Gnarl Is A FREE Distortion Plugin By Myroslav Artiukh


Myroslav Artiukh, an independent audio developer, has released a new free plugin called Gnarl. It is available as a VST3 for Windows and Mac users.

Gnarl is a creative distortion plugin featuring six distortion algorithms, three independent filters for both the dry and wet channels, and a global reverb effect.

The plugin’s interface looks simple but well-designed in terms of functionality.

The main central big knob controls the Dry/Wet of the distortion effect.

The drop-down menu at the top lets you choose between six algorithms: Hard Clip, Soft Clip, Half-Wave Rect, Full-Wave Rect, Foldback, and Soft Saturation.

At the bottom, you’ll find a slider to control the Threshold parameter. The distortion becomes more apparent as you drag it to the lowest values.

The filter section is located on both sides of the interface. The area on the left lets you filter the Dry signal, while the filter section on the right filters the Wet signal.

You can select between Low-Pass, Band-Pass, and High-Pass filters for each section, with controls over the Cutoff and Resonance. This is an original concept, so it should not be confused with pre/post distortion filtering.

Basically, Gnarl lets you blend two sculpable signals: Dry and Wet.

Let’s say you want to blend a low-pass filtered dry version of a sound with a high-pass filtered and distorted wet version for added top-end crunch: you can do that easily with Gnarl.

While the algorithms can be improved, and the gain staging is less than perfect, Gnarl is fun to play with. It’s one of those plugins that truly shine when you experiment and try new things. I think it’s a useful distortion-based add-on to your sound design plugin collection.

And it’s not just a distortion box, either. At the lower bottom of the interface, there is an option to add some reverb in parallel by adjusting the Dry and Wet controls.

The reverb module is simple, with only two parameters: room size and stereo width. It’s not the best-sounding reverb on the market, but it’s a useful addition to the plugin’s feature set.

Gnarl also features Input and Output gain sliders, the option to save or delete custom presets, and 10 factory presets.

I find it a nice addition to my toolbox of simple but creative multi-effects. It is particularly useful when you want to create transitions between sections in a track.

Download: Gnarl (FREE or pay-what-you-want)


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Fabio is a sound designer, sound engineer, and electronic music producer from Italy. His works can be found under the name HydraTek.


  1. Thanks very much! Fyi, it appears that the Windows installer installs the Mac version of the plugin. Haven’t been able to install the Windows version using the installer.

      • Aw thanks, no worries at all! I’m grateful for the free offering! It worked like a charm. I look forward to playing with this one. Thanks a lot! :)

  2. I also have been unable to install the plugin via the windows installer. Extracting the windows installer into a folder results in Gnarl having no file extension. I hope the dev fixes this soon.

    • Myroslav Artiukh


      I’m really sorry for your experience with Gnarl. I just updated the download page and it should work now.

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