13 Best Distortion VST Plugins: Spectrum of Fuzz (2024)

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Discover the best Distortion VST Plugins available today, crucial tools for injecting the iconic grit of vintage rock n’ roll or the punchy presence found in contemporary electronic music into your productions. These effects are responsible for adding color, warmth, and edge to a plethora of genres, breathing life into otherwise sterile recordings.

Today, with advancements in digital audio technology, producers and engineers have access to an arsenal of distortion and saturation VST plugins, each with its unique flavor and approach. In this guide, we journey through the best distortion and saturation VST plugins available in the market, highlighting their features and strengths, ensuring you can find the perfect tool to add that necessary bite or warmth to your tracks.

Whether you’re looking to emulate the crunchy distortion of vintage hardware or the subtle tape warmth of analog studios, this list is designed to guide you through the vast world of sonic enhancement. So, strap in and get ready to explore the plugins that can elevate your mixes from ordinary to exceptional.

Our Top Picks
  • Fabfilter - Saturn 2
  • iZotope - Trash 2
  • Soundtoys - Decapitator
  • Softube - Harmonics
  • SSL - Native X Saturator
  • Arturia - Dist TUBE-CULTURE
  • Denise - God Mode
  • D16 Group - Devastor 2
  • D16 Group - Decimort 2
  • XLN Audio - RC-20 Retro Color
  • Softube - Tape
  • Moog - Moogerfooger MF-109S Saturator
  • Ohm Force - Ohmicide

Versatile Saturation & Distortion Plugins:

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Fabfilter - Saturn 2
(Image Credit: Fabfilter)

Fabfilter Saturn 2

Multi-Band Distortion and Saturation Masterclass: Crafting Your Sound with Precision


  • Software Type: Multi-band Distortion and Saturation Processor
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, VST3, AU, AAX


  • Offers a wide range of distortion styles, from subtle tape saturation to destructive foldback distortion.
  • Intuitive multi-band system, allowing for targeted processing.
  • Onboard modulation system for dynamic, responsive effects.
  • High-quality digital processing ensures clarity and depth.
  • Interactive visual feedback provides a clear picture of how the effect is influencing the audio.


Stepping into the realm of distortion and saturation with FabFilter’s Saturn 2, users are greeted by a platform that transcends mere sound alteration. This isn’t just a tool for adding bite or warmth; it’s a comprehensive suite for sonic sculpting. Based on the concept of multi-band processing, Saturn 2 allows you to divide your audio into different frequency bands and apply unique saturation or distortion settings to each.

From the warm subtleties of classic tape and tube saturation to the aggressive tones of foldback or bit-crushing, Saturn 2 provides a palette expansive enough to cater to any genre or style. But what truly sets it apart is its modulation system, empowering users to create dynamic, evolving textures by modulating any parameter with envelopes, LFOs, and more.

Another defining feature is its user-friendly interface. Offering real-time visual feedback, it ensures that users, whether beginners or seasoned professionals, can swiftly navigate and dial in the desired tone.

Final Thoughts:

FabFilter’s Saturn 2 isn’t just another distortion or saturation plugin—it’s a testament to how far digital processing has come. Offering unparalleled control, an array of tonal possibilities, and a modulation system that can animate sounds in captivating ways, Saturn 2 stands tall as an essential tool for those seeking to craft distinct and impactful audio.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: iZotope - Trash 2
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iZotope Trash 2

A Sonic Manipulator's Dream: Dive Deep into the World of Advanced Distortion and Saturation


  • Software Type: Distortion, Saturation, and Sound Design Suite
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, VST3, AU, AAX, RTAS


  • Dual-stage distortion offers a plethora of unique algorithms.
  • Multiband processing allows for intricate and precise sound shaping.
  • Integrated filter modules with analog modeling capabilities.
  • Convolution module for real-world speaker emulation and unique textures.
  • Extensive modulation options for creating dynamic, evolving effects.


