Tape Emulation Plugins. Give me your experiences

Trace

Sound Addict
Just to clarify...

if you place most of these emulations on a mix and then swap them for another, there is to my ears, a dramatic difference in the way that mix presents. VTM and Kramer, for instance, will restrict dynamic range and pull certain frequencies forward, adding saturation, way more so than the UA or Steinberg plugs. The differences are often exaggeratied when driving the emulations harder. Most of them don’t really sound like overdriven tape to me.
 
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doctoremmet

Senior Member
Just to clarify...

if you place most of these emulations on a mix and then swap them for another, there is to my ears, a dramatic difference in the way that mix presents. VTM and Kramer, for instance, will restrict dynamic range and pull certain frequencies forward, adding saturation, way more so than the UA or Steinberg plugs. The differences are often exaggeratied when driving the emulations harder. Most of them don’t really sound like overdriven tape to me.
Gotcha. Now owning several tape emulations, I can say my experiences are like yours. For subtle effects I quite like Softube Tape. It is not too taxing on CPU so I slap it on inserts and busses. I quite like IK Multimedia Tape for -dare I say- “mastering” (I’m merely a hobbyist so this always sounds slightly pretentious haha). The Waves ones are really cool as well. José’s trick to put Kramer Master Tape on orchestral strings channels was an excellent one!

So yes, there are a lot of differences. I am too inexperienced with REAL tape saturation to be able to tell which one would remotely sound authentic or not ;)
 
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doctoremmet

Senior Member
Honestly, I don't hear a difference in any of them. Do they really make a difference?
When used as a “glue” type thing, the effects are often subtle, but do sum as you use tape across tracks. Bypass them and you’ll miss them immediately. Once you start applying saturation, the differences between various vendors and models are actually quite audible / large!
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I have a few tap emulations and use them all the time for mixing records. VTM is usually my go to emulation, but I also have the J37 by Waves which adds a nice subtle touch...I don't mess with the settings, just the default does the trick for a little extra oomph. The VTM gets fine tuned and gain staged...just like tape (which I remember using).

I have also been adding one overlooked saturation plugin...not many people know this one, but makes a big difference. Kush has transformer emulations...like preamps. They're only about $30 each, and emulate API, NEVE and another older pre component. So I use them FIRST, because it's emulating the proper signal flow (mic-tape)...so transformer first, then tape emulation. I will also use tape emulation on the master, or when mastering...switched to the 1/2' emulation rather than the 2".

One tip...these need to be used from the start...you need to EQ and mix into them, because they are so colored and will dictate your EQ choices...usually I follow it with a neutral EQ rather than yet another analog emulation, but not always..:) case by case.
 
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doctoremmet

Senior Member
Kush has transformer emulations...like preamps. They're only about $30 each, and emulate API, NEVE and another older pre component.
Interesting. Given that you like these, I bet you’ll love Kazrog True Iron as well. $20 right now. For a quick overview, I recommend the Plugin Of The Week episode on the Mixing With Mike channel. Thanks, will check out Kush.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
Interesting. Given that you like these, I bet you’ll love Kazrog True Iron as well. $20 right now. For a quick overview, I recommend the Plugin Of The Week episode on the Mixing With Mike channel. Thanks, will check out Kush.
Right now I am more than set with analog emulations...I have so many. Thanks for the info though.

Actually, I have this plugin but never used it...called "Front DAW"...forgot who makes it.. LOL It's supposed to act as an analog saturation as the first insert.
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
Second doc's comments about True Iron. For transformer-specific saturation this thing is easily the best thing currently available (and a steal on sale, not to mention its normal retail price.) It punches WAY above its weight.
 
