Saturation VST: u-he Satin

July 6, 2019
Plugin, Review

Overview

The German based company u-he released the saturation VST plugin Satin way back in September of 2013. But, don’t let that dissuade you from giving this plugin a serious look. Satin is ultimately a digital VST that provides an accurate recreation of tape emulation.

Satin offers a wide range of possibilities for giving your individual tracks, groups, or master bus the warmth and beef you’re looking for to glue everything together. When the Speed parameter is varied you can really start to bring the warmth forward to an ideal amount in your mix. Adjust the Pre-Emphasis to either dim your highs, or make them scream.

The general Input and Output parameters are what you would expect from a plugin like this, you can dim the input signal or drive it hard for breakup, and the output is just a fader volume knob for the output signal the VST outputs.

To go more in-depth, the section at the bottom of the VST titled “Tape” gives classic tape parameters including:

  • Hiss: As you may imagine, this is a “hiss” generator of sorts, think a high frequency white noise filter that is layered on top of your source sound for added warmth and harmonics.
  • Asperity: This is essentially another white noise, actually closer to a pink noise generator that blends with your source sound. (Mimics the imperfections and noise generated and naturally produced by vintage tape machines).
  • Crosstalk: Adjusts the bleed of adjacent tracks into the current track that Satin is applied too.
  • Wow & Flutter: Takes the high end frequencies and makes you go wow, and makes them “flutter”. Who would have thought!
  • Bias: A parameter for fine tuning the amount of overall distortion applied to your source signal.

The sound it produces is high-quality, and at its price point you would be hard to find a competitor (currently 129 € at the time of this writing).

It truly sounds amazing, and gives a unique color to your tracks. Other features include: the ability to group instances of the plugin across channels; flanger effect; delay effect; “Repro(s) Head” settings which give you the ability to play with the stereo image of your track; Headroom parameters with various circuit emulation settings; and many other features!

This plugin is meant to add warmth, depth, and in extreme use total distortion to your tracks. I use it on every project. The devJams team highly recommends this plugin.

Overall: 4/5

Highlighted Features:

  • Tape emulation settings for “Vintage” and “Modern” to give a binary setting that will effect the overall sound of all other parameters set.
  • Ability to “Soft Clip” with an on/off switch.