Smaolab Releases FREE TaraTube Distortion VST Plugin


Smaolab releases TaraTube, a FREE overdrive/distortion plugin for macOS and Windows.

TaraTube is the latest release from Smaolab, and it’s the second of the three-part Tarabia Nation series.

Tarabia Nation is a set of three (free) distortion plugins that each offer a different approach and character. We recently covered Tarabia MK1, and TaraLead is still to come.

TaraTube offers up to eight vacuum tubes that you can place in serial.

Like the other Tarabia Nation plugins, TaraTube keeps it simple with very few controls. The GUI shows just four knobs, Gain In, Stage, Gain Out, Dry/Wet, and a Mono switch.

The Stage knob is where you set the number of vacuum tubes from one to eight. TaraTube aims to provide a soft to medium overdrive/distortion sound and, of course, the expected warmth from a tube emulation.

TaraTube is the middle ground between Tarabia MK1 (soft distortion) and TaraLead (hard distortion). Sitting in that middle ground perhaps gives it more general use cases than the other two.

Smaolab suggests using it to add space to your sound or round off any sounds that need to be a touch warmer. Sometimes, the absolute minimum effect from a plugin like TaraTube is all you want to give your entire track that extra sheen that it’s missing.

There are plenty of tube-style distortion plugins out there in various forms.

Redopter from D16 and RC-20 Retro Color from XLN Audio are good examples of more complex tube saturation plugins. I’m still envious of anyone who picked up RC-20 the last time it was heavily discounted! I hope to see the price drop again soon.

If you want a different kind of free distortion plugin, you could check out our BPB Dirty Filter.

TaraTube seems like a cool plugin if you want controlled drive/distortion without being too aggressive. When TaraLead is released, the Tarabia Nation collection could be the perfect mix to tackle different elements of your tracks.

TaraTube is available in AU, VST2.4, and VST3 formats for macOS and Windows.

Download: TaraTube


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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.


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