Recording January 2022 - 44

-Review by Bill Stunt
PSP Audioware
Saturator
One of the earliest and most
respected saturation plugins, reborn
Since its inception in 2000, Poland's PSP Audioware
has earned a reputation for developing high-quality,
affordable, and much lauded audio processing tools. I had
the honor of doing the very first RECORDING Magazine
review of MixSaturator (as part of the PSP MixPack, June
2001). Now, PSP has decided that it's time to revisit this
classic, but rather than a simple update, the developers
chose to rewrite the code completely-the result is the
brand new PSP Saturator.
Here come the warm jets
Today's market is literally saturated with plugin emulations
of tubes, solid state circuits, tape machines and transformers.
For Saturator, the PSP approach is to offer virtually every type
of saturation imaginable, packaged with an unparalleled set
of customization tools. Saturator offers eight flavors, ranging
from various tube and tape types to diode and digital converter
clipping-it's a deep plugin.
The GUI features a pair of meters showing the digital peak and
VU levels of the pre, post / drive signals. A Shape knob selects
the saturation type. Saturator offers three sculpting algorithms:
Warmth, Softness, and (overall) Saturation. Warmth and Softness
work independently for low- and high-frequency processing-
Warmth controls the low-end bump typical of analog circuits
and tape, and Softness controls the depth of the soft knee highfrequency
compression that analog tape produces. Finally, a large
Saturation knob controls the overall depth of the whole shebang.
Global controls dominate the bottom of the display, with
an on/off switch and controls for input and output level (independently
or relatively). There is a Mix control for blending dry
and processed audio. Output can be routed directly, or optionally
through the output saturator or a soft-knee brick wall limiter.
Golden ears
Fine-tuning controls hide beneath the Global control panel.
The FAT switch enables quadruple oversampling for the high
frequency and main saturation algorithms. FAT does lean into
the CPU a bit, but it's useful for critical or exposed tracks and
when mixing for 'Golden Ears' clients or applications... particularly
on projects recorded at lower sample rates.
A trio of screw-head type pots includes sc-HPF, a sidechain
44 RECORDING January 2022
highpass filter for the control signal in the overall Saturation
algorithm-higher values ignore the lowest frequencies resulting
in a softer effect. Higher Smooth emulates the typically less
harsh response of quality analog circuits. MakeUp lets you dial
in the optimal post saturation level. Rounding out the control
feature set is a highpass filter to deal with unruly sub-harmonic
content in the input or post-processing signal paths.
Relax-you're soaking in it!
PSP has gone out of its way to make Saturator easy to understand
and use. Insert it on a track or bus, and you'll instantly
hear it working. Cycle through the saturation types to listen
to the subtle differences. You can check out the signal block
diagram hidden under the nameplate to better understand the
controls as you dig in. I also strongly suggest reading the concise,
well-written, and illustrated manual. Best of all, there are
hundreds of curated presets which will get you up and running
quickly. You'll find lots of fantastic starting points for just about
any source or bus you can imagine.
I've been fortunate to have had access to Saturator through
much of the development process (see sidebar). I have used it
extensively in projects on a range of sources for several months
now. It has become one of my go-to processors. It just makes
things sound better. Saturator often works better than an EQ
or a compressor for helping an element sit in a mix. I've even
used Saturator during tracking to good effect, capturing analog
mojo upfront.

Recording January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording January 2022

Fade In
Fast Forward
Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Austrian Audio CC8
Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Audio-Technica AT2040
Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Readers' Tracks
sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Intro
Recording January 2022 - Cover1
Recording January 2022 - Cover2
Recording January 2022 - 1
Recording January 2022 - 2
Recording January 2022 - 3
Recording January 2022 - Fade In
Recording January 2022 - 5
Recording January 2022 - 6
Recording January 2022 - 7
Recording January 2022 - Fast Forward
Recording January 2022 - 9
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
Recording January 2022 - 11
Recording January 2022 - 12
Recording January 2022 - 13
Recording January 2022 - A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Recording January 2022 - 15
Recording January 2022 - 16
Recording January 2022 - 17
Recording January 2022 - 18
Recording January 2022 - 19
Recording January 2022 - 20
Recording January 2022 - 21
Recording January 2022 - 22
Recording January 2022 - 23
Recording January 2022 - Austrian Audio CC8
Recording January 2022 - 25
Recording January 2022 - Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Recording January 2022 - 27
Recording January 2022 - 28
Recording January 2022 - 29
Recording January 2022 - 30
Recording January 2022 - 31
Recording January 2022 - 32
Recording January 2022 - 33
Recording January 2022 - Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Recording January 2022 - 35
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Recording January 2022 - 37
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Recording January 2022 - 39
Recording January 2022 - 40
Recording January 2022 - 41
Recording January 2022 - Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Recording January 2022 - 43
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Recording January 2022 - 45
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Recording January 2022 - 47
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
Recording January 2022 - 49
Recording January 2022 - API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Recording January 2022 - 51
Recording January 2022 - Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Recording January 2022 - 53
Recording January 2022 - 54
Recording January 2022 - 55
Recording January 2022 - Audio-Technica AT2040
Recording January 2022 - 57
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Recording January 2022 - 59
Recording January 2022 - Readers' Tracks
Recording January 2022 - 61
Recording January 2022 - 62
Recording January 2022 - 63
Recording January 2022 - 64
Recording January 2022 - 65
Recording January 2022 - sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Recording January 2022 - 67
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Recording January 2022 - 69
Recording January 2022 - 70
Recording January 2022 - 71
Recording January 2022 - Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Cover3
Recording January 2022 - Cover4
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