FabFilter Saturn 2 lets you get precise and powerful with your distortion

The multiband distortion plug-in switches up its crimson design and packs in enhanced modulation routing

Eight years ago, the first version of Saturn was released – an award-winning multiband distortion and saturation plug-in. FabFilter has brought it up to scratch with Saturn 2, immediately available and sporting a sleek new design, almost double the number of distortion types and virtually limitless modulation possibilities. Also new is linear phase processing, enhanced envelopes and a Superb High-Quality mode.

The most immediate change here is Saturn 2’s darker colour scheme, which may prove a little easier on the eyes for long production sessions. If you’re in need of a closer look at parameters, Saturn 2’s fullscreen mode should help out, along with four other interface size options. Checking in on modulation routing is a breeze, with comprehensive visualisation at source and target, with colour-coded tags on knobs and sliders, which react in realtime to modulation input. The source flow area gives a quick overview of all mod signals and indicates which parameters are being modulated at a glance.

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Saturn 2 takes distortion types up a notch, moving from 16 options up to 28. This includes Subtle versions of Tape, Tube and Saturation styles, bringing warm tones to your sounds. Four new British and American amp styles perfectly emulate the character of well-known guitar amps, while three Transformer styles – Subtle, Gentle and Warm – start to introduce abrasive new possibilities. Those looking to decimate their sounds will look to the Foldback and Breakdown FX styles to reshape their sounds, the latter combining down-pitching with heavy distortion.

FabFilter says that Saturn 2 has “virtually no limit on the combination of 16-step XLFOs, envelope generators, envelope followers, XY Controllers, and MIDI sources”, making the plug-in a potential go-to for asteroid-crashing sounds. The new Transient Detection mode in the envelope follower can tightly track drums and percussion and route band inputs to both envelope sources as triggering signals. This means you’ll be able to link up your sounds to the rhythm of a kick drum, crushing them on each hit. With custom naming of individual mod sources, you can now customize your Saturn 2 presets for easy navigation.

Mastering engineers can make use of the Subtle saturation types to bring presence and fizz to final mixdowns. To offer precision on this vital task, Saturn 2 offers a band crossover choice of 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 dB/octave roll-off slopes. The new Superb High Quality mode switches to 32x oversampling for “almost total elimination of aliasing”, the brand says, with the Linear Phase option ensuring maximum coherences for crossover and High Quality modes.

FabFilter Saturn 2 is now available for €129/$154/£114 on macOS and Windows, in VST/VST3/AU/AAX and AudioSuite formats. Find out more at fabfilter.com

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