FL Studio recently released version 20.5, which included an update to Fruity Blood Overdrive. Blood Overdrive is a distortion plugin that can make your sounds fuller by adding in harmonics.

The latest version is now vectorial, meaning it can be resized by dragging from one of its corners. You also now have the ability to recolor the plugin by right-clicking in an empty area and selecting one of its new themes, which includes Dark Brown, Brown Metallic, Brown Metallic Panels, and my personal favorite, Blood Red. Hopefully, this is a feature that Image-Line will add to all of its plugins in the future and even the entire FL Studio GUI.

Typically, I use this plugin in the most on my Bass and 808s to make them sound thicker and warmer for a more solid low end. First, I start by manipulating the Pre Band knob. This is essentially a low pass filter that is applied before going into the overdrive itself. It’s useful for taming any unwanted high-end frequencies that can cause the plugin to sound harsh. The Color knob will set the cutoff point for the low pass filtering effect of the Pre Band. Combined, you have full control of how much of the high frequencies you’ll drive into the overdrive distortion.

The Pre Amp knob is where the fun starts. Use this knob to drive your signal into the distortion. The more you increase this knob, the more harmonics you’ll get from your sound, which is how you achieve the fullness I like to get out of my low end. You’ll notice there is a checkbox that is labeled x100 at the bottom right of the Pre Amp knob. This will literally increase the amount of overdrive 100 times. This setting is rather extreme, so I tend to stay away from it. However, in incremental amounts, you might find it useful. Especially, when combining this with the Post Filter.

The Post Filter knob will once again low pass the sound, but will now affect the overdriven signal instead. So any extra high-frequency harmonics can be cut out of the sound. You might notice that the overall sound is now much louder than the original signal going in. To rebalance that signal, you can use the Post Gain knob to turn your sound back down to the level you originally had. Now you can A/B test the quality of the sound by deactivating and reactivating the plugin to hear if you actually have improved the sound or not.

One thing that people tend not to realize about Blood Overdrive is that even without using the Pre Amp knob to add distortion, the plugin still introduces upward compression, which can even out the overall signal. This is a similar effect of a vacuum tube compressor. This can be used on busses or even your entire mix to improve the sound without adding any additional harmonics.

Try this plugin on various sources to really get a feel for what Blood Overdrive can do to improve your individual tracks or even overall mix. Now that this is a 64-bit plugin, you no longer have to bridge from the 32-bit version, which will save some CPU in your project. Finally, Fruity Blood Overdrive has gotten the much-needed update that it deserves.