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UAD Ampex ATR-102
Old 23rd September 2011
  #61
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustream View Post
Hey all.... I finally demoed the plugin yesterday, and all i gotta say is "Wow"....It has a really nice sound to "my" mixes.... but the thing that really did it for me was the "crosstalk" feature.... Adjusting that gave alot of cool results... But, one thing though, is there anyway to just bypass the eq section of the plugin and just be able to use all the other elements on it?

Some of my mixes i very comfortable with the overall eq frequency's and stuff, so i would at least like the option of bypass the ATR's eq....

is this possible?
Well, it's a tape recorder emulation, and all tape recorders use EQ to flatten out their frequency response (and for no other reason). Without EQ, tape recorders would be horribly non-linear, so it's an inextricable part of the emulation. It might help if you think of it that way rather than as some form of 'additional EQ effect' that's part of the package. It's not...
Old 23rd September 2011
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
Then why use it?

TH
Because minidisc hadn't been invented yet.
Old 23rd September 2011
  #63
Here for the gear
 

Fellas - does anyone have an opinion regarding which UAD plug-in is best: the Ampex ATR-102 vs the Studer A800? I am hoping to use it on some individual instruments - as well as for mastering my mixes. They are the same price.
Thanks,
Steve
Old 23rd September 2011
  #64
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Spencer View Post
I'm still demo-ing the ATR plugin (3 days left), but tried it yesterday for the first time on a new mix I started from scratch. Using the default settings, except for turning off the noise and crosstalk (456, +6, 1/2") I was again surprised, as I had been in previous, more informal trials of it, that it sounded quite hyped in both top and bottom. The LF could certainly be explained by head-bump emulation, but not the top. So I did what I'd do with any tape machine: I calibrated it with tones. (I should add that I'm a long time analog guy, and used ATR 102s many times back in the day - it was my absolute favorite mixing deck.)

In PT I set up a 'signal generator' plugin to feed the stereo aux that had the ATR plug on it, and was not too surprised to see that it was up about a db at 10K. So first I checked bias (cool that they give you complete alignment controls!) and it was, also unsurprisingly, set too low (if we assume the usual 3 db over @ 10K @15 ips thing). So I fixed that, then checked 1K for level, then 10K again, and it was still a bit up. So I adjusted the HF EQ cal pots to fix it and - voila. No more HF peakiness (or at least only a little). LF-wise, it was flat at 100 Hz, which is where I'd generally cal it, so I left that alone. It was up a bit at 50, which wasn't too surprising. Perhaps a bit of finessing of the frequency choice there will yield even better results. We'll see...

But what I'm, wondering is - well...what were they thinking with the default "calibration"? Was it an oversight? Intentional HF hype for the 'sonic-maximizer' (remember those?) effect? Seems very odd given UAD's presumably savvy development team...

I have yet to try calibrating the other tape formulations/speeds/tape widths, so maybe some are done right...

Otherwise, I do like what it does to the tone: some widening, deepening etc., and the head bump effect is ok as long as you start a mix with the plug active. Adding it later will alter what you've already done with the LF, so that would be a problem...

I do agree though with the others who have commented that the HW ATR's mission in life was transparency (input=output), and that's what made it the legend that it is - not some groovy coloration that it added (see Studer A80 for that, but usually...not so groovy). So while it seems slightly amusing that the plugin decidedly does alter the tone quite noticeably, even after recalibration, it does nonetheless do so in a pretty cool way. A way that I'd call more like an analog console mixbus emulation than a real ATR 102 (at least one in good shape, and properly calibrated).

So...I like the thing, and will probably buy it. But it does have me scratching my head a bit... : )
Hey Mr. Spencer... Would you able to post a pic of the settings that you described above? That would be really awesome....... I'm realizing the more i use it , the more i'm not happy with the "sound" of the eq on the ATR... I'm finding that it's messing to much with my original sound....

EDIT: I know aboslutely nothing about Real Tape machines and how they sound, but this plugin got me very intriged....
Still Playing Around with it though....
Old 23rd September 2011
  #65
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luteplayer View Post
Fellas - does anyone have an opinion regarding which UAD plug-in is best: the Ampex ATR-102 vs the Studer A800? I am hoping to use it on some individual instruments - as well as for mastering my mixes. They are the same price.
Thanks,
Steve
Sonically, I'd take the ATR if I could have just 1 of them, but the Studer has less latency and uses less DSP, so it might be more practical on individual tracks. But the ATR has those tape delays...

Can't you just demo them and decide for yourself?

