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!
I've owned this for a while, and I'm finally comfortable enough to write a review on it. Subtlety seems to be the key word with this thing. I don't like what it does to the low end, but find it can really warm up mids and smooths things up when pushed just a bit. I don't like kick feeding into it so I keep off of the master bus (or have kick by pass it); and same deal with drums bus. Saturating it a bit on vocals can be nice, but again subtly. This thing is a DSP hog, but I do love it for premasters. As a DUO owner, I tend to reach for other tape emulators first (e.g., J37) before using this for that reason.
This badboy here is amazing, I usually put it on my kick drum and snare and my god is just tape music to my ears I can describe it is just big body and meaty definitely go to on all my ongoing projects. But to be honest I mainly used this bad boy on vocals. I mainly do Hip Hop Pop and R&B!
My vocal chain is U87 70's ver. - Through the UAD neve 1073 - Studer A800 - Pultec -La2a silver and my God Vocals never sounded better, it's the Million dollar studio vocal quality everybody's been searching for. Thanks UA i'm your customer for life! I recommend the studer to everybody!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Not to violate any confidentiality agreement between me and Apple corp, I believe my audio drop out problem (re: my last post) is finally solved so.....I will give this plug a hearty 5 stars!
The Studer A800 is the first plugin I place across my mixes. This helps me get a good sound right off the bat. Once I dial it in, I proceed by placing the SSL G Buss Compressor on the Master Bus and start mixing from there. Do this and not only will you end up using less EQ and Compression, but your mixes will sound better because of it. Don't forget to play around with the Bias and HF filter. That's where the magic is at!
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!
This plugin kicks ass. Great on individual channels and awesome on master bus.
Playing a mix through Studer (and Ampex) creates the same improvement one might find between icemilk and icecream!
Not sure if any of you guys were ever poor enough that your parents bought you icemilk but believe me... Its night and day!!!
I purchased this plugin when it came out over a year ago. Right after I purchased it they came out with the Ampex plugin. That was the one I really wanted to run on the 2 track bus. After using this plugin (Studer 800) on the 2 track bus and also after I started the Ampeq 14 day demo I was a little bummed out I did not purchase the Ampeq. A few weeks later I stuck the Studer on every channel of my mix (only the drums & bass tracks) and I was amazed at what it did. About 7 years ago I sold my Otari MTR-90 so I am very familiar with tape machines and how they sound.
If you run this plugin on your drum & bass tracks it just glues them together. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars up keeping your 2" anymore with this plugin.
I use this plugin everywhere, loving the 15 ips speed, it smooths everything and gives body to any material. On the Apollo channel strip and in my daw, it is always there to imprint that nice smooth tape sound to all my material. Cannot recommend this enough
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?
While at a session in L.A. last week, the band and I over the songs a few times as the engineer was getting tones and recording them to Pro Tools (sounded fine). Then we tracked the keepers onto a 2" Studer machine. I couldn't stop grinning after hearing my kit played back through that deck (it's been so long, I'd forgotten what tape does for drums). When I got home I started the A800 demo, tracked some drums and right there in front of me was that sound. Subtle on the overheads (like they were EQ'd - with really awesome EQ), more pronounced on kick & snare (the body of the drums were pulled forward, whereas it was mostly attack before). The price kept me from trying this out before. Don't be stupid like me, buy this. I finally did.
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)
This I think this the best uad plug in in the entire collection, love it so much
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!
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.
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Last Updated December 16, 2014
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