I love recording my out of the box mixes back in through my Apollo 16 printing the Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In to the final mix. It sounds so much more like the records I grew up on.
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!
I test it also for a personal remastering of an ultra famous 70's record that I own in HD quality files (176.4kHz/24bit), originally recorded in analog tape machines obviously, and the result was absolute stunning as on digital sources!
This plugin kicks ass. Great on individual channels and awesome on master bus.
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.
It`s actually hard for me to believe this plug-in exists...Having gone through the analog tape era and now the digital DAW era the fact that UA has gotten the vibe of analog tape in a plug-in is more than I could have wanted.
This plug adds a certain unexplained magic to either a master stereo buss or can be used to change the personality of individual instruments, vocals etc...The presets are extremely usable and simply changing the formulation of the tape and tape speed can yield great results. You do need to watch levels going in to the ampex..but not a problem.
Without any hesitation, it gets 5 stars from this user. Thank you UA !!!
PS, I`m finding that setting it up as the next to last in the signal chain works the best so far.
Absolute legend of a Plugin!
I can use this in so many contexts, it has the ability to add that gentle crisp sheen to the top frequencies (in my case to match that 70s vinyl prog rock vibe), or to give some subtle drive to guitars / keys.
Across all tracks and the master buss you get a superb "glue" to the entire mix.
I just drove a signal into this very hard and it poops diamonds out. Shockingly awesome. Coats bass driven music in a fine velvet sheen. :) - I might have to date this plug.
I decided to purchased the UAD-2 Satellite Duo and among a lot of interesting offered plug-ins,I decided to purchase the Ampex ATR-102.Since my main work is Matering Disc related,I was impressed with the final sound processed. My laptop,a MacBook has not presented any issues related while I was hearing the final mix with Pro-Tools 8.0 in my home Studio.
Thanks Universal Audio for the excellence !
Since purchasing the Ampex ATR -102 it has been a part of my mastering chain. I have been mastering since 1991 and I have never purchased a device or plug-in that has made such a difference. The character that it adds to a master is obvious to the trained ear because we know what to listen for. The true test was with my clients who has chosen the master with the Ampex ATR-102 as part of my mastering chain, every single time. I'm a believer. A good Mastering Engineer knows how to utilize the best in both digital and analog platforms . We have to make choices based on what is needed for that particular song or project. It is rare to find something that everyone agrees sounds awesome . THANKS UA.!! IGIT Mastering Studio
You know how it goes: new plugin, you feel you have to use it on everything. After the honeymoon is over, you start to realize that not every project needs your new toy.
But I'm telling you right now, the UAD ATR-102 is different. This DOES work with every project, and it DOES make everything sound better. Unlike a lot of other tape simulation plugs that I have used on mixes this one always seems to be the right choice, it seems to add dimension and weight to mixes as opposed to just throwing another "color" onto them. It's true, the Ampex makes my mixes sound like a record; 3D, smooth, but punchy and just oozing with character. The ATR-102 is now a permanent staple in my mixes, it's a total game changer.
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!
The ATR-102 is that huge extra gain at the end of a great mix. I slap it on the 2 buss, turn to look at the clients face, and wait for the jaw to drop. Happens every time. The low end bump, high end clarity, and widening effect just makes it sound right every time. Need a little taming off the top of an ITB mix, just roll the HF screw back a bit and pure analog goodness ensues. Need a little more warmth......, hit the G9 tape roll and get ready for thick city. I pretty much use it on anything, because without it, it just don't have the kick ass factor. I'm not a fanboy for out of the box or in the box discussion. I just know that whatever this is doing, it is making my job easier, and my mixes better.
Love it so much i have quit my job so i can use it all day long.
I checked the 14-days-demo-version, just for fun.
That was a "mistake", because i was addicted immediately.