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Ampex ATR 102, Anamod ATS-1, UAD, Waves - Processed Files Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 11th March 2012
  #331
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T800 View Post
4 grand for THAT? huh? Ok while the effect is nice on the top end and thickens up the sound by a touch (i think... LOL), Im not sure if this is worth the investment. Ive been listening and there is barely any changes in the clips.
I agree that the differences are subtle. The way people talk, you'd think there was a night and day difference, but there's not. I own an old Nagra III tape recorder that I sometimes use with "voice-grade" red oxide tape -- now that sounds markedly different from digital! But with these, the tape and tape-modelled tracks sound just a bit smoother, they take out some of the slight harshness I hear in the digital tracks (a harshness which I assume came from the mics), but that's about it. The mix on the Ampex does have a certain "je ne sais quoi" that none of the others do, but personally, nothing that I've heard in these files would justify the expense of either going to a high-end tape setup or buying a plugin.

I think a better reason to have a mix on tape is for tape's archival properties rather than for any subtle alterations to the sound. If you want something that really sounds "analogue", then mix to some red oxide tape -- but don't expect high fidelity.
Old 11th March 2012
  #332
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Amels View Post
I can't stand it which is why I only use tape. The sampling rate to have only 45 degrees of phase shift (like a good tape machine) at 20 kHz is about 1.23 MSPS if I've done the quick calculation correctly.
Jim Johnston mentioned in a post that in the process of inventing lossy music encoding they found only some people to be very sensitive to pre-echo. He said that he personally was very sensitive to spatial distortions while many others were oblivious.

My point in bringing this up is that precisely what each of us can hear is really a moving target. Our goal is for music recordings that sound great to the widest variety of people yet none of us can really be in a very objective position to pass judgement beyond what sounds great to us. It's really quite a dilemma. In my years of mastering I've learned to have great respect for what others hear than may not be obvious to me. I think people need to face up to the fact that we are all the deaf leading the deaf before passing judgement on others.
Old 11th March 2012
  #333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
My point in bringing this up is that precisely what each of us can hear is really a moving target. Our goal is for music recordings that sound great to the widest variety of people yet none of us can really be in a very objective position to pass judgement beyond what sounds great to us. It's really quite a dilemma. In my years of mastering I've learned to have great respect for what others hear than may not be obvious to me. I think people need to face up to the fact that we are all the deaf leading the deaf before passing judgement on others.
Well said, and you shed light on why some in this thread report easily hearing the effects of tape sound while others report barely hearing anything. Different ears, brains, expectations, and monitoring, all perceiving the same samples in their own unique ways, and reaching different conclusions.

Perhaps the most important part of being a successful AE lies in how closely one's subjective opinion on what sounds good matches the subjective opinions of the audience and/or the client.
Old 11th March 2012
  #334
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
...Perhaps the most important part of being a successful AE lies in how closely one's subjective opinion on what sounds good matches the subjective opinions of the audience and/or the client.
I think it's important to be willing to learn to hear what my clients are hearing. Once I understand that, I can usually please both of us. Ours is a role of collaboration.
Old 11th March 2012
  #335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I think it's important to be willing to learn to hear what my clients are hearing. Once I understand that, I can usually please both of us. Ours is a role of collaboration.
Absolutely the best attitude. Collaboration, communication, and sometimes a surrendering of ego lead to the happiest outcomes. The more experienced I get, the easier it becomes for me to maintain that mindset. Fortunately, many wise clients choose engineers based on their previous work, so they know going in the aesthetic approach they are likely to get.
Old 14th August 2012
  #336
Lives for gear
 
Filthrill's Avatar
 

Kudos to your (Gear)slut-iness! You are the beastliest on here w/o a doubt.
Old 20th October 2016
  #337
Thanks + impressions

Hi there,

First of all thanks for doing this!

I know it's been a while but I'm considering investing in a tape master machine and these files really helps.

Impressions:
The actual Ampex is what I keep on coming back to. It just helps every element find its own space in cohesion with the others. Glue and definition.

I find the ADA roundtrip to help the ITB mix quite significantly (probably my love for transformers). I could live with that only, although I would miss the natural foundation feel of the Ampex.

The Studer seems to retain a little more high frequencies (or boost them?), the bass is deep but feels a little less solid than the Ampex. The Ampex feels more mid-forward to me and the Studer has a more reserved personality (if that makes any sense).
Would it be possible that the Studer bump frequency is lower than the Ampex?
The Studer feels a little softer than the Ampex, it seems to even out the dynamics where the Ampex adds a little energetic feel to the mix while still sounding relaxed.

The Anamod stuff is pretty impressive, although not providing this relaxed spacious feel as much as the tape machines to me.

The Otari sounds pretty good to my ears, the bass feels a bit lazier than on the other tape machines, though. I'm lacking the energy of the Ampex.

The Waves plug-in seems to be exciting the upper mids and highs - which is useful in this particular example (mix).

I don't really dig the UAD stuff, although the ATR plug-ins seem a bit more useful than the A800s that aren't bringing anything to the table as far as I'm concerned.

***

How different would an A80 RC sound compared to an Ampex ATR 102?


