Soundtoys Saturation Characteristics

I love to use Soundtoys plug-ins as saturators, I think they all sound great, especially when matched with the ideal source material!

I thought I would write a quick topic quickly demonstrating some of the saturation types harmonic generation and saturation behaviours.


Clean is certainly not clean, it has strong second and third ordered harmonics for rich and fat sounding saturation, it also generates plenty of high ordered enharmonic content to impart a gritty and edgy tone on your source.

Smooth and subtle saturation characteristics, similar to typical console saturation.


Fat has a strong third harmonic and is very reminiscent of tape.

Fat generates an abundance of low frequency saturation, hence the name and waveform.


Dirt has a strong third harmonic, which adds richness and depth, as well as a lot of high ordered enharmonic content, which adds a gritty and edgy tone.

Smooth broadband saturation.


Strong second and third low ordered harmonics and moderate enharmonic higher ordered harmonic content.

Plenty of high-frequency saturation demonstrated in this waveform.


A very strong second harmonic that adds body to the source.

Plenty of asymmetrical saturation going on here!


Very similar to Fat…

Sounds similar to Fat but with a little more low frequency saturation.


Very strong second and third oredered harmonics.

not really sure what to say… sounds great though!

Well, I decided to leave this one to last. Op-amp is clean and generates no harmonic distortion or saturation!

Here is a screen grab of the dry drum loop for analysis purposes.

Audio Examples
ST Dirt.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Clean.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Dry.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Crunch.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Shred.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Squash.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Pump.aif (1.3 MB)
ST Fat.aif (1.3 MB)

Thanks Paul, this kind of walk through really helps. The first wow moment for me on mixing foundations was when we looked at saturation (through ProQ) on a sine wave like this, so a run through of each Soundtoys type like this helps a lot. :slight_smile:

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Glad it was of some use @Elton

I have added some audio examples that I did at the time but forgot to upload and found them lerking in a folder…