When it comes to crafting detailed, rich, and characterful distortions, iZotope’s Trash 2 stands as a titan in its field. It’s not merely a distortion plugin; it’s a multifaceted suite designed for those who want to delve deep into the intricacies of sonic manipulation.

At the heart of Trash 2 lies its dual-stage distortion, equipped with over 60 unique algorithms. This allows users to combine different types of distortion, creating sounds that range from subtly warm and analog-inspired to wildly experimental. The multiband design further enhances its precision, letting users apply different distortions to various frequency ranges.

The integration of an advanced filter section, complete with analog modeling, ensures that users can shape their sound with pinpoint accuracy. The convolution module, on the other hand, adds a touch of realism, providing real-world speaker emulation or introducing unique and exotic textures.

Perhaps one of its most impressive features is Trash 2’s extensive modulation system, which can be applied to nearly any parameter, opening the door to a world where sounds are constantly evolving and reacting to their environment.

Final Thoughts:

iZotope’s Trash 2 is more than just a distortion plugin—it’s a comprehensive sound design tool for producers, engineers, and sound designers alike. With its vast range of tonal possibilities, advanced features, and unparalleled precision, Trash 2 remains an industry favorite for those looking to push boundaries and redefine their sonic palette.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Soundtoys - Decapitator
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Soundtoys Decapitator

Analog Saturation Redefined: A Sonic Sculptor Crafting Rich Harmonics and Color


  • Software Type: Analog Saturation and Tone Shaping Tool
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Five distinct analog saturation models derived from iconic studio gear.
  • 'Punish' button for pushing the saturation to its extreme.
  • Mix control for blending between dry and wet signals.
  • Auto-gain feature ensures consistent levels regardless of drive settings.
  • Emulates the warmth, character, and creative potential of classic hardware.


Few plugins capture the essence and character of analog saturation as authentically as Soundtoys’ Decapitator. Engineered to deliver the warmth, depth, and richness of vintage gear, Decapitator is more than just a digital emulation—it’s a testament to the art of analog signal processing.

Offering five meticulously modeled saturation algorithms, Decapitator provides a palette of tonal colors ranging from subtle warmth to aggressive distortion. These models are inspired by iconic gear, including the likes of the Ampex 350 tape drive preamp, Chandler Limited’s TG Channel, and the Culture Vulture’s tube distortion, among others.

One standout feature is the ‘Punish’ button—a nod to the plugin’s ability to unleash extreme, yet musical saturation. And, with the mix control, users can effortlessly blend the processed signal with the original, ensuring versatility in application.

Beyond its sound-shaping capabilities, Decapitator offers practical features such as auto-gain, maintaining consistent levels regardless of how hard the drive is pushed. This allows for bold experimentation without constantly readjusting the output volume.

Final Thoughts:

Soundtoys Decapitator isn’t just about adding distortion; it’s about infusing tracks with character, vibe, and life reminiscent of classic studio hardware. For producers, engineers, and sound designers in search of that analog magic in the digital realm, Decapitator stands tall as an indispensable tool.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Softube - Harmonics
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Softube Harmonics

Dynamic Distortion Evolution: Where Pristine Analog Emulation Meets Intelligent Processing


  • Software Type: Dynamic Distortion Processor
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Five distinct analog distortion models for varied tonal options.
  • Dynamic Transient Control for preserving or crushing transients.
  • High-resolution low and high cut filters for precision shaping.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface for swift workflow.
  • Provides a broad spectrum of coloration, from subtle warmth to aggressive grit.


Softube’s Harmonics isn’t just another distortion plugin; it’s a meticulously crafted tool that blends the warm characteristics of analog gear with the precision of modern digital processing. With its five analog distortion models, users can traverse the universe of tonal coloration, from the light overtones of tube saturation to the aggressive bite of transistor distortion.

One of Harmonics’ standout features is its Dynamic Transient Control. This ingenious function allows users to decide the extent to which transients are affected, offering the flexibility to either preserve the punch of a drum hit or smooth it out for a more vintage feel.

Harmonics also boasts high-resolution filters, enabling producers and engineers to dial in or out specific frequency ranges. Whether you’re aiming to add a touch of vintage warmth to vocals or push a synth to its gritty limits, Harmonics provides the nuanced control to achieve the desired outcome.

Final Thoughts:

Softube’s Harmonics stands as a testament to the potential of modern audio technology, offering a fusion of vintage character and contemporary flexibility. For those in the quest for a rich, dynamic distortion experience that can adapt to any mix, Harmonics is a must-have in the plugin arsenal.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: SSL - Native X Saturator
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SSL Native X Saturator

Experience the SSL Punch: A Blend of Harmonic Enhancement and Analog Character


  • Software Type: Analog Saturation and Harmonic Enhancer
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Derived from the iconic SSL sound, known for its musical cohesion and warmth.
  • Provides a harmonic enhancement that's smooth and characterful.
  • Flexible controls allow for a wide range of saturation effects.
  • Integrates seamlessly into modern production environments.
  • Perfect for adding depth, warmth, and life to your mixes.


Dive into the world of iconic analog warmth with the SSL Native X Saturator. Drawing from the legacy of Solid State Logic, renowned for their superlative mix consoles and analog gear, this plugin offers users a touch of the SSL magic in a software format.

The core strength of the X Saturator lies in its ability to introduce harmonically rich saturation that doesn’t just distort but elevates a mix. Whether you’re aiming for a gentle warmth on vocals or a heavy punch on drums, the X Saturator provides a plethora of tonal options.

One of the standout features of this plugin is its authenticity. You’re not just getting a simple saturation tool, but a piece of software developed with the insights and expertise of SSL engineers, who’ve been shaping the sound of countless hit records for decades.

With its intuitive user interface and the unmistakable SSL character, the X Saturator is both a versatile tool and a source of inspiration, making it an indispensable part of any producer or engineer’s plugin arsenal.

Final Thoughts:

The SSL Native X Saturator is a potent fusion of SSL’s illustrious history and today’s digital advancements. It promises to bring depth, warmth, and a touch of analog magic to any production, solidifying its place among the top saturation plugins in the market.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Arturia - Dist TUBE-CULTURE
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Dive Deep into Tube Saturation: Experience the Harmonic Richness of Vintage Gear


  • Software Type: Tube Distortion and Saturation Emulation
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Faithful emulation of the harmonic saturation from classic tube gear.
  • Adds warmth, character, and depth to any signal.
  • User-friendly interface allows for easy tweaking and shaping of the sound.
  • Suitable for a wide range of applications, from subtle saturation to full-blown distortion.
  • Capture the essence of vintage gear without the need for bulky and expensive hardware.


Stepping into the realm of vintage tube saturation, Arturia presents the Dist TUBE-CULTURE—a plugin that seeks to emulate the rich harmonics and distinctive characteristics of classic tube gear. This isn’t just about adding distortion; it’s about imbuing your tracks with the warmth and character that only tubes can provide.

With its meticulously crafted algorithms, the Dist TUBE-CULTURE provides a wide range of tones, making it an incredibly versatile tool. Whether you’re aiming to inject a subtle warmth into your vocals, or you’re after a crunchy, overdriven guitar tone, this plugin delivers with precision.

But what truly stands out is Arturia’s commitment to authenticity. Drawing from their vast experience in emulating classic gear, the company ensures that every nuance, from the subtlest harmonic overtone to the aggressive bite of overloaded tubes, is captured with utmost accuracy.

For producers and engineers looking for that elusive vintage vibe without the hassle of maintaining old hardware, the Dist TUBE-CULTURE is a no-brainer. It brings the magic of tubes right into the digital domain.

