Here’s a roundup of some of the best saturation & distortion VST you can get.
Izotope Trash 2. $99.
Trash 2 by Izotope combines multi-band, dual-stage distortions and advanced post-filtering for extreme sonic transformation.
Ohmnicide is multi-band distortion on whole other level. It has recently received an interface upgrade and new live performance-oriented features, which opens up a ton of possibilities!
Fabfilter Saturn . $154.
It doesn’t matter if you need warm tape saturation or mad multiband guitar amp effects. This one does it all in a neat, clean user interface.
Virtual Tape Machines. $149.
Probably the best tape machine emulation that you can get. Send something through this plugin and it gets fatter, warmer, richer and more exciting. It’s beauty of recording onto a piece of magnetic tape all within your computer.
RC-20 Retro Color. $80.
We’ve recently reviewed the RC-20 Retro Color and love it as a creative effect plugin that adds life and texture to your recording. Not as focussed on realistic, nuanced emulation, this one let’s you get more creative and is much more than just a saturation VST.
Looking for a free Saturation & Distortion VST? Read on…
Softube Saturation Knob. Free.
If you need to impart a bit of warmth to your tracks, you should immediately avail yourself of Softube’s wicked Saturation Knob. Ridiculously simple, this one does just what you’d think: it adds a modicum of saturation to any incoming signal.
Audio Damage FuzzPlus3. Free.
Feeling dirty? If so, you’re going to love FuzzPlus3 from Audio Damage. This delivers filtered filth of the first order. You can never have too many quality distortion plugins, so it’s a shame that Audio Damage discontinued the equally awesome Defacer Distortion Plugin… Maybe you can find another download link somewhere. FuzzPlus 3 is a great free option to really destroy your audio and add some unique flavour to your tracks.
Tritik Krush. Free.
Looking for something extreme? We’ve previously covered our affection for Krush, one of the best free bit crusher plugins around. If offers three simple controls for distortion – Drive, Crush & Downsample. The included low-pass and high-pass filter is a great for handling unwanted frequencies after you crank up the distortion. Especially in electronic music you will want this plugin in your arsenal!
MeldaProduction MbitFun. Free.
MeldaProduction MbitFun is a serious tool for extreme distortion lovers. It converts the audio into limited fixed-point precision form, from a 1 single bit up to 16 bits per sample, and lets you access each bit, applying several operations.
Greed Smasher. Free.
The Greed Smasher is a stompbox type plugin which emulates the Mesa/Boogie Grid Slammer overdrive. It offers the common Gain, Tone, and Level controls found on most stompboxes and is a great ITB option for an overdrive pedal.
Filtergrizzly 2. Free.
Finally, after some years in the dark the all-new FilterGrizzly 2 is available as free filter VST plugin! Rich on character and warmth, the completely overworked filter module is loaded with a tube-based filter drive unit for saturation, followed by an analog modelled 4-pole lowpass and 2-pole highpass filter with a passive controlled feedback circuit! All samples in the demo are taken from the SOR Minimal Techno Revolution Vol.3 sample pack!
If you have any suggestions to include in our list of best saturation & distortion VST, then let us know please!