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analog-style saturator

This was my first attempt in writing a plugin. It has become quite known on the net and with many thousands of copies around, the time should be right for v1.0.
However, I will no longer continue the development of this plugin.

But as THD has gained a lot of popularity, I will keep it available here in its current state.

This is no typical high-gain distortion device, nor a 'decimator' or bit crusher.
I was searching for something that sounded a bit like my old tube bass preamp that I like using for fattening up vocals or drum tracks.
Because good outboard gear is expensive and sonically equivalent software simulators are rare (and expensive as well), I started to lurk behind the curtain, thinking of creating something to fit my personal needs.
I simply could not find suitable simulators out there.

Well, what is going on inside analog gear, especially when it comes to the fact, that tube equipment always sounds different as solid-state devices?
Many people say 'oh, it's soft saturation that leads to more harmonics'. It took me quite a long time to realize that this is just some part of the story.
Apart from generating the 'right' kind and amount of harmonics, analog circuits are actually doing a lot of dynamic action. Considering a vacuum tube, this behaviour partly depends on the tube itself and also on the electrical parts surrounding it.

Now, THD is an approach to a very few of such aspects. The plugin is intended for a mixer's insert path to act as a preamp stage. It smoothes out the transients, gives more overall gain and warms a bit.

You might also want it to simulate a tape machine driven to the limit to achieve that typical warmth & fatness associated with analog recordings. THD uses similar methods to alter the frequency response of 'hot' tapes as analog recorders do.

As always, trust your ears. It may sound good for some applications, but unsuitable for others.

Feel free to download this plugin. The zipped file (size: 97kB) includes the manual (as TXT file).

Latest version: v0.92

Known bugs:
  • plugin may refuse to work at multiple instances

  • proper operation only with 44k sampling rate

  • does not work with Cakewalk Sonar & DirectiXer

  • on some systems the 'punch' section might introduce slight high-frequency noise

Installation: Unzip the archive, copy the .dll file into your '\vstplugins' folder and (re)start the host program. It should find THD as a new insert plugin.

If the download link does not work properly, you should try using 'save as...' in you browser context menu.
In case of problems, please send an email to sascha@digitalfishphones.com

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copyright © 2023 Sascha Eversmeier
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