It’s easy to run away with the idea that professional musicians and producers always use the ‘best’ music software, but there are plenty of examples of well-respected artists using free plugins, too.
Take FKJ, for example, who’s just revealed that his favourite digital distortion is none other than SoundToys' super-simple Little Radiator.
Explaining to Tape Notes how he dirties up a bassline - in this case for recent track Different Masks for Different Days, which is taken from his 2022 album VIncent - the artist also known as French Kiwi Juice (or sometimes by his actual name, Vincent Fenton) reveals that “one of my favourite plugins to do that is the Little Radiator, by SoundToys.”
Explaining his love for the effect, he says: “It’s such a simple plugin - there’s literally just two knobs on it. It’s just one called heat and one called mix, and it’s been my favourite digital distortion for probably the last three years.
“I use this every time I need distortion, or even if I don’t need distortion but need something to feel a little bit dirtier,” adds Fenton. “I really love it. It’s one of the most pleasing digital distortions I’ve heard.”
FKJ goes on to say that, while he’ll use outboard analogue distortion gear when he’s at home in his studio - he likes to make his preamps crack up because “it’s fun to do” - he thinks that LIttle Radiator can achieve very similar results.
“This always works,” he enthuses. “You get very close to [the sound] of the analogue console distorting, that special sound that you have with that. You get pretty close to that with this.”
You can currently download Little Radiator for free from the SoundToys website. It runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats.