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Next step tape Simulator plug
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Next step tape Simulator plug

Hi. I would like to hear you guys favorite tape plugin.
I play guitar and love Class rock music.
Yesterday I started to use izotope vinyl which I really love especially year selector switch. I set 1980 and 2000 usually.
And I tried totape5 also. I really like that too.
I surprized about tape plugin. and I become started to use another one.
but there are so many. Could you teach me your favorite and reason please?

My DAW tracks are not so much so I'm okay with it need CPU power pretty much.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
I would recommend you to check out the IK tape machine collection. You get 4 machines in the package and they sound very realistic, big and smooth. I especially like the Studer A80 and Revox PR99 emulations. They have a high end shine hard to find elsewhere and also improve the sound in a pleasant way with improved dynamics and width. They definitely have a vintage vibe too.

Another one I like is Softube Tape. It emulates 3 different machines and sounds very nice with many sound shaping options as well. They are easier on the CPU than the IK models. Tape B is my favourite on it, it's smooth and adds very nice saturation. Although if I had to choose, it would be the IK collection as it's more versatile and for me also more realistic and has more mojo.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
Luca S.'s Avatar
Love the Softube Tape. Adding it on the mixbus on B gives it such a nice depth/low end without it making it boomy. Sometimes I use it on individual tracks.

I mostly use J37 cause of the tape delay slap. I also really like it's saturation when you drive the input. Breaks up nicely
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Dear peter.m.junior

Thank you. your explaination makes me really interested IK Tape Machine Collection.
Even I mix only classic rock music versatile is very important. I will try them out.
And Softube Tape! I can wait to use Type B. Thank you so much for great answer.


Dear Luca S.

Thank you for answer. Softube Tape. I see you use individual track that means
kind to CPU.
I've been insterested J37 but never used. I will try both. Thank you very much.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Where are some mixes showing what these 'tape' plugins can do? They look the part, but can they sound it?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
I really like the Waves J37 on the mix buss and I think its fun to mix into the J37.

The different tape formulas seem to not just be different EQ curves but actually provide a tape compression effect that follows specs inherent to each formula. this feature also changes the image of your mix.

The Modeled Tracks feature noticeably changes the stereo image, and I find the Bias feature extremely useful as well.

The Saturation feature is useful on individual tracks if you'd like and the Delay feature is impressively useful on individual tracks/instruments.

Driving the Input level is pretty convincing when used in low dosages if you want to add a little transformer hair on something.

No need to listen to samples at all because you can demo the J37 for free. Slap it on the mix buss on projects you've already tracked to hear for yourself.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Head
hornet tape is on sale for under $10: https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-tape/

it's a no brainer at that price and i honestly haven't bothered with the latest and greatest emulations because it sounds phenomenal, is very versatile (four machines with two tape speeds each and three bias settings), and is dead simple to use.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

For rock music I like using the Voxengo Tape Buss plugin. They have a newer version out now called the CRTIV Tape Bus which I haven't tried yet. The older version has some excellent control over the sound. You can select 9 different tape types from low grade to master tape. You have a record level, saturation level, Treble Bass EQ, and output level.

Then you have another section that varies the frequency response much like you'd get using different kinds of tape where one has better hotter sounding mids or increased headroom in the high low ends. Voxengo doesn't give you allot of detail on what their controls actually do. Best I can determine the last three controls boost of cut whatever frequency response you dial in. You're able to get certain frequencies to saturate the same way as you can using tape which is cool as all get out.

That was the biggest thing I missed moving from tape to digital. I was so used to pushing tracks to saturate tape at specific frequencies which varied their perceived loudness. It also shifted the frequency response a bit depending on gain levels. Higher levers were typically brighter, lower levels were darker sounding. Digital doesn't change like analog does. If you recorded clean it stays clean at all volume levels and keeps the dame frequency responses. I had to reeducate myself and get used to not having the analog preamps, and tape to color and saturate the sound. That Voxengo Plugin does the trick however, at least the older version did.

I especially like using it on guitar tracks to get rid of the homogenization when recording direct and add some needed edginess to the sound. It helps add some dynamic drive you'd normally capture using a mic on a speaker. On a full recording Its a matter of taste. I don't normally need a tape plugin on my masters. The normal mastering plugins I use add enough analog edge where I don't need to fake tape but I can if I wanted which is the point of having it.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

If you're looking for a versatile lofi to hifi tape plugin for a reasonable price, then check out ToneBoosters ReelBus 4.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Addict
I've got all the UAD tape sims but find myself using Softube Tape most of the time (bought dirt cheap in a sale), so easy to dial in and I actually prefer the sound.

PS if your DAW supports 32 bit plugins give FerricTDS a try - the 32bit plugin I miss most, I love it and it's free!
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/fer...riety-of-sound

Last edited by Scragend; 1 week ago at 10:58 PM.. Reason: more info.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 

If you use Studio One, then definitely Softube for the mixbus feature.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Dear TurboJets
Another J37 Vote.
I never used tape plug for individual track. I see that sounds fun!
I was affraid that two more tape affect bad, like too much old feel souding.
Your explain is very helpful Thank you so much.

Dear shaytron
versatile and simple is very good to me.
$10 Wow ! I like that. so I will buy it
Thank you very much.

Dear wrgkmc
Wow I'm in love your explain about CRTIV Tape Bus.
Thank you very much for your all answer that is a lot to me.
Guitar track things and you don't normally need a tape plugin
on your masters.
To use tape plug is very deep.

Dear Lotuz2019
I searched Toneboosters ReelBus 4. Seems like many people love it.
I will try it out. Thank you very much.

Dear Scragend
FerricTDS! I was using it long long time ago. I wonder why I stop to use it.
I've been forgot about it. I will check the plug sound again.
I've been interested softtube Tape. yes I will try it out.
Thank you very much.

Dear RyanM
I use cubase. I see... Studio One sounds good.
Thank you!
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Does anyone here have a mix that was digitally tracked and mixed and that used one of these tape plugins to sound like it was tracked and mixed to tape?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisinhell View Post
Does anyone here have a mix that was digitally tracked and mixed and that used one of these tape plugins to sound like it was tracked and mixed to tape?
You don't need to hear someone else's mix. Download the demos and apply them to your own tracks and your own mixes. That's a sure way to know if any of them will work for you.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

In the past, I have tested all the non-UAD and Softube tape emulators, and the two that were the clear winners IMO were J37 and VTM. In your case, I'd recommend VTM. I recently mixed a track with nothing but Waves SSL, VTM, and a reverb, and it sounded pretty dang good.

However, I recently got the IK Tape plugins and they are a quantum leap past anything I have tried, though they are very CPU intensive. I can only run a few instances of IK Tape, but I can run as many VTMs as I want.

So if you have a fast computer, buy IK Tape. If you have an older computer, get VTM.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
In the past, I have tested all the non-UAD and Softube tape emulators, and the two that were the clear winners IMO were J37 and VTM. In your case, I'd recommend VTM. I recently mixed a track with nothing but Waves SSL, VTM, and a reverb, and it sounded pretty dang good.

However, I recently got the IK Tape plugins and they are a quantum leap past anything I have tried, though they are very CPU intensive. I can only run a few instances of IK Tape, but I can run as many VTMs as I want.

So if you have a fast computer, buy IK Tape. If you have an older computer, get VTM.
What do you feel IK Tape has sonically over the J37, I'm very interested to know.

Interesting that IK features a 456 formula, my personal fave from my tape days.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Nut
 

I am a Satin man. It's sort a generic "tape simulator" more than a specific emulation of a system in that you can, with some effort, get a lot of tape sounds out of it by adjusting the various electronic and mechanical properties of the system. Additionally, it has a very high internal bandwidth (so none of the saturation results in any nyquist reflections) and it comes with a bunch of different noise reduction circuits and tape head EQs
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by travisinhell View Post
Does anyone here have a mix that was digitally tracked and mixed and that used one of these tape plugins to sound like it was tracked and mixed to tape?
You don't need to hear someone else's mix. Download the demos and apply them to your own tracks and your own mixes. That's a sure way to know if any of them will work for you.
In that case, there would be no point in any plugin developer producing audio demos for any plugin. Without audio demos how do we know that a developer has even actually mixed anything with the plugin to find out if it does what it is supposed to? We really don't.

I have tried a few of them, by the way.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
What do you feel IK Tape has sonically over the J37, I'm very interested to know.

Interesting that IK features a 456 formula, my personal fave from my tape days.
To me the difference is the way IK squishes things a bit when you drive it into clipping. It seems to combine both clipping and a hair of compression and just smears the instruments together in a very good way. I didn't work with tape extensively in my "career", but maybe 5 years ago I bought a prosumer reel to reel and experimented with it quite a bit. The IK emulations are much closer to the sound of that machine than anything else out there.

In 20 years of working with DAWs, IK Tape is easily the most non-digital sounding plugin I have found.

BTW, I was very hesitant to try it. Based on the hype, I bought Satin and Reelbus and Kramer (which does have its uses - can be killer on drums) and FerricTDS (free) and probly others I can't remember. For one reason or another none of them did it for me. J37 and VTM were the best I found, but still lacked the glue I thought they should impart to the music. When IK released Tape, I thought "here we go again" and actually resisted for a while. But all the rave reviews got me curious so I jumped thru the hoops to demo it and was impressed enough to spring for it. After a couple of sessions with it I am very, very impressed. I bought the whole pack of machines, but so far all I have used is the Studer A80. I'll probly mess with the Ampex next and eventually the others I'm sure.

