Tape Saturation Plug-ins

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roseylarose
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Tape Saturation Plug-ins

Post by roseylarose » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:43 pm

Hello - I'm completing an album and thinking about hiring someone to send all the finished mixes to a reel to reel and then mastering from those. Anyone happy with that experience?

After seeing my brother - we're both huge into later-Beatles - battle with his 8 track (it was originally "mint" but has constantly required repairs) I've decided to avoid buying one. Which was difficult to come to peace with. But I'm curious if anyone has had any luck with Tape Saturation plugins (Pro Tools friendly)? I'd be interested in hearing any stories or recommendations.

much appreciated....

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eeldip
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Post by eeldip » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:09 pm

um, tape saturation works decently well. but getting that tapey analogy feel at the very end stage might be the wrong solution.

i feel like you should at least be pretty close with the tone of your record PRE mastering. like how far off are you? any mp3s?

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Tape Saturation Plug-ins

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:10 pm

roseylarose wrote:Hello - I'm completing an album and thinking about hiring someone to send all the finished mixes to a reel to reel and then mastering from those. Anyone happy with that experience?

After seeing my brother - we're both huge into later-Beatles - battle with his 8 track (it was originally "mint" but has constantly required repairs) I've decided to avoid buying one. Which was difficult to come to peace with. But I'm curious if anyone has had any luck with Tape Saturation plugins (Pro Tools friendly)? I'd be interested in hearing any stories or recommendations.

much appreciated....
Hi,

As far as Tape Saturation plug ins, I happen to have the Reel Tape suite from Avid, and it's good, if set up appropriately for your material, and also as to how much "color" you actually want.

I usually like only a very little color, really only to take a bit of the edge off some things, but can't stand anything like heavy use of it, because it is not tape, and only adds distortion. Come to think of it I also do not like "slamming" the real tape either.

It really is a fine line between the right amount of this saturation, and going too far. It is very very easy to add to much, and harder to only add what is needed.

There is another plug in that is the URS Saturation, which I have not bought nor used, but has a lot or respected engineers liking that one.

In the end though, I find more and more simply getting "the sound" during the multitrack recording, and then it follows through to the end of the mix, without having to add any more "color" to the mix.

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by kinger » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:11 pm

You may want to check out Soundtoy's Decapitator. It doesn't do "tape", though I don't think anything does, but it's really vibey and sounds more "real" by a long-shot than anything else I've tried. Be warned though, it's a CPU hog and it's easy to over-do it with this plug.

roseylarose
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Post by roseylarose » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:12 pm

eeldip wrote:um, tape saturation works decently well. but getting that tapey analogy feel at the very end stage might be the wrong solution.

i feel like you should at least be pretty close with the tone of your record PRE mastering. like how far off are you? any mp3s?
I'm still tracking and realistically will probably be for a while. I guess since I won't be tracking to tape I just want to do whatever I can to get that added warmth (I'm happy with my mics/pres) and fullness before I call it good and done.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:29 pm

roseylarose wrote:
eeldip wrote:um, tape saturation works decently well. but getting that tapey analogy feel at the very end stage might be the wrong solution.

i feel like you should at least be pretty close with the tone of your record PRE mastering. like how far off are you? any mp3s?
I'm still tracking and realistically will probably be for a while. I guess since I won't be tracking to tape I just want to do whatever I can to get that added warmth (I'm happy with my mics/pres) and fullness before I call it good and done.
Just remember :

Warmth = distortion.

Distortion = No Undo.

Tape Emulation = fancy named distortion.

So, get the sounds you want, but remember there will be no undo later.

If I were you I would look at a few plug ins, since you already started the album recording process.

This way if you do not like what you're hearing, you can press "bypass"

BTW in the HD version of Pro Tools they are adding HEAT, which is added to all channels, or only the ones you want. I am curious to listen to it.

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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eeldip
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Post by eeldip » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:35 pm

a lot of times, i get happier and happier the more distortion i add, then i get happier and happier the more i go back and hit bypass. A CONUNDRUM.

i was mixing a couple songs a while back for a friend, and i was totally digging ramming the mix thru a convolution reverb with a "studer +3db" impulse on it. it put this haze on everything that i really liked. it also added this slight echo and all this friggin tape hiss.

would you want something like that? cause doing something that damaging is a little better left till the very end.

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:53 pm

Massey Tape Head is decent. It's a free demo, which while you can't save the settings....it's fully usable. It's a pretty fair purchase price too.

Also....I like running the entire mix through some tube mic pre's with line in's, I use a pair of Summit 2ba-221's for this, and saturate them a bit. Also, I've done this with my tascam 424 and got some pretty...um... interesting sounds.

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palinilap
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Post by palinilap » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:06 pm

I've really fallen in love with the URS Saturation plug-in. Very simplistic, and to my ears, the most realistic out there. No latency in PT and very little CPU usage is a big bonus too. I wish it was easier to demo though, as you gotta do the whole temporary ilok license thing.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:43 pm

palinilap wrote:I've really fallen in love with the URS Saturation plug-in. Very simplistic, and to my ears, the most realistic out there. No latency in PT and very little CPU usage is a big bonus too. I wish it was easier to demo though, as you gotta do the whole temporary ilok license thing.
Ok, that's it.

I'm trying this URS Saturation thing asap...

Has anyone owned / tried / still has the PSP Vintagewarmer, and how does it compare to the URS Saturation thingy?

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:02 pm

I personally love Vintage Warmer on the 2-bus.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my Philly-based home studio, the Spacement. https://linktr.ee/ipressrecord

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Post by TheRealRoach » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:46 pm

I also like the VintageWarmer on the 2 bus, but it does not sound like tape. Tape sounds like tape. Fine a studio with a decent 2-track mixdown machine, book a few hours and try it for yourself. You won't be disappointed. I ran some rough 2-track mixes through my machine simply to demonstrate possible change in sound and the comment was "it sounds like we just did hours of work on that mix..."

Also consider that what most people consider as sounding "tape-y" is really what slow speed tape sounds like. 7.5ips or 15ips. 30ips generally sounds so hi-fi that lots of people might be disappointed that it doesn't sound more messed up.

I would consider it to be important that you attend the sessions where your digital 2-tracks are transfered to tape. You will need to decide on how hard to hit the tape, among other things.
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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:06 am

Not to be this way or that, but I've used tape since the early 1990s. I do some work out of a place with a 2" and a 1/4" mixdown machine, as well as a vintage console. Mixes are done through the console and multed to tape back to PTHD as well as PTHD alone. 1/4" tape does not work for every mix that is born digitally. Sometimes it takes the edge off of stuff and simply does not work.

We're talking about plug-ins. I personally love Vintage Warmer 2 on the 2-bus because it is vibey and awesome and really encapsulates a mix. Not because it is tape. With lower compression in VW you can get a seriously awesome mix together with character icing on top and still allow it to breath enough for mastering. And you can also use the plug-in in its Vintage Warmer version to vibe up other elements of your mix without the latency that you get with VW2.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my Philly-based home studio, the Spacement. https://linktr.ee/ipressrecord

roseylarose
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Post by roseylarose » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:55 am

This is all really helpful, thanks. I take it, its best just to use the tape saturation on the finished mix (bus 2 yes?) - not on the individual tracks. Any one try it one way or the other?

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Post by joninc » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:40 am

tape can be cool on individual tracks too - smooth out top end of cymbals - vocals - acoustic etc...
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