Saturation fx

hi all, I'm still a relative newbie to mixing/mastering fx chains and I have a few questions for the community about saturation. Any info/opinions gratefully received! :)

  1. I've explored the Waveshaper internal fx unit but am also considering buying Fabfilter Saturn 2. Not cheap but I have Pro Q3 and Pro-L and I have found them both indispensable for me on my learning curve and to add professional polish to my creations. (Downside is no automation of course.) Question: do people generally use the internal Waveshaper or do you mostly use external saturation plugins - if so, why?

  2. My initial experiments with saturation via Waveshaper have shown a great potential in warming up the sounds and tracks I'm making. However, I'm finding it hard to hear the effect unless I turn up the parameters (probably a bit too much) - and then, it seems like the saturation undoes all the EQ and mixing I've taken time to do beforehand. In some ways it seems that adding saturation is doing the opposite of fine EQing to give everything its own space in the frequency spectrum - which seems a bit unhelpful! ;) . Question : do people here add saturation before EQ and later mixing, or at the end of the process in a more generalised way to warm and smooth things together? (or both haha)

  3. I've tried adding saturation(waveshaper) on the main mix bus which adds warmth but sometimes removes clarity (see (2)) and I've also tried putting saturation(waveshaper) on individual synth buses (eg lead and bass) and the drum bus separately. The latter way brings sounds forward in the mix in a really nice way - but also makes anything without saturation disappear a bit into the background. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to put saturation on ALL the individual tracks separately though.... _Question _: Is there a better workflow that someone can point me towards? It seems that adding saturation also affects relative volumes quite a lot?

I'm leaning towards purchasing Saturn2 anyway (mostly because of my great experiences with the other Fabfilter plugins) but I can tell I have a new learning curve with the whole topic in general, so I thought I would throw out my questions to the community and see what comes back :)

Thanks for reading and have a nice day!

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