Softube released an updated version of the freeware Saturation Knob saturation effect in VST, AU, and AAX plugin formats.

Saturation Knob is a popular one-knob saturation tool from Softube. Its single-knob interface came with advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage was simplicity, and the main drawback was the inability to control the gain.

More precisely, applying saturation caused an increase in volume and you couldn’t reduce the output volume internally. That made the plugin somewhat challenging to use, especially if you wanted to A/B test different settings.

Thankfully, Softube released an updated version of Saturation Knob, which completely solves the plugin’s gain staging issues.

Saturation Knob now lets you control the input gain, output gain, and headroom. The update also introduces a high-pass filter and a phase invert feature, along with multiple metering modes (Peak, True-Peak, RMS, LUFS).

All of these changes are courtesy of Softube’s new Extended Features update, which was applied to their entire product lineup. Softube states that the update “gives you innovations like proper metering, headroom control, and level matching via easy-access panels without altering the fundamental design of the original gear.”

The wonderful thing about the new feature set is that you can hide these new control sliders and meters if you want. The interface is fully customizable, and you can configure the volume meters and controls to your liking.

Here's a close-up of the new Saturation Knob interface.

Here’s a close-up of the new Saturation Knob interface.

The interface also lets you save your favorite settings for later use. And last but not least, you can resize the GUI by clicking and dragging the bottom-right edge.

I couldn’t find a YouTube video about the Extended features update, but here’s a recent Tweet from Softube which includes a video overview of the new panels.

As before, Saturation Knob offers three different saturation modes (Keep High, Neutral, Keep Low) and a single knob to adjust the intensity.

It is a helpful tool for adding harmonics to any mix element, and it works particularly well on bass and drums. Thanks to its streamlined interface, you can adjust the saturation in just a few seconds. With the new gain control features and metering, Saturation Knob allows for more straightforward gain staging in the DAW.

If you’re looking for a saturation effect with a slightly more advanced control scheme, check out our free BPB Saturator plugin.

To install Saturation Knob on your computer, sign up for a free Softube user account and download the Softube Central license manager. You will also need a free iLok user account for activation purposes. 

Download: Saturation Knob (64-bit VST2/VST3/AU/AAX plugin format for Windows & macOS)

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