It does have some issues - massive CPU hit, spinning reels you can't stop that eat an unreasonable amount of CPU, and the tape wow seems to get excessive sometimes though I haven't figured out why yet. Some DAWs are having issues with it, but Reaper seems to run it just fine. There a huge thread on it in the New Products forum where folks discuss all this and there is a video demo as well.

BTW, you can demo it for free, but it's a bit of a pain and you have to download I think 6 gigs of other plugins. Then it will burst white noise every few seconds UNLESS you leave the Custom Shop software open in the background behind your DAW.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
To me the difference is the way IK squishes things a bit when you drive it into clipping. It seems to combine both clipping and a hair of compression and just smears the instruments together in a very good way. I didn't work with tape extensively in my "career", but maybe 5 years ago I bought a prosumer reel to reel and experimented with it quite a bit. The IK emulations are much closer to the sound of that machine than anything else out there.

In 20 years of working with DAWs, IK Tape is easily the most non-digital sounding plugin I have found.

BTW, I was very hesitant to try it. Based on the hype, I bought Satin and Reelbus and Kramer (which does have its uses - can be killer on drums) and FerricTDS (free) and probly others I can't remember. For one reason or another none of them did it for me. J37 and VTM were the best I found, but still lacked the glue I thought they should impart to the music. When IK released Tape, I thought "here we go again" and actually resisted for a while. But all the rave reviews got me curious so I jumped thru the hoops to demo it and was impressed enough to spring for it. After a couple of sessions with it I am very, very impressed. I bought the whole pack of machines, but so far all I have used is the Studer A80. I'll probly mess with the Ampex next and eventually the others I'm sure.

It does have some issues - massive CPU hit, spinning reels you can't stop that eat an unreasonable amount of CPU, and the tape wow seems to get excessive sometimes though I haven't figured out why yet. Some DAWs are having issues with it, but Reaper seems to run it just fine. There a huge thread on it in the New Products forum where folks discuss all this and there is a video demo as well.

BTW, you can demo it for free, but it's a bit of a pain and you have to download I think 6 gigs of other plugins. Then it will burst white noise every few seconds UNLESS you leave the Custom Shop software open in the background behind your DAW.
Thanks for that, I appreciate it. Downloading the demo.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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sacksey's Avatar
 

Do any of you guys also use Saturn? How would you rank its tape saturators?
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacksey View Post
Do any of you guys also use Saturn? How would you rank its tape saturators?
I have not tried it. However, they tell you straight out that it "offers a range of different high quality distortion models, inspired by the vintage sound of tubes, tape and guitar amps."

So it is just distortion. Tape does more than that, and usually the tape sound is actually pretty subtle unless you really push it.

Saturn actually seems like a pretty cool plug in for distortion effects, but I would not expect it to stand up to the top notch dedicated emulators like J37, VTM, and IK Tape.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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TurboJets's Avatar
The J37 has nice saturation features, but FWIW, for buss saturation I really like Bad Buss Mojo from Stillwell, The Rocket from Stillwell, Kramer HLS Channel and Sonimus StonEQ 4k.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Here for the gear
 

check out the company klevgrand, they make a bunch of affordable, high quality plugins. REAMP, DAW cassette, DAW lp, are all good tape plugins. you can downloads fully functioning demo versions for any plugin they have, they just randomly dip the gain on the demo versions. I use the DAW cassette on a master bus to get that early cleaners from venus/guided by voices/JAMC portastudio vibe.

not "tape" plugin, but shatteredglassaudio has 2 really cool free plugins, code red and sga something, one is a preamp emulator for that bealtes distortion on songs like revolution and sga is a console emulator that has a cpu hi/lo switch so if you have the ability you can really let it sound amazing.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by travisinhell View Post
Does anyone here have a mix that was digitally tracked and mixed and that used one of these tape plugins to sound like it was tracked and mixed to tape?
The only guy who gets jazzed over tape sim results is.....the guy using the tape sim. Really...that's the only way this stuff goes. It doesn't stretch out to the general population. You've also had practically every tape sim listed on the planet....not a good sign.

Also....the guy with the sim....has no console.

So as to your question of results that sound like they were tracked to tape (multiple passes through console, tape machine, wires, connectors, humidity, temperature, varying gainstaging depending on what day it is)....well....perhaps name a commercial tape-based track you like as a reference.

You'll then get the list of all the tape sims again with guys who'll say "oh yeah, brand x does that..."

And you'll hear the guys' brand x stuff and....as I say....you'll think "wtf?"

I try to get my hands on every sim I can check out. No....they don't do the console-tape result. If they did, I'd exit all my multitrack machines and console.

Here's the deal with all tape sims....they've been modeled to do only one thing.....

