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Happy holidays! Please see the year-end funding drive post in the Announcements subforum. Thanks and all my love to you beautiful people.

TAPE EMULATORS
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Author TAPE EMULATORS
DT
I'm about to get a tape emulator in my recording / mixing chain.
Recording on tape can be a pain in the ass sometimes so I'm thinking about getting a Neve Portico 5042 and a compressor before or after it.

I talked to the guy where I usually get my studio gear from and he suggested me the Empirical Labs FATSO rather than the Neve one.

Which are your opinions regarding this topic?
Are there any other tape saturators to get an eye on?

Thanks for your time!
flts
Do you record to computer? If so, try out http://www.u-he.com/cms/satin ... There aren't many software tape sims that sound like they should, but that one is frigging awesome.

If you don't use a DAW for recording then I'm afraid I can't help you other than a lot of people I know rave about the FATSO - specifically the UBK version rather than the original one.
BugBrand
Word is that this is meant to be ACE
http://www.soundskulptor.com/uk/sts.html
Keep meaning to get a kit..
(available ready made too)
slow_riot
1:1 10k bridging transformer might be worth looking into.

It's not magnetic tape but it does involve the signal being transferred to and from magnetic energy.
slow_riot
or, a 3 head cassette deck... you can monitor the just recorded signal with a few ms of latency.
Just me
Otari MX5050 makes a perfect 'emulator'. LOL!
DT
Thanks for all replies.

I tried the demo of Satin plus I record on tape sometimes but I'm not considering this route at this moment.

What I'm considering is an high end "tape saturation" emulator + compression to use during the recording or mixing stage.

My idea was to make a send / return on the mixer to have a kind of "bus compression / bus saturation" effect and record both signals (dry and wet) into the computer.

What do you think about this method?

Cheers guys
Entrainer
http://www.anamodaudio.com/ats1.html
flts
DT wrote:
My idea was to make a send / return on the mixer to have a kind of "bus compression / bus saturation" effect and record both signals (dry and wet) on the computer.


I think in that case you should definitely look into UBK FATSO. It might just do everything you need & want in one box. I still haven't tested one myself but comments from people I know & trust are overwhelmingly positive and fits the description of what you would want to do. Get a demo/loaner unit and see if it's for you.
NYMo
Entrainer wrote:
http://www.anamodaudio.com/ats1.html


^ What Entrainer said .
If you want "hi end" the ats1 is the way to go.

Cheers
Bath House
It honestly depends what you're actually looking for - is this for your productions or for clients? "Tape" has come to mean, to most people, "really fucked up and warbly like a Boards of Canada record," and then they get something like a Fatso and don't understand why it doesn't do that.

The best non-transparent, super-audible "tape effect" is a higher end 3-head cassette desk where you can hear the signal coming off of the tape with only like 1ms of delay. Then you can play around with all sorts of different cassettes and formulations and stuff like that for different effects.

The UBK Fatso is amazing, but it's one of those "slightly warm compressor" sounds that tends to do most of its magic on more chaotic live instrument signals like cymbals and stuff like that. It's not really going to suddenly make your stuff sound like a tape machine.
pulse_divider
What Bath House said.
Also, I'm not sure how effective it will be as a parallel processor but it's certainly worth trying. There might be phase issues.
tIB
I use a soundskulptor stereo tape simulator, really love it! I slap it over the mix bus outs, as a pull everything together in a 'right' kind of way. The manual is accurate in regards what the speeds do, and my mate neilbaldwin builds them to client requirements beautifully- here's mine: http://marmotaudio.co.uk/blog/2013/6/5/soundskulptor-stereo-tape-simul ator-done

!!!
Babaluma
haven't heard ANY i've really liked the sound of, hardware or software, and have tried most of them. if you want tape, get tape.
Just me
The cost of some of these emulators far exceed the cost of a good used 1/2 track and a case of pancakes. (And I'll bet NONE of them smell as good as tape and tubes inhe studio.)
tIB
Babaluma wrote:
haven't heard ANY i've really liked the sound of, hardware or software, and have tried most of them. if you want tape, get tape.


Interested to know how you felt the anamod, fatso and portico stacked up against the STS.
arnoux
Get a 2 tracks reel to reel and pump in there the entiere mix, then digitalize it again, if needed. So I'd say 2 tracks reel to reel recorder + SSL bus Compressor as bus compressor if you want a bus compressor.
l e b e r
The anamod is one amazing machine, but you'd want the add-on optional cards as I found they were preferable to the stock machine types... Really wished it was more than 2 ins and outs.

I find myself getting more impressed by plugins these days.... U-he Satin/Slate Digital is a good place to look. I've not tried the Slate tape emulator, but I've used their VBC compressor rack plugin and was blown away by the quality.... first time a plugin emulation has done this.

If you want lo-fi tape get an old marantz cassette recorder or tascam portastudio for cheap.
A Dingleberry Monstrosity
BugBrand wrote:
Word is that this is meant to be ACE
http://www.soundskulptor.com/uk/sts.html
Keep meaning to get a kit..
(available ready made too)


got it, built it, LOVE IT!!!
jonne74
I know you're all talking about serious emulation, but I'm waiting for a cheap cassette MP3 player to arrive via Ebay. It has an SD card slot and it plays files through the tape head in your tape deck.

If all else fails, and it doesn't have any mojo, it also doubles as a card reader. It was about $13 with shipping from China.
ben_hex
Plenty of good options here by the looks of it. I haven't tried any. I'm tempted with the STS and more long term the anamod audio looks great. Although looking on that site has me lusting for a 670 more than the tape.
mmp
The Ampex plugin for UAD and Apollo is pretty amazing to my ears.
Great for drum buss compression & head bump.
Tape delay FX, user settable wow & flutter, user calibration. FSU easily
plus realistic emulation.

Only issue: you need to invest in their DSP.
drowld
in 2018 is satin still the way to go ?
I love it myself
I know softube have a plugins but i've just heard review and never tried it
Biom
Satin is a joke.
Fielding DSP Reviver is far far better, but has nothing to do with tape (which is unsurprising). Still, a very well-made plugin, if that's what you're after
Entrainer
drowld wrote:
in 2018 is satin still the way to go ?


Reading good things about:
http://www.acustica-audio.com/store/products/taupe-trial

Have yet to try it. Reportedly a CPU hog, will need to freeze/commit or offline render (Audiosuite).
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