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.
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.
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. See the Tips and Tricks blog entry below for more details.
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