Final Thoughts:

Arturia’s Dist TUBE-CULTURE stands as a testament to the timeless allure of tube saturation. It’s more than just a plugin—it’s a journey back in time to the golden age of analog sound. Whether you’re a vintage gear enthusiast or a modern producer seeking that classic warmth, this plugin deserves a place in your collection.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Denise - God Mode
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Denise God Mode

Push Boundaries with Next-Gen Saturation: Re-invent Distortion with Tailored Coloration


  • Software Type: Adaptive Distortion and Saturation
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Introduces a fresh approach to saturation, offering adaptive "push-pull" technology.
  • Ability to sculpt and shape harmonics with pinpoint precision.
  • Combines classic console saturation characteristics with modern processing.
  • Highly versatile, catering to subtle warmth or aggressive tonal destruction.
  • Innovative graphical interface, allowing visual feedback and intuitive control.


Delving into the forefront of distortion technology, Denise presents God Mode, a plugin that rethinks traditional saturation. God Mode adopts the classic techniques inspired by the legendary Pultec EQ, a staple in many high-end studios, and elevates it by introducing an adaptive “push-pull” approach.

Instead of merely amplifying the whole harmonic content of a signal, God Mode allows users to specifically choose which frequencies to saturate, and by how much. This offers an unparalleled level of control, enabling the creation of intricate harmonics or the obliteration of specific tones as desired.

A standout feature is its unique graphical interface. It’s not only aesthetically appealing but provides an intuitive way to shape the sound, offering visual feedback that helps users understand how their tweaks affect the output.

In a saturated market of distortion plugins, Denise’s God Mode shines brightly. It doesn’t merely reproduce what’s been done before but innovates, giving sound designers, producers, and musicians a fresh tool to color and craft their audio.

Final Thoughts:

With God Mode, Denise has raised the bar for saturation and distortion plugins. Its unique approach to tonal coloration, combined with an intuitive interface, makes it a must-have for anyone keen on taking their sound to the next level. Whether you’re after subtle color or explosive distortion, God Mode is equipped to deliver both and everything in between.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: D16 Group - Devastor 2
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D16 Group Devastor 2

Multiband Distortion Unit: Harnessing the Power of Detailed Saturation


  • Software Type: Multiband Distortion Processor
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Features three types of high-quality, analog-modeled filters.
  • Delivers precise control with multiband processing for complex saturation.
  • Equipped with signal routing capabilities, including pre and post filtering.
  • Incorporates diode-clipper emulation, ensuring a rich, dynamic saturation.
  • A straightforward and intuitive GUI for seamless sound shaping.


In the realm of distortion plugins, Devastor 2 emerges as a versatile tool, boasting a multiband distortion unit that provides both nuanced saturation and brutal sonic destruction. Its design philosophy is rooted in combining the warmth of classic analog circuits with the precision and flexibility of digital processing.

At the heart of Devastor 2 is its diode-clipper emulation, which carefully models the intricacies of analog saturation. Complementing this are three high-quality, analog-modeled filters that can be used pre or post distortion, granting users granular control over the tonal shape of their sound.

A standout feature of Devastor 2 is its multiband processing capability. By splitting the signal into several frequency bands and distorting them separately, users can achieve incredibly detailed and dynamic results, whether that’s gently warming up a vocal or mangling a drum loop beyond recognition.

Despite its deep feature set, Devastor 2 prides itself on user-friendliness. The graphical interface is clean, responsive, and logical, ensuring that even newcomers to the world of distortion can dive in and start crafting their ideal saturated sound without a steep learning curve.

Final Thoughts:

Devastor 2 stands as a testament to what’s achievable when blending the best of the analog and digital worlds. Whether you’re after subtle warmth or total chaos, its meticulous design and expansive capabilities make it a must-have tool in the toolkit of producers, sound designers, and musicians.

Bit-Crushing & Lo-Fi Effects:

Best Distortion VST Plugins: D16 Group - Decimort 2
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D16 Group Decimort 2

Precision Resampling Redefined: A Vintage Emulator Transcending Digital Limitations


  • Software Type: High-quality Bit Crusher and Resampler
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Emulates the gritty character of vintage samplers and early digital gear.
  • Ultra-high-resolution resampling algorithm avoids aliasing artifacts.
  • Two-stage process for both pre and post-filtering.
  • Adjustable jitter and dithering for added sonic color.
  • User-friendly interface that promotes creative experimentation.


Decimort 2 by D16 Group is not your typical bit-crusher. It’s a meticulously designed tool aiming to capture the sonic essence of the vintage samplers from yesteryears. Rather than just reducing resolution, Decimort 2 recreates the subtle nuances and idiosyncrasies that made early digital devices so distinct.

At its core, Decimort 2 uses a highly sophisticated resampling algorithm, ensuring that aliasing artifacts, often found in lesser bit-crushers, are eliminated. This precise approach allows producers to degrade their sounds with clarity, retaining musicality even at extreme settings.

The two-stage process permits both pre and post-filtering, granting users the flexibility to shape the sound exactly how they envision. Furthermore, the adjustable jitter and dithering parameters provide additional layers of vintage character, ranging from subtle warmth to pronounced degradation.

The user-centric design of Decimort 2 ensures that artists, regardless of their technical proficiency, can harness its power effectively. With its simple layout and intuitive controls, crafting those classic, lo-fi vibes becomes an effortless task.

Final Thoughts:

For those yearning for the crunchy, character-filled tones of vintage digital equipment, D16 Group’s Decimort 2 stands as a beacon. By combining state-of-the-art technology with a deep understanding of classic gear, it offers a sonic experience that’s both nostalgic and contemporary. It’s not just a plugin; it’s a time machine.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: XLN Audio - RC-20 Retro Color
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XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color

Vintage Character for the Modern Producer: Drench Your Sounds in Nostalgia and Flair


  • Software Type: Vintage Effects Processor
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Offers six unique FX modules for intricate coloration and degradation.
  • Precise control over noise, wobble, distortion, and space.
  • Magnetic and vinyl distortion emulation for authentic vintage vibes.
  • Easy-to-use interface with visually appealing design.
  • Highly tweakable, yet always musical and creative.


Stepping into the world of RC-20 Retro Color is like walking into an old-school studio filled with tape machines, vinyl records, and outboard gear from yesteryears. This plugin by XLN Audio effortlessly breathes life into sterile digital recordings, transporting them back in time with an array of vintage-inspired effects.

Boasting six unique FX modules, the RC-20 offers a broad sonic palette, from subtle vinyl crackles to aggressive distortion. The ‘Noise’ module alone, with its carefully sampled sounds ranging from tape hiss to vinyl noises, can evoke memories of a bygone era. The ‘Wobble’ module replicates the charming instability of old tape machines and worn out records, while the ‘Distort’ and ‘Space’ modules introduce grit and ambience to craft the perfect retro atmosphere.

The magnetic dropouts and bit reduction capabilities further cement RC-20’s prowess in re-creating authentic vintage sounds. And thanks to its intuitive interface, crafting the perfect tone is a breeze, even for those new to the world of vintage audio.

Final Thoughts:

With the RC-20 Retro Color, XLN Audio has provided modern producers with a one-stop-shop for all things vintage. It’s an inspiring tool that encourages creativity and experimentation, making it an invaluable asset for anyone seeking to infuse their music with a touch of the past.

Tape Emulation & Analog Warmth:

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Softube - Tape
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Softube Tape

Vintage Analog Warmth: Dive into the Authentic World of Reel-to-Reel Recording


  • Software Type: Analog Tape Emulation
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Meticulously emulates the warmth and richness of three distinct tape machine types.
  • Offers cohesion and sonic character reminiscent of classic reel-to-reel recordings.
  • Intuitive controls that mirror physical tape machine attributes.
  • Features tools for tape speed, stability, and crosstalk adjustments.
  • Incorporates a modern touch with its ergonomic interface, allowing for easy sound sculpting.


