Ampex® ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder
Ampex® ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder
This is the definitive and indispensable Tape Emu/Sat plugin and makes my Top 3 alongside UAD's Studer and Slate's VTM!
Use it a good amount, but not always....
Would give it five stars if I used it more often.....for whatever reason the Oxide sounds better to me on some mixes....not always, but enough to affect a review....
Can make piano jump out of a mix, though....awesome for that....
I come from the tape era, although I never had a great mastering machine. I always mastered to cassette and then later DAT. I'm now realizing how much a part of the puzzle a great mastering tape is. It definitely brings everything up a notch.
Magic tape or tape magic ;)
When picking my first custom bundle I was struggling with choices like anybody else I guess. I researched a lot and what always came up as a must-have plugin was the Ampex. Although considering that I already own two tape saturation plugin from different developers, I tested Ampex for quite a while against those two. It always won in direct comparison. The saturation and harmonic seem to have more depth and life, plus EQing, noise, flutter etc. are way more controllable through the various detail settings.
For most of my hip hop and electronic experimental songs I use it on the master bus, when I am looking for saturation and vibe from soft and subtle to extreme. For songs with a more modern, ultra-clean sound I might only use it for one specific track to add life to it.
for harsh, rough sounds it's perfect solution
Its just a must for your final stage
Brings everything together in a very musical way, everything becomes a little bit more colourful and sweet, and louder at the same time without destroying the original.
A MUST HAVE/NO SUBSTITUTE
The ATR-102 has made the most impact on my mixes out of any plugin I've purchased in the past few years.
I delayed demoing it because I already had the Studer 800 on individual tracks and the Slate VTM on my master (I assumed relative equivalency)... I just figured I had my "tape" bases covered. I could not have been more wrong.
The Slate vtm is a fine plugin in it's own right and I'm a big supporter of their software as well, but sonically these plug ins are very disimilar to my ears. The Slate is very smooth with a hearty low mid harmonic bump, great for taming digital "edge", but in my experience it veils aspects of the "sonic image" and transients whereas the Ampex actually enhances those bits. After much effort I just couldn't get CLOSE to the same, brilliant results of the ATR-102 (And boy did I try to save myself the $$$).
The "3D" analog effect, the full range of saturation & harmonic content... it imparts amazing presence without harshness. If your mix "sounds like protools" this is the fix. Demo it, throw it on the master and hear your song sound like a record.
It really is a magic "better-izer" kind of plugin, without "hyping" the sound. If anything it makes everything sound more natural & feel more exciting all at the same time. I've never heard another plugin achieve what the ATR-102 does. Truly breathtaking, top 5, desert island processing.
My first "tape" plugin I purchased was "Oxide", but always had my eye on the Studer and this ATR-102. I love them all! The added warmth it gives on the Stereo Buss has made the ATR-102 indispensable and now in the default setup for my mixing sessions.
Great plugin in addition of the studer
I was afraid to have 2 same plug ins but it is very different from the studer. The color that the Ampex bring is really different and glue the group and/or the master far better, a must have...
Great tape simulator!
I like to use tape simulation plugin a lot, this one is the best! Various tape types for different textures and delay mode for thicker sound.
A game changer.
The UAD Ampex ATR-102 is a game changer. This bad boy helped me get that extra weight, punch and presence for the tracks to hit really hard. I used to think tape saturation wasn't necessary on electronic and heavily processed tracks, and was fairly unimpressed with other tape saturation plugins, but after moving to the UAD platform, and getting this gem, I have changed my mind. I actually felt like I got an extra sense of depth on the tracks along with the punchy front. Getting tracks to sound good is really about skill and years and years of hard work, but if there is some "magic" plugin to use to get that finished sound - this would (in my humble opinion) be it.
On every master buss. Great different colours!
Lives up to the name...
Caught a great deal for it - necessary!
You're having an AMPEX tape recorder to play with in your attic...that's just horrendously amazing, if you forgot...
It really does that compie tape thing to a mix.
Best sounding tape emulator ever
I can't live without that on my master bus! Bravo
I didn't think something like this would make that much of a difference but as soon as i slapped it on the 2 bus it was all over! I was hooked! I put it on even before i start a mix as it helps me envision the final vibe of the song. Worth every cent and definitely on my top 3 for mix plugins of all time!
Awesome, Just Awesome.
Sure, you can nitpick anything but this is actually awesome in what it does to the mix bus signal. Start with the presets and start tweaking until you get it right. Fits nearly everything and anything that benefits analogue flavour and some glue
A must have
on every track!