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UAD Studer A800

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In

4.55 4.55 out of 5, based on 8 Reviews


3rd March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by Bill Hambone

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
UAD Studer A800

I will admit, I have never worked with a real Studer A800 deck. I have worked with many different tape formats over the years, cassette 4-track, 1" 8 and 16 track and 2" 16 and 24 track decks. I feel like I have a pretty good ear for what tape sounds like. I've used other tape emulation plugins, and they were fine. The UAD Studer A800 is simply unbelievable.

I switched from UAD-1 to UAD-2 to buy this plugin. My first test was strapping it across a drum bus. It was a revelation. It sounded exactly like drums tracked to tape. Smooth transients, huge low end and presence, just beautiful. I was mixing a record in which some tracks were recorded to tape, and some that were recorded to DAW. When I put the Studer on the drums and bass in the digital tracks, I couldn't tell the difference between them and the analog tracks.

The real magic in this plugin is all the options for different tape formulations, speeds and calibrations. It is wonderful to be able to use different tape formulations on different sources within the same mix to achieve just the right saturation. You can also add or subtract hiss and low end hum!

At $300, this is a no brainer. Universal Audio could charge $1000 for this plugin and it would still be worth it. Incredible value.

4th March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by Wesma

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
UAD Studer A800

I have always felt that a lot of the tracks that I recorded felt somewhat sterile and harsh when working in a DAW. A lot of the music I love has been recorded to tape and there is something really special about that sound. I have never worked with real tape but I have always been searching to achieve that same feel with my own recordings without much luck. Then I heard about the UAD Studer A800 emulation and at first I must say I was a little skeptical but having used the plugin for a while now I just can’t mix without it.
It really makes mixing so much easier. I use it on everything although on drums it just kills! This plugin is a great tool to add saturation to tracks, especially bass and kick drum. When listening to a finished mix with and then without the Studer it’s like night and day! The song just comes alive and the sound that I’ve been searching for is finally there!
It took some time to really understand and use the plugin in the right way – at first I got a little carried away with the input gain and actually made the mix sound worse. But when I started to understand the behavior of the plugin and the use of all the secondary controls my mixes felt so much warmer.
Great plugin!

7th March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by mainframe

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UAD Studer A800

well, i have waited - as many others did - years for someone to come up with a decent tape emulation. i think i checked all plugins that were available to review or evaluate. even hardware emulations. some got closer than others but nobody seemed to be able to emulate magnetic tape to detail, or more precisely a classic, well-known machine. so, we've been left with plugins that offered some sort of general saturation (harmonic distortion), some coloration, some effects like buzz, noise or flutter. whatever combination used, nothing got close to the sound i remember from using a real tape-machine. and i have used a lot, multitrack recorders, half-inch stereo, 2 inch master-recorders... names like otari, studer, revox.

when working as a freelance engineer i often used a studer 2 track 2inch tapemachine to store the recordings on and use as a playback machine before the analog mastering chain. needless to say that it was quite a hustle to set the sound straight, select and change tape, check the recording level (how much red can i get?), setting input and output filters (yes, screws) ... all that for the magic tape can offer (does'nt always work with everything - you gotta know). the magic was that new soundstage - at least in my opinion - where instruments separate nicely, details seemed increased, a denser, fuller sound, rounder transients, nicely tamed high-end and a big warm bottom. never heard that from a plugin or combination anywhere.

when UA announced the release of a tape recorder - and knowing how long it took even them to get to that impossible task - i was instantly chilled: there came the STUDER A800 ! and then the AMPEX, but this is about the STUDER.

so, how close is it ? i think it's close enough to make me have that same feeling about the sound when using real tape... even if it's not exactly the same machine - UA has done a very nice job. ok, the A800 is a multitrack and i was looking for that 2inch stereo tape sound. but what a surprise... you can tweak the plugin and select from different tape material just like with the original machine. even switch of the tape noise and hum for a cleaner sound. being onyl able to compare with my experience with the hardware from memory - it just has the same feel... all the characteristics i loved i was able to recreate.

i tried to include this plug in my analog chain, often as the only plugin used, the rest is 100% analog. it took a while to moment to realize the pitfalls and to "behave" myself to not overuse it, but after that learning period thus thing has become one of my more used tools in the game. not always, but when you need some tape sound, that's it. so, using it as a 2strack stereo playback machine for some material, for some time i can give away some experience how to use it for mastering.

