One of the biggest things we worry about when recording our bass is sounding sterile. Many players are recorded direct (whether by personal choice or by the engineer), making that 8×10 tower of Ampeg tubey glory moot in the studio. One of the newest plugins in the T-rackS Custom Shop of audio plug-ins, Saturator X by IK Multimedia is here to help bassists recapture that harmonic breakup and pushed distortion that we love from a tube setup, but can’t get easily with other effects.
T-rackS Saturator X is a comprehensive tool for adding analog flavor to your recordings. With 10 individual styles of saturation and distortion, you can go from subtle overdrive to complete destruction of distorted tubes. With the intuitive interface and usability that IK Multimedia is known for, it’s very easy to get professional results quickly and easily.
Using the standalone program (you can also use it within your recording software of choice), I imported a couple simple tracks I created. With just the available presets (listed in the track names), the difference was immediate. On track 3 (rock), the breakup with the bass is exactly what you’d hope to get driving that tube amp on a live stage. The benefit being that the track was recorded in my apartment, run direct, late at night. A time when opening up an amp to breakup would not end well. On track 1 (funk), the slight breakup lended a “chewy” quality to the keyboard patch in a way that it sat in the mix.
The T-rackS Saturator X from IK Multimedia is a valuable tool in the recording studios of professionals, or even the home studios of the hobbyist. Offering tube saturation without the weight of the amps and more control over the breakup, it’s an easy way to get analog quality in your digital tracks, whether you only apply it on a track by track basis, or overall.