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Best Free Saturation VST/AU Plugins

If you are looking for a best free tube, analog tape saturation VST plugin emulation, check the list bellow and download some great free saturation plugins. Remember, this is not a top, is a list. All plugins posted bellow are good, depends on what you are looking for.

FerricTDS by Variety Of Sound

Free VST FerricTDS by Variety Of Sound
Inspired by the smooth dynamic shaping capabilities of some high-end reel-to-reel tape recorders, this plug-in simulates three of the most distinctive and much appreciated sonic effects generated by these devices:

  • DYNAMICS – gently shaping the overall dynamic response
  • SATURATION – adding extra harmonic-related content
  • LIMITING – controlling peak performance

Features:

  • Win32 / VST compatible
  • state-of-the-art digital signal processing
  • 4x oversampled core algorithms
  • performance-critical parts are written in assembler
  • completely SSE-optimized

FerricTDS plugin won 1st place at KVR Audio Developer Challenge ’09.

More Details: FerricTDS

NastyVCS by Variety Of Sound

NastyVCS by Variety Of Sound Free VST
Built around an entirely new opto-electric style compression unit, NastyVCS offers everything you need to shape your channels dynamics and tone. It offers a dedicated input stage featuring crunchy pre-amp saturation and a brickwall safety limiter in the output stage. Everything is set up to work in zero latency and so be available for hassle free tracking and mixing.

More Details: NastyVCS

TesslaPRO mkII by Variety of Sound

TesslaPRO mkII Free VST Plugin
TesslaPRO mkII is a freeware saturation plugin based on stateful saturation algorithms and features an internal expandable ‘color model’ architecture and right from the start five different models are already included being three different ‘console style’ models plus one generic ‘tube stage’ and a ‘tape warmth’ saturation model.

TesslaPRO mkII is a Windows x32 freeware release for VST compatible applications.

More Details: TesslaPRO mkII

Nebula3 Free by Acustica-Audio

Nebula3 Free VST Plugin
Nebula3 Free is a fully functional, feature-limited version of Nebula3 Pro. Nebula 3 aims to emulate a variety of quite expensive high-end hardware audio equipment.

Nebula uses libraries which are created using a sophisticated “sampling approach” making it possible to “record” aspects of the sound of audio devices and play them back. Our sampling process results in highly realistic, complex emulations of many types of audio processing devices that can then be used to process any audio signal digitally, all within a VST plug-in that is compatible with all major DAWs and editing software.

More Details: Nebula3 Free

IVGI by Klanghelm

IVGI Free Saturation VST Effect
IVGI can deliver very soft and subtle saturation, that feels at home on the master buss. It is equally capable of very dense and dirty distortion effects to spice up single tracks. IVGI’s base sound is comparable to the DESK mode in the big brother SDRR. IVGI plugin is available in both VST and AU plugin fortmat for Windows and Mac.

More Details: IVGI

X-Tube by Xenium Audio

X-Tube Free Saturation VST Plugin
X-Tube is a plugin that simulates tube amplifier saturation effect available as a VST plugin that can be used in Windows 32/64-bit OS with any VST DAW.

Features:

  • Type of vacuum tube for simulation – 12AX7
  • Mono, Stereo, Quadro and 5.1 audio track support
  • 64-bit floating point processing
  • Easy to use and operate
  • Zero latency processing
  • Works with any samplerate and blocksize
  • 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x oversampling mode
  • IIR-type 3 Band equalizer with ±12dB range
  • Separate adjustment of drive and bias
  • 12 Factory presets
  • 8 User presets

More Details: X-Tube

Also check Best Free Compressor VST Plugins, Best Free Reverb Plugins and Best Free Equalizer Plugins

You are welcome to suggest your own favorite saturation plugin by leaving a comment on this post.

  • Milton Dammers

    It’s worth mentioning that Klanghelm’s SDRR is only €22 to buy outright and is an amazing plugin. IVGI is great, but I’ve not looked at it since I bought it’s big brother.

  • slickHDR is great. weird GUI, but slams your mix or inserts.