***
Old 27th October 2016
  #338
^^^ I'm glad you got something out of it. The ATR 102 is my favorite too. I've no experience with the A80 RC. Maybe someone else can chime in...
Old 4th July 2017
  #339
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I thought the Ampex ATR-102 was the standout, gold reference. Just has this effortless space about it.

I own the UAD version so I'm a little biased to like it. I think it hangs in there with the non-Ampex machines in the test, and beats the Waves plugin. Not quite to that high standard of the real thing, however. Just a little more boxed in sounding.

Anamod was also fairly impressive.
Old 25th January 2019
  #340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
And special thanks to Brad McGowan for his time and invaluable help! (Pleasure him too)
thank you two for your efforts.

man, the anamod is so close to the tape.
the plugins turn 3D to 2D.

i'm waiting for my anamod yet and
will give it a run after not being impressed
by literally anything that mimics tapes.
Old 31st January 2019
  #341
i received a fully loaded (?) anamod yesterday, and could
test it today.

to be honest, i had just little hope and thought
it won't have much to say after my chain (michelangelo, tt hlt2a and blackbox hg-2).
but today i could hear that it would be a great help to achieve the sound that I sometimes
just imagined.

102/111 was a great choice today with some digital sounding percussion stuff,
and 351/111 and 351/GP9 combos were also fantastic with some other...

a very usable, great sounding tool. addictive.
i think i'm done with searching proper digital and analog tools for my new project.
let's go and make some tunes... :- )
Old 31st January 2019
  #342
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamelesssounds View Post
i received a fully loaded (?) anamod yesterday, and could
test it today.

to be honest, i had just little hope and thought
it won't have much to say after my chain (michelangelo, tt hlt2a and blackbox hg-2).
but today i could hear that it would be a great help to achieve the sound that I sometimes
just imagined.

102/111 was a great choice today with some digital sounding percussion stuff,
and 351/111 and 351/GP9 combos were also fantastic with some other...

a very usable, great sounding tool. addictive.
i think i'm done with searching proper digital and analog tools for my new project.
let's go and make some tunes... :- )
Yeah, yours is fully loaded

You can double check the cards if you like...pop off the lid and there little white labels on the cards showing the '351', '102', etc.
Sometimes you can see it through the vents w/o opening.

Congrats!
Old 31st January 2019
  #343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Yeah, yours is fully loaded

You can double check the cards if you like...pop off the lid and there little white labels on the cards showing the '351', '102', etc.
Sometimes you can see it through the vents w/o opening.

Congrats!

thank you!
Yes i already checked everything, but i am not just sure if it's really fully loaded, because
there is still an empty slot. ;-)

it's with:
102 v1 - 351 v1 - A800 v3 - M79 v3
111 v2 - 456 v3 - GP9 v3

(the 111 is sometimes a killer and sometimes does not fit at all. GP9 is "always" fine and clean, but in some cases boring compared to the 111 which can have a great "finishing" touch).

A Question: is it normal that there is some distortion when the input is relatively hot?
I checked it on several stuff with several combinations. Some percussive stuff become distorted when I have some hot levels (peaking near 0 (not above 0) on the vu meter of ats-1). Maybe it's because of the fast compression in the highs?
Attached Thumbnails
Ampex ATR 102, Anamod ATS-1, UAD, Waves - Processed Files-anamod_cards.jpg  
Old 31st January 2019
  #344
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamelesssounds View Post
thank you!
Yes i already checked everything, but i am not just sure if it's really fully loaded, because
there is still an empty slot. ;-)

it's with:
102 v1 - 351 v1 - A800 v3 - M79 v3
111 v2 - 456 v3 - GP9 v3

(the 111 is sometimes a killer and sometimes does not fit at all. GP9 is "always" fine and clean, but in some cases boring compared to the 111 which can have a great "finishing" touch).

A Question: is it normal that there is some distortion when the input is relatively hot?
I checked it on several stuff with several combinations. Some percussive stuff become distorted when I have some hot levels (peaking near 0 (not above 0) on the vu meter of ats-1). Maybe it's because of the fast compression in the highs?
You have them all. There was another tape card that Dave Amels was working on (I believe) and it never came to production. You are fully loaded my friend, rest assured.
Old 31st January 2019
  #345
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamelesssounds View Post
thank you!
Yes i already checked everything, but i am not just sure if it's really fully loaded, because
there is still an empty slot. ;-)

it's with:
102 v1 - 351 v1 - A800 v3 - M79 v3
111 v2 - 456 v3 - GP9 v3

(the 111 is sometimes a killer and sometimes does not fit at all. GP9 is "always" fine and clean, but in some cases boring compared to the 111 which can have a great "finishing" touch).

A Question: is it normal that there is some distortion when the input is relatively hot?
I checked it on several stuff with several combinations. Some percussive stuff become distorted when I have some hot levels (peaking near 0 (not above 0) on the vu meter of ats-1). Maybe it's because of the fast compression in the highs?
Yes, as Drumhead57 mentioned, Anamod made 3 tape cards so far.

The 111 tape is suppose to saturate easier/earlier---it's an older tape formulation.

