BYOD Is A FREE Customizable Distortion Plugin By Chowdhury DSP


Chowdhury DSP releases BYOD (Bring Your Own Distortion), a freeware customizable guitar distortion effect in VST, AU, AAX, and LV2 plugin formats.

BYOD is a fully customizable guitar distortion effect developed by Chowdhury DSP. It lets users combine different guitar FX modules to create a custom guitar pedal.

The plugin packs various guitar FX components, including tone shaping, distortion, impulse responses, gain controls, and more. It lets the user mix and match the different components to create unique guitar multi-effects.

You can save your custom guitar pedals as presets for later use. So, if you ever wanted to create a Tube Screamer with a bass boost and a custom EQ curve but didn’t have the know-how to pull it off, here is your chance.

BYOD includes more handy features, such as a dry/wet slider for easy parallel processing and input/output controls for gain staging. It also comes with built-in oversampling, mono/stereo processing modes, and undo/redo functionality (thanks for that one!).

The user interface is clean, with differently colored components and clearly visible controls. The central panel is freely resizable, so the plugin will work just fine regardless of your screen resolution.

Chowdhury DSP has already released several incredibly useful freeware plugins, such as the Chow Tape Model saturation effect and the Chow Matrix delay (listed in our free delay VST plugins article).

And if you’re looking for more guitar effects, don’t forget to check out Chowdhury DSP’s free Chow Centaur plugin.

Here’s more info about the BYOD distortion effect:

“Build-Your-Own-Distortion (BYOD) is an audio plugin that allows the user to create custom guitar effects, with a focus on guitar distortion. The plugin contains emulations of guitar distortion and tone-shaping circuits from various, along with a handful of other useful effects.”

You can download BYOD for free from the developer’s website linked below. The software is compatible with VST3, AU, AAX, and LV2 plugin hosts on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is also available as a free iOS app.

Check out the user manual if you need some help getting started with using BYOD in your DAW.

Download: BYOD (7.4 MB download size, EXE installer)

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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. Not a guitar enthusiast, so no comments on the realism on some of the pedals being simulated. But great potential here as a multi-fx with its lovely UI, many modules and modularity. ChowDSP has delivered some awesome tools in the past few years, and open-source too.
    However, I have to stress the point that this isn’t named ChowBYOD… What a way to break a c-c-c-combo! :-(

  2. This and all of the Chow DSP plugins are really good I find, Cheers Tomislav and the rest of the BPB crew and all the best as always \m/

    Dean (aka Nekro)

  3. The sheer amount of functions for a free plugin is great. But the thing that is sub-standard is usability, I was not able to spent with this plugin even few minutes before getting frustrated. So I closed it to never use again. If this was fixed, it could be sold easily.

  4. Care to share what exactly what was the problem with usability?
    I wonder if it’s related to a problem I got the first few minutes.. It seemed to be sluggish and interfere with graphics on some DAWs until you check the “Use OpenGL” setting. At least, here.

  5. Yes, the OpenGL problem was here as well. By usability I mean how you must do things when you want to create a chain, e.g. manually chaining modules together, no fast way to replace modules without diving into menus, some elements are too big, some are too small and stuff like this.

    • I understand, you’d prefer a cableless ‘layered’ modules type of thing, like the fx section of Vital or synths like these, I suppose.
      Obviously we have here a more classical modular, guitar rig (and I don’t mean the NI software) style. It is indeed a lot slower approach than others, but can be more powerful too (like using Y cables to output to two different modules). It’s maybe best to ‘know’ what you want to achieve and can less fun to explore.
      Very incompatible paradigms.

  6. Just tried installing the Linux binaries, both LV2 and VST3, both freeze Reaper, won’t load. Had to force quit

    Also tried installing the Windows binary under Yabridge/Wine on Manjaro, and they cause a full system freeze requiring a physical power cycle. Most plugins work under at least one of these file types, but in this case not so there is a definite problem with the software.

  7. I had problems using the VST3 version. Maybe the plugin is too CPU-hungry for my system. I found that it frequently wasn’t working, or only partially working. Shame, because it looks absolutely ideal for a free plugin. It was great when it was working for me.

    • PS.. my problems were things like the sound fading away. And also being unable to adjust any of the modules with tone controls. But hey, I’m still making use of the plugin!

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