Free HY-MBDrive Multi-Band Distortion Effect By HY-Plugins


HY-Plugins has released HY-MBDrive, a freeware multi-band distortion effect available in VST plugin format for Windows based host applications.

This is the fifth addition to the HY-Plugins product lineup, and quite possibly the best one so far. I’m still a big fan of their multi-mode filter, as well as the excellent HY-Delay, however this little multi-band distortion plugin is a true gem and (to my knowledge, at least) the first 64-bit multi-band distortion on the freeware VST plugin market. If you can’t afford purchasing a paid alternative such as Squashit or FabFilter Saturn, you’ll find a more than capable substitute in the latest HY-Plugins freebie.

HY-MBDrive does pretty much everything right. The interface is nice and clean, the control parameters are straightforward and easy to use, the performance is optimized for a low CPU hit and, most importantly, the included distortion algorithms sound very good. On the left side of the GUI, you can define the the range of three frequency bands which can then be processed using the controls on the right. Each frequency band can be muted, soloed or bypassed, as well as panned, amplified and, of course, distorted. There are five distortion flavors to choose from (you can assign a different distortion algorithm for each band), ranging from purely digital bitcrushing to a nice and crunchy analog drive distortion.

It’s easy to forget how versatile a multi-band distortion effect such as HY-MBDrive can actually be. Apart from achieving basic distortion effects, you can use it to adjust the volume of different frequency bands, do subtle processing like bass or top end saturation, or even some mastering tasks such as forcing the bass frequencies in a mix to mono.

As mentioned above, the plugin performed very well during our test. There we no stability issues in MuLab and Studio One (using the 64-bit version of the plugin in both hosts) and the CPU hit is reasonably low, staying below 9% even with all three bands active at the same time. I seriously couldn’t find any drawbacks to this plugin, except for the fact that it is PC only.

Once again, we salute HY-Plugins for all the excellent freebies they’ve released so far. They’re building some of the best freeware VST plugin effects around at the moment and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.


HY-MBDrive is available for free download via HY-Plugins (2.02 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. HY-Plugins is on fire – instant download! i really love all of their other plugins; They are great, versatile, sound good and easy to use! One of my favorite new plugin manufactures. Looking forward to what they will do in the future!

  2. is there any vst plugin which is for PC which works as ableton live’s session view(load samples and can be triggered with midi controller) and + which is free

  3. Wow been trying this out, and its amazing. The mute bands and solo are top notch, instant sub bass from any synth patch. The developer is a nice guy to, def going to donate with this one.
    I kind of dig the old school almost Synth1 gui designs to .

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