J~
Old 24th September 2011
  #66
Gear Head
 

Nice chops Andreas - very tasty. Thanks for sharing.....Lee.
Old 26th September 2011
  #67
ORC
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ORC's Avatar
Sounds no where near as good as my old MTR-10 1/2. Sorry.
Old 26th September 2011
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luteplayer View Post
Fellas - does anyone have an opinion regarding which UAD plug-in is best: the Ampex ATR-102 vs the Studer A800? I am hoping to use it on some individual instruments - as well as for mastering my mixes. They are the same price.
Thanks,
Steve
I use the Studer on every important individual track. its less resource intensive than the ATR so you could get 24 running on a quad. BUT Its also more colored with a bigger head bump etc, so its probably less suitable than the ATR for mastering. So if you don't need dozens of instances, I'd say go for the ATR. If you're looking for a fairly neutral sound, stay away from most of those presets and check other threads for posts about flatter calibrations.

In my case, since I have the ST800 all over the tracks, and my existing mixes are fairly loud and saturated, so the enhancement of the ATR has been minimal. Though, if i had been mixing into it from the beginning it might be different. My ATR demo has expired and so far I've managed to keep the credit card in the wallet. no promises though...
Old 28th September 2011
  #69
Gear Head
 

Actually if u click in the bottom left of the plug, on the folder icon there's another large list of more presets that are less gimmicky. The "stephen smith - ultralinear" presets are super great & clear. I am loving this plug. The moment I put it on (just threw on the "demo help" setting), i immediately felt a 3d shift (especially my tracks being sent to the Cooper Time Cube). I could open back up some of the HF without it sounding harsh (esp on gtrs, vox, & OH). Also, completely agree w/that comment on being able to push harder for "loudness" w/o it sounding harsh & digital too. Was able to take off every single plug on my 2buss & just let the Ampex & a little Precision Eq do the work. Im nowhere near affording a real ampex so I have no idea how it compares but it's definitely wonderful on my mixes so far. Demo's running out tho.... More credit card debt coming right up.

Last edited by Doc Roc; 28th September 2011 at 12:42 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 28th September 2011
  #70
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Verified Member
I think it's pretty awesome.

Dave
Old 28th September 2011
  #71
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grooveminister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Spencer View Post
In PT I set up a 'signal generator' plugin to feed the stereo aux that had the ATR plug on it, and was not too surprised to see that it was up about a db at 10K. So first I checked bias (cool that they give you complete alignment controls!) and it was, also unsurprisingly, set too low (if we assume the usual 3 db over @ 10K @15 ips thing). So I fixed that, then checked 1K for level, then 10K again, and it was still a bit up. So I adjusted the HF EQ cal pots to fix it and - voila. No more HF peakiness (or at least only a little). LF-wise, it was flat at 100 Hz, which is where I'd generally cal it, so I left that alone. It was up a bit at 50, which wasn't too surprising. Perhaps a bit of finessing of the frequency choice there will yield even better results. We'll see...

I have yet to try calibrating the other tape formulations/speeds/tape widths, so maybe some are done right...
Can´t wait for this, so: How many formulations/speeds/widths have you done yet?
I´d even edit a second version of the ATR-102 drumdemo to show off the "TED TheraLinear Presets"
Quote:
So while it seems slightly amusing that the plugin decidedly does alter the tone quite noticeably, even after recalibration, it does nonetheless do so in a pretty cool way. A way that I'd call more like an analog console mixbus emulation than a real ATR 102 (at least one in good shape, and properly calibrated).
Buy the UAD Ampex, get the UAD mixbus for free ;-)
Old 29th September 2011
  #72
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Kwinn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasrangel View Post
Has someone compared UAD ATR 102 with Anamod ATR 102 card?
I only have the Anamod Studer emulation card. Comparing the Anamod Studer emulation with the UAD Ampex emulation the UAD sounded better for me.
I am in doubt now if i get the Anamod ATR card or the UAD ATR emulation.
Thanks any help.
...perhaps you could use the files from the following thread for a short comparison (post #15 for info / post #23 for wavs):

Anamod atr 102 card = love !

I hope your UAD ATR-102 demo hasn't expired, yet

Have you compared the Anamod Studer with the UAD Studer!?
Old 29th September 2011
  #73
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wado1942's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwinn View Post
Have you compared the Anamod Studer with the UAD Studer!?
That would be a great test.
Old 29th September 2011
  #74
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steveschizoid's Avatar
 

Verified Member
The UAD Studer has an exaggerated head bump relative to the Anamod.

Could that be related to the same thinking that led them to make the default settings on all their compressors result in a louder signal?
Old 30th September 2011
  #75
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ARIEL's Avatar
I would recommend doing a remix to get rid of the pumping . Even though we can hear the tone/eq of the plug in . I prefer the sound without (because of the pumping ) Mix it without the finalizer . Otherwise thanks for posting , maybe turn the drums up a bit in the mix and great presentation .
Old 2nd October 2011
  #76
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grooveminister's Avatar
Stephen Smith´s ultraLINEAR presets now include the 250 and 900...

