The Studer A800 is the first plugin I place across my mixes. This helps me get a good sound right off the bat. Once I dial it in, I proceed by placing the SSL G Buss Compressor on the Master Bus and start mixing from there. Do this and not only will you end up using less EQ and Compression, but your mixes will sound better because of it. Don't forget to play around with the Bias and HF filter. That's where the magic is at!
Playing a mix through Studer (and Ampex) creates the same improvement one might find between icemilk and icecream!
Not sure if any of you guys were ever poor enough that your parents bought you icemilk but believe me... Its night and day!!!
While at a session in L.A. last week, the band and I over the songs a few times as the engineer was getting tones and recording them to Pro Tools (sounded fine). Then we tracked the keepers onto a 2" Studer machine. I couldn't stop grinning after hearing my kit played back through that deck (it's been so long, I'd forgotten what tape does for drums). When I got home I started the A800 demo, tracked some drums and right there in front of me was that sound. Subtle on the overheads (like they were EQ'd - with really awesome EQ), more pronounced on kick & snare (the body of the drums were pulled forward, whereas it was mostly attack before). The price kept me from trying this out before. Don't be stupid like me, buy this. I finally did.
To my mind, there are two things that resolve the 'in the box / outside of the box' argument. The first one is production and mixing experience i.e. really knowing and understanding what you are doing, and the second is getting the Studer on every first insert (or every first insert of your most prominent elements if you are having to budget your DSP accordingly).
When the Studer's start working their magic, your mixes will have so much more sonic appeal, that you will soon put in the hours required to gain the experience, so it's the best starting point you'll ever define.
This plug is my final be/all end/all analog saturation. I use the McDSP AC1, Kramer Tape, DUY Tape, and they sound decent, but... UAD Knocked it out of the park!! I have been listening to the demos of the Studer and now I finally own it. Every track seems to have a glue put into it and sounds warmer and fatter than before. Great job UA!!!
This is a studio basic. The effect is subtle but essential for providing the familiar warmth of tracking to tape on a quality machine. I recommend it, especially in conjunction with the Ampex 102.
If you buy one plugin in your life, buy the UAD Ampex ATR-102. If you buy two plugins in your life, buy this one as well. I've popped this on every track in all my recent mixes, and in 90% of cases, I've simply ditched all EQ and compression. The gorgeous way it warms the mix while adding detail and separation to your tracks has to be heard to be believed. In short, it improves your mix while saving you work.
Sure, it's a bit of a resource hog, but complaining about it reminds me of the Louis CK routine where everyone bitches about awesome, mind-blowing things that didn't exist five minutes ago. Get the plugin.
What can I say? I just love this plug in so much. This one is worth the price of admission alone. How else can you buy a pristine 24 track machine with no repairs or maintenance for $2000? This gets a lot of use in overdubbing when I'm trying to match the MCI tape machine I use for tracking & everything just melts together like you remember it. I really like the ability to easily change tape & calibrations, it's just unheard of in real life to do so fast & creates real tone shaping possibilities. I see on the forums posts saying "do you ever use this thing anymore?" I just don't get it. My answer is YES YES YES! I'll be using this one proudly till my days in audio are done. Thank you UA for making such invaluable tools!
Love it so much i have quit my job so i can use it all day long.
After using a DAW for the last 12 years and not getting to use tape, I've forgot how it just glues it all together. I always loved the sound of Bass, Kick, Overheads, and Acoustic Guitars on tape. The Studer A800 was one of my favorite machines to print to as well, UA hit a homer with this plugin. There aren't many plugins that take me back to times in my tracking or mixing but this one did. That Fat Warm Vibe was present after doing a mix with this plugin! The best part about it is you can totally use different formulas for different instruments! Kick on 456 +6 and Acoustic on GP9 +3 Bass on 900 +7.5 that is a great amount of flexibility that the analog world can't give. UA is a great company that moves to get better and better. WELL DONE
As an EX owner of the Telefunken-M-15-A I can say this product is not bad by any means.
I was mixing a whole song with it and it was fascinating how it can round of transients and saves you from using extra compression in the mix.
The user manual lacks description in how to use the hidden EQ,Bias etc. controls traditionally right.
There is a Generation that never had the chance to work with such a Tape-Machine.
For this reason it would be great to get more context-information how these hidden knobs affected the output.
At this point I don't care if it sounds like a real tape machine.
At least it emulates well the Tape-Kompression and alone that is great!!
I measured the plug in - watching out for inharmonic-distortions...nothing bad to see.
Other UAD plugs still suffer from inharmonic-distortions - missing dithering in the signal-path?
I give it only 3/5 points because I think it is too expensive for a plug-in.
For some more money you can get a decent 1/4" real HW tape recorder and you will have lot of fun with it.
The price point in my opinion is 250$.
350$ will make this wonderful plug in for a lot off younger-folks unreachable-
I skipped Massive-Passive and Fatso because of the high price.
It looks like that I will skip this one as well even if I like it.
Development: 5 POINTS
Price-Tag: 1 POINT
Whether it's the fault of Apple computers or UA , the bottom line is that my brand new iMac doesn't work with my Apollo Quad. A problem that has now for me been over a month with no solution as of yet. So.........I'll review this software and the interface when some party can get around a fix. I am not the only one who has been inconvenienced both financially and time wise by this issue and the fact that, to this day UA states on it's site that this unit is supported by the 2013 iMacs makes them responsible to a great degree.
This plugin is way WAY too expensive for what it is.
I bought a couple of the most expensive plug ins like this and for no reason the authorization fail multiple times, even by opening 3 support ticket and 2 call from germany directly to the us support center.....still no solution.....great plug ins but no real good technical support.....
I was skeptical of anything to do with tape.
I demoed it, comparing it to the Ampex emulation. The Ampex was blown out of the water.
With this, you can adjust how much analog hiss you add to the signal... it's nice to do be able to do that.
It's almost like EQ by adjusting the high freq on it.
Try it out; you'll fall in love with its distortion properties and warm sound. Once you add it to your signal path, you simply cannot take it off. Happens to me, every time.
Played on every track! Feels like Im recording for real now!
I waited until my Apollo Twin came along, then jumped. My tracking world is changing. As an older guy whom fell in live with tape many years ago, I can now honestly say I close my eyes and I am back.
great plugin, not tape but great sounds - expensive!
Finally have a plug-in that captures the room vibe I've been missing.
I am now putting this plugin on pretty much every drum channel as it just gives it that phat tape sound straight away.
I would give this plugin 5 stars if when you "opened it up" it had wow and flutter, and more degredation features like the Ampex ATR-102, because I like to make pads sound all dirty and degrated. At the moment I can only use the Ampex for that... on demo! Can't afford every UAD plug! ;)