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Tape Compression DAW Software
Old 23rd August 2007
  #1
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Tape Compression

Hi all,

Is there any highend software plugin for adding that "authentic" tape compression?
Thanks!
Rob
Old 23rd August 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casar View Post
Hi all,

Is there any highend software plugin for adding that "authentic" tape compression?
Thanks!
Rob
There are quite a few plugins that do tape emulation. How well they work to your satisfaction is another matter.

For digital emulation (albeit hardware) I have to put my vote on the HEDD.
Old 24th August 2007
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casar View Post
Hi all,

Is there any highend software plugin for adding that "authentic" tape compression?
Thanks!
Rob
As far as to my ear and to the plugins that I've heard - so far the answer is no.

The vast majority of great sounding digital mixes that I've heard have used no emulators at all and instead captured good sounding sources and applied the absolute minimal processing to them. i.e. less digital processing = closer to "analog" sound.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 24th August 2007
  #4
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Originally Posted by acorneau View Post
For digital emulation (albeit hardware) I have to put my vote on the HEDD.
I'll second that. It's the glue without the hiss.
Old 24th August 2007
  #5
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There is no authentic tape emulation. The HEDD is something else, the Portico is something else. Why not record through a 2 track deck?
Old 24th August 2007
  #6
The Hedd is great but a 1/2-inch with a Dolby SR/A has different Sound.
Old 24th August 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
There is no authentic tape emulation. The HEDD is something else
In my case the hedd is better. not to say my MCI is lacking in any way other than it is tranformerless. I suppose if I had one of my ampex 440's back i would say different.

Ed
Old 24th August 2007
  #8
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The plug is more like an IEC cord, but this looks like the one to beat.

Anamod Audio


DC
Old 24th August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casar View Post
Hi all,

Is there any highend software plugin for adding that "authentic" tape compression?
Thanks!
Rob
Yes, there are at least 3 very good ones (at least if you run Pro Tools):

-Duy Tape which emulates various categories of tape machines (from old studer to Ampex) with the option of choosing the speed of the machine, tape hiss or 2 kinds of tape noise reduction. You can also adjust the amount of tape saturation with the input.
DUYstore.com

-Cranesong Phoenix which is a suite of 5 plug-ins with different kind of tape saturation, from "dark" to "flattering". It doesn'tg use much DSP and can be used on all tracks to emulate a multitrack machine.
Digidesign | Products | Pro Tools Plug-ins | Phoenix

-Digidesign Reel Tape Saturation:
it does what it says on the tin.
Digidesign | Products | Pro Tools Plug-ins | Pro Tools|HD Plug-ins | Reel Tape Saturation
Old 24th August 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
The plug is more like an IEC cord, but this looks like the one to beat.
Have you used that one Dave? It does look like the closest yet.


Ed we have an ATR 102 and MM1200 in the next room, so I could never say the HEDD is "better" for tracking or mixing. It's not the same thing at all.

For mastering it's great and I always have it on a touch, but I really wish people would skip the HEDD at tracking and mixing. Those artifacts get messy and blurred further down the line. Best to use it as an AD only IMO.
Old 24th August 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Ed we have an ATR 102 and MM1200 in the next room, so I could never say the HEDD is "better" for tracking or mixing. It's notthe same thing at all.

For mastering it's great and I always have it on, but I really wish people would skip the HEDD at tracking and mixing. Those artifacts get messy and blurred further down the line. Best to use it as an AD only IMO.
100% agreed. I was refering to layback mastering. Tracking on an mm1200 is the thing to beat!
Ed
Old 24th August 2007
  #12
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Originally Posted by ed littman View Post
100% agreed. I was refering to layback mastering.
For sure.
Old 24th August 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yes, there are at least 3 very good ones (at least if you run Pro Tools):

-Duy Tape which emulates various categories of tape machines (from old studer to Ampex) ...
Also Massey's Tape-Head:
High-end plug-ins for Pro Tools

The plugs have a different sound but can sometimes work better than layback. Partly because you have better control over the amount of the effect, "tape formulation", and lower noise.
Old 24th August 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
The plug is more like an IEC cord, but this looks like the one to beat.

Anamod Audio


DC
One of the designers of this is Greg from Pendulum Audio - so knowing his work I'd agree that this box would be worth demoing.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 24th August 2007
  #15
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Don't forget McDSP Analog Channel (which actually is two plug-ins).
McDSP - McDowell Signal Processing, LLC - Professional Audio Software
Old 26th August 2007
  #16
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FWIW even mixing digital to tape doesn't sound nearly as good as tracking to tape. Often it doesn't sound as good as mixing to digital.

