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Customer Reviews 272 Reviews

4.85 out of 5 stars

by M. Ryder (11/6/2015):

I was told to get this from some one I respect in engineering circles. We were mixing… Read more

245 Reviews
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4 Reviews

Studer® A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In

The Rich Analog Sound of the World’s Most Popular Multichannel Tape Machine and Four Tape Formulas in a Single Plug-In.

For more than 30 years, artists and engineers alike have been drawn to the warm analog sound, solid low-end, and overall presence of the Studer® A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder. The sheer number of albums recorded on this legendary 2” analog tape machine — including classics from Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, A Tribe Called Quest, and Jeff Buckley — serve as shining examples of the musicality of analog tape.


Authenticated by Studer, and modeled by UA’s world-renowned team of DSP engineers and AES magnetic recording expert Jay McKnight over a 12-month period, the Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder plug-in for UAD-2 is the first product of its kind. This plug-in faithfully models the entire multitrack tape circuit path and electronics of a popular A800 machine from Allen Sides' collection at Ocean Way Studios — plus the distinct sounds of multiple tape formulas. Put simply, it's the world’s most accurate representation of professional multitrack analog tape recording, now available on Mac and PC.

Studer A800 Hardware Transport Controls

As the first microprocessor-controlled tape machine, the Studer A800 marked a new generation of professional multitrack recorders when it was introduced in 1978. Years ahead of its time, the A800 remains a sonic benchmark, and can still be found in studios all over the planet. However, with their massive steel frame and meter bridge, twin half-horsepower motors and cast alloy deck plates, original A800 units tip the scales at a backbreaking 900 pounds. The UAD-2 plug-in version poses none of the hardware hassles of manual calibration and maintenance, nor the potential for tape degradation — while retaining all the beautiful sonic qualities that make tape such a beloved recording medium. Just drop the A800 in your first insert on every track desired, and enjoy the benefits of having recorded to tape.

The Studer A800 for UAD-2 provides all of the original unit’s desirable analog sweetness; like magnetic tape, users can dial in a clean sound, or just the right amount of harmonic saturation using the Input and Output controls. The reel deck IPS control steps through tape speed choices (7.5, 15, or 30 IPS), each with distinct frequency shift, head bump and distortion characteristics. The tape Type control lets users choose from four of the most popular magnetic tape formulas — each with their own subtle sonic variation. The Cal control allows the user to choose between +3dB, +6dB, +7.5dB, or +9dB calibration levels.

Secondary controls are hidden behind the reel deck, and can be exposed by clicking on the Studer badge or the Open label. These controls include an Auto Cal feature, plus separate tape Hiss and Hum, with a global noise bypass. Finally, a Gang Controls feature allows you to simultaneously adjust and sync parameter settings on all Studer A800 plug-in instances in your session.

In Use
The Studer A800 plug-in's primary recommended use, and the proper way to "demo" this processor, is as the first insert on every track where you want the sound of tape. This way, you can hear the cumulative "cohesive" effect of recording to magnetic tape as you build up your mix. (Of course, it can sound incredible on mix busses as well.) Be sure to strip away all other plug-ins at first; you may find, for example, that you end up needing far less compression and EQ, and that your mixes "glue together" more easily.




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  • Ed Cherney

    (Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton)

    “I came of age with the Studer A800 tape machine. I've recorded hundreds of tracks through that machine with every type of tape, speed, alignment, and bias. I just upgraded to a UAD-2 card and stumbled in to the UAD A-800. Holy s**t!”

    Darrell Thorp

    (Beck, Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg)

    "The Studer A800 plug-in is tape in a box. Tracks that are thin and dull become full of life and tone... so creative, and musical."

    Vance Powell

    (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)

    "No tape emulation has ever achieved this level of... completeness? I expect to smell the tape when I hit play!"

    Jeff Balding

    (LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill)

    “I love having the personality of the [UAD] Studer A800 in a plug-in. [It adds] a great personality to drums, bass, guitar and vocals.”

    Paul Epworth

    (Adele, Cee Lo Green, Foster the People)

    “The Studer A800 and Ampex ATR-102 tape plug-ins let you really bring out the warmth and positive tonalities in a track.”

  • Garrett "Jacknife" Lee

    (R.E.M., The Cars)

    “The Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder, I’m just using all the time. I don’t know how it A/B’s with tape, I just like the way it sounds.”

    Billy Bush


    “Pretty much all of the songs on the [Garbage] record were mixed with the Studer A800 Plug-In on all the drum channels...We used the Ampex ATR-102 Plug-In on the final mix.”

    Tony Maserati

    (Beyonce, Jason Mraz)

    “I wanted the [Jason Mraz] record to have an analog sound to it, but since it wasn’t recorded on analog tape, my approach was to explore the…[UAD] Studer A800 plug-in itself and go deep into it to get the sound I was looking for.”

    Michael Brauer

    (Rolling Stones, Coldplay)

    “I tried the Studer A800 plug-in on drums, guitar and overhead to get a saturated, punchy sound. It sounded great, and it works for me.”

    Electronic Musician

    "I was curious if UA 'got it right.' Simply stated, they did. Bull's-eye."

  • JR Hutson

    (Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild)

    "The Studer A800 is the plug-in I've been waiting for! I've been searching for ways to get that warn saturated analog sound from a totally digital setup, and this is it. This has revolutionized my process."

    Fab Dupont

    (Jennifer Lopez, Santigold, Mark Ronson)

    "The Studer A800 plug-in creeped its way onto mix after mix, to the point where it's taken over by now. Definitely the closest thing to a real tape machine that I have heard."

    Gareth Jones

    (Depeche Mode, Erasure, Grizzly Bear)

    "I enjoyed hearing the wonderful [Studer A800] plug-in. I was a huge A800 user in the 80s, and it was great to be sonically back there again."

    Nathaniel Kunkel

    (Lyle Lovett, Nirvana)

    "The idea of a tape machine plug-in resonated with the skeptic in me. But I'm a believer now. This [Studer A800] plug-in is nothing short of amazing. Bravo, fine work UA!"

    J.J. Blair

    (Rod Stewart, George Benson)

    "This [Studer A800] plug-in gives me that little "X" factor... a very subtle, yet noticeable character that cannot be achieved simply with EQ or other plug-ins."

  • Frederick Norén

    (Sound On Sound)

    "There’s no question about the authentic sound produced by the UAD Studer A800 plug-in. This tape plug-in makes everything more coherent."

    Ryan West

    (Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Kanye West)

    "I never thought I'd say this about anything in my studio, but the reality is that it [Studer A800 plug-in] works on everything."

    Ryan West

    (Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Kanye West)

    "The Studer A800 plugin is the missing link for in-the-box mixing, but I'm also using it when mixing with Protools and an SSL or summing mixer."

    Vance Powell

    (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)

    "With the [Studer A800's] fine adjustments, different tape formulations and operating levels, UA has given us the best type of tape for every different type of track..."

    Ryan West

    (Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Kanye West)

    "All the gooey and gluey loveliness of the Studer A800 anywhere I want to apply it in my DAW mixes sounds like an unreasonable request, but UA has delivered once again."

  • Dean Coleman

    “The [UAD] Studer A800 plug-in is my favorite on a drum buss to give everything raw hard tone with a little distortion, while still keeping the sound together.”

    Travis Wyrick

    (P.O.D., Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels)

    “Within minutes of using the [UAD] Shadow Hills compressor plug-in, I found myself inserting it on a multitude of instruments and busses. This is definitely a compressor I will be using and abusing.”

    Mick Glossup

    (Frank Zappa, Van Morrison, UFO)

    "The Studer A800 plug-in, like all the other UA plug-ins, does a great job of simulating the analogue experience, which in this case is supplying the 'glue' to blend components together during the mix."

