EDM Production Tips: Adding distortion with FabFilter’s Saturn 2

Adding distortion is a great way to add warmth and presence to your music and give your tracks a more commercial and professional sound. For example, when you are trying to brighten a bass or synth sound, so it pulls through your mix, many producers reach for EQ. However, EQ might not be enough for certain sounds because it can only work with the already existing frequencies. Instead, you can apply distortion to get sounds to fit better in the mix. Distortion adds high frequencies, ultimately adding presence and color to sounds and to give them more density than before. An excellent tool for adding distortion to your music is FabFilter’s Saturn 2.

One of the things that makes Saturn 2 great is that it adds distortion without substantially changing the sound. It can add the bottom end to your bass by bringing out the fullness of the sound and add presence to your big leads. Another awesome thing about Saturn 2 is that it has a multi-band feature that allows you to directly target frequencies of the sounds. In addition to all of the controls and great looking user interface, the real strength of this particular plugin comes from the number of presets that come with it. These are great starting points for tweaking the distortion to suit the vibe of your music.

To use Saturn 2, I recommend a combination of applying a preset and “creative fumbling” to get the sound you want. Try opening up your DAW, inserting Saturn 2 on a lead or bass sound, and playing with different presets. Once that’s loaded, try tweaking the drive knob and see how that affects your sound. Additionally, you can play around with the style selector to find some variation between the distortion types. Another way to add more control is to add bands to the multi-band display by moving the mouse to the top of the display and clicking the plus icon. The multi-band aspect allows you to key in on a specific frequency and drive the distortion to taste.

In conclusion, FabFilter’s Saturn 2 is a tool to add distortion and color to your sounds. Saturn 2 can also add beef and warmth to your mix. Try using Saturn 2 on bass sounds and experiment with different presets. Again when I use distortion in mixing, I like to put mine close to the source of the sound and then EQ after, but again, there’s no correct answer. It’s essential to use your ears and do what sounds right for your music.


  • Use a saturation/distortion plugin to add high frequencies to your sounds
  • FabFilter’s Saturn 2 is an excellent multi-band tool for subtle saturation or distortion.
  • Try selecting a preset, tweaking the drive, switching the style, or focusing on a frequency band.
  • Link to FabFilter 2: Click here