What is the "best" tape emulation software?

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carlsaff
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Post by carlsaff » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:22 am

mjau wrote:a combo of a Pultec and an 1176 (just barely compressing, if any)
I was about to suggest the same with LA2A in place of the 1176. It's not so much that this sounds like tape as much as it frequently sounds good to my ears.

As far as the plugs that claim to sound like tape... I think people are chasing a red herring. Well-maintained and operated professional tape machines sound like what you give them. This is also true of good (24-bit or better) digital devices. Check how you're tracking if your sound isn't as you desire. Or, if you seek the sound of abused tape... abuse a tape machine! Some analog decks add a bit of a bump at around 100hz... but you can add that yourself in the digital realm, as well.

I think the primary sonic benefit of analog is that it's resolution is far finer than any digital approximation. It's the difference between film and digital video, or photographic plates and digital cameras. Both can look good... but the resolution (and resulting perception) of the analog counterpart is almost always more satisfying.

That said, the Voxengo Analogflux TapeBus can be a useful effect. I don't think it "sounds like tape," but it does smear transients in an interesting way that is sometimes beneficial for particularly "peaky" material. It's a sound I sometimes seek out... but I wouldn't say it's "like tape."
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Mr. Dipity
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Post by Mr. Dipity » Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:00 pm

carlsaff wrote:
mjau wrote:a combo of a Pultec and an 1176 (just barely compressing, if any)
I was about to suggest the same with LA2A in place of the 1176. It's not so much that this sounds like tape as much as it frequently sounds good to my ears.

As far as the plugs that claim to sound like tape... I think people are chasing a red herring. Well-maintained and operated professional tape machines sound like what you give them. This is also true of good (24-bit or better) digital devices. Check how you're tracking if your sound isn't as you desire. Or, if you seek the sound of abused tape... abuse a tape machine! Some analog decks add a bit of a bump at around 100hz... but you can add that yourself in the digital realm, as well.

I think the primary sonic benefit of analog is that it's resolution is far finer than any digital approximation. It's the difference between film and digital video, or photographic plates and digital cameras. Both can look good... but the resolution (and resulting perception) of the analog counterpart is almost always more satisfying.

That said, the Voxengo Analogflux TapeBus can be a useful effect. I don't think it "sounds like tape," but it does smear transients in an interesting way that is sometimes beneficial for particularly "peaky" material. It's a sound I sometimes seek out... but I wouldn't say it's "like tape."
Errm.

Just pretend that what he said, I said.

Carry on. Nothing to see here.

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Post by jeddypoo » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:00 am

I also would like to add that messing around with sending your tracks through analog devices (mixers and pres and whatnot) can add nice fucky-ducky color to your tracks. In fact one might argue that if one had the means, using only outboard effects and looping every damn track through old board is the only way to do it. I might eschew plugins altogether myself if I had the right equipment.
I find adherence to fantasy troubling and unreasonable.

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Post by Studio2roll » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:07 pm

I recently made the switch from running digital mixes through real tape to the more practical McDsp Analog Channel 2 for the tape compression/eq. I think it sounds really good, again with most of the plug-ins it may or may not sound exactly like the models of real-world machines they say its supposed to emulate, but it is very close and sounds like some grade of tape regardless of the model you use it on.
They're supposed to have Analog Channel LE out soon as well which is just AC2 with a few limitations on it. It's going to be much cheaper than the full blown version if that helps at all.
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Post by jeddypoo » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:26 pm

I'm running my mics through my old Alesis 1660 direct out to my I/O to surprising effect these days.
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Post by Reuben » Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:03 pm

"fucky ducky"??
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Bill @ Irie Lab
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Post by Bill @ Irie Lab » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:59 pm

Got an old 4-track cassette around?

Record hot from the 'puter to tracks one and two. Track three empty and a click track on four.

Bring back into DAW and synch. As analog as all get out.

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leftoverking
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Post by leftoverking » Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:29 pm

anybody have any experience using the cubase vst plugin "true tape." i have this plugin, but am unsure how to use it. the documentation on it is sufferin'. do you use it while tracking... while mixing, both???

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Post by Dubious » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:00 am

if you are looking for that over saturated tape sound i really dig the new saturator plugin built in to the latest version of Ableton... variable waveform shapes for the distortion..

i messed around with magneto a bit and i never dug it..

id like to try the vintage warmer but a quick query.. i have the psp masterQ which does sound excellent.. but it messes up the stereo spread of anything you run thru it.. not sure how to describe this other than you here a radical narrowing of the stereo field when you run a signal thru it.. hence rendering the plugin near uselss as a mastering eq... i don't get it???

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MikeCzech
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Post by MikeCzech » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:32 pm

Another vote for magneto!

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Bill @ Irie Lab
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Tape sims (warmers)

Post by Bill @ Irie Lab » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:08 am

Different horses for different courses.

I like DigitalFishPhones for satuation compression. Pretty good general "go to"

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Bill @ Irie Lab
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and...

Post by Bill @ Irie Lab » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:49 am

the only tube/saturation plug I've found that sounds really good on bass (synth, sampled. or real).

http://www.silverspike.com/?Products:RubyTube

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