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Best tape / console / saturation plugins Saturation Plugins
Old 24th November 2014
  #1
Best tape / console / saturation plugins

Having mixed in the box with and without these types of plugins, i definetly prefer using saturation plugins on every mix. Mixes just sound better with the right amount of saturation.

Watching an interview with a mix engineer he said he uses tape emulation / console emulation on every track as a starting point for every mix, as thats how it would have been done in the analog world, tape to console to master tape.

Got me thinking, what are your favorite mix saturation plugins, and how do you like to use them?
Old 24th November 2014
  #2
Gear Head
 

uHe Satin. Done.

I use it on every track and one slapped straight to the 2 bus. It's fantastic.
Old 24th November 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
Satin is nice, but I have found that I am not using the tape sat plugins the way I thought I would when they were the hot topic. Partly because of CPU, often because I like the sound of LPFs, they are predictable.

I will use Satin, Kramer, or even some lower quality tape 'style' plugins like Magneto or Virsyn... mainly for obvious effect moreso than trying to replicate signal paths.

When you get the EQ going on Virsyn, that little thing sounds darn good. I will say that.
Old 24th November 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
I'd like Satin but I can't afford it.

I've got Slate VTM, Klanghelm SDRR, Waves Kramer Tape, and ToneBoosters Reelbus. So... I kind of don't have a real excuse to grab Satin w/ all of those already lol. I'm just going to use what I have.

I tend to put VTM on each individual track, I like how you can link them to tweak all instances. I use SDRR when I want a creative saturation. Waves Kramer is a blessing on certain sounds... it's my favorite on acoustic snare. I actually bought it just for that purpose after playing with it at a friend's studio, b/c nothing else made my acoustic snare pop like it did. I put Reelbus on the 2bus. Brings things to life very very easily for me... gives that professional polish I want in most cases.
Old 24th November 2014
  #5
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mastermat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrandDoeCo. View Post
uHe Satin. Done.

I use it on every track and one slapped straight to the 2 bus. It's fantastic.
+1

I think with satin you get the most realistic results...most of the other stuff I tried and didn´t like it that much. just sounded artificial somehow.
I have great analog gear which I love and the only software that came close so far in a "mojo" way was satin!
Old 24th November 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
Satson > satin > render track as if from tape (via console to multitrack)

then (with newly rendered track and satson + satin removed from the inserts but embedded within the audio now) I put a fresh satson insert (as in back from multitrack tape into the console) and leave these live. This is a great way also to reduce CPU overhead from the fairly greedy Satin.

I thought having two passes of satson/console emu may be overkill till I tried it and it seemed ok and added a bit more of what I like. Before this I just used to do the usual tape emu in slot 1 > console emu in slot 2 - console emu on bus and tape emu last on bus. It's basically the same but with that extra initial console pass as if recording to tape via the console (again satson is subtle enough to do that, not sure I'd want to do it with NLS or VCC), and this more closely emulates the analog world I guess. console > tape > console (not just Tape > Console).

Satson is very subtle and I don't drive it unless really warranted. Have also tried Reelbus, Waves J37, Kramer, CDSoundmaster Free and always return to Satin after A/B tests inc combos of X on tracks Y on busses.

I have a feeling the Nebula/RTR/CDSoundmaster would probably have the best results overall but without demos I can't know for sure. The free CDSoundmasters one sounded OK but wasn't quite the sound that satin has. I tweak Satin to taste on a per track basis and A/B with/without and against reelbus/Waves just to reaffirm it's doing what I want (result normally is Reelbus is a tad muted/dulled and waves is a bit harsher/thinner) satin is 'just right', I will sometimes run it live on buses too (rendered on tracks remember). The waves tape emus are not used any more. J37 is ok as a delay but Satin is better for that also (it's amazing for that in fact). Satin is a bit expensive for a tape emu but at least it's not ILOK which is a big deal to some
Old 25th November 2014
  #7
thanks for the insight
Old 25th November 2014
  #8
Registered User
 