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doctoremmet

Senior Member
Second doc's comments about True Iron.
If I’m not mistaken I first heard of True Iron here in this thread, when you suggested it ❤ Got it, among some actual tape emulations (both Waves ones, Softube Tape, IK Multimedia Tape Collection). I must say True Iron is an excellent plugin and really adds a flavour and “glue”. I went for tape and I got iron haha. Well, I guess tape actually uses some ferro doesn’t it? ;)
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
If I’m not mistaken I first heard of True Iron here in this thread, when you suggested it ❤ Got it, among some actual tape emulations (both Waves ones, Softube Tape, IK Multimedia Tape Collection). I must say True Iron is an excellent plugin and really adds a flavour and “glue”. I went for tape and I got iron haha. Well, I guess tape actually uses some ferro doesn’t it? ;)
Quite possibly! Easily one of my favorite clean/hi-fi/console-ish sounding saturators.
(I've also had a few drinks and a night out for the first time since late June? My recall on finer details like this may very well be spotty ATM! :P :emoji_beers:)

((Absolutely not-spotty re-True ron though! It's a daily driver for me!))
 
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doctoremmet

Senior Member
Quite possibly! Easily one of my favorite clean/hi-fi/console-ish sounding saturators.
(I've also had a few drinks and a night out for the first time since late June? My recall on finer details like this may very well be spotty ATM! :P :emoji_beers:)

((Absolutely not-spotty re-True ron though! It's a daily driver for me!))
Just re-read this thread. Here’s how that went:

First one to mention True Iron was @method1 - closely followed by orchestra master mixer extraordinaire @Joël Dollié and you were quick to second their recommendation. File under: totally trivial facts haha! But as they say: all good things come in threes. Shortly after I went to the Kazrog website ;)
 
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Joël Dollié

Active Member
Just re-read this thread. Here’s how that went:

First one to mention True Iron was @method1 - closely followed by orchestra master mixer extraordinaire @Joël Dollié and you were quick to second their recommendation. File under: totally trivial facts haha! But as they say: all good things come in threes. Shortly after I went to the Kazrog website ;)

KRANK IT!!! Capture.PNG

True iron is great but a little bit shy. Here are my settings for subtle saturation if you're interested. Settled with this for most cases after playing around with it for a while
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
PSP just added a Saturator to their infinitiStrip, now called InfinitiStrip Fire. (Also a Brickwall Limiter.)

Free upgrade if you already have it.
 

Mike T

boring member
I can't shake the desire to have a nice vibey EQ/compressor, or a channel strip, or a tape plugin, just one select thing or things, to use as a little bit of fairy dust over stuff. At the same time, I have no idea what I'm after or if it's really something tangible to begin with, or if I shouldn't just stick to the plain transparent stuff I use in Logic. Guess I'll read this thread again?
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Here are my settings for subtle saturation if you're interested.
Happy to see this.... ;)
I use it quite often with almost this setting (just with the Mix knob at around 50% or less).
Out of the six voicings the 111C is by far the most noble; the other ones break up much more and sound often better with fewer crush.
I recently added Kush's Omega 458A to my collection and think that it adds a great alternative. Do you use the Kush stuff too?
(also got Clariphonic at that occasion, i had to demo it about reading so often about it. And the first project where i tried it out [solo piano] was a perfect match...)
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
I can't shake the desire to have a nice vibey EQ/compressor, or a channel strip, or a tape plugin, just one select thing or things, to use as a little bit of fairy dust over stuff. At the same time, I have no idea what I'm after or if it's really something tangible to begin with, or if I shouldn't just stick to the plain transparent stuff I use in Logic. Guess I'll read this thread again?
The PSP. Channel strip I just mentioned may fit that bill perfectly. It has a thirty day demo to try.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I can't shake the desire to have a nice vibey EQ/compressor, or a channel strip, or a tape plugin, just one select thing or things, to use as a little bit of fairy dust over stuff. At the same time, I have no idea what I'm after or if it's really something tangible to begin with, or if I shouldn't just stick to the plain transparent stuff I use in Logic. Guess I'll read this thread again?
I would recommend to test out a 14 day trial version of some of the TMT consoles on plugin alliance: