The Best Saturation VST Plugins (Free & Paid) 2022

Saturation: the secret ingredient for your mixes. It creates imperfection which everybody loves. We bring you below the best saturation VST plugins in free & paid format.

SSL Native X-Saturator Saturation by Solid State Logic (Paid)

Saturation is a mix engineer’s secret weapon. Add a little to a vocal, and it pops right out of a mix. Sprinkle some on a snare, and suddenly it’s cracky and full of life. Pile it on drum overheads for an aggressive sound that will grab your listeners by their ears. X-Saturator tackles all these tasks and more with aplomb.

Choose from second-order valve-style distortion, third-order transistor distortion, or blend the two for a perfect combination of tube warmth and transistor iron. Use X-Saturator with a light touch or drive it into grotesque, mangled distortion, which can be tucked back with the Shape control or folded underneath a mix with the Wet/Dry knob. Creamy and warm or biting and fierce, you’ve never heard a saturation plug-in quite like the SSL X-Saturator.


  • Saturation plug-in with a huge range of distortion characteristics
  • Adds pleasing analog-style even- and odd-order harmonics
  • Choose from valve saturation or transistor saturation or blend the two
  • Control the edge of the distortion, ranging from smooth to hard
  • Wet/Dry knob for processing in parallel

[ Click here to buy + more info ]

RC-20 Retro Color Saturation by XLN Audio (Paid)

RC-20 Retro Color is a creative effect plugin that adds life and texture to any recording. It easily recreates the warm, cozy feeling of vintage recording equipment, but also works perfectly in any modern production setting.

  • Adds life and texture inspired by classic gear
  • Great on drums, guitars, keys, bass and full mixes
  • Flux Engine adds warm, analog-style fluctuations


6 Unique FX Modules

RC-20’s six unique FX modules can replicate everything from vinyl records to VHS machines, adding noise, wobble and dropouts to your tracks. Its raw distortion and crunchy bit reduction will add grit to your bass and drums. The space and chorus effects will make your guitar sing like never before and the filtering effects fit right into the most modern club track.

Flux Engine

Our exclusive Flux Engine adds subtle (or not so subtle) instability and fluctuations to all of the FX modules, providing the character, warmth and analog goodness of yesteryear’s best technology.

Magnitude Slider

The Magnitude slider controls the intensity of all processing. Easily accessible all the time — even when browsing presets — it makes it easy to find the perfect sound and processing amount. Automate this control for awesome intros, breakdowns and transitions in your song.


The included presets for drums, keys, guitars, bass, full mixes and post-production let you get to work right away. The RC-20 interface invites experimentation, and you can access the processing amount of each FX module while browsing.

[ Click here to buy + more info ]

Tape Saturation by Softube (Paid)

Time to get reel! Softube’s Tape plug-in adds cohesion and weight to your mixes. But Tape goes far beyond your average tape machine emulation. It includes three distinctly different tape machine types, and it offers the ease of use and low CPU strain that today’s music creators rightfully expect. 


  • Realistic analog tape sound
  • Three tape machine types included
  • Easy to use
  • Low CPU usage
  • Includes Tape Multitrack which can be used in the MixFX slot of Presonus Studio One—adding individual channel crosstalk and single interface control of all tracks

[ Click here to buy + more info ]

Distinct! Saturation by Kiive Audio (Paid)

Based on the incredible harmonic saturation found in the Overstayer: Modular Channel “Distinct!” packs all of those rich harmonic characteristics into an easy to use plugin.

Create subtle saturation to warm up drums, vocals, and mix bus, or drive this plugin into oblivion to create crazy fuzz bass tones, distorted vocal fx, and insane synth sounds. Use the added HF and LF knob to shape your sound before hitting the distortion.

[ Click here to buy + more info ]

DAW Cassette Saturation by Klevgrand (Paid)

DAW Cassette brings back the magic era of the 1980s by emulating the sound of a tape deck. Saturation, distortion, noise, wobble, it’s all there. While there’s no real rational logic to it, the sound color gives us chills down the spines, (or it might be the mullet haircut that tickles). Fresh.

Choose your preferred level of cassetteness with the different controls for input/output gain, tape/motor/head quality, and tape/noise type. Now, look in the mirror and get stunned by your new mullet haircut.


  • Choose between three different tape types (Normal, Chrome, Metal)
  • Control the noise level with Dolby emulation (including a noise-free option, Dolby K)
  • Tape-, head- and motor quality knobs for dialing in the perfect sound
  • Additional input gain, output gain, and dry/wet mix parameters

[ Click here to buy + more info ]

MIA Thin Saturation by MIA Laboratories (Free)

The most delicate member of the group, adds brilliance without harshness.

Recommended for dull sounds, will make them louder on smaller systems such as laptops, phones etc.

Dull sounding material becomes eloquently more defined especially on smaller systems such as laptops, smartphones, headphones etc.

Lift up that track and give it some ethereal essence.


  • Lift up that track and give it some ethereal essence.
  • Recommended for material that may sound dull.

[ Click here to download + more info ]

FreeAMP Saturation by Klevgrand (Free)

ven though FreeAMP may look simple, all the algorithms from Klevgrand’s amplifying modeler plugin REAMP are still in there. In this free version, they’ve combined their favourite profiles from REAMP into one universal profile.

When processing audio through FreeAMP you’ll get the sound of tape and tube saturation at the same time. It can be used on anything that needs to be vitalized, from single tracks, stems, or full mixes. And the best thing is that it is totally free!


  • Carefully trimmed combination of a modelled tape algorithm and a tube algorithm
  • Super-simple and friendly interface

[ Click here to download + more info ]

“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.”

error: Content is protected !!