Ampex® ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder


Customer Reviews

Ampex® ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder


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D. Hedin 

June 9, 2015

There's just something about it...

I remember when I was first starting out in production, I could never seem to capture that "sound" and/or that "warble", so to speak, that were on so many of my favorite records. The music was just MOVING in a way I just couldn't describe.

Then one day I demoed the ATR-102 and BAM - that was it! Yes, it is expensive, and yes, I have a ton of different tape emulation plugs. But there's something truly special about this one. TIP: If you set the speed to 7.5ips or slower, the wow/flutter is more affected. It will give you that indie tape sound you might be after.

I gotta say - I have hundreds of plugins and many of them I use every day, but this is one of my top 5 desert island plugs. I seriously can't live without it!

M. Carter  

May 8, 2014

Got Tape?

I Do… the Ampex is the best tape emulator on the market.. Since I made the purchase I lands and all my 2 tracks. Full, fat, warm… everything Im looking for in tape!

M. Smith  

May 7, 2014

Best tape emulation I\'ve used

Great job UA! This is the best tape plug out there IMHO! Thank you for the ability to turn the noise off! I use this on 95% of the projects I do! Gets more use than the Studer plug which is also great!

J. Grasty  

March 4, 2014

I have no idea what I\'m doing and it still sounds great.

The title says it all. I am still getting used to the Ampex, especially since I have never used a "real" one. Even without a lack of knowledge, the effect on the sound is great. It has made some of the mixes come to life.

F. Henderson  

January 22, 2014

Master Tape gateway to the modern record

I love recording my out of the box mixes back in through my Apollo 16 printing the Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In to the final mix. It sounds so much more like the records I grew up on.

A. Picciafuochi  

October 26, 2013

Excellent Special plug-in

I test it also for a personal remastering of an ultra famous 70's record that I own in HD quality files (176.4kHz/24bit), originally recorded in analog tape machines obviously, and the result was absolute stunning as on digital sources!

A. Eriksmoen  

October 12, 2013

Kick ass

This plugin kicks ass. Great on individual channels and awesome on master bus.

B. Armand  

July 19, 2013

hum.. not shure for master after all

very impressive plugin, you run the demo, you are impressed by the "3D" effect", you buy it but.. after months of use, finally I take it off my master busses and realize that most of my mixes sound better without.. confusing. I think it can be great on vox, drum busses, accoustic guitars, it can be great for many reasons: warming up the sound, get a sensation of 3 dimensions, high end details, delays effects, wow and flutter.. but on a master, I feel I loose something in the feeling of stereo.. Does someone feel like I do?

M. Stallings  

June 19, 2013

Ampex ATR-102

Hey all,

I've had the Waves Master tape for some time now. I liked it ok, but never had anything to A/B against ? The Waves always sounded a little cloudy and distorted easily . Since I had nothing to compare to, it seemed ok. Once I auditioned the Ampex on channels and master channel, I had to have it. For me, adding tape is critical and this plugin really improves the smoothness, detail and can add character ( or not) to anything. Being a minimalist, I got rid of the Waves since I would never use again. The Waves would be ok if all you need is a hint hear and there, but if its going to be instrumental in your product, then it was worth the "big money"! The 4 score was only because I spent too much. :-l

mitch (Tampa, Fl)

S. Chen  

June 17, 2013

In my every project

This I think this the best uad plug in in the entire collection, love it so much

E. Jexén  

June 7, 2013

Use with caution and find the holy grail

So, I just use this when mastering, and the studer on all tracks. When you learn to tweak it it will sound absolutely amazing. The Studer & Ampex are a golden combo!

P. Thompson  

May 13, 2013

Instant Sonic Character

For cleaning up sterile digital mixes, this is the tool. I can't believe how realistic the and how accurate the controls are. What I love the most is I don't have to clean the heads or calibrate it.

D. Elke  

April 29, 2013

the glue

This is the missing link. When I first used it, I was amazed by how real it sounds. I learned recording on tape/analog, and this brings me back, in a great way. Its a bit tricky to set, but once its set right, it makes the whole mix come together. I really like the ability to change ips and tape, and it works great for a nice vocal slap echo on an aux..

S. Watkins  

March 15, 2013

It just sounds great

I have placed this plugin on the master buss of many different sessions now and every single one sounds better. As a buss processor, there is an added depth and width to the sound that is hard to describe. The plugin can also be pushed a little harder to get a really nice distortion to add to a guitar or a vocal track. I highly recommend this plugin to anyone who wants to add that extra something to their recordings.

J. Hawkins  

March 14, 2013

Awesome Trembling Revelations -102


Playing anything you have recorded through this plugin and be prepared to have your hair stand on end as your ears enter the halls of godly sound. I owned an Ampex 24 track machine for a short while and honestly this plugin has got it down.

I was ready to regret spending the cash on this software.... that is until I heard it.... now I wish I had jumped on it sooner. There is NOTHING out there to compare this to, this is more than a plugin it is essential recording equipment !! I'd give it 11 stars if I could.

W. Krassowski  

February 19, 2013

Nothing compares to this !

If i could had only 1 plugin from UAD range would be this one.

Forget about any other Tape, Saturator, nothing compares, this is the Best Plugin hands down UAD Crew !

If you need to push up your tracks to the limit ( radio ready stuff ) but still want to sound dynamic and analog this is the plugin for you.

The Amperex gives some sort of final glue/definition and makes your mix sound just more cohesive all in all, its like Black Magic, put there, move some knobs and youre fine with another 2-3dB gain without distort.

Also makes your tracks be pushed much higher on volume without distorting, this one and a mastering compressor toguether are the ultimate Mastering Chain in your Arsenal !


H. Goldstein  

January 3, 2013

Sweet Sweet Ampex

It`s actually hard for me to believe this plug-in exists...Having gone through the analog tape era and now the digital DAW era the fact that UA has gotten the vibe of analog tape in a plug-in is more than I could have wanted.

This plug adds a certain unexplained magic to either a master stereo buss or can be used to change the personality of individual instruments, vocals etc...The presets are extremely usable and simply changing the formulation of the tape and tape speed can yield great results. You do need to watch levels going in to the ampex..but not a problem.

Without any hesitation, it gets 5 stars from this user. Thank you UA !!!

PS, I`m finding that setting it up as the next to last in the signal chain works the best so far.

G. Johnson  

January 3, 2013

Tape Simulation Perfection

Absolute legend of a Plugin!
I can use this in so many contexts, it has the ability to add that gentle crisp sheen to the top frequencies (in my case to match that 70s vinyl prog rock vibe), or to give some subtle drive to guitars / keys.
Across all tracks and the master buss you get a superb "glue" to the entire mix.

M. Laws  

December 20, 2012


I just drove a signal into this very hard and it poops diamonds out. Shockingly awesome. Coats bass driven music in a fine velvet sheen. :) - I might have to date this plug.

M. Dantas  

November 20, 2012

A Superb Tape Plug-in

I decided to purchased the UAD-2 Satellite Duo and among a lot of interesting offered plug-ins,I decided to purchase the Ampex ATR-102.Since my main work is Matering Disc related,I was impressed with the final sound processed. My laptop,a MacBook has not presented any issues related while I was hearing the final mix with Pro-Tools 8.0 in my home Studio.
Thanks Universal Audio for the excellence !

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