Universal Audio has released new ultralinear presets in their blog:
Stephen Smith's Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Presets - Blog - Universal Audio

Now all tape kinds are included (250, 456, 468, 900, ATR...) and not only the 456 and the ATR.
All tapes have been properly calibrated with all the available headstocks.
So theres 1/2", 1" and 1/4" if the tape/speed allows.

These presets are extremely useful for mastering, I only had to match the output gain and resave - because again some settings were up to 2dB hotter than the mix I´ve input.
Old 2nd October 2011
  #77
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Movinginstereo's Avatar
 

Okay what is CROSSTALK? I have owned the real thing for many years and never heard this...
Old 4th October 2011
  #79
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wado1942's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Movinginstereo View Post
Okay what is CROSSTALK? I have owned the real thing for many years and never heard this...
All systems have crosstalk, or channels bleeding into one another. I never imagined channel separation of less than even 40dB to be noticeable, so why try to recreate crosstalk on the order of -60dB?. Though it's funny how digital systems can theoretically have zero crosstalk, yet many feel the stereo image is wider on analogue equipment that DO have crosstalk.
Old 4th October 2011
  #80
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
All systems have crosstalk, or channels bleeding into one another. I never imagined channel separation of less than even 40dB to be noticeable, so why try to recreate crosstalk on the order of -60dB?. Though it's funny how digital systems can theoretically have zero crosstalk, yet many feel the stereo image is wider on analogue equipment that DO have crosstalk.
It IS interesting. With the UAD plug I can switch off and on the crosstalk, something I never could do with the hardware, and I prefer it ON, precisely for the stereo imaging. Could it be that the bleed is polarity inverted, giving a similar effect to a sum/minus widener?
Old 11th October 2011
  #81
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svs95's Avatar
 

Are you listening with headphones? It's well known that crosstalk added to headphone feeds makes the imaging more like speakers (signal from both speakers goes to both ears, right?), so that would be one scenario where you would get a better impression with crosstalk than without.

In fact, crosstalk (since it's produced by signals from adjacent tracks, quite out of the normal head alignment zone) has "messed up" phase characteristics, and when added to the original signal (even in a cross-channel feed) it creates complex phase mojo that can easily be euphonic in nature - meaning it may measure like crap (or be hard to measure) but sounds like gold. ;-)

The UAD ATR-102 crosstalk signal definitely has a frequency dependent complex phase relationship to the primary signal, rather than just polarity inverted.

I actually tested this (and so can you). I created a full range track with an ATR-102 on an insert (crosstalk off), cloned the track (including the plug-in), inverted the polarity of the cloned track and turned the ATR's crosstalk on and cranked it wide open. This gave me exclusively crosstalk information.

Next, on the mix bus I swapped the channels (because crosstalk is information bleeding from the opposite channel). I did an export/mixdown of this channel-corrected crosstalk signal, and created a new project where I combined it with the original signal (including the plug-in with crosstalk turned off). My objective was to see if the plug-in's crosstalk was simply polarity inverted before it was fed into the opposite channel. As I pulled the original track's volume down into the level range of the crosstalk signal, I found there was no point at which the signal nulled completely. Instead, as I swept it through a range of levels, the tonal balance swept up and down - meaning that different frequencies were canceling at different levels (kind of like what you hear with the Little Labs IBP).

So, it's a complex, frequency-dependent phase relationship. That means it can do all kinds of stuff to the signal, depending on the source's phase complexity, and it means experimentation with crosstalk level could be very worthwhile! I'm very glad the subject came up, and glad I looked more closely at this feature!

svs95
Old 11th October 2011
  #82
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by svs95 View Post
Are you listening with headphones? It's well known that crosstalk added to headphone feeds makes the imaging more like speakers (signal from both speakers goes to both ears, right?), so that would be one scenario where you would get a better impression with crosstalk than without.

In fact, crosstalk (since it's produced by signals from adjacent tracks, quite out of the normal head alignment zone) has "messed up" phase characteristics, and when added to the original signal (even in a cross-channel feed) it creates complex phase mojo that can easily be euphonic in nature - meaning it may measure like crap (or be hard to measure) but sounds like gold. ;-)

The UAD ATR-102 crosstalk signal definitely has a frequency dependent complex phase relationship to the primary signal, rather than just polarity inverted.

I actually tested this (and so can you). I created a full range track with an ATR-102 on an insert (crosstalk off), cloned the track (including the plug-in), inverted the polarity of the cloned track and turned the ATR's crosstalk on and cranked it wide open. This gave me exclusively crosstalk information.

