FabFilter Saturn by FabFilter Review

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019
  • Time to read: 2 min.

FabFilter Saturn a Saturation Goodness, by FabFilter Review

FabFilter Saturn released in 2012 was from day one a leading saturation plugin, with the addition of products that address the same need the possibility to select a saturation plugin has become challenging. FabFilter did send a review copy with no strings attached.


After purchase, you receive a code to activate the plugin, relaunched the plugin, and you are all set.


FabFilter Saturn offers a dozen distortion modes, from a clean tube, warming tubes to shrieking guitar amps. The effect can be through Multi-band processing applied to different frequency spectrums which are divided into different sections.

  • Tube emulations: from clean, high-quality tubes to juicy or even broken tube sound.
  • Tape emulation: subtle, warm or extreme tape saturation.
  • Amplifier emulation: from smooth and crunchy amplifiers to screaming power amps.
  • Smudge: This creative distortion algorithm smudges and stretches the audio in weird and unexpected ways. The Drive knob sets the amount of smudging/stretching.
  • Rectify A crunchy combination of rectified sound, DC offset removal, and soft clipping.
  • Destroy A destructive combination of bit-crushing, sample rate reduction, and clipping.

Beside all additional technical features, FabFilter Saturn is recognized for its sound and tone that it does apply to different instruments. When you get familiar with Saturn, you may need to keep in mind that Saturn is such a potent tool that it could be making the tack worst. Take a break after applying Saturn to listen with “fresh” ears to the result. Carefully applied Saturn takes your track/mix or instrument to the next level.

Since its release, several additional options are available through similar products for example from SoundToys with Decapitator, U-He with Satin, Universal Audio Vertigo Sound VSM-3, Empirical Labs (with a 1:1 ratio) Arousor, different Virtual Tape Machines, iZotope – trash 2, Klanghelm SDRR, D16 Group Redoptor, multi-purpose plugins as Punish by Heavyocity, and many more. You see that the market for tools that offer saturation has become congested. Out of the many saturation plugins, I would position FabFilter Saturn as the excellent all-around performer with most versatile possibilities. Some plugins provide more authentic saturation models. However, the number of modeled devices is not a reason you buy several saturation plugins.

User interface & Usability

FabFilter Saturn UI is designed in simple and easy to use way showing the controls need to shape the desired tone. Also, FabFilter offers a grand Manual and online help to get you started.

FabFilter Saturns interface
FabFilter Saturn’s interface

Rating:  Five out of five stars

Saturn does include several authentic saturation models. Saturn is fast and comes with a unique modulation system to apply small saturation to extreme coloration. FabFilter will be over the years one of several saturation options in your toolbox, and it will be your most versatile one.

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