Top 7 Tape emulation VST plugins for adding analog warmth
The capabilities and audio quality within the digital world have been improving rapidly for the last 10 years. Many audio engineers have been combining analog gear together with digital plugins as the differences are getting smaller and smaller. Through advanced artificial intelligence, we’re able to mimic analog circuitry. This will give us the ability to break boundaries and go beyond the limitations of analog gear. Down below you’ll find a list of the 7 best tape emulation plugins.
Top 7 Tape emulation VST plugins in 2022
1. Baby Audio – TAIP
Baby Audio’s newest development incorporated a self-made AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithm that mimics the analog circuitry for you. TAIP can be used for a subtle touch of glue or as a straight saturation plugin. Its futuristic design includes the most important features such as noise, wear, and presence. Choose how much drive you want to apply to the low and high end separately by using the lo-shape and hi-shape features or just have a look at the 135 custom presets. Thanks to it’s ease of use and sheer ability to add analog texture, Baby Audio Taip makes it to the top of our best Tape emulation VST plugins in 2021 list.
2. u-He Satin
u-He combined modern technology together with vintage technology in order to built Satin. This tape simulation plugin includes both modern and vintage tape material, 5 circuit models, a stereo delay mode, soft clipping options, and much more. Control the frequency spectrum of the incoming signal through the built-in equalizer and use the service panel to control the hiss, saturation, flutter, and compression. All of the advantages (saturation and compression) and the disadvantages (noise and hiss) of a tape machine are right at your disposal.
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3. Softube Tape
Softube did an extraordinary job of mimicking the appearance as well as the analog sound of a real tape machine. They’ve added the famous VU metering displays at which you can switch between THD and level metering. You can choose between 3 different tape machines (A, B, C) and control the amount of distortion by using the amount knob. Last but not least, Softube included a tape speed feature. This will shorten or lengthen the tape, resulting in a different pitch and speed. Probably one of the best user interfaces among all the plugins mentioned in this top tape emulation VSTs list.
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4. iZotope Ozone Vintage Tape
Ozone 9 implemented this renewed module to add a feel of tape to their digital