PSP Vintage Warmer 2 still warms my heart after all these years. It's a compressor but still one of the best ITB saturations/dark-ifiers/phatenators.
Old 25th November 2014
  #9
Gear Addict
 
SV7107's Avatar
I tend to use slate Vtm and vcc on my groups and master out. On individual tracks that need saturation I like soundtoys little radiator or radiator, and bootsy's tessla gets used a lot.
Old 25th November 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Beany's Avatar
I use Waves Kramer Tape, Soundtoys Decapitator & PSP Mix Saturator in 'sound-designer' mode and Slate VCC, VTM & (just recently) Revival in 'mixdown' mode.

Kramer is great for beefing up the drum bus or smashing things into it to glorious effect, Decapitator can make softsynths come alive and PSP Mix Saturator is great for fattening basslines. But at mixdown I love the Slate stuff for refined glue & polish.
Old 25th November 2014
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

I like Klanghelm SDRR but more than a few instances results in serious cpu bog-down. I've considered 'printing' the effect (or freezing, but I find freezing/refreezing a pain). Anyone comparing sending tracks to one instance vs discrete instances on individual tracks?
Old 25th November 2014
  #12
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junior's Avatar
 

Tried Satin and VMT. Good but I didn't get on with them as much as I was hoping to.

Nebula w/ CDSM tape/console libraries are -very- nice. STN's Nagra + Tapebooster+ is a great combo, too.

What surprised me the most was Toneboosters' Reelbus. Way better than the price would lead you to believe and very usable. I put it on groups/buses along side my Nebula libs… good stuff!
Old 25th November 2014
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

I just have to mention FabFilter Saturn... so many possibilities and i think the multi band processing is very useful if you want to shape every single track before you mix. On the 2Buss J37 sounds amazing. And i am going to try Vintage warmer today.
Old 25th November 2014
  #14
Gear Head
 
SpeckledOwl's Avatar
 

I really dig the UA tape emu's, Ampex ATR 102 and Studer A800. Every mix I do has the Ampex on the 2 bus. I also really like the UA Fatso for taming harsh digital transients.
Old 25th November 2014
  #15
Gear Head
just out of curiousity... when you guys say you use it on each track, do you actually insert the plugin on each track or do you send each track to one plugin channel?
Old 25th November 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by evolveone View Post
just out of curiousity... when you guys say you use it on each track, do you actually insert the plugin on each track or do you send each track to one plugin channel?
I put on each track. If you send all of the tracks to one instance, then that instance is reacting to every single frequency coming at it. I'd rather be certain that the plugin is reacting on a per track basis. I've never tested to see if I hear a true difference.
Old 25th November 2014
  #17
Nrt
Lives for gear
 

I use VCC / Satin most. I use Decapitator less and less these days.
Old 25th November 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by evolveone View Post
just out of curiousity... when you guys say you use it on each track, do you actually insert the plugin on each track or do you send each track to one plugin channel?
Per track and sometimes on buses too (and mild/clean on mix bus if it can take it), you have to experiment and do A/B to see if it's better with or without. Unlike real tape there may be some cases where you can leverage the flexibility of layering on more (busses) or having less (not on ALL tracks). Some like to use combos of say reelbus on tracks, satin on buses (or any combo of any tape sim you can mention), everything is source dependent and song dependent but for overall flexibility and sound I found Satin the best if I could only have one tape sim.
Old 25th November 2014
  #19
Use native Waveshaper for all my distortion needs, I rig a split multiband version in FL's modular Patcher if I want a multi-band distortion.



Old 25th November 2014
  #20
Gear Addict
 
skoolafish's Avatar
i havent yet gone as far as using it on a lot of channels at once but like kramer tape for bass and filtered bass samples and on the master

i also like this free one called ivgi on drum buses. that is more like old drum machine emulation than it is saturation. very mild tho...
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