PSP Saturator Review (Ultimate Saturation Tool)

PSPaudioware knows how important it is to have a great saturator plugin in your arsenal, so they’ve reworked some older processors to create the Saturator.

It’s a really easy-to-use plugin that can give you amazing results in no time at all.  Let’s take a look at what makes PSPaudioware’s Saturator worth getting.

Category
Rating
Summary
Features
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PSP’s Saturator has all the features you would expect from this kind of plugin, as well as some secret weapons. It gives you amazing control over the overall sound, so you can easily achieve the best results.
Sound
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The sound of this plugin easily stands up against plenty of other similar processors. Giving you control over the shape of the saturation allows you to quickly find a good analog sound which you can then manipulate for smooth or harsh outcomes.
GUI
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Saturator has most of its features laid out simply, making it really easy to use. Some of them are hidden but easily accessible, which keeps them tidy. And switching between presets or saving your own can be done without any hassle.
Value For Money
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Compared to other saturators, PSP’s is great value for money. It does what it needs to, gives you some extra options and great presets, and all for an affordable cost.

Basic Features

Let’s start by understanding what makes this plugin what it is. At the top of the interface are two meters, one for each channel (Left and Right). These allow you to measure how much you influence the signal in terms of gain and volume.

Between the two meters, you’ll find a button that lets you change between Pre, Post, and Drive processing. This gives you some nice control over how the plugin will affect your track.

Then there’s the main area for adding saturation. It’s divided into low, high, and overall saturation. Both the low and high processors can be turned on and off, they have frequency control (20Hz to 400Hz for lows, 1kHz to 20kHz for highs), level, and saturation (Warmth for lows and Softness for highs).

Both of these sub-components are a high point of the Saturator, as they give you great power on the overall sound. Taking a kick drum as an example, the low saturation will give you some warm, round low-end, while the high can control the attack.

Finally, there is the overall Saturation and the Shape knobs. The Saturation knob makes it really easy to dial in the main sound, ranging from 0 to 100. Varying the Shape lets you choose how rough you want the sound to be. You can choose no shape at all or pump it up to Hard Clip for some more extreme distortion.

At the bottom of the interface, you have the Input, Output, and Mix knobs. Playing around with the gain can give you even more exciting results, especially if you max out the input while controlling the output to keep it to the best level. These can be reverse-linked for quicker control.

There’s also a Bypass button for quickly turning it on and off and a toggle to change between soft and limiting saturation on the output. The limiting option is fantastic if you want to push the output really high and create even more layers of harmonics. It should keep the level below -0.01dB.

Hidden Features

A few features are enclosed in a separate interface that you need to reveal. There’s an Open toggle beside the limiter button. When you click on it, you will see the secret weapons that are included in this plugin.

There’s a FAT processor that uses quad-sampling to enhance the saturation quality. This is great as a mastering tool. After that, there’s one of the best additions to the Saturator: the sidechain high-pass filter. It’s such a simple tool, but it can greatly impact the overall sound. It allows you to filter out the low-end on a sidechain so that it isn’t affected by the saturation.

Beside the sidechain HPF is a Smooth knob that gives you control over how harsh or smooth you want the saturation to be. And then a Makeup knob so you can choose how much the plugin replaces any lost gain that may occur from selecting different saturation shapes.

And finally, there’s a HPF with an option for changing between pre, post, or both. Allowing you to choose a mix of pre- and post-fader gives you some nice power over the overall filter sound.

Aside from these features which are in their own special section, there are some unseen ones that really make this one of the best saturation plugins around. Any kind of manipulation of the frequency spectrum of a track or balance between the wet and dry signals can throw the phase out of place. PSPaudioware had this in mind when they added an internal phase alignment system, so you don’t have to worry about any problems of that kind.

Presets

The Saturator has 200 presets that have been created by many professional producers and engineers. This way, you know that you’ll have a great starting point for whatever instrument you use it on.

They are laid out fantastically. There are divisions for application and designer, so if you need one for drums, check out the drum section. Or if you know you want a sound used by Jason LaRocca, you can open up his presets and choose what suits you best.

And then there’s an extra division for your own presets. You can easily save these using the Save button in the top left-hand corner. They’re easily accessible in the preset dropdown menu.

You can also copy and paste the changes you’ve made to other Saturator plugins you’re using on other instruments. And you can flip between sounds using the A/B option for quickly comparing the different parameters.

Get Saturator Here (Or Try Demo)

Or Buy Here (Support Integraudio)

PSP Saturator in Use

With 200 presets to choose from and an easily customizable interface, there are so many options when using this fantastic plugin. So let’s take a look through some of the best ways to use it for different types of processing.

  • Preamp

The first shapes you can choose from are excellent for giving some soft saturation to a track, just like a preamp would. These include Soft, Med, Hard Valve, and Warm Tape. The Saturation knob doesn’t need to be turned up too high so that it can add some nice analog warmth without becoming too harsh.

You can also manipulate the Low and High frequency knobs for a cut or boost of certain frequencies. This can make your track more present and less muddy. And the HPF also gives you some control that a standard preamp would.

  • Mastering

When using the Saturator for mastering, one of the best ways to start is to open up the hidden features and turn on the FAT option. This will increase the quality of the saturation. Turning up the Smooth level also gives you some more subtle results that are great for mastering.

Selecting the tape shapes and slightly turning up the Warmth and Softness can give you an analog sound that is hard to achieve if you don’t have such a great plugin like the Saturator.

  • Tape

Some tape emulators give you the option to select between different IPS values (the speed of tha tape moving through the machine). Seeing as this is a general saturator and not just a tape emulator, the Saturator doesn’t have this option. However, mix engineer Andi Vax created some presets to get you closer to that sound. You can choose between 15 and 30 IPS.

Some of the high-end has been lowered, and they both have modest amounts of saturation. The biggest differences are between the shapes and the smoothness. The Tape 15 IPS preset uses the Warm Tape shape with the Smooth knob set to 0, while the Tape 30 IPS has a high level of smoothness and is set to Modern Tape.

  • Parallel Saturation

Another great way to use the Saturator is on a return track. You can send your different tracks to it so that you can have some parallel saturation. This is an incredible technique, especially on drums and vocals. It allows you to maintain the original signal while also dialing in some heavy saturation to make the track really stick out in the mix.

It’s also a great match for return tracks with space processors like reverbs and delays. Many stock plugins of this kind can be cold and lifeless, so adding the Saturator to the chain as an exciter can brighten up the signal.

  • Limiter

Aside from being an excellent saturator, this plugin can also be used as a limiter. Make sure to have the Low and High parameters turned off, the Saturation knob set to 0, and the Shape set to None. Then you can set the output processing to Lim and start turning up the gain.

Keep an eye on your DAW’s meters, and you’ll see the signal peak just below 0dB. And keep your ears sharp, and you’ll notice that the Saturator works subtly in terms of added harmonics while mostly compressing the signal.

Check PSP’s guide on how you can use Saturator in mixing:

PSP Saturator | Practical Mixing Guide

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