Sound controls

Arturia Dist COLDFIRE: two powerful distortion engines for big sound

Image Credit: Arturia

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

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

These engines can work together or in parallel to present a powerful version of analog and digital distortion.

Distortion Modes

Dist COLDIRE merges a total of 11 distortion types into a single plugin with 6 analog types and 5 digital distortion types.

Digital distortions
  1. Rectifier
    Mimics the harmonics of reshaping the negative phase of a waveform.
  2. Bit Crusher
    recreates digital noise by reducing the bit depth of a signal’s sampling rate.
  3. Bit Inverter
    Sharp digital distortion by modulating the binary content of a signal.
  4. wavefolder
    Creates unique harmonics and harmonic distortions by distorting the shape of a signal.
  5. Waveform
    With 11 subtypes ranging from broken signal to resonant asymmetric drive.
Analog distortions
  1. Ribbon
    Strip-style grainy saturation.
  2. Tube
    Smooth warmth and deep vacuum valve sound.
  3. Transistor
    Biting response3 of classic echo box preamps.
  4. Transformer
    Simulation of the nuanced distortion created by magnetic hysteresis.
  5. Germanium
    The screaming sound made famous by germanium diode amps and distortion pedals.
  6. Strength
    Based on classic studio outboard gear, Force features 4 subtypes ranging from analog saturation to roaring overdrive.

Presentation of the Arturia Dist COLDFIRE interface

In the two distortion control panels, where A is on the left and B on the right, you can experience the above 11 distortion modes. Each has specialized commands “from bit depth to tube wiring”.

Image Credit: Arturia

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

And above the distortion control panels is the Pre Filter module. This allows you to eliminate frequencies before your signal reaches the digest engines. Here you will find 6 filter modes, including resonant lowpass, bandpass, and highpass.

But you’ll also find notch and comb filters in addition to these traditional modes for sharper signals.

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

Below the master module is the viewer. This gives you visual feedback on your distortion. “From vivid coloring to grainy pixelated textures”, you get real-time color-coded feedback to match your chosen algorithms.

But you can bypass this feature if it’s not for you.

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

Located at the top of the viewer, this drop-down menu gives you access to a selection of sound alterations.

Choose between high saturation or “wild unpredictable” processing, series or parallel, stereo or mid/side, or even a split band mode to process different frequencies.

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

Additionally, you can also modulate this parameter for movement between distortions.

At the bottom right of the viewer are the Post Filter controls. Once you’re happy with your algorithm choices, you can start being surgical and making sure everything goes well with its 2-band EQ.

Directly below the viewer is the Dynamics module which Arturia claims is Dist COLDFIRE’s secret weapon.

With a pre- or post-distortion setup, you can “enhance the response and impact of your sounds with a built-in limiter, compressor, and multiband compressor.

To the right of the Dynamics module is the Feedback module. Whether you want to “sound drums like strings” or “sprinkle distorted glitchy beats into your projects,” you can do it here.

Not only that, but the module lets you quantize pitch, sync to tempo, or just let it go.

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

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.