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Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

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Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Pitchfork » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:08 am

I come from the analog domain years ago and have since gone ITB, but I miss the analog warmth of analog gear, and I did have an old compressor (not really analog) which I used to push my ITB mixes through which gelled ok..

But with a smaller 2 in/out soundcard that does the job on my Macbook Pro, I was just seeing what was the best analog stereo mixdown plug in?

I know this gets asked alot, but thought if there was anything in particular just for the master channel?

I have the PSP Vintage Warmer which I need to try a little more, but wanted something instead of actual analog mix compressor which I'd need to route through..

Are there now, even better analog saturation/tape plug ins, (than a couple of years ago) when I bought the PSP?
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Darren Lynch » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:20 am

Please get to know Vintage Warmer a lot better before spending cash on anything else. There are more expensive options such as UAD's tape simulations, but I promise you that the difference between VW and anything else "will not affect sales", as they say. There are three presets in VW offering three levels of tape saturation - have you tried them? VW still stands up as one of the best master bus processors out there.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Jonnypopisical » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:30 am

+1 for VW II

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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby blackmagicdisco » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:36 am

Twin-Tube is good for tube saturation on individual channels, I like to use decemort to fatten stuff up too. VW is a funny one, it takes some getting used to, I still dont fully know how to use it, but it does sound awesome. I use it purely for dialing in a bit of saturation during mastering, rather than getting into the whole compression and limiting thing. I prefer Waves Vintage Compressor and SSL4000 Bus Comp for those duties. Some people are dead against using VM on the main bus at all, but if you are on a budget, its a great swiss army knife and it sounds awesome. Stick it over the drum bus too, its great for that. Apparently Decapatator by Soundtoys is excellent (perhaps better than VW) but only does saturation, but if thats all you want, it could be the one to go for...
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Resonator » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:39 am

+1 for PSP Vintage Warmer.PSP MixSaturator is nice too.
The new Saturn from Fabfilter is superb.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby desmond » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:00 am

I always disliked Vintage Warmer, tried really hard but never got anything I liked out of it. To my ears it doesn't sound nice.

The best tapey saturation thing I've head is probably UAD's Ampex, and the Fatso can add some nice "bigness" to stuff although it can be a little overpowering on a full mix (it's generally best used imo on stems like drums and guitars).

Waves MPX tapey saturation thing was 'ok', as is the DUY Tape plugin. For a different type of character distortion, Softube's Decapitator is super fun, though again whether it will work for you on a full mix at very subtle settings is debatable.

But really, it depends what you are wanting out of these saturation plugins - what you may be looking for, and your style of music, may be different from my tastes. The only thing to do is take recommendations, read around, and start trying some demos and seeing which ones work the best for you. I know that always sounds like cop out advice, but it is in many cases the truth, especially with subjective arty type tools - because there is no "best", only what works for you.

I was not aware of Saturn, looks like it's worth checking out, though I'm not really a massive fan of their plugin interfaces.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Resonator » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:10 am

desmond wrote:I always disliked Vintage Warmer, tried really hard but never got anything I liked out of it. To my ears it doesn't sound nice.
I was not aware of Saturn, looks like it's worth checking out, though I'm not really a massive fan of their plugin interfaces.

I think Vintage Warmer is a Marmite plug-in you either love it or hate it

Saturn was only released last week.I'm really liking it so far though.It would be nice if there was a solo button,but i'm sure the Fabfilter guys will address that in an update
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Billum » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:15 pm

Another tack might be to try the Slate Digital VCC console emulator, which is supposed to add analog warmth at the channel strip and mix-buss level.

I believe they are also due to release an analog tape simulation plugin soon too.

Also the Sonnox Limiter has a very useful 'enhance' curve that adds some nice harmonics...

There's a lot of demo-ing to be done!
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby johnny h » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:29 pm

Darren Lynch wrote:Please get to know Vintage Warmer a lot better before spending cash on anything else. There are more expensive options such as UAD's tape simulations, but I promise you that the difference between VW and anything else "will not affect sales", as they say. There are three presets in VW offering three levels of tape saturation - have you tried them? VW still stands up as one of the best master bus processors out there.

3 levels of tape saturation - 3 degrees of it sounding like absolute crap. Vintage warmer is neither vintage nor warm. All it does is add an unpleasant sheen of digital distortion.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Resonator » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:22 am

johnny h wrote:
Darren Lynch wrote:Please get to know Vintage Warmer a lot better before spending cash on anything else. There are more expensive options such as UAD's tape simulations, but I promise you that the difference between VW and anything else "will not affect sales", as they say. There are three presets in VW offering three levels of tape saturation - have you tried them? VW still stands up as one of the best master bus processors out there.

3 levels of tape saturation - 3 degrees of it sounding like absolute crap. Vintage warmer is neither vintage nor warm. All it does is add an unpleasant sheen of digital distortion.

Have you tried Fabfilter Saturn?
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Chris_Allen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:45 pm

the best tube saturation model I have heard is this one:

http://wavearts.com/products/plugins/tube/

it eats DSP for breakfast in its 'fat' mode but obviously you can print the effect and move on. its EQ is useable and fun and it breaks-up really nicely. Great for subtle enhancement too. It is the only one I've heard that can compete with my hardware.


the Magneto plugin from Nomad Factory is also a lot of fun - aggressive, but worth a look if radical shaping is your thing.

Slate Digital's VCC is also very good, more subtle and more £££


VWarmer as a gentle limiter is ok - but imo its weird multi-band saturation sounds dubious at best. To be fair to PSP, its pretty old technology now. Perhaps it has been superceded by newer saturation models which take advantage of the much more powerful processors we all use nowadays. PSP make amazing plugins so hopefully VW v3 [when it comes] will be good too.

and finally - a little mention for Logic's excellent "Overdrive" plugin which often gets forgotten about - this thing can sound amazing on the right material.

somehow it seems a little ironic that good distortion is the hardest 'analog process' for modelling plugins to produce.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Kwackman » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:44 pm

Another PSP vintage fan here too.
But keep an ear on your bass instruments - with some settings it gets a bit mushy, to my ears anyway.
But with sane settings it's very nice, again IMHO.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Resonator » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:00 pm

Seriously give Saturn a try
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby langley » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:49 am

ive just downloaded the demo of airwindows totape and on first listen it does a good job.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Dave Rowles » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:22 pm

I got a Nomad Factory Magnetic plug that works quite well for me. Very customisable, and clear controls. Seems to do a good job of putting that extra bit of polish to my mixes.
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby Resonator » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:00 pm

A new contender.Reelbus
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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby G-Doubleyou » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:53 am

More along the line of VCC is Satson by Sonimus is a console emulation.

At $39 it's a no-brainer.

http://dsp.sonimus.com/products/satson/

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Re: Suggestions on analog saturation / tape simulation plug in?

Postby wdsteele » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:26 am

I use the PSP VW and overall it's very good , but doesn't always suit and I have found myself removing it once I return to a mix.My go to plug-ins are from Tri-tone Digital and specifically their Colortone plug-in which emulates all types of analogue warmth including tape machines and big name desks.I do have the Steve Slate mix bus plug-ins but I'm still wondering what all the fuss was about with that one.
Tri-tone covers all my needs AND it's a treat to use.
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