    Matt Knobel

    (Lenny Kravitz, Mary J. Blige)

    "The Studer A800 plug-in brings me back to a time long ago. The only thing missing is the smell of new tape."

    C.J. Vanston

    (Prince, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker)

    "Wow. The Studer A800 is big and beautiful, just like I remembered... What blew me away was the depth that I perceived."

  • Glenn Rosenstein

    (Ziggy Marley, U2)

    "The [Studer A800] gives me all the analog goodness without any of the cross-talk, shedding, head-wear, maintenance issues, alcohol swabs, tape alignment."

    Ross Hogarth

    (R.E.M, Keb' Mo, Ziggy Marley)

    "I've been really loving the Studer A800 on bass, kick, overheads, horns and strings. It adds a tonal color that is very musical. Killer job!"

    Vance Powell

    (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs)

    "I can't tell you how happy I am that UA has made this [Studer A800] plug-in... Yes I can, Thank You UA!"

    Travis Wyrick

    (P.O.D., Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels)

    “Living in a digital world, it is fantastic to hear true emulation of analog tape! I specifically used GP-9 at + 9 for years for drums and bass and I am very impressed at how UA has captured the “glue” that tape adds to the tracks."

User Ratings

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Average Rating (272 Reviews)
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    Smooth subtle cosy? Very effective
    by M. Ryder(Friday 6 November, 2015)

    I was told to get this from some one I respect in engineering circles. We were mixing down some tracks and there was harshness on some channels so this was the go to recommendation. It has a smoothing out type of feel a bit like the brainwork refiner (thats just my opinion) but it was better… Read More

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    First insert
    by . (Monday 26 October, 2015)

    Put this on your first insert followed by an ampex, dial according to taste. Your welcome. Read More

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    by G. Futcher(Friday 16 October, 2015)

    We have this exact tape machine at work. The plug-in sounds exactly like it or, if you want, totally different. I prefer the ability to change settings on a plug-in rather than commit to a specific real tape recording. My favourite preset is "Cassette"....seriously saturated. Read More

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    Try it!
    by E. Sevmont(Wednesday 14 October, 2015)

    I haven't purchased neither of the tape emulations, but I used my free trial and this is just musical, I'll def purchase it in the future. So many usable options, it's hard to mess up something when using this plugin. Read More

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    Top Tape Tracking Tool
    by S. Muscio(Thursday 17 September, 2015)

    This thing is powerful. I use it for drums mostly, but have used it on guitars and vocals too. Sounds great when pushed into the reds on peaks. I try to aim for +1 or +2 on the meter with drums. If you use the Ampex tape plugin, this is a nice compliment to that. Together they can really… Read More


  • Brendan "Eskmo" Angelides

    Writing and producing under the name "Eskmo," Los Angeles-based Brendan Angelides has releases on labels Ninja Tune, Warp, Ancestor and most recently the small Belgium label that first introduced the world to Aphex Twin, Apollo. Read More

    Armin van Buuren

    In the world of dance music, few have amassed as stellar a resume as Armin van Buuren. Here, he details how UAD plug-ins help him to entrance audiences. Read More

    Jacquire King

    Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men, Norah Jones, Modest Mouse) shows how he used the Apollo interface and UAD plug-ins to track Robert Ellis' band on a live rendition of the track, "Good Intentions."… Read More

  • Mixing The Pierces’ “Believe in Me” with UAD Plug-

    Christian "Leggy" Langdon is a producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and engineer. His credits include the Skins, UK singer/songwriter Charlotte OC, Swedish Grammy winner Laleh, and more. Read More

    Buddy Miller

    Grammy-award winning producer, player, and artist Buddy Miller details his workflow with Apollo and UAD-2 plug-ins. Read More

    The Black Keys

    The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney detail their recording process and how UAD Powered Plug-Ins are essential to their careful balance of raunch and refinement. Read More

  • Diplo on crafting mega-hits with UAD plug-ins.

    One of the most in-demand producers in music, Diplo has crafted hits for M.I.A., Snoop Lion, and Beyoncé. Read More

    Nashville Producer Jay Joyce Brings the Rock Edge

    Producer, engineer, and musician Jay Joyce has developed a thriving career in both the rock and country recording scenes. Read More

    Damian Taylor Brings "The Weirdness"

    The Grammy-nominated producer explains how he got Battle Born, The Killers' latest album, battle-ready with Universal Audio. Read More

  • Top Engineers Top "Desert Island" Plug-Ins

    If you were stuck on a desert island with your recording studio, what UAD plug-ins could you not live without?… Read More

    Capturing '60s Soul with UAD Plug-Ins

    Learn how Culture Club producer Steve Levine used UAD Powered Plug-ins to recreate the classic sound of 1960s soul. Read More

    Producer/Engineer Billy Bush Mixes Garbage

    Bush uses UA tools extensively while sculpting the band’s edgy guitars, driving percussion grooves, and glistening electronics. Read More


Features & Specs

Studer® A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In


  • Studer-endorsed, UA modeled emulation of legendary A800 Multitrack Tape Machine
  • Provides the warm, natural sound and punchy low-end response of 2” analog tape — on Mac and PC
  • Models complete A800 electronic signal paths, including Input, Sync and Repro paths
  • Features four of the most popular Tape Formulas and Calibration Levels
  • Tape saturation and overdrive via easy-to-use Input / Output controls
  • Provides dead-on magnetic tape sound without the hassles of calibration, maintenance, tape degradation, etc.
  • IPS Speed/Emphasis Curve chooses between 7.5 NAB, 7.5 CCIR, 15 NAB, 15 CCIR, 30 AES
  • Gang Controls allows for fast global adjustment of all instances
  • Run 24+ tracks with a single UAD-2 QUAD DSP Accelerator Package
  • Requires a UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide

See the UAD Instance Chart here


  • Input provides -12 to +24 dB gain
  • Output provides -24 to +12 dB gain
  • Signal Path selection
    • Thru provides plug-in bypass
    • Input provides machine electronics-only path without tape
    • Sync provides path of audio being recorded to tape via record head and playing back via record head, plus machine electronics
    • Repro provides path of audio being recorded to tape via record head and playing back via repro head, plus machine electronics
  • IPS Tape Speed provides selection between 7.5, 15 and 30 IPS (inches per second) operation
  • Tape Type provides selection between 250, 456, 900 and GP9 formulas
  • Calibration provides +3, +6, +7.5 and +9 dB operating levels
  • Emphasis Equaliser selects between NAB or CCIR curves at 7.5 and 15 IPS (AES at 30 IPS)
  • Auto Cal Off/On provides automatic calibration for Record EQ, Bias, Playback EQs when switching IPS Tape Speed, Tape Type or Emphasis Equaliser
    • Record EQ / HF Driver provides a continuous “boost filter” gain
    • Bias / HF Driver provides a continuous recording head oscillator voltage from 0 to 15.5 volts
    • LF / Sync Playback EQ provides a continuous low frequency filtering gain
    • HF / Sync Playback EQ provides a continuous high frequency filtering gain
    • LF / Repro Playback EQ provides a continuous low frequency filtering gain
    • HF / Repro Playback EQ provides a continuous high frequency filtering gain
  • Noise Off/On provides global enabling and disabling of noise components
  • Hiss provides independent control for the noise floor component of the tape system ±25 dB
  • Hum provides independent control for the 60 cycle (NAB/AES) or 50 cycle (CCIR) AC component of the Studer A800 system  ±25 dB
  • Gang Controls Off/On provides temporary global access to all Studer A800 instantiations from one Studer A800 GUI window for all plug-in parameters
  • Show/Hide button reveals/hides the calibration and setup controls by clicking the Studer Badge Open/Close label
  • VU meter displays post input, pre-output signal


UAD Plug-Ins Manual

UAD System Manual

UA Product Catalog