The best distortion plugins and VSTs from Native Instruments

Distortion plugins play a pivotal role in shaping sound with character and edge. On this page, discover some of the best distortion plugins available, showcasing their unique capabilities in adding color and texture to your tracks. From the raw power of guitar distortion VSTs to the nuanced treatment of vocal distortion plugins, each tool offers a distinctive approach to adding that extra grit.

Guitar Rig 7 Pro

Guitar Rig 7 Pro isn’t just a guitar amp simulator – it’s a versatile distortion software powerhouse. With its extensive range of amp models and effects, it stands out as a leading guitar distortion VST. Whether you're after a crunchy blues tone or a heavy metal scream, Guitar Rig 7 Pro offers a number of distortion options. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to tweak and combine effects, crafting unique sounds that can recolor your audio. Ideal for both studio and live settings, this plugin is essential for guitarists seeking the best VST for guitar distortion. But, with tons of other included effects (like Tape Wobble, Noise Machine, and Chainsaw), you’ll be able to dial in the perfect flavor of distortion.

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Neutron 4

Neutron 4 comes with AI Mix Assistant that listens to your audio and suggests distortion settings, making it easier to achieve your desired character and warmth. The Distort section in the Mix Assistant view lets you apply varying degrees and types of distortion, from light saturation to intense harmonic mangling. This level of control makes Neutron 4 a top contender for the best distortion plugin, particularly for those looking to apply distortion with precision and creativity. Its flexibility and user-friendly design cater to a range of applications, from subtly enhancing vocals to adding raw power to guitars and synths, making it a staple distortion VST for producers and engineers alike.

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VocalSynth 2

VocalSynth 2 is a unique vocal distortion plugin that offers a range of effects to transform any vocal into something extraordinary. With its five blendable, eccentric vocal modules (including Vocoder, Compuvox, and Talkbox) it allows for adventurous vocal processing. It also has a Distort module to give your vocals gritty, robotic, or futuristic textures, making it an essential tool for producers looking for the best distortion VST to create innovative vocal tracks. Whether you're working on pop, electronic, or experimental music, VocalSynth 2 is one of the most creative tools for vocal distortion.

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Ozone 11

Ozone 11 might be renowned for its mastering capabilities, but it also serves as an effective distortion software. Its Exciter module allows you to apply targeted distortion to your mixes – bringing extra warmth, presence, or analog character to each frequency band. The plugin also offers different types of saturation modes, each with its own unique texture. Whether you're gently warming up your final mix, or you’re looking for a more pronounced effect on a specific instrument, the precision of Ozone 11 makes it a top choice for a VST distortion plugin.

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Nectar 4

Nectar 4 is a comprehensive vocal processing suite that excels as a vocal distortion plugin. Its Saturation module can add everything from subtle warmth to gritty aggression to vocals, making it really versatile for any genre. The advanced controls and intuitive design of Nectar 4 allow for precise adjustments,making sure the distortion enhances the vocal without overpowering it. For producers and audio engineers looking for a distortion VST that can elevate vocal tracks, Nectar 4 is a must-have.

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Supercharger GT

Supercharger GT is a high-octane, tube compression plugin that doubles as an excellent distortion software. It offers punchy, warm, and rich harmonic distortion, making it perfect for adding energy and presence to any track. With its simple, one-knob design and additional saturation and color controls, Supercharger GT makes it easy to dial in the perfect amount (and flavor) of distortion. It's an ideal choice for those seeking a straightforward, yet powerful distortion plugin.

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Driver is a versatile distortion and filter effect that can bring a radical edge to your sound. Its range of distortion types, from soft clipping to brutal noise, makes it a versatile tool for various applications. The included resonant filter and modulation capabilities further expand this distortion plugin’s creative potential – allowing for dynamic and evolving textures. Driver is a top pick for producers looking for a distortion plugin that offers both aggressive tones and nuanced control.

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Blocks Primes

Blocks Primes brings modular synthesis to the digital realm, offering a creative playground for crafting unique sounds. Among its many features, the distortion modules stand out, providing raw distortion effects that can be intricately tailored to add just the right character to your sounds. Whether you're creating aggressive basslines, screaming leads, or experimental soundscapes, Blocks Primes serves as an excellent distortion VST for those who love to explore and experiment.

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Brainworx bx_saturator V2

Brainworx bx_saturator V2 is an advanced multi-band saturation and distortion plugin. Its ability to selectively apply mid/side distortion across different frequency bands allows for detailed control over the character of the distortion. This makes it an ideal tool for adding warmth, depth, or aggression to any element in your mix. From drums to vocals, this distortion VST doesn’t compromise clarity, making it particularly useful for mixing and mastering – or wherever maximum precision is needed.

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Black Box Analog Design HG-2MS

Black Box Analog Design HG-2MS is a revered hardware emulation, known for its ability to add rich, tube-driven warmth and saturation to any track. Its versatility makes it stand out as one of the best stereo bus color boxes, but it can also help sweeten vocals, guitars, and drums at an individual track level. This digital plugin captures the essence of its analog counterpart, providing smooth, musical distortion, now packed with mid-side functionality and detailed filter options.

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Unfiltered Audio Dent 2

Unfiltered Audio Dent 2 is a distortion plugin designed specifically for creative sound design. It offers a range of distortion algorithms and unconventional modulation options that enable users to craft complex, evolving textures. This plugin is ideal for those looking to push the boundaries of traditional distortion, whether it's for electronic music production, sound design, or experimental projects.

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Elysia Karacter

Elysia Karacter is a distortion plugin known for its dual-mode saturation – offering both subtle coloration and intense, valve-like distortion. Its ability to deliver musical warmth and aggressive character at the same time makes it an excellent distortion VST for both mixing and mastering. Whether used on individual tracks or the final mix bus, Elysia Karacter adds a distinct sonic flavor that can truly help breathe life into any production.

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Start using distortion VST plugins in your productions

Distortion isn't always just about raw power – it's about adding depth, character, and emotion to your music. Each of these distortion plugins offers a unique way to enhance your sound, whether you're after subtle warmth or aggressive grit. Explore these tools and start incorporating distortion into your production toolkit to unlock new sonic possibilities. The best distortion VST is the one that inspires you to create and express your musical vision.