“The potential to create any and every conceivable character of distortion”: BLEASS Fusion review

Distortion is a very broad church, spanning a huge range of effects and sounds. BLEASS’ innovative tool lets you delve into them all

  • £16
  • €20
  • $20
(Image: © BLEASS)

MusicRadar Verdict

A hugely pliable distortion processor with the potential to create any and every conceivable character of distortion.


  • +

    Creates practically any distortion.

  • +

    67 included wavetables.

  • +

    Great selection of modulators.

  • +

    Flexible filtering.

  • +

    They’re practically giving it away!


  • -

    No freewheeling mode for the sequencer modulation source.

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BLEASS Fusion: What is it?

At a glance

macOS 10.9 and later (64-bit only) including macOS 11 Big Sur and M1 processors. VST3 (64-bit). Audio Unit.
Windows 8 and later. VST3 (64-bit).
Buy at Plugin Boutique 

The primary driver behind the decades-long effort to develop digital audio technology was the promise of pristine, super-accurate audio recordings, free from the hiss, noise and distortion caused by even the most highly spec’d analogue equipment. It is therefore ironic that, upon reaching those longed-for sunlit uplands of sonic perfection, we took one look around and said, “Oh, isn’t it bland! Can we have our distortion back please?”

There are of course many different varieties of distortion – tape saturation, valve overdrive, transistor overdrive, bit crushing – each with its own distinctive personality, colour and tone. Covering all possible distortion bases in a single plugin is therefore tricky, but perhaps not for Fusion, the innovative new plugin from BLEASS.


(Image credit: BLEASS)

BLEASS Fusion: Performance and verdict

Most of us are familiar with the concept of wavetables, which are essentially palettes of digital waveforms that a synth oscillator can reproduce and morph between. 

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You will likely have come across waveshaping as well, a technique that applies a mathematical function (in other words a waveform) to a signal in order to distort it, with the details of the function (ie, the shape of the waveform) determining the colour and strength of the distortion effect. 

With Fusion, BLEASS has combined the two technologies to create a waveshaper distortion generator that derives its shaping function from wavetables. This gives a plugin with a ludicrously versatile and varied repertoire of distortion flavours, as well as the ability to morph seamlessly between different distortion tones. 

It isn’t only the wavetable waveforms themselves that enable such versatility: further waveform variation can be achieved through wavetable folding, a process that compresses or stretches a waveform along its time axis, either asymmetrically from one end of the waveform to the other, or symmetrically around the waveform’s centre. Folding has a major impact on the resulting distortion’s tone and intensity and, when combined with the ability to morph through the wavetable’s waveforms, allows for a staggering amount of colour and tonal variation even from just a single wavetable. And the plugin comes with 67 of the things as well as the ability to import custom wavetables!

Control over the tone of Fusion’s distortion comes courtesy of a pair of filters. The first of these offers a choice of high-pass, bell and notch filtering, the second low-pass, bell and notch, and each can be placed either before or after the waveshaper processor itself. When in the pre position, you can influence the tonal response of the waveshaper by boosting or cutting particular frequencies that will then be more or less distorted overall. Post-waveshaper filtering, in contrast, is ideal for modifying the overall tone of the distortion – cutting away fizz and/or boom, for example. 


(Image credit: BLEASS)

Many modulators

BLEASS Fusion comes loaded with a number of different modulators, each able to drive your choice of up to two plugin parameters. Ideally we would have liked a bit more flexibility in the number of modulation destinations.

The first modulators are a pair of LFOs. The normal selection of LFO waveforms are here – sine, triangle, saw, etc – but there’s a couple of nice additional features too: Time Shape and Smoothing. The former applies a ramping curve to the rate at which the LFO moves through its waveform; the latter limits the maximum rate at which the LFO’s output value can change. An envelope follower provides an ideal tool for making Fusion react dynamically to changes in the incoming signal level.

Finally, there’s a (up to) 16-step sequencer with randomisation and output smoothing, and this is perfect for creating rhythmic distortion effects. The only downside is that the sequencer is locked to the host DAW’s tempo and transport and so only runs when the DAW is running. This makes sense, but we would have liked to see some sort of freewheeling mode too.

Familiar style

Also worthy of mention is Fusion’s GUI, which sticks with BLEASS’ trademark design in order to give intuitive operation whilst maximising visual feedback. The styling will be familiar to any who use other BLEASS plugins, and even some of the discreet processing stages will be familiar: the wavetable engine is a direct lift from the Megalit synth; we’ve seen the filter design, with its large interactive cutoff graph, many times before too. All of which means Fusion is super easy to work with, whether on desktop or tablet, and whether using mouse pointer or finger. 

Fusion’s sound is impressive, the depth of versatility remarkable and the possibilities are limitless

Fusion is extremely affordable, and would be worth its price even if it were only half as good (and we think you’ll find it to be twice as good as you expect it to be!). The sound is impressive, the depth of versatility remarkable and, thanks to custom wavetable support, the possibilities are literally limitless.

MusicRadar verdict: A hugely pliable distortion processor with the potential to create any and every conceivable character of distortion.

BLEASS Fusion: The web says

"The most remarkable thing about BLEASS Fusion is that it can run this entire distortion gamut, from smooth valve saturation to hard-edged transistor trashiness, from subtle colouration to full-on frequency frying, and from the lightest sprinkle of fizz to the most depraved depths of sonic destruction."

BLEASS Fusion: Hands-on demos



Gavinski's Tutorials

The Sound Test Room

BLEASS Fusion: Specifications

  • macOS 10.9 and later (64-bit only) including macOS 11 Big Sur and M1 processors. VST3 (64-bit). Audio Unit.
  • Windows 8 and later. VST3 (64-bit).