Aarow Releases Dyst FREE Dynamic Saturation Plugin


Aarow releases Dyst, a free (pay what you want) dynamic saturation plugin for Windows and macOS.

I’ve honestly lost track of how many distortion and saturation plugins I have residing on my hard drives.

You can’t help it after a point. All those different flavors of harmonics might come in useful on a snare or something else in some fictional, more or less distant future.

However, every once in a while, a new plugin pops up with a feature set unique enough that I don’t have to question my sanity for downloading another plugin.

Today is one of those days.

Dyst is a novel processor and brings together a lot of features I honestly love to see in saturators.

It is available as a pay-what-you-want plugin, so you can donate or download it for free. If you feel like kicking a payment Aarow’s way, I’m sure it’ll go towards the future development of some other cool stuff.

You’ve got saturation curves at play with Dyst, each labeled A through D. Each represents a different saturation type, with C being the most aggressive overall.

I enjoyed A and B the most, but C could find some utility in specific applications.

What makes Dyst unique compared to other distortion plugins is the inclusion of a dynamics processor. Once enabled, you can set the threshold and allow the saturation to really pop out the details and transients of your material.

The controls are relatively simple, with a central drive button function as your gain function. You have a pair of sliders on the sides of the interface, which dictate your input and output gain.

The curve function allows the saturation to be more noticeable at lower values or driven to absolute extremes. Dyst also comes with a soft clipper built-in, courtesy of everyone’s favorite mad scientist over at AirWindows.

What I love about this processor is the inclusion of mid/side processing. I am a massive fan of mid/side saturation, as it can easily make or break mixes. Trying this in C mode in parallel with a drum bus just brings it to life in such a lively way.

You can also use it for some subtle cooking of the mix bus, provided you don’t mind distortion as part of the final mix chain.

Dyst is available for Windows and Mac computers. The only supported plugin format is VST3, so you’ll have to get creative if you’re using Logic.

It seems to run just fine on my Silicon machine, but I can’t tell if it is running Rosetta or natively. I’m sure one of our more Mac-savvy readers can chime in with the particulars.

Download: Dyst (free, pay what you want)


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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.


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