Next, on the mix bus I swapped the channels (because crosstalk is information bleeding from the opposite channel). I did an export/mixdown of this channel-corrected crosstalk signal, and created a new project where I combined it with the original signal (including the plug-in with crosstalk turned off). My objective was to see if the plug-in's crosstalk was simply polarity inverted before it was fed into the opposite channel. As I pulled the original track's volume down into the level range of the crosstalk signal, I found there was no point at which the signal nulled completely. Instead, as I swept it through a range of levels, the tonal balance swept up and down - meaning that different frequencies were canceling at different levels (kind of like what you hear with the Little Labs IBP).

So, it's a complex, frequency-dependent phase relationship. That means it can do all kinds of stuff to the signal, depending on the source's phase complexity, and it means experimentation with crosstalk level could be very worthwhile! I'm very glad the subject came up, and glad I looked more closely at this feature!

svs95
I was listening on speakers. The effect might be even more audible on headphones. I haven't done extensive listening tests with crosstalk on and off but I'm thinking it's a part of the signature sound of the machine, and it explains why users report an increase in depth/width when using the machine or plug-in.

That is very interesting what you did. And it makes sense that the crosstalk would be an unruly jumble considering the physics of what's happening at the tape heads. It's no doubt a tribute to the Ampex design team that the crosstalk sounds good instead of bad (at least it does to me).

I'm thinking of recording to the right channel only and monitoring the left channel only to hear what bleeds over. I could try it with the HW vs SW...

You're right - experimentation with deliberately controlled, shaped crosstalk could yield some interesting effects. Or it could lead to disaster!

Thanks for testing that!

J~
Old 11th October 2011
  #83
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Tube World's Avatar
I use the UAD Studer plug in with the GP9 at 30 ips for mastering. It does exactly what I what it to do. I tried the Ampex, and I agree it's nice, but it's not needed. I do like it better than the Waves version though, but the Waves is cheaper.
Old 14th October 2011
  #84
Quote:
Originally Posted by grooveminister View Post
Universal Audio has released new ultralinear presets in their blog:
Stephen Smith's Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Presets - Blog - Universal Audio

Now all tape kinds are included (250, 456, 468, 900, ATR...) and not only the 456 and the ATR.
All tapes have been properly calibrated with all the available headstocks.
So theres 1/2", 1" and 1/4" if the tape/speed allows.

These presets are extremely useful for mastering, I only had to match the output gain and resave - because again some settings were up to 2dB hotter than the mix I´ve input.
Truly these are indeed outstanding presets.
It's well worth looking at the response plots he provides too.
The 250 1/2" 30IPS is almost ruler flat to 50Hz whilst the 15IPS variant is ruler flat to 40Hz and by 20Hz has still only dropped off by 5dB so not too bad at all!!
Old 22nd November 2011
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_free69 View Post
I use the Studer on every important individual track. its less resource intensive than the ATR so you could get 24 running on a quad. BUT Its also more colored with a bigger head bump etc, so its probably less suitable than the ATR for mastering. So if you don't need dozens of instances, I'd say go for the ATR. If you're looking for a fairly neutral sound, stay away from most of those presets and check other threads for posts about flatter calibrations.

In my case, since I have the ST800 all over the tracks, and my existing mixes are fairly loud and saturated, so the enhancement of the ATR has been minimal. Though, if i had been mixing into it from the beginning it might be different. My ATR demo has expired and so far I've managed to keep the credit card in the wallet. no promises though...
Hi Justin and Jeff - That's the kind of insight I was looking for; thanks for replies.
- Steve
Old 22nd November 2011
  #86
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luteplayer View Post
Hi Justin and Jeff - That's the kind of insight I was looking for; thanks for replies.
- Steve
Cool ! Since then my demo expired, but I have now purchased the ATR-2 and am using it right now in a project on the 2 bus. For this one I have the luxury of doing it from scratch, more or less, and the supplemental flat calibration patches. Everyone instantly prefered the clarity and presence it brings.
Old 17th January 2012
  #87
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Just wondering...Does anyone know who Stephen Smith is? Yes, the "mastering engineer" that supplied the ultra-linear presets for the ATR 102. The presets are pretty cool, so I just wanted to learn more about this mastering engineer but I can't find anything about him.
Old 17th January 2012
  #88
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electricsound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Diaz View Post
Just wondering...Does anyone know who Stephen Smith is? Yes, the "mastering engineer" that supplied the ultra-linear presets for the ATR 102. The presets are pretty cool, so I just wanted to learn more about this mastering engineer but I can't find anything about him.
he has a site here Welcome to Soundsmiths
Old 17th January 2012
  #89
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Wow! Small world...Thanks for your reply:-) amazingly enough Soundsmiths is located right here, about 30 minutes from where I live and I had no idea!!! Maybe I'll get to meet Stephen Smith in person and find out more about his presets! Thanks!!!
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