In this article, I have reviewed Fabfilter Saturn 2 saturation effect plugin for you. This is a genuine review in which you’ll get all pros and cons of this plugin.
Fabfilter Saturn 2 is one of the best saturation/distortion plugins I’ve ever used. Features like Multiband and side-chain processing, the oscillators, wide range of included presets make it a great saturation plugin option for home studios.
On the huge demand of my followers, I’ve decided to review Fabfilter Saturn 2 for you.
And don’t forget to give your own precious review in the comment box below this post. It’s equally beneficial for other readers.
Table of Contents
- 1 Fabfilter Saturn 2 : in Detail
- 2 A Brief Intro
- 3 What’s New in The Version 2
- 4 Fabfilter Saturn 2 : All Features
- 5 Looks
- 6 Saturation Presets
- 7 Multi-Band Display and Controls
- 8 Floating Band Control
- 9 Modulation Controls
- 10 Quality
- 11 Some Audio Examples
- 12 Value for Money
- 13 FabFilter Saturn 2 Review – At the End
Fabfilter Saturn 2 : in Detail
Plugin type : Saturation /distortion plugin
System requirements :
- 64-bit: Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista
- 32-bit: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP
- VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools
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- OS X 10.8 or higher (64-bit only)
- AU or VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools
- Intel processor
Plug-in formats: VST, VST3, Audio Units, AAX Native, and AudioSuite formats.
Upgrade : Available for $77 (Download Upgrade)
A Brief Intro
Fabfilter is a reputed plugin manufacturer and Saturn saturation/distortion plugin is the first liner in their product inventory.
In fact, It’s one of the best saturation plugins I’ve ever used in my recordings.
As you know, most of the recording studios use digital recording gear with them, the one common problem we face is the dryness of audio.
The lack of analog feel is a common scenario in home recording studios.
We all struggle hard to get the depth and sweetness of analog consoles in our audio.
Fabfilter Saturn 2 Saturation/distortion plugin helps in restoring the dynamics and creating the analog feel in our audio.
It fills the gaps between a dryness of digital audio and the sweetness of analog audio and gives you perfection without messing in the controls too much.
To make this process easier, a handful of presets provided with these plugins. each preset is created by the pros.
By applying those presets you can transform your audio in a second.
Of course, if you love to experiment, the knobs and controls are waiting for you.
Watch this video which describes how Fabfilter Saturn 2 will help you in transforming your audio from a dry digital file to audio full of analog taste.
What’s New in The Version 2
- Guitar amp presets.
- It features an adjustable slope for the crossovers that can be adjusted in 6, 12, 24, and 48 dB/oct options.
- Supports Pro Tools and other control surfaces.
- Live modulation visualization system.
- Various interface sizes with Full-Screen mode.
- Fully redesigned, easy-to-use interface which includes a new design of modulation sources and floating slot panel.
- Curve control in EGs and transient detection in EFs
Fabfilter Saturn 2 : All Features
Several features will tease you to buy this amazing saturation plugin.
Here are the key features of Fabfilter Saturn 2.
- Saturn 2 provides you 28 different distortion styles, from subtle tube saturation to heavy guitar amps and bit crushing. With the help of these presets you can play on your own rules.
- The multiband processing (up to 6 bands) is amazing.
- You’ll get an adjustable slope for the crossovers of 6, 12, 24, and 48 dB/oct options.
- Each band has it’s own separate drive, mix, feedback, dynamics, tone, and level controls.
- Easy drag-and-drop modulation feature with 50-slot modulation matrix presets.
- Supports most of the hardware control surfaces.
- Mid/side chain processing.
- Supports GPU-powered graphics acceleration.
- The interactive MIDI Learn feature helps to control this plugin with MIDI devices.
- 8x to 32x oversampling modes.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Factory Presets designed by industry leaders.
- Per-band solo and mute options available which is great when you want to adjust some particular frequencies.
- 30 days trial available.
Let us discuss some key features one by one.
With red and charcoal gradient background with some greenish texture, Fabfilter Saturn 2 looks like a professional audio plugin.
The top bar has undo/redo and A/B controls, preset loader, help menu, and fullscreen button along with the Fabfilter name and logo on the left side.
When you hover your mouse below the top bar a plus sign will display that will allow you to set crossovers, add additional bands, and adjust band volumes.
A floating bar in the middle of the interface that can be shifted from right to left as you select the bands for tweaking.
Another plus sign has provided below the floating bar that allows us to add envelope controls, LFOs, XY and slider controls, and MIDI inputs.
At the bottom, you’ll find MIDI controls, phase, quality, and output settings.
If you’ve used the old Saturn plugin then it will be quite easy to understand Saturn 2 interface.
BUT, if you are new to this plugin, you have to workout to understand it.
Fabfilter Saturn 2 has much saturation presets designed by the pros that allow you to apply the pro settings without turning the knobs.
This plugin comes with 77 presets under 25 different saturation models that will help you create a huge variety of sounds from subtle warmth to sonic crush.
In the new version, several guitar amp models are added.
As I told you above, most of the factory presets were created by sound designers like Stephan Musch and bManic, which you can see in the preset menus.
You can see 6 parent saturation models Tube, Tape, Amp, Saturation, Transformer, and FX under which the presets are organized into submenus.
Every preset has its own taste. You can use them from tickle to torture your sounds.
Multi-Band Display and Controls
One of the coolest features of Fabfilter Saturn 2 is Multi-band Display and controls.
You can access this feature by clicking the small plus sign below the top menu bar which creates a divider with a crossover button.
On the sides of the divider, the volume control is displayed.
You can change the crossover frequency by dragging the divider and set crossover slopes between 6 and 48 dB by clicking the crossover button.
When you click any of the volume control, the floating control bar shifts under the band you selected to allow you to control the band independently.
You can add additional bands by clicking the plus button again.
You can add up to 6 bands in each of them its own independent saturation/distortion model and oscillator control.
Multiband controls allow you to design your frequencies as per your need from subtle saturation to crushing.
It’s all depends on you how you play with the bands.
Floating Band Control
A floating band control is provided to Saturn 2 is used for modulation controls to take your saturation and distortion effects to the extreme.
There are a total of 5 knobs, 4 tone control sliders, a bypass switch and a preset selection option is given int he floating band control panel.
Let us see them one by one.
- Mix knob – Mix knob is used to adjust the dry and wet signals in the band.
- Feedback knob – This knob is used to add amp feedback.
- Frequency knob – This is used to change the crossover frequency.
- Dynamics knob – This is provided to control the amount of gate/expansion/compression.
- Drive knob – This is the biggest knob in the floating band control. It’s used to add drive in the signal.
- Level knob -It’s used for L-R panning.
- Tone faders – Tone faders are used to fine-tune the tone of the signal.
These controls used together to transform the audio to the next level.
If you don’t want to mess in the controls then a simple hack is using the preset option provided in the floating band control panel.
The modulation control panel is used side by side with the floating band control to take your saturation and distortion to the extremes.
You can add up to six modulation effects each band which you can choose from the given Sliders, XY pads, LFOs, Envelope Generators and Followers, and MIDI sources.
This will allow you to add both automated and manual control of every knob.
Let’s start with the UI.
The UI or user interface is amazingly intuitive. The controls given in the line such as bands on top controls below and modulators on the bottom make it very easy to operate.
All the controls can be used with the help of a mouse.
When it comes to audio quality, there are limitless possibilities.
You can create your saturation effect by using the bands, controls, and modulation or simply use any of the presets to make it work without any further hassle.
You can also start with a given preset and manipulate that to make your saturation profile.
Some Audio Examples
For your help, I’m providing here some audio examples of Fabfilter Saturn 2.
Listen to the above audio examples to get an overview of how the Fabfilter Saturn saturation plugin works on audio files.
Value for Money
With $154 for a new one and $77 for upgrade is slightly high for a newbie music producer.
HOWEVER, when compared to other saturation plugins, it’s a good deal.
The real analog saturation taste all of the use dies for is available with just $154. SO, in my opinion, it’s not a bad deal.
If you can afford it you must own it.
FabFilter Saturn 2 Review – At the End
SO, here was Fabfilter Saturn 2 Review.
As I’ve told above, Saturn plugins are quite expansive for newbies who don’t want to invest in the start.
Fabfilter Saturn 2 is one of the most expansive options among saturation/distortion plugins
BUT, the quality and flexibility it provides are much more then it’s the price. However, you have the option to upgrade from the old version if you have it.
I’ve used it and I can say, it’s one of the most robust options in the saturation/distortion plugins.
The oscillators, multi-band, and side-chain operation, floating controls, solo and mute per band option and the depth of the included presets library make this a great all-in-one saturation option for home studios.
If you ask me about my recommendation, I will give it a FULL 5 STAR. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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