I'm not sure the improvement is distortion or compression at all but rather the relative lack of distortion in pro analog machine line stages.
Old 26th August 2007
  #17
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Quite remarkable timing that this should be discussed... last week I set up a test sample & ran it through various tape emulations & 2 real tape machines with different speeds & tape formulas. From this I compiled a ABX test & set up a thread on Brad Blackwood's forum. You can check it out here Download the samples & judge for yourself which one you prefer the sound of. In the test samples I included an ATR-102 half inch machine with ARIA electronics with GP9, a Studer A807 1/4" machine with GP9 & RMGI 911, Cranesong HEDD, McDSP Analog Channel 2.

Take the tape challenge test for yourself...

Matt
Old 26th August 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
FWIW even mixing digital to tape doesn't sound nearly as good as tracking to tape. Often it doesn't sound as good as mixing to digital.

I'm not sure the improvement is distortion or compression at all but rather the relative lack of distortion in pro analog machine line stages.
hmmm.. I beg to differ, I agree that tracking to tape is a different thing altogether however, if the tape deck is well maintained & aligned correctly then you can still get great benefits from laying back a digital 2 track mix to analog tape. I own the HEDD & some other emulations & none of them have the depth & punch in the low end as running it through a real half inch ATR @ 30ips. Again download the samples I did last week & have a listen for yourself. Some of the emulations are nice but they just aren't as glued or punchy as real tape imo.

Matt
Old 26th August 2007
  #19
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i wouldn't recommend DUY Tape, i may just sell it as it adds an unpleasant distortion to some tracks. i had it on the master buss and adjusted the input level quite low but still got a bad distortion on the signal. even iron oxide doesn't do it for me though sometimes it can be nice on some drums. i don't trust either of these plugs on the master buss. never tried TDM plugs though or windows ones.

if you want a good plugin native to add warmth and a variety of flavours, then my favourite is DUY Valve in the everpack. this is a great plugin and sounds better than DUY Tape imo though the fx is slightly different. honestly, you'd be surprised what this plug can do and it doesn't add unpleasant distortion though you can push it harder if you want.

the URS Channel Strip Pro plug has a very nice input stage that adds a great quality and has tape emulation built in. i haven't had a chance to try out the comp and eq properly yet though
Old 26th August 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Have you used that one Dave? It does look like the closest yet.
Hi Brian,

I have, Dave Amels brought it to the great Helios listening party that Paul Orifino & I hosted at Millbrook Sound Studios. We only A/B'd it for a short period of time at the end of the day but it blew everybody in the room away. We didn't even try to set it up as we didn't have a lot of time (we had 10 different vintage Helios modules to back engineer, set up and evaluate) but Dave had brought the Anamod box (along with another very special box, a mastering EQ he's working on, this I must have) so we quickly set it to Studer/456 (and didn't mess with the bias or azimuth controls). Well the short of it was without even trying when compared to tape it was 80 to 85% there. With minor tweaking or even changing the machine or tape setting I'm convinced it could have been 99% there.

The guys in the room at the time were floored by it and we did have some guys with EARS in there then Eddie Kramer, Anthony DeMaria, David Kean, Joe Demao, Ken McKim, Frank Moscowitz, Paul Antonell and about a half dozen guys who I can't think of right now. Unfortunately some had started the libation portion of the evening already.

I've been bugging Dave to get both the Anamod and that mastering EQ in for evaluation (or at least beats testing on the EQ!) but I think you are going to be seeing him and Greg showing the Anamod off at AES in October.

This is a box that definitely warrants more investigation.
Old 30th August 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
There is no authentic tape emulation. The HEDD is something else, the Portico is something else. Why not record through a 2 track deck?
Well HEDD is the same as Pheonix from cranesong is it not? Digital emulation - and a good one at that. Portico is good, but not good for everything .....

I'd go with the concensus - some good stuff there, but the real deal is better. Whether its worth the hassle is a cost effectivity and project to project thing for me.
Old 30th August 2007
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Well HEDD is the same as Pheonix from cranesong is it not? Digital emulation - and a good one at that. Portico is good, but not good for everything .....

I'd go with the concensus - some good stuff there, but the real deal is better. Whether its worth the hassle is a cost effectivity and project to project thing for me.
The HEDD and Phoenix are not (exactly) the same. Same concept, yes.

The bottom line is that each 'tape emulation' is unique, and so is tape. It's a misnomer to call these things tape emulation as no one has really nailed it. (Have not heard the Anamod). Each of these may be helpful, but tape is tape.
Old 30th August 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
With minor tweaking or even changing the machine or tape setting I'm convinced it could have been 99% there.
Sounds like bad logic to me. Either you got to 99% or you didn't. If you didn't get to 99% than how do you know you'll get there? You won't know until you get there. In other words you shouldn't be convinced you'll get there until you do. 80 - 85% doesn't cut it, not for that kind of money!

MC Blind
Old 30th August 2007
  #24
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Originally Posted by MC Blind View Post
Sounds like bad logic to me. Either you got to 99% or you didn't. If you didn't get to 99% than how do you know you'll get there? You won't know until you get there. In other words you shouldn't be convinced you'll get there until you do. 80 - 85% doesn't cut it, not for that kind of money!

MC Blind
Easy there cowboy. If you know what you're doing, and they did, and you have not dialed it in, which they didn't, then it's easy to see how 90-95% is a sure thing from that report.

99% is maybe tough, as to me it would require masking the digital artifacts and analog path, IN ADDITION to doing the things tape does, which have not yet been done all that well. Digital distortion is tiny by percentage, but it's tone has a quality that transcends the quantity, and then you have the analog circuitry of the AD DA to work around. Maybe the Anamod is great? I hope so.
Old 30th August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Easy there cowboy. If you know what you're doing, and they did, and you have not dialed it in, which they didn't, then it's easy to see how 90-95% is a sure thing from that report.

99% is maybe tough, as to me it would require masking the digital artifacts and analog path, IN ADDITION to doing the things tape does, which have not yet been done all that well. Digital distortion is tiny by percentage, but it's tone has a quality that transcends the quantity, and then you have the analog circuitry of the AD DA to work around. Maybe the Anamod is great? I hope so.
Your contradicting yourself son! On one side you say it's easy say they'll be there. Then you talk about how everyone else has failed to make a convincing emulation as of yet. Which is it? Engineers are some of the most tweeked out snobs I ever tried to reason with man! Keep it real, that's what it's all about, don't buy the hype...

MC Blind
Old 30th August 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Easy there cowboy. If you know what you're doing, and they did, and you have not dialed it in, which they didn't, then it's easy to see how 90-95% is a sure thing from that report.

99% is maybe tough, as to me it would require masking the digital artifacts and analog path, IN ADDITION to doing the things tape does, which have not yet been done all that well. Digital distortion is tiny by percentage, but it's tone has a quality that transcends the quantity, and then you have the analog circuitry of the AD DA to work around. Maybe the Anamod is great? I hope so.
Your contradicting yourself son! On one side you say it's easy, you say it is a sure thing. Then you talk about how everyone else has failed to make a convincing emulation as of yet. Which is it? Engineers are some of the most tweeked out snobs I ever tried to reason with man! Keep it real, that's what it's all about, don't buy the hype until you've used it yourself...

MC Blind
Old 30th August 2007
  #27
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Originally Posted by MC Blind View Post
Your contradicting yourself son! On one side you say it's easy, you say it is a sure thing. Then you talk about how everyone else has failed to make a convincing emulation as of yet. Which is it? Engineers are some of the most tweeked out snobs I ever tried to reason with man! Keep it real, that's what it's all about, don't buy the hype until you've used it yourself...

MC Blind
Oh, I agree that hype is wrong, and listening is essential. The point was given the people posting here and elsewhere on this, it's very likely going to be very good.
Old 30th August 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Oh, I agree that hype is wrong, and listening is essential. The point was given the people posting here and elsewhere on this, it's very likely going to be very good.
I hope your right.

Although I really think that it should sound about the same as the plug in. If you like the Reel Tape you'll like Ana Mod and vice versa. Slight price difference though...

Here we go again, plug vs. hardware all over again.

MC Blind
Old 31st August 2007
  #29
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Originally Posted by MC Blind View Post
I hope your right.

Although I really think that it should sound about the same as the plug in. If you like the Reel Tape you'll like Ana Mod and vice versa. Slight price difference though...

Here we go again, plug vs. hardware all over again.

MC Blind
Software has never beaten the great hardware, eq or comp, and I'm not hopeful of a digital solution to a tape sound either. Elements of what everyone has done, added up in one box, might get you very close.
Old 31st August 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Software has never beaten the great hardware, eq or comp.
If that was true then you wouldn't be using Waves L2. What hardware does what it does? Just some food for thought...

MC Blind
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