The state of Tape Emus and preamps 2021

Discussion in 'Software' started by julianbre, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. julianbre

    julianbre Kapellmeister

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    What is everybody using nowadays for tape emulation and preamps?
    I own Slate VMR and Virtual tape machines, Crane Song Phoenix II, UAD Studer A800, Kush Omega A and N, and Kazrog True Iron plus probably a few I'm forgetting.

    The best so far has been the Kush Omega A with Crane Song Phoenix but still not exactly what I'm looking for. It seems like every time I use any of them, even subtly, it smears the stereo imaging and sounds muddier. By the end the mix sounds worse. I've mixed on the real boards and they don't sound like that.

    Looking for something to add more depth as well as girth to the sound. Going to try out the Black Rooster VPRE-73. Any other suggestions?
     
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  3. Lenny Belardo II

    Lenny Belardo II Rock Star

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    Acustica Taupe is quite good on the right material with the right tape emulation and the right pre amp and the right compression and the right eq.... and lots of things that make getting a single solution to your question rather difficult.
    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/acustica-audio-taupe
     
  4. Voekit

    Voekit Ultrasonic

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    Depth?
    Acustica Audio.
     
  5. Jim Von Gucci

    Jim Von Gucci Producer

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    Arturia has a range or pres, just a suggestion not sure if they are what you are after.
    https://www.arturia.com/products/software-effects/preamps-bundle/overview
     
  6. rudolph

    rudolph Rock Star

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  7. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Platinum Record

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    @julianbre

    I agree with you 100%, none of them sound right.

    I've gotten good results with FF Saturn but it's labor intensive, complicated and always needs to be dialed back in mixed in parallel.
    I'm also a fan of u-He Satin but it has the same problem, you have to tweak and mess with it to get close to what you want and will still not sound like what you think it should.

    UAD ATR-102 & A800 are just too clean and probably a somewhat accurate example of a perfectly calibrated transport p/r & motors that just don't exist in the real world and so they sound right either.

    Let me know if you find something that works, I'd like to know too.
     
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  8. imposter

    imposter Member

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    Sknote percolate is good cpu intensive though make sure you twitch off the high voltage to get a proper feel.
    Percolate – Stereo Tube Circuits at the deepest level. | www.sknoteaudio.com

    It is a stereo, two stages amplifier, with input and output transformers, preamplifier stage, tone control, power push-pull stage and output mix (wet-dry) control.

    Two output taps are available: preamplifier and power stage. The first stage requires higher input level to saturate and the saturation is crisper. The output stage has a richer and smoother saturation.

    Two options for the input transformer: transparent and iron (lots of color).

    Two options for the output transformer: hi fidelity and iron (biggest difference is in the low frequency range).
     
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  9. Lenny Belardo II

    Lenny Belardo II Rock Star

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    Looks interesting and a good price. I'll check it out. Thanks.
     
  10. dondada

    dondada Platinum Record

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    look at these companies
    Kush audio
    Pulsar audio (in the extended functions)
    Elysia
    and of course the mighty Airwindows
     
  11. julianbre

    julianbre Kapellmeister

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far everybody! I should have mentioned I'm running Protools so it has to be AAX.
    Acustica Audio is really not an option even though I know they sound great.

    I'm not going for "most acurate tape emulation", just something that sounds killer. Same goes for preamp emulation. Kush Omega A, still sounds best for preamp emulation. u-He Satin, to me, sounds the best at tape emulation. Last time I used it though, cpu usage was pretty high, so I passed on it. SSL X-Saturator sounded really good but haven't used it on a full mix yet.

    Sknote Percolate looks cool. Will check it out. FabFilter Saturn, heard so many good things about it but have never tried it out. I will now.

    I think what we are all looking for are preamp and tape plugins that are easy to use, cpu friendly and improve, not degrade the sound. Not too much to ask for haha.
     
  12. Canderous

    Canderous Noisemaker

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    Soundtoys Decapitator. Case closed.
     
  13. Neck

    Neck Member

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    T-RackS Tape Machine Collection
     
  14. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Platinum Record

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    You could try out Chow Tape from Chow DSP. It's intended to be more of a tape modulation plug-in but it also works really well on busses and master if set up correctly. You can download it for free here https://chowdsp.com/products.html

    Aside from that, the best paid-for plug-in IMHO is probably U-he Satin.
     
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  15. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Rock Star

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  16. imposter

    imposter Member

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    don't forget Massey tape. zero latency and low mid chunk turn the drive all the way down and put it on your bus to test it. mwaha
    you can put it on every track, cpu is nothing
     
  17. imposter

    imposter Member

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    can anyone suggest a 0 latency preamp
     
  18. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Audiosexual

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    Hmm... I like softube tape. Works for me...
     
  19. clone

    clone Kapellmeister

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    this is very nice. thank you. :)
     
  20. Tele_Vision

    Tele_Vision Ultrasonic

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    Neve 542
     
  21. dondada

    dondada Platinum Record

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