The result of the code for brand x is based on modeling to achieve what the coder deems matches the sound you'd get....specwise...of one-pass of a signal recorded to tape.

ie:... The coder can play a track of say, an acoustic guitar recorded to tape.....one pass....and jimmy the code to get the sim to more-or-less....give the same result.

The problem is....records aren't made that way and don't sound like a sim.......your fav hit analog record wasn't the result of one pass direct from a wire in your brain to the tape machine in real life.

You use a sim, you're using ...basically....a virtual tape recorder that can only emulate one-pass frequency anomolies...and worse....it's connected to imaginary wires to your brain. Cuz there sure ain't no real wires or console sitting there with you in the room.

Which....is why "you" will say wtf to everyone's demos.....when held up to that commercial recording favorite of yours.

Of course, we haven't even discussed the lathe....and I'm sorry.....izotope vinyl won't take you to lathe-land.

At any rate, at least the guy using the sim is getting off on it. Otherwise, there'd be no sales.

Tape sims.....there's an almost seeming insurmountable set of challenges to them being on the money where it really counts.

Let's see how they evolve over the next 25 years.

Last edited by thenoodle; 1 week ago at 06:05 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Tape sims.....there's an almost seeming insurmountable set of challenges to them being on the money where it really counts.
What do you think some of those challenges are? One is aliasing. Doing multiple passes through a tape plugin gets pretty nasty. For example, using a tape plugin to crunch up guitars and drums. It's the same story with amp sims and other plugins that involve producing harmonics. I wonder if the aliasing problem will ever be solved.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
The only guy who gets jazzed over tape sim results is.....the guy using the tape sim. Really...that's the only way this stuff goes. It doesn't stretch out to the general population. You've also had practically every tape sim listed on the planet....not a good sign.

Also....the guy with the sim....has no console.

So as to your question of results that sound like they were tracked to tape (multiple passes through console, tape machine, wires, connectors, humidity, temperature, varying gainstaging depending on what day it is)....well....perhaps name a commercial tape-based track you like as a reference.

You'll then get the list of all the tape sims again with guys who'll say "oh yeah, brand x does that..."

And you'll hear the guys' brand x stuff and....as I say....you'll think "wtf?"

I try to get my hands on every sim I can check out. No....they don't do the console-tape result. If they did, I'd exit all my multitrack machines and console.

Here's the deal with all tape sims....they've been modeled to do only one thing.....

The result of the code for brand x is based on modeling to achieve what the coder deems matches the sound you'd get....specwise...of one-pass of a signal recorded to tape.

ie:... The coder can play a track of say, an acoustic guitar recorded to tape.....one pass....and jimmy the code to get the sim to more-or-less....give the same result.

The problem is....records aren't made that way and don't sound like a sim.......your fav hit analog record wasn't the result of one pass direct from a wire in your brain to the tape machine in real life.

You use a sim, you're using ...basically....a virtual tape recorder that can only emulate one-pass frequency anomolies...and worse....it's connected to imaginary wires to your brain. Cuz there sure ain't no real wires or console sitting there with you in the room.

Which....is why "you" will say wtf to everyone's demos.....when held up to that commercial recording favorite of yours.

Of course, we haven't even discussed the lathe....and I'm sorry.....izotope vinyl won't take you to lathe-land.

At any rate, at least the guy using the sim is getting off on it. Otherwise, there'd be no sales.

Tape sims.....there's an almost seeming insurmountable set of challenges to them being on the money where it really counts.

Let's see how they evolve over the next 25 years.
Yeah, I don't expect my mixes to sound like a console/tape machine like I grew up with...but what I do know is putting the UAD Ampex on the 2 buss makes a rather large difference to the positive side of things.

TH
Old 5 days ago
  #28
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M.S.P.'s Avatar
Crane Song Phoenix.
Old 5 days ago
  #29
Gear Guru
Tape was engineered to be transparent. If you use a tape sim properly it's be on tracking submixes and master, so quite a lot of it. I would think something you'd barely hear like VCC or Britson would be more like it. Some I've heard are pretty heavy handed and I always associated tape with noise and lost high end, never aha! this sounds better!...... I always thought that came from the board and guy behind it. I do love the pillowy quality of tape and where you'd be on the edge of the meters, sims to me give a tapeish feel, not bad just different. I have Hornet and Reelbus and like them!
Old 5 days ago
  #30
Gear Head
to thenoodle's point, tape alone is not going to give you the sound of a record. but thankfully we have very good emulations of pretty much every stage of the recording and mixing process these day, including preamps, transformers, op-amps, tubes - and combining these in the right ways definitely can get you in the same ballpark of the records we all love.

some tape emulations include their own preamp/drive knob and EQ, but if not you can just push harder into them using other tools. the key, as it has always been, is to experiment and find what works for you and the style you're working in.
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