Tale of the Tape Sims.

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by kmetal, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    hey y'all figured I'd put this out there. I been filling in holes in my software for quite some time and I got onto the task of tape sims/saturation plugs.

    I ended up getting 3, heavy, medium, and subtle. Now I'm not really sure if these sound like tape, and I'm not concerned that they do or don't. I look at these as kinda like a pre-eq curve, dynamic saturation, and compressor packet.

    I've used the VTM at the studio a fair bit so i happened to be in tape sim mission mode and it happens to be on sale so I grabbed it. I read and watched a lot before hand to refresh my memory since its both subtle and not cheap. Magnetic was impulse because people mentioned it's saturation ability, and it was in a bundle w a delay and sub harmonic generator for $50, which I haven't tried yet. When i watched the YouTube it really had that trashy/dirty Tascam sound I love so much, so I thought it'd be useful for instances where heavy handed might be cool. The ozone vintage tape came w a bundle I scooped, and I think it's somewhere in the middle. I really like what it's doing w it's HF boost. It seems to add some life or energy.

    I'd like to think I have a well rounded collection of these types of processors and hopefully don't/won't want/need any others.

    Anyway these are in order from heavy medium and subtle imho. Curious to hear what you guys think. Especially since I'm doing so much anylizkng on my phone, which has limited bandwidth, I can't hear below 300hz or above maybe 6-8khz? Def not below 250hz or above 10.

    Nomad Factory Magnetic 2

    Audio right away

    Audio right away

    Ozone Vintage Tape

    Audio @ 3:40

    Audio @ 3:00

    Slate VTM
    audio @ 5:40

  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Limited to 5 media embeds per post, here's two more slates.

    Audio @2:35

    Audio @ 4:15, goes thru individual tracks.

  3. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    From what I have read and have heard, the Waves Abbey Rd J37 tape plug-in is also very good.

  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I used Ozone7 tape sim with good result (Very subtle).
    It would be nice to compare them and find what their forces are. (I bet quite different)
    kmetal likes this.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i've got your J37 tape sim. $21,000.00

    Sean G and kmetal like this.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Very nice machine...

    I liked tape. I still do.

    Even Tascam had winners with their 48/58 Series 8 Track 1/2", and their MS16 1".
    I have a 48 still, needs a LOT of work though. I don't have the MS16 anymore.

    But I do still have a working Studer Revox B77 2-track, although a few years back, the VU lights on the meters burnt out, and I replaced them with red LED's instead of standard white, so now, it kinda looks like the Amityville Horror House when I turn it on and look at it. It's even spookier in a darkened room. LOL

    But... they certainly aren't self-maintaining, that's for sure. De-Gaussing, head stack re-lapping, biasing, mechanical parts like guides, lifters, capstans and pinch rollers, motors and brakes, and occasional tracks going wizzly ... and I remember all too well those times where I had to re- align ( bias) my decks to tapes coming in from other studios to either add tracks to a current project from somewhere else, or to do a mix ( for those too young to remember tape, yeah, believe it or not, this was fairly common!)

    And ...tape itself wasn't all that cheap, either, even back then when it was plentiful.
    A reel of Ampex 499/2500'/1" cost about $90; and at 15ips, you only had around 32 minutes of recording time.

    Sean G, pcrecord and kmetal like this.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    if you were running a pro room at that time, you would go to a wholesaler for tape. they actually exsisted back then. nowadays you have to go directly to the manufacturer and they control the prices. we had a good one in Menlo Park just across the Dunbarton Bridge in CA. they charged $50.00 for 1" 456 / $90 a reel for 2" 456 in 2000. tape was a great money maker for me. I'd charge a buck and a quarter for each reel.

    as far as the maintenance aspects i think keeping a modern DAW up and running with updates and such to be just as much a chore and personally i relate much more to mechanical means to recording than electronic. i know some of my dislike for DAWs is my lack of ability in computer geekage. but i still don't really care for the sound of digital. it just rubs me the wrong way.
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Today, if I'd charge 150$ for the tape before actually starting to setup and record, I'd have no customers. Those still using them are blessed ! ;)
    Most like the economy, middle class studios are disapearing. You get the elites or the amateurs and nearly no one in between :(
    kmetal likes this.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Yeah I watched a comparison vid with it and the VTM and uad ampex, I found the waves to be the least interesting. It had a brightening effect like all waves plugins. The ampex was most dramatic, and the VTM was subtle. VTM had a little bit of a 'your there' quality to it, which I associate w tape.

    The decision was made against the j37 plug because it 'only' does 96k. Waves in particular you have to be careful and make sure the plug supports the sample rates you want. I found that out the hard way. About half of there plugs don't support 192k and most of the newer ones don't. I'm not sure why there 10+ Year old would. I'm guessing two things, lack of requests for 192k, and they need something to justify their upgrade fees.

    Not to go off on a tangent but it surprises me that 15+ years after 192k capability, people are still 44.1 and 96 in general. Seems like 96 has been somewhat standard for about 5-8 years. But a lot of people still are at cd quality. But who's using CDs to listen too!? Lol

    Droooooooooolllllll me want me want!

    Proud portastudio owner here. My Tascam 34 is gonna be on sale after I transfer the last tape. I like it it's just too bulky to have around.

    Maybe I should start charging for HD space so the bands will practice more, and actually commit to a mix. lol

    Ya know, that's a really good point. It's why I'm grabbing all my software upfront. I only wanna do the computer crap once. Take a backup snapshot on disc and be done. I'm working towards a 'closed system' like a mackie HDR hard disk recorder/editor.

    No internet, no (frivolous) software updates, no flavor of the week plugins.

    I'm gonna keep my desktop daw/NLE as locked up as possible. I have my laptop to try any new stuff on and make sure it's cool first.
  10. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Thats awsome Kurt...why have the plug-in when you can have the real thing. (y)

    Its early morning here in Australia, I just flicked on my computer, logged on to RO first, and the first alert I click on was your one showing that beautiful piece of recording history.

    What a way to start the day...It has put a smile on my face to last the all day.:D
    kmetal likes this.
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Oh man, I'd have to really go through it to know everything... pretty sure it needs a new motor, new meters, head re-lap, probably guides and lifters are pretty worn too...

  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    so it need a good wash too? :ROFLMAO:
    kmetal likes this.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... oh yeah.
    Although I thnk it's pronounced, "warsh". :LOL:

    Thought you might get a kick out of that video. ;)

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