There’s a lot of tape emulation plug-ins right now for Pro Tools users and many of them are very good. Is it a case of taste or are there some tape emulations that are better than others.
Here is our round up of the contenders, then take our favourite plug-in poll at the end for you to have your say, please also add your comments.
An Abbey Road endorsed vintage tape machine, this may not have all the bells and whistles, but what it does have is quality and class in bucket loads. Our review of the Waves J37 plugin is here Supports AAX Native, RTAS, VST and AU.
With meticulous attention to detail in both sound and graphics the UAD models are loved by many - the one drawback is the need to own UAD hardware to use it, but in our view a UAD card or interface is money well spent. Both can be purchased as a bundle. Our review of the UAD ATR-102 plug-in is here. Supports RTAS, VST and AU. AAX Native coming soon.
Models of a 2 inch 16 track from NRG Recording and a ½ inch 2 track machine from Howie Weinberg Mastering, Slates VTM has a lot of fans. Our review of the Slate Virtual Tape Machines plug-in is here. Supports VST, RTAS, AU.
Modelled on a vintage tube tape machine found at Olympic Studios in London that Eddie used on his great recordings of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Adjustable tape speed, bias, flux, wow and flutter, slap / feedback delay. Supports VST, VST3, RTAS, AU, AAX Native.
Satin offers not just tape emulation but some nice added extras, such as tape delay and the possibility to both encode and decode old tapes with noise reduction models. Our review of the U-He Satin plug-in is here. Supports VST, VST3, AU, AAX Native beta.
Nomad Factory Magnetic tape plug-in
Offering 9 tape models from some of the best tape machines in history, there is plenty to tweak and plenty to like about this plug-in. Supports AAX Native, RTAS, VST and AU.
This plug-in has been around for a long time and although it might be a little dated, one should not overlook this plug-in from Avid, it offers a lot of flexibility for the user willing to give it tweak. Supports AAX Native, AAX DSP, TDM, RTAS, AudioSuite
From the hands and heart of Dave Hill, perhaps one of the smartest and nicest men in the audio industry, Crane Song Pheonix II picks-up from the original TDM version. It offers 5 ‘flavours’ of tape emulation and does not try to look like a tape machine with its GUI, instead the design concentrates on easy to use controls allowing the user to tweak the ‘level dependant’ processing. Supports AAX Native, AAX DSP, TDM, RTAS, AudioSuite