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FabFilter Saturn 2

Distortion Plug‑in By Sam Inglis

FabFilter Saturn 2

There's rather more to FabFilter's redesigned multiband saturator than a slicker GUI.

FabFilter's Pro series of plug‑ins is, arguably, the benchmark for current user interface design. Products like the Pro‑Q3 equaliser, Pro‑C2 compressor and Pro‑MB multiband dynamics processor are used by almost every engineer featured in our 'Inside Track' series, and have inspired homages from rival developers. However, the FabFilter catalogue also includes older plug‑ins that weren't designed along the same elegant lines. Timeless, for example, is a great delay effect, but although it's lived in my plug‑in folder for a decade or more, I still have only the vaguest idea of how to program it. And although the original Saturn distortion plug‑in is equally powerful and flexible, 'intuitive' isn't the first word you'd reach for to describe the experience of using it.

With the new Saturn 2, then, FabFilter have wisely chosen to focus on making its power more accessible. Like all the FabFilter plug‑ins, Saturn 2 is available in all major Mac and Windows native plug‑in formats, and is authorised using a simple licence key. The basic layout is not too dissimilar from the original, but the graphics have been greatly refined and, as with the Pro plug‑ins, there's a choice of window sizes. It's backwards-compatible with Saturn 1 and includes all the original presets, but existing projects that used Saturn 1 will continue to load the earlier version.

Sat Tests

As before, controls that affect the sound directly are housed...

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Published August 2020