best saturation plugins for music production

Best Saturation VST Plugins in 2022 for Music Producers

Harmonic distortion is one of the most important effects since the first analog tools were introduced. Unstable circuitries introduce distortion to the incoming signal which is utilized in modern-day music as a means to add flavor to various different sounds. Overdriving the built-in tubes and transistors can cause heavy distortion but it can also add the right harmonics to your incoming signal making it sound pleasant, warm, and bright. The best saturation vst plugins in 2022 for music producers are listed down below.


Best Saturation VST Plugins in 2022 for Music Producers 


  1. SoundToys Decapitator 
  2. Output Thermal
  3. FabFilter Saturn 2
  4. XLN Audio RC-20
  5. Izotope Trash 2

*more plugins listed at the end of the article 


1.SoundToys Decapitator 

This saturation vst plugin is designed for every sound engineer to add all of the imperfections of analog gear to your sounds. Give your sounds more body, add warmth, give them an edge, create your own signature sound, or pull some elements out of the mix with this unique analog saturation modeler. Definitely one of the best saturation plugins in 2022.



2. Output Thermal

Dial-in new and unique distortion sounds with this multi-band distortion unit. Go beyond every other distortion vst plugin as thermal contains several engines, each with analog and digital distortion algorithms. Use the waveform display to your advantage and create sounds nobody ever heard before. Thermal is one of the most creative saturation vst plugins and can add some amazing textures to your sounds.



3.FabFilter Saturn 2 

FabFilter’s catalog is specially built to break the boundaries whereas the Saturn 2 is the flagship of their distortion tools. Saturn 2 contains a clear visualizer that can be divided into 3 bands for different treatments. Scroll through several presets categorized on drums, allround, FX, mastering, saturation, sequence, various, and many more to find the perfect setting for your sound.





4.XLN Audio RC-20

The RC-20 is already well established in the mixing category of music production. Add imperfections to any sounds with just 6 knobs and tweak the sound even more by changing the different types of each knob. Use it to add more character, warmth, air, and space to your sounds. If you are looking for adding vintage flavour to your sounds this is one of the best saturation vst plugins for that purpose.



5.iZotope Trash 2

Ozone is well known for its mixing & mastering tools such as EQ’s, Limiters, and Effects. The Izotope Trash 2 puts you in full control over a well-organized plugin containing different distortion types. Treat the low-, mid-, and high band differently while choosing between subtle distortion or extreme distortion. Check out the iZotope Trash 2 saturation/distortion vst plugin in action down below.



6. SSL Fusion Vintage Drive – $199.00

7. SSL Native X Saturator – $119.00

8. Waves Factory Cassette – $44.00

9.  Softube Tape – $99.00

10. u-he Satin – $129.00


Read next: Best Mastering Plugins for Music Production

Image Credit: Soundtoys





Hemant has been actively involved in the dance music industry with over 2 years of experience. Currently working as a Project Manager and heading the We Rave You Tech division. Get in touch via email or Instagram

[email protected]