- first: open new instance, default: 15ips, input/output at 0, repro head on, cal +6db, all good

- switch eq to CCIR when you live in europe where the fq is 50hz. in the states i probably would have kept NAB.

- still at 15ips, play the recording thru the plug and choose a tape. feel free to chose whatever fits. i often end up using the GP9 at 15. sometimes at 30ips, when i need a fat bass boost as well. but 15 does it 75% of the time, my prefered choice on the hardware as well.

- the crucial part is setting the input (and output) level right. us the VU meter. i never go into the red as i used to do on the hardware. i'd stay close but not over. there you get the sonics but avoid introducing distortions, wich is just more delicate on the master bus. i often use the output control to level the signal going to the analog chain - wich is of same importance to the chain as the input control is to the plugin.


ONLINE MASTERING STUDIO - analog-mastering.com
ONLINE MASTERING STUDIO - analog-mastering.de

17th March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by sensationblack

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UAD Studer A800

UAD emulation of one of the most famous tape recorder. I will try to review this vst as a FX to your sound and not as tape recorder. I hasn’t used any tape recorder in my life, so I can’t compare it to the original, can’t explain the ease of use versus the tape machine and etc. What I can do, is to review how this unit impact the sound that’s goes through.
I’m liking this VST a lot. Instruments that goes through this unit get’s some “warmth” and power. Before getting any treatment of the sound (equalizer and compressor), the Studer makes the instrument sounds bigger. Although it also makes unwanted frequencies to be bigger also, the contribution is subtle. Not something that eq cant fix later. So, your starting point is already very good. It’s like the difference between a good or poor record quality.
After laying down a Studer in any channel, you will “need” to lay one more tape emulation, which is the Ampex. I really like the sound of Ampex. Besides its great quality it has a low end frequencies reduction. This is great when using so much Studers. Every channel gets a boost in their low end frequanices and at the end, the ampex “fix” your mix, make it balance.
One more tip, using studer on every channel is great, using VCC on every channel before the Studer is

23rd March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by Cayo

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
UAD Studer A800

If you are like me, you know that tape emulations have been around for years...You also know that there were years and years, where a new emulation would come out...there would be this big hype about it...and you would leave disappointed...Only the new schoolers who didn't know what tape actually sounds like liked the emulations...The a800 is what I came up on...It was a beast...it was tempermental...it required maintinence all the time!!! But in the end, you got that fat analog sound...God forbid if you had to make a razor blade edit!!! Or flip the tape over for an effect...Studio time was ridiculously expensive, and you had to know exactly what you were doing or you wasted your time....I've heard all the emulations...this is the first one that impressed me...It actually sounds like tape!!! Without the headache...It gives you a tight, analog feel on your tracks...try it on all your drums and bass tracks going in...In my opinion, that was the best part of analog tape...Remember, it can round off digital harshness, a rough singer, and compress tracks without using a compressor!!! I just finished my 14 day demo with it...and I am very selective, even when it comes to UA, concerning my plugins...This will be my next purchase...

28th March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by hoenerbr

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
UAD Studer A800

UAD Studer A800 24 Track Tape emulation
Imagine the excitement! I was like a kid in a candy shop when I first heard about Ua's Venture into Analog tape emulation.
Right after the download, oddly enough I wanted to see how old I could make a mix sound? I set right out to setting the tape speed to
the lowest possible, 7.5 IPS.......... Oh Man, I couldn't believe my ears. With very little tweaking my mix sounded like the old days
on my Teac 3340 4 Track. I loved that sound. Its funny, when I fell in love with that sound, little did I realize how much colorization
and Character was being added to my recordings. Well thats all fine and dandy but moving along my timeline of life I did eventually move up from the old 4 Track Teac to 8 Tracks then 16 and finally 24 Track. Well all I can say is that whatever era of tape magic your after, with some tweaking of tape speeds and formulations you have it at your fingertips with the UA Studer A800. UA went to great lengths to capture all the sublte nuances of this 24 Track Beast.
The plug-in gives you the ability to adjust all of the same settings of a real Studer A800 multitrack tape deck,
as well as some other tweaks that don’t exist on the original. You can choose tape speed (7.5, 15, 30 ips), tape formulation (3M 250, Ampex 456, BASF 900, and Quantegy GP9),
and operating level (+3, +6, +7.5, +9 dB). The original Studer A800 had 24 sets of color-coded cards with adjustments used to calibrate each track on the machine for recording and playback. Each instance of the plug-in gives you a set to calibrate as well. The cards and the adjustments available are the HF Driver or Red card
(high frequency and bias); Sync EQ or Yellow card (HF and LF); Repro EQ or White card (HF and LF); and Noise or Blue card. The latter was not on the original machine; it allows control over how much hiss and low-frequency hum you want added to your signal. The real A800 was susceptible to hum depending on where it was sitting in the room, so UA has provided the ability to keep that sound in if you like that sort of thing. Of course, hiss is something I enjoy sometimes, But its great to have the flexibility
to eliminate it when I want to.

