BLEASS makes cheap and really chic plug-ins that always surprise with good ideas. Not only that, they always appear on macOS, Windows, and iOS at the same time! These conditions also apply to Saturator, whose inconspicious name kind of under-sells the plug-in considering its diverse abilities.
With this plug-in, you are not just dealing with a Saturator here. Instead, several different concepts are packed together in ways that make perfect sense. If we simply work our way through the features from left to right, we come across a multi-band drive section first. You can turn up the gain to 60 dB here, activate the EQ mode, and adjust the amount of bass, mids, and treble. The controls for Low Freq and High Freq let you set the crossover frequencies.
Next in line is a waveshaper. Waveshapers are a weakness of mine and fairly rare, so hearing about new shapers on the block makes me thrilled! This one is expectedly rad, offering nine different algorithms such as classic hard and soft clip all the way to digital polynomial madness. The section also includes a display which graphically illustrates the algorithms in action. Then you can see how the shape changes while you tweak the Offset, Depth, Period and Strength parameters.
Bit-crusher? That’s the third section. Alongside the usual controls for bitrate and depth, you can place the section in front of (or behind) the waveshaper – or simply deactivate it. Fourth comes the LFO stage with six waveforms and 12 possible modulation targets. More specifically, you can modulate the Drive, High Frequency, Low Frequency, Low Gain, Mid Gain, High Gain, Offset, Depth, Period, Strength, Bit Depth, and Bitrate parameters. can be controlled in this way. The modulation can be set freely or synchronously with the project. There are also parameters for rate, offset, stereo phase, and amount.
Price and availability
BLEASS Saturator works in 64-bit VST3 and AU formats under macOS (10.9 or newer) and Windows (8 or newer). You can get a free demo version from the manufacturer’s website. For the introductory period, you pay EUR 14.99. The regular price is EUR 19.99. That’s very little to spend on a formidable plug-in like this. The iOS version works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices running iOS 11 or later. The price is EUR 4.99.