A Saturator is a tool that is commonly used during a mixing and mastering stage to add certain harmonic excitement to a track. Saturators come in various forms and today we will talk about a few common saturators that I use in my Mastering chain and that drive a lot of decisions that are taken from a Mastering standpoint.

Step no. 1

Sonnox Inflator

The Sonnox Inflator is a great saturator that accentuates a certain high mid range spectrum and can be used all the way from mild saturation to driving the entire song. This plugin can easily bring up your perceived loudness of a track and also help you define the high mids a little better.
Step no. 2

TRS Saturator X

This saturator has 4 modes with varying levels of intensity i.e Tape 1,Tape 2, Master +6dB, Master +12dB. The tape modes are more focused towards the low mids and the high mids whereas the Master mode is more focused towards the higher frequency range. The plugin also lets you control the amount of drive by changing the input and output going in and out of the plugin.
Step no. 3

VMR Virtual Mix Buss

This is a nifty little plugin from Slate Digital that has various modes of Saturation like Brit 4k, Brit G, Usa A, RC Tube etc. This plugin has a very specific sound that may not work for a lot of scenarios but it is subtle enough to be used in parallel with some other processing.
Step no. 4

Ozone 9 Saturator

Another great saturator that differs from all of the above saturators in the form that it lets you saturate only a given frequency range from the track. This saturator also has various modes like Triode,Tape,Tube etc and also has a nifty function of Mix which lets you drive a signal and also mix it in parallel.
Step no. 5

Sound Toys Decapitator

This may seem a little odd to people reading this post, but Decapitator is such a great Saturator that works beautifully even in Mastering Stage. This plugin is know for its extreme Sound Design use and for literally obliterating sounds, but it can also be used in a gentle fashion and it adds a huge amount of this very specific character to the signal. Again, this is one of those plugins that may not work for all situations but where it does work, no other plugin can even come close.

Get in touch!

If you guys have another other questions you would like to shoot at me, just shoot me a mail at ronak@gray-spark.com.
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