I'm not going to kid anyone into thinking I had a real A800 to compare side by side, but this plugin is just fantastic. For the little bit of cash outlay to be able to have the warmth and coloration of analog tape without the tape cost, machine maintenance, and sheer weight of the original unit is just a Godsend.
Oh and the ability to gang all your controls across all your Studer enabled tracks is killer. Did I mention something you cant do with the original?
How about different tape speeds and tape formulations on different Tracks or busses! I love strapping one of these across my Master buss, that's something we never did back in the day! What you only have a Solo card or a Duo? So whats so wrong with creating a Drum Buss with one Stereo Studer on it? Another for your backing vocals, and one for
a guitar buss. Its so flexable, you'll love this plug. I cant say enough about this indispensible tool. I'm grateful its in my audio tool box. If anyone attempts to take it away from me
they'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands!!!
Thank you Universal Audio! Thank You!

29th March 2012

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by floaty83

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
UAD Studer A800

I just recently got into the UAD platform of plugins when I purchased my UAD-2 Quad Satellite. The A800 was my first purchase outside of the normal bundled plugins. I am sooooo glad I did.

The A800 is incredible. I've never used a real Studer, but I know and love plenty of amazing records that were recorded to one. This plugin captures that sound that's been so sorely missed in my mixes. My mixes have come alive thanks to this plugin and the rest of the analog classics bundle.

The flexibility of this plugin is really where it shines. Put it across all the tracks in a project, or just the busses, or just the output, anything you want to do. It is DSP hungry, but you can get around that in several different ways. The gang feature is incredibly powerful as well, letting you make global changes across all instances, or turn it off and tweak individual tracks.

I think so far, for the rock mixes I produce, the 456 formulation at 15ips on the individual tracks with input and output tweaked for each instance, followed by the GP9 on the main mix at 30ips is magic.

LOVE IT!!!!

2 weeks ago

Universal Audio Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In by JHTorch

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UAD Studer A800

"Analog warmth" has been a buzzword in our industry for well over a decade. An extremely vague and thus meaningless term but essentially every engineer, producer or band wants their tracks to sound like the classics that inspired them in the first place. That big, glorious and seductive sound. Because most of us came up listening to records from the 60's through the early 90's, we are all chasing those sonics of our favorite bands & artists from the "golden period."

Let's assume that you have well recorded tracks, a properly treated control room, great monitors & converters, will the UAD Studer A800 give you that classic & classy sound? In a nutshell, yes.

I've owned the Studer plug for about a year now and I reach for it for every mix I do irrespective of genre. Starting with the presets, you can easily start off with sonics that sound rounder and smoother than without. The effects are subtle but still evident. I load the plug in the first insert slot on every track and then start doing my levels and basic panning. The UAD Studer usually allows me to use less compression and EQ.

The Studer really shines on tracks that were recorded on ADATs and other lesser converters. I mixed a track that I recorded with my prog rock band in the mid-1990's on a pair of ADATs. with the right settings, I was able to dial in that sweet sound that you would hear back in the old days using analog tape.

The Studer can be driven and abused if that's your thing; however, I tend to go to other plugs or hardware to abuse for that extreme clipping or distortion.

I've used a number of software tape emulators and to my ears, only the Studer sounds like multitrack tape. I like the selection of tape formulations (you get 4), tape speeds and the ability to tweak the bias and other settings. Depending on the material, these tweaks can work wonders. The only thing that I miss is the whirling sound that you first hear when you press play on the deck. (I've heard that Softubes' tape emulator does this).

I've never tried or heard the hardware tape emulators such as Neve's Protico 542. I suspect that these may be more convincing alternatives; however, in terms of the convenience, costs per channel and ease of use, the UAD Studer is in a class of its own. I'm auditioning UAD Ampex 102 plug now. I may have made a mistake because I may have to buy that one two as my mixdown deck (been using the Studer for this with great results).

 
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