The Tube Saturator Plug-In from Wave Arts is a real-time tube amp plug-in simulator uses the circuit simulation technology to capture every nuance of an analog circuit. With circuit simulation, the analog schematic (consisting of individual resistors, capacitors, tubes, and so on) completely defines the signal processing. The schematic is converted into a system of non-linear differential equations, which is solved at each sampling period, in real-time.
The circuit simulation technology is extremely CPU intensive, and hence, it is only suitable for simulating very simple circuits at this time. A fast computer is highly recommended to run the plug-in. It is in fact a basic circuit consisting of a Baxandall-type 3-band EQ feeding two 12AX7 triode preamp stages. It’s similar to preamp stages found in a guitar amp, but it is by no means a complete guitar amplifier model. However, it is accurate, and hence you can get the same distortion and tonal characteristics that you’d expect from a real tube preamp.
The plug-in enables you to add a bit of analog warmth to recordings or increase the drive for some distortion. You can use it as a saturating peak limiter too. Increasing the Drive control increases the (digital) input gain while decreasing the (digital) output gain, so you can easily adjust distortion levels. The FAT switch changes the bias circuit of the first preamp stage to increase gain.