Sampleson Overheat Is A FREE Saturation Plugin


Sampleson releases Overheat, a freeware saturation effect for DAW applications on Windows and macOS.

I always tell myself no more saturators right before downloading another saturator. If you’re like me and you can’t get enough harmonics added to your sound sources, then you’re in luck. Sampleson’s latest release, Overheat, is a free saturation plugin with a tiny footprint.

Overheat has a rather straight-to-the-point interface, which kind of reminds me of the SSL Native line of plugins. This even applies to the very clear metering, which takes up the interface’s middle section.

The left section of the interface houses the Pre-gain, Drive, and Post-gain knobs. These are super handy, as you can use these to gain stage before applying saturation directly to the signal path.

The right side of the interface has Color and Low-pass knobs. Low-passing saturation is nothing new and functions as you’d expect. Color seems to affect the midrange, at least without me running sine waves through Plugin Doctor. Most importantly, CPU usage is light, as is the install size.

Overheat is a great-sounding saturator, and it is low enough on the CPU usage that you can apply it to multiple channels without taxing your workstation. It works especially well on clean guitars, electric bass, synths, and anything else that needs a little warming up.

The best thing is that it is particularly quick to dial in, and there are some presets that Sampleson has bundled together with it to give you some handy starting points. The character of the saturation itself is pleasing and isn’t at all overbearing when liberally applied across a whole mix.

BPB reader Michal Ochedowski tested OverHeat and shared his impressions in our comments section:

“I can confirm that OverHeat does sound good. Effortless peaks squashing with just three knobs and good saturation/distortion as a bonus. It’s a pity none of the controls are available for automation lanes, except bypass.”

Grabbing Overheat is easy. All you need to do is enter your email address to receive your free license. After that, it’s a simple matter of running the installer, and you’re off to the races.

There is, unfortunately, no oversampling to speak of, but if you run at 48 kHz or higher, you’ll be fine. You can even run it at 44.1kHz. I won’t tell the aliasing police, I promise.

Overheat is available for Windows and Mac computers. Supported plugin formats are VST3 and AU. It is a universal plugin, so Intel and Silicon users can snag this for their next production.

Download: Sampleson Overheat


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Liam is a producer, mixing engineer, and compressor aficionado. When not mixing, he can be found pretending to play guitar, as he has been doing for the last 20 years.


  1. Drugged Bunny


    Their email link just redirects me to the main Overheat page asking for email address, tried in two browsers.

    Looks good, thanks for posting, but no joy in working link for me!

  2. “I always tell myself no more saturators right before downloading another saturator.”
    That’s so funny! And truth … Thank you!

  3. Awesome sounding plugin, many thanks. The GUI is a bit dark but no worries, i look forward to using this on more instruments, btw the rest of Sampleson’s website is also worth a look, some great quality plugins on offer.

  4. It’s fun to take a saturator and run it on extreme settings on something like drums or guitar, and then run Smooth Operator or Soothe after it, set to reduce to those same harmonics. You get a real… different sound, something like an old 8-track tape. Thanks for the link!

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