Softube’s Tape plugin isn’t just another tape emulation; it’s a deep dive into the very essence of analog recording. Designed to replicate the richness, warmth, and nuanced imperfections of vintage tape machines, Tape offers a stunningly authentic experience, both in sound and feel.

Within the plugin, users are given the option to choose between three meticulously modeled tape machine types, each bringing its own distinct character and flair. These machines capture the unique harmonics, saturation, and dynamic response of the real deal, making it an invaluable asset for those seeking that nostalgic warmth.

Beyond mere emulation, Softube has imbued the Tape plugin with a range of features to customize the experience further. Users can adjust tape speed for varying fidelity, control tape stability to introduce desirable wobbles, and even set crosstalk for channels to interact, mimicking the behavior of real-world tape machines.

Softube’s commitment to authenticity does not overshadow user-friendliness, however. Tape’s interface is modern, clean, and intuitive, ensuring a smooth workflow regardless of one’s experience level with analog gear.

Final Thoughts:

Softube Tape is a trip back in time to the golden days of analog recording, encapsulating all its character and charm in a convenient digital format. For producers, engineers, and musicians chasing that classic tape sound or looking to introduce some vintage warmth into their mixes, Softube Tape stands out as a top choice.

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Moog - Moogerfooger MF-109S Saturator
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Moog Moogerfooger MF-109S Saturator

An Analog Legacy Reimagined: Dive into the World of Moog-Infused Saturation


  • Software Type: Analog Saturation Emulation
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX


  • Authentic replication of Moog's renowned analog warmth and character.
  • Delivers a wide range of saturation tones, from subtle warmth to pronounced drive.
  • Integrates Moog's signature ladder filter for tonal shaping.
  • Easy-to-use interface while keeping the vintage Moog aesthetics.
  • Ideal for producers and sound engineers aiming for vintage saturation effects.


The Moogerfooger MF-109S Saturator by Moog is a digital reiteration of an analog classic, designed to bring the revered Moog warmth and character to your digital workspace. Drawing inspiration from Moog’s rich history and expertise in analog synthesis and effects, this plugin offers a delightful blend of vintage vibes and modern flexibility.

The core of the MF-109S lies in its saturation engine. Capable of delivering everything from a gentle touch of harmonic richness to a roaring analog drive, it provides users with a palette of tones that can imbue tracks with the much sought-after Moog character. Supplementing the saturation is Moog’s signature ladder filter, which offers additional tonal shaping, letting you hone in on a specific sound or create sweeping filter movements for dynamic effects.

The plugin’s interface pays homage to the classic Moog design, ensuring an intuitive user experience while preserving a touch of nostalgia. With its meticulous emulation and wide tonal spectrum, the MF-109S Saturator is an essential tool for those yearning for the golden days of analog warmth in a digital environment.

Final Thoughts:

Embracing the legacy of one of the music industry’s most iconic brands, the Moogerfooger MF-109S Saturator is a testament to Moog’s unparalleled sound. It’s a treasure trove for vintage enthusiasts and a valuable asset for contemporary producers looking to sprinkle some analog magic into their mixes.

Extreme Distortion & Multi-effects:

Best Distortion VST Plugins: Ohm Force - Ohmicide
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Ohm Force Ohmicide

A Sonic Destructor: Where Advanced Distortion Meets Multi-Band Madness


  • Software Type: Multi-Band Distortion Processor
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, RTAS, AAX


  • Offers a unique multi-band setup, allowing separate distortion processing on up to four frequency bands.
  • Provides a vast range of distortion algorithms, catering to subtle saturation or extreme mangling.
  • Advanced modulation system enables dynamic parameter control for evolving textures.
  • Highly visual and interactive GUI, which encourages experimental sound design.
  • Accommodates both studio and live scenarios, proving its versatility.


Ohm Force’s Ohmicide is more than just a distortion unit; it’s a complete sound design playground for those wanting to push their sonic boundaries. Renowned for its multi-band capabilities, this powerhouse allows users to apply distinct distortion algorithms to separate frequency ranges, producing results that are both detailed and rich.

At its core, Ohmicide houses a plethora of distortion types, ensuring that it’s adaptable to any sound or style. Whether you’re looking to add subtle warmth to vocals, give drums a gritty edge, or completely destroy a synth line, Ohmicide’s expansive palette ensures that the desired texture is just a few tweaks away.

One standout feature is its advanced modulation system. Beyond static distortion, Ohmicide lets users animate parameters, creating dynamic, evolving textures that can breathe life into tracks. From rhythmic pulsations to swirling phasers, the modulation possibilities add a new dimension to the distortion realm.

Visually, Ohmicide’s interface is a treat. Not only does it provide clear feedback on what’s happening with the sound, but its playful design also encourages experimental tweaks, making sound design both intuitive and fun.

Final Thoughts:

Ohmicide is not just another distortion plugin; it’s a creative tool that invites users to rethink what’s possible with saturation and distortion. Its combination of multi-band processing, diverse distortion algorithms, and advanced modulation makes it a standout in the realm of sonic manipulation. For those eager to venture beyond traditional distortion boundaries, Ohmicide is an indispensable ally.

FAQ Buying Guide: Best Distortion VST Plugins

  • What is a distortion VST plugin?

    A distortion VST plugin is a digital tool that introduces harmonic saturation, overdrive, or clipping to an audio signal, modifying the waveform and creating a “distorted” sound characteristic.

  • Why use distortion in music production?

    Distortion adds warmth, character, and edge to instruments, making them stand out in a mix. It’s widely used on guitars, synths, drums, and even vocals to achieve various tonal textures and intensities.

  • How does analog emulation distortion differ from digital distortion?

    Analog emulation distortion replicates the characteristics of hardware units like tube amplifiers or tape machines.

    Digital distortion is designed within the digital realm, offering precise control and often more aggressive or unique sound-shaping options.

  • What's the difference between overdrive, saturation, and fuzz?

    Overdrive: A soft type of distortion that adds warmth and gentle clipping.

    Saturation: Colors the sound and introduces harmonics, often emulating tape or tube warmth.

    Fuzz: A heavy, sustained form of distortion with a thick, buzzy texture.

  • How do multiband distortion plugins enhance the sound?

    Multiband distortion plugins allow you to apply distortion to specific frequency bands. This lets you, for example, distort the bass frequencies without affecting the highs, giving more control over the tonal balance.

  • Why is the "mix" or "blend" control essential in distortion plugins?

    This control allows users to blend the dry (undistorted) signal with the wet (distorted) signal, achieving parallel processing and ensuring the original dynamics are retained while introducing distortion.

  • Are certain distortion types better suited for specific genres?

    Yes, for instance:

    Tube emulation is often favored in rock and blues for its warm overdriven tones.

    Bit-crushing is popular in lo-fi and electronic music for its retro digital edge.

    Fuzz can be essential for psychedelic or stoner rock tones.

  • How can I prevent unwanted noise when using distortion plugins?

    Many distortion VSTs come with built-in noise gates or filters to eliminate unwanted noise. It’s also good practice to use EQ post-distortion to tame harsh frequencies.

  • What's the role of presets in distortion VSTs?

    Presets are pre-programmed settings created by sound designers to achieve specific tones. They offer a quick starting point, especially for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of distortion shaping.

  • Can distortion be used on the master bus?

    While typically used on individual tracks, subtle tape or tube saturation can be applied to the master bus to “glue” the mix together and add cohesive warmth.

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