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Crow Preamp Emulator ...

I have been on the hunt for a good tape saturation plugin.... yes i know you will never totally get the right sound, but I think it can still help...

I have still not come across one as good as some others people talk of that are not available for VST/PC .... but I come across this free VST plugin that does recreate quite a good valve sound... i found on somethings it just took away the clarity but on other things it made it sound very warm and real sounding!

not bad for free... thought I would get your views on it...



Excuse me, I thought the problem was completely the opposite: VST/PC platform offers quite a lot of great tape saturation/compression character plugins..

while the good almightly original effect is still top-notch compared to anything that is available now, I've found the following to be at least worth trying, especially since some of them are free..

Sascha Eversmeier's Dominion - Windows and MacOS9 (NO OSX ports EVER)
http://www.digitalfishphones.com/main.p ... &subItem=4
recognized as one of the best ones available, more than 6 years old now, discontinued and still kicking

Am-Track and other vintage emulations - Magix / Sequoia / Samplitude - PC ONLY
recognized as one of the best, once again made by Eversmeier for Magix.

Tritone Digital's ColorTone, ValveTone, HydraTone and others - PC AND MAC
http://www.tritonedigital.com/product_i ... ucts_id=32
very different comments from various users..some say they're kinda good, others say they're not good. Noone so far says they're "awesome".

VirSyn VTAPE - PC and MAC - SynchroSoft, no YARRs! here.
still being "tested" by the general userbase, receiving quite good comments, still nothing like the first two up above in this list

DUY Tape - PC and MAC, formerly TDM-only now being released as Native VST/AU/RTAS - Synchrosoft, no eye bandage.
http://www.duy.net/duystore/product.asp ... rrencyID=1
revered as the one and only in the TDM environment, now available in Native formats as well.

It seems to me the PC and MAC panoramas are quite different. I'd love to get a 350$ PC for my studio and let hell break loose but I just can't.

Try and put the search term "tape" in that site by clicking below here:
http://www.free-plugin-list.com/index.p ... y=0&os=all
and see the results for yourself. Mac results = 0. Lots of PC results.

Now this tells us nothing about the quality, just quantity of course...but the Windows engineers are the ones who really used tape and care about it so never trust your Mac engineer (I am one myself) because he won't just give you the tape pleasure you want ;) Mac heads are clearly digital doods it seems. ;)

anyone else wants to add to this list, feel free to do it.
Re: Analog Tape Simulators

Other tape emulations:

- Voxengo AnalogSuite TapeBus

- PSP MixSaturator - Win/MAC, now on version 2

-JB Ferox (freeware)

and here a bunch of free good tube or anyway analog warmth emulations:

My own favorite is TESSLA SE (freeware, transformer emulation). For me it's really good ! :D

Another good oneis CRYSONIC Nxtasy http://www.crysonic.com/nxtasyv2.html, analog harmonic Saturator.

Hope to help somebody to find his best sound. Let me know if you find something interesting. :D



Thanks Teeto,
I am definitely bookmarking what you posted, as well! I want to add two plugins for tape and valve saturation/compression effects for my studio and I really need to look into all the possibilities.


I've spent the morning trying some plugins on 4 songs for an EP. The mix I have is complete and I'm left with 4 tracks: Vocals, Guitars, Keys, Bass+Drums. All of this in DP 5.13 through an 828MkII and mostly through a pair of the usual deal: NS-10M Studio.

- Crysonic Nxtasy:
I don't like it very much..it sounds like a "cheap audio card" emulator plugin, it gets highs and mid-highs to some harshness that I don't like much..no real way to make my mix-buses sound better than they were without it.

- Voxengo VariSaturator:
Again: kinda harsh but not really bad..it seems to be less powerful in terms of loudness gain when compared to similar plugins and I take this as a good sign. It has two different saturation effects: Valve and Digital. I don't like the Digital one too much that's probably because it's not what I am after. The Valve Saturation is actually nice as long as it's applied gently. Nothing worth (musically) dying for, though.

- PSP MixSaturator;
Sounded like a light version of the VintageWarmer (See below)..not bad again: no real loudness maximizer and some subtle effect. I'd dare saying, placebo or not that I would think it as equal to the VariSaturator only slightly better in terms of flavour. At the end I took this out of my busses anyway.

- PSP VintageWarmer;
So far the best effect I was looking for. All my busses stay around -12dB, more or less so they definitely ask for some pumping before getting out of mastering or any kind of finalization process. This VintageWarmer opens up the sound and makes breath a little more. I found it great when applied AFTER the Bus EQ (I use the Cambridge EQ for that). The way I've done it is: open up VintageWarmer in "SemiDriven Mix" preset as insert N.2 and then open up a Cambridge EQ for each bus as insert N.1. I start EQing with the EQ going into the VintageWarmer ALREADY so basically I EQ into it. With this method, a slight change of 1-2dB in a specific area (e.g. ~600Hz, ~84Hz etc) really makes that section of the mix (be it vocals body, rhythm section kick punch etc.) stand out.

So far only VintageWarmer is worth buying for me. I should try VirSyn VTAPE out but then I am afraid the demo will expire on me and I will want to buy it :) .. after all this is what happened with 95% of the UAD plugins I've tried (say hi to my got-it-two-days-ago new Plate140, for example).

Keep the tests up, I'd love to hear more from the vets in here :)

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