Marauder – Free Dynamic Distortion VST Plugin By AudioParlour (BETA)

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Marauder distortion VST plugin by AudioParlour.

Marauder (currently in beta) is an interesting free dynamic distortion effect in 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows based host applications, released by AudioParlour.

I was waiting for an exceptionally cool freebie to appear in order to have it featured as the first freeware news item on BPB in 2015 and Marauder absolutely fits that description. It is a great sounding freeware distortion effect which packs tons of color and vibe.

Being much more than just a simple linear distortion unit, Marauder is based on a network of four gain stages which operate together creating an outstandingly organic distortion effect. I won’t go too much into detail here (you can check out the demo video embedded below to hear the plugin in action if you want), however I can’t help but say that I absolutely loved how the device responds to the amplitude of the audio signal on the input, even at the most extreme high gain settings.

Adding to that, the plugin offers a broad palette of distortion flavors. If you want to use it as a subtle saturation tool, Marauder can go all the way from a round tube style sound to that silky tape style saturation. At high gain settings, I was able to get two or three different great sounding types of distortion by experimenting with the Gain A, Gain B and T.D.M. parameters. In short, this is one of those plugins which really need to be fine tweaked in order to get the best possible result, but the work you put into it is extremely rewarding if you manage to dial in the right setting for your audio material.

The currently available version of Marauder is basically a public beta, however the developer has pointed out that this version will remain free forever. An improved commercial version of the plugin which is planned for release this year will include some additional features, although it’s not yet clear what those features will be. Thinking about the possible improvements on this already great concept, I would  definitely like to see an auto-gain switch which would make the sweet spot detection process a whole lot simpler.

Although Marauder is currently available only as a 32-bit VST plugin, the developer has announced that more platforms will be supported in the future. I’m not sure if that relates to the commercial version exclusively, or if the basic free version will also be updated in that direction.

Video Demo

Check out the Marauder demo video:

Download

Marauder is available for free download via AudioParlour (28.5 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows).

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About The Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the owner and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

10 Comments

    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      They’re from a Drumdrops sample library, however I’m not sure which one. I could check if you’re interested!

  1. Is it just me, or is the gain compression playing a violent game of tug-of-war with the dry and wet signals? I also hear some filtration. Is that the plug, or are you fiddling with a low-pass filter behind the scenes?

    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      There’s nothing going on behind the scenes, apart from a simple limiter on the master bus. I shouldn’t have zoomed in on the GUI during the demo video, it’s obviously causing more confusion than benefit. And I should probably also capture the mouse pointer movement in future demo videos.

      • Meh, I dunno about all that. But I definitely hear a filter sweep or something affecting the high frequencies. It might have something to do with the way the audio was compressed during the video render maybe? Whatever it is, it’s pretty noticeable.

        • At around 1:54? Sounds like some phase issues. Unfortunately, since nothing else is being adjusted, it seems like it’s Marauder.

  2. Upon second glance, I think it’s the “HF Mode 1” knob, which seems to be a shelving EQ for the high frequencies. In that case, it’s actually a really cool feature that most compressors don’t have. As for the “phase issues”, I think that’s the “Profile” knob attenuating a speaker simulation, sort of like a virtual cabinet. It’s often common practice to invert the phase of the incoming signal in certain mic setups, so that’s probably what you hear. Now I definitely have to go and download this because it’s not only a compressor, but it’s also a faux cabinet as well! :D

  3. Hello, I am the main developer of this plug, and first of all, thank you for the kind review!

    Second, I’d like to address a couple of things brought up in the comments.

    – The HF model segregates out some of the highs so that they are not run through the A/B stages of the distortion, and ‘reinjects’ them right before the TDM.

    – Comb filtering / Flanging issues: A forum member at KVR noticed this right away, this was something we nailed down very early on, and then rewrote the mix function… but referenced the pre-delayed version of the raw A/B signal! (a single variable name can make all the difference)

    We’ve fixed this as of today and released an update 1.1 version. For anyone who has been using this in their production thus far, we still have the old version available for download in case your productions rely on the sound of your older version.

    Cheers, and happy music making :)

    -kakl