As for the input distorting---can't remember it happing with mine. Where is your input knob at when it happens? Or, if this happens on the 111 card, it might be normal (just guessing as I don't have this card).
Old 1st February 2019
  #346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Where is your input knob at when it happens?.
My 2nd day with Anamod:
i think, it was because of my immature misinterpretation of the VU-meter. I changed the Ref. Level and now i hear no noise any more. Or much less distortion. Now the Ref. Level shows the right gain and there is no room for misinterpretations. ;- )


This thing is so addictive. I can't imagine a moment not using it. This and the TT HLT2A (with new Mullard M Tubes) are the only devices that are ON all the time.
Attached Thumbnails
Ampex ATR 102, Anamod ATS-1, UAD, Waves - Processed Files-anamod_2.jpg  
Old 1st February 2019
  #347
Lives for gear
Changing the Ref. Level should have no impact on the actual sound. That is there for the VU meter functioning only. There must be something else going on.

Last edited by Drumhead57; 1st February 2019 at 03:45 PM..
Old 1st February 2019
  #348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumhead57 View Post
Changing the Ref. Level should have no impact on the actual sound. That is there for the VU meter functioning only. There must be something else going on.
Thanks for your note.

The Ref. Level, when set incorrent, depending on the input signal from DA,
can lead you astray, because it can "show" (not make) the level lower/higher that it actually is. Then I may drive the unit too high (input level, not the input knob), and it can become distorted.

As soon as I changed the Ref. Level, I am more cautious about the VU meter and everything's fine (much less distortion. ).
Old 2nd February 2019
  #349
Lives for gear
I have driven my Anamod ATS-1 units very hot and I've never heard that much distortion.

Last edited by Drumhead57; 9th March 2019 at 08:38 PM.. Reason: grammar
Old 2nd February 2019
  #350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumhead57 View Post
I have driven my Anamod ATS-1 units very hot and I've never that much distortion.
oh good to know!
i have to check the device with other percussive sounds, then...
Old 2nd February 2019
  #351
Lives for gear
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about that Ref. level knob, it won't do anything to affect the real input level. It just determines how much the VU meters jump. Simply put.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #352
Michelangelo + ats-1 is also a good combination. specially with the "Air" and "Mid" control on the MA before going to the ATS-1. This way, apart from great tweaking possibilities on the ats-1, you can control the air even more in a great way and yet more sweet-spots can be achieved in a few seconds.
Old 28th March 2019
  #353
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Epic effort - thanks for this Justin.

I'll be comparing the ATS 351 vs the Nebula library this weekend, should prove interesting! Totally fallen for that sound, finding myself tempted by the HW.
Old 28th March 2019
  #354
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Epic effort - thanks for this Justin.

I'll be comparing the ATS 351 vs the Nebula library this weekend, should prove interesting! Totally fallen for that sound, finding myself tempted by the HW.
Cool. Have you compared to Waves Kramer Master Tape? It's another 351 emulation that has some merit IMO.
Old 28th March 2019
  #355
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Cool. Have you compared to Waves Kramer Master Tape? It's another 351 emulation that has some merit IMO.
No, I must admit, I avoided that due to not liking Waves J37. I have a vague memory of some very experienced people here saying it was close to the real thing though. Bob Ohlsson perhaps... can't remember!

It's on sale for $29 atm so I'll demo it, thanks. If it's zero/low latency and CPU efficient it may be nice mixing into, swapping to the Nebula version for final mixdown.
Old 28th March 2019
  #356
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
No, I must admit, I avoided that due to not liking Waves J37. I have a vague memory of some very experienced people here saying it was close to the real thing though. Bob Ohlsson perhaps... can't remember!

It's on sale for $29 atm so I'll demo it, thanks. If it's zero/low latency and CPU efficient it may be nice mixing into, swapping to the Nebula version for final mixdown.
Yes, Bob O said that and he was involved in it's development as I recall. It's in this very thread. If you do a search "in this thread" for KMT you can find his interesting and useful comments/tips.

KMT is one of the very few Waves plugins that I still use.

Tip: Sometimes I use and EQ plugin to compensate for the high mid bump and low frequency head bump of the KMT. That way I can enjoy the harmonic and dynamic signature without altering the frequency response so much. I saved an EQ preset for that purpose.
Old 28th March 2019
  #357
Lives for gear
 
b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Yes, Bob O said that and he was involved in it's development as I recall. It's in this very thread. If you do a search "in this thread" for KMT you can find his interesting and useful comments/tips.

KMT is one of the very few Waves plugins that I still use.

Tip: Sometimes I use and EQ plugin to compensate for the high mid bump and low frequency head bump of the KMT. That way I can enjoy the harmonic and dynamic signature without altering the frequency response so much. I saved an EQ preset for that purpose.
Thanks, I'll give that a pop also.
Old 29th March 2019
  #358
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

A friend of mine supplied the freshly re-capped Ampex 351 and another friend supplied some old 3M tape we used in the '60s. I was surprised by how close it sounded. The thing is that you really need to watch your levels. I also don't think it's the right sound for everything but it brought back a lot of plesant memories.
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