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Is Waves Kramer Tape plug-in worth the money for what you get?

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by engineer971, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Warming from the tube emulators, comes fairly close to the saturation one wants to get from analog tape. Tubes go into soft overload much the same way that tape starts to become nonlinear from saturation, while also offering up saturation limiting. These emulations can be very effective, though not necessarily something you want to add to everything. Having the right kind of harmonic distortion on the right sources creates a natural acoustic phenomena that we all know to be quite musical sounding. Colored sounding? You bet.

    The real question is why do we like it? Probably because we've had it for the last 60 years? And it evokes a certain type of sound that we all deemed to be familiar and pleasing. Even order distortion components are distortions a.k.a. overtones a.k.a. harmonics occur in real life. From instruments to the human voice.

    Odd order distortion components do not occur in real life. It is pure electronic distortion where the harmonic content becomes dissonant sounding providing no real acoustic benefit. Though it can be utilized moderately. Gives a harder crack to the transients on some drums but that normally requires only after you've made the recording well, to begin with. You don't want to be doing that on the input side to anything. Because then, like Mitt Romney, you're screwed.

    Morality won out over the immoral majority who now only seem to be 49% of the American populace.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Jul 21, 2009
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    Boston, Massachusetts
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    i've heard the slate tape emulation was nice.
     
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
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    ++++Flame suite on and force field engaged++++


    I've yet to hear a plug that truly emulates tape.

    For those of us who came up in the days of tape, and who remember those saturation "sweet spots" up around +3 to +6db ( and who also remember the hassles of biasing and alignment, lab tapes, alignment tones, degaussing, editing with a razor blade and a grease pencil) I'd find it hard to believe that most of these people would think that the current crop of plugs would pass their criteria for the true sound of tape.

    If you really desire that sound - the saturation, warmth, even-order harmonics, etc, then you could probably pick up a 1/4" 15 ips half-track for a reasonable price on eBay these days for probably not that much more than one of the expensive emulating plugs. Although, you're likely to also get the things that made people want to switch to digital to begin with...LOL... the hiss, maybe some wow or flutter...

    Load your reel, bus your track of choice from your DAW's I/O to the deck, ( or even bus the whole two-mix to it if you want) print it hot, and fly it back in to your DAW as a secondary track or aux return track and adjust the mix between the dry and the tape return.
     
  4. callahan studios

    callahan studios Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    An analog tape machine gives the overall sound an eq curve which in my opinion cannot be emulated. Tape is an experience like no other. Tape emulators are getting close but will never be the real thing. And drums sound so good when bounced to tape and back because the tape machine naturally puts around a 10:1 compression ratio on them. You can get a similar effect using parallel compression on drums which is a whole different art form in itself to perfect! Lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. callahan studios

    callahan studios Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    I guess I didn't answer the question. It would probably be a waste if money to buy the plug in. Good luck


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB. Canada
    While true that that tape simulators don't sound like tape (I have two reel to reels). They can be easily underestimated as cool distortion toys. The waves kramer plug is killer on synths, solos and anything else that needs some harmonic content. The flux setting gets some really nice grit.
     
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Yep. Worth every penny. Not to replace real acetate passing quickly over a magnetic field but to stand on its own....real cool.
     
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
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    ...At which point I'd like to see these plugs called something else. LOL

    There's no doubt that some VSTi's have secondary uses - often those secondary uses, such as Paul and Dave mentioned, can work out really well in terms of adding texture to certain tracks...

    So, let's call it a "texturizer" or a "flam-shmega-doodle", or a " synth-twisting gobbler-grabber".... just don't call it a tape emulator! LOL ;)

    d/
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    I actually find it amazing that they can come up with algorithms to emulate EMT Plate reverbs. Yet they still can't seem to come up with a good algorithm to actually provide for the nonlinear transference of analog magnetic tape. You'd think...? Which is why folks like us consider most of those emulators totally bogus. They still can't figure out how to get the mathematics right for that. Like the Shania Twain song goes... that don't impress me much. Yet... most of us will still accept that and make the best from what we can with the tools that are currently available, with software. It's not horrible but then it's also not great though it is totally adequate and usable. Given the limitations set forth. Just like we didn't have cell phone technology in the 1970s. So give anything enough time and it'll get better. It always has. It always will. I'm just getting tired of waiting LOL. I'm ADD!

    Not that those plug-ins don't work well for other purpose applications. Anything that mangles sound can work. But even that I don't bother with since I can over-gain the Neve or my API stuff. Which doesn't sound like tape saturation because it's not. Though those things are quite saturated sounding. But it's different. It's all good. It all works. As long as you utilize it effectively. Since I don't really want grunge. I want big. I want fat. I want dense. Thick.

    I think I'm thick in the head? And I have a lithp. Thuffering Thuccotash! I'll just have to thickto Audio Engineering.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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