sub-basses, synth sounds, leads, and vocal.
Download: Saturation Knob by Softube (Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
X-tube is a free tube saturation VST plugin developed by Xenium Audio, it is a simulation of 12AX7, a vacuum tube. with the processing of 64-bit floating-point, it supports Stereo, Mono, Quadro, and 5.1 tracks. The sound can be further shaped using an IIR-type equalizer with three bands, low mid, and high.
This tube saturation VST plugin supports zero-latency processing and up to x16 oversampling with additional features like drive and bias to get more authentic tube saturation emulation.
Free Ab Reference Vst
Download: X-Tube by Xenium Audio(VST for 32 bit & 64 bit Windows)
IVGI by Klanghelm is capable of providing subtle saturation to distorted effect to spice up incoming audio. IVGI additionally allows you to alter the frequency response of the saturation. the RESPONSE management is that the results of clever eq-ing, a bunch of pre- and de-emphasis filters, and a few specific compression characteristics. all moving the particular character of the saturation.
If you switch the knob to the left, low frequencies are a lot of suffering from saturation. Also, you may notice some high-end roll-off and a few low-end bump and compression. if used meagerly, the RESP0NSE management will increase transparency.
Turned to the right, high frequencies area unit additional full of saturation. In additional extreme settings, you may notice some multiplied HF compression and physical phenomenon effects.
Download: IVGI by Klanghelm(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
Tube Saturator Vintage
Tube Saturator Vintage by Wave Arts is a saturation free VST plugin that reproduces circuit simulation technology to authentic reproduce the sound of a dual triode preamp. Tube saturator vintage emulates cathode 12AX7 preamp, has Baxandall 3-band EQ, drive knob, and fat function to add extra punch to the audio, and works in mono and stereo mode with zero latency.
Use Tube Saturator to add a bit of analog warmth to recordings, or increase the drive for some distortion. You can use it as a saturating peak limiter too.
Download: Tube Saturator Vintage by Wave Arts(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
FreeAMP by Klevgrand is small, simple yet has the same power as its big brother REAMP, FreeAMP uses all saturation algorithms are the same as the REAMP. But the FreeAMP is simple to use s it only has three very straightforward knobs.
FreeAMP gives tape and tube saturation at the same time makes it a kind of interesting saturation VST plugin. Use a drive knob to get the desired amount of saturation and use a mix knob to use it as a parallel effect.
Free Ab Vst
Download: FreeAMP by Klevgrand(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
Phreephuzz by LVC Audio is an easy to use free saturation VST plugin with a simple user interface. PhreePhuzz uses the same technology as its bigger brother PreAMPed. PhreePhuzz has 6 varieties of saturation settings give a distinct flavor saturation effect to the sound.
PhreePhuzz offers linear phase filtering to get the shiny high-end that is done by 4x oversampling. It has AB functionality that makes it easier to compare a couple of settings at the same time. Use this plugin to add quick saturation on any audio or midi track.
Download: PhreePhuzz by LVC Audio(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
Tube Amp 2
Tube Amp is a free saturation VST plugin by Voxengo that emulates asymmetric tube triode overdrive that is found in single-tube microphone pre-amp boxes. Tube amp VST gives from subtle warmth to fuzzy distortion effect to the sounds. This free VST plugin has two processing modes which offer two distinct saturation algorithm.
Other features like 64-bit floating-point processing, up to 175% GUI scaling, up to x8 oversampling, and AB comparison which allows comparing multiple settings simultaneously.
Download: Tube Amp 2 by Voxengo(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
Free saturation VST plugin MSaturator by Voxengo is capable of processing audio in warm tube-like saturation to a complete distortion module for guitars. MSaturator’s advanced GUI engine is highly customizable and is freely resizable. It gives a choice to choose between knobs, sliders, or buttons you want to use the most.
MSaturator encodes audio not only in mono, stereo but also offers Mid-Side encoding that lets users freely manipulate the sound as they want. It also features oversampling up to x16, MSaturator includes automatic gain compensation, which quickly adapts to current settings and ensures the output sounds as loud as the input.
Download: MSaturator by MeldaProduction(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
SGA1566 by Shattered Glass Audio is based on all tube single channel vintage tube amplifier created to give classic warmth to any sound which goes through it. It claims to recreate every nuance of the preamp, has two-band Baxandall EQ that can be used either before or after the preamp.
It supports up to x4 oversampling which increases the quality of saturation but also increases the CPU usage. Is supports mono and stereo processing. Overall it can be used as a saturation compressor or overdrive distortion for guitars and synths.
Download: SGA1566 by Shattered Glass Audio(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
Saturate is a simple one-knob free saturation VST plugin by BlueLab, this saturation plugin doesn’t try to emulate any piece of a hardware unit, it has its way to saturate the audio, it targets the waveform to give a saturation effect. It uses x4 oversampling to increase the overall quality of the saturation it produces.
Download: Saturate by BlueLab(Available for Windows & Mac, 32-bit, 64 bit, VST, AU)
X-tube by Xenium Audio is the only free saturation VST plugin that is available for only Windows users, but Mac users can other best free saturation VST plugins from the VST plugins list given above.