Image Credit: Arturia

Arturia has released Dist COLDFIRE – a dual-engine distortion effect for immersive sound design sessions or for rich guitar and drum tones.

Arturia’s Dist COLDFIRE is a distortion effect plugin made up of A and B engines.

These engines can work together or in parallel to present a heavy-hitting take on analog and digital distortion.

The distortion modes

Dist COLDIRE fuses a total of 11 distortion types in one plugin with 6 analog types and to 5 digital distortion types.

Digital distortions
  1. Rectifier
    Imitates the harmonic overtones of reshaping a waveform’s negative phase.
  2. Bit crusher
    recreates the digital noise of reducing sample rate bit depth of a signal.
  3. Bit inverter
    Crisp digital distortion via modulating a signal’s bit content.
  4. Wavefolder
    Creates unique overtones and harmonic alterations by distorting the shape of a signal.
  5. Waveshaper
    Featuring 11 subtypes from shattered signal to resonant asymmetrical drive.
Analog distortions
  1. Tape
    Grainy tape-style saturation.
  2. Tube
    Soft-clipping warmth and depth of the vacuum valve sound.
  3. Transistor
    Biting responjse3 of classic echo box preamps.
  4. Transformer
    Simulation of nuanced distortion created by magnetic hysteresis.
  5. Germanium
    The screaming tone that was made famous by Germanium diode amps and distortion pedals.
  6. Force
    Based on classic studio outboard gear, Force features 4 subtypes that range from analog saturation to roaring overdrive.

Arturia Dist COLDFIRE’s interface walkthrough

In the two distortion control panels, where A is on the left and B on the right, you can experiment with the 11 distortion modes above. Each has specialized controls ‘from bit depth to tube wiring’.

Image Credit: Arturia

Then you’ll find universal controls found on each mode including output level, dry/wet mix, and a bypass switch. Together, these controls allow you to blend each mode to create unique distortions.

And above the distortion control panels sits the Pre Filter module. This allows you to chip away at frequencies before your signal reaches the digestion engines. Here you’ll find 6 filter modes including resonant low pass, band pass, and high pass.

But you’ll also find notch and comb filters on top of those traditional modes for edgier signals.

Then you’ll find global controls in the Master section to the right of the Pre Filter controls. Here sit controls for input and output level, color (tone), and a dry/wet mix control too.

Underneath the Master module sits the visualizer. This gives you visual feedback on your distortion. ‘From vivid coloration to grainy pixelated textures’, you get color-coded feedback in real-time to match your chosen algorithms.

But you can bypass this feature if this isn’t for you.

Additionally, you can rearrange the signal flow between Dist COLDFIRE’s two distortion engines in the Routing drop-down menu.

Found at the top of the visualizer, this drop-down menu allows you access to a selection of sound alterations.

Choose between heavy saturation to ‘unpredictably wild’, serial or parallel processing, stereo or mid/side, or even aband split mode to process different frequencies.

At the bottom of the visualizer module is the Routing Balance slide bar. Designed for parallel, stereo, and mid/side processing, this bar allows you to easily configure the balance between the sound engines.

What’s more, is that you can modulate this parameter for movement between distortions too.

To the bottom right of the visualizer sits the Post Filter controls. Once you’re happy with your algorithm choices you can begin to get surgical and make everything sit nicely together with its 2-band EQ.

Directly beneath the visualizer sits the Dynamics module which Arturia claims to be Dist COLDFIRE’s secret weapon.

With pre or post-distortion configuration, you can ‘enhance your sounds’ response and impact with a built-in limiter, compressor, and multi-band compressor.

To the right of the Dynamics module sits the Feedback module. Whether you want to ‘make drums resonate like strings’ or ‘ sprinkle warped glitchy rhythms into your projects’, you can do so here.

Not only this, but the module allows you to quantize to pitch, sync to tempo, or simply let it loose.

Finally, the modulation module presents 6 assignable mod slots. Choose between 16-step sequencers, syncable LFOs, or envelopes (all with parameters you can modulate) to create distortion that evolves over time.

Price and availability

Arturia’s Dist COLDFIRE distortion plugin is available to buy now for $99 or as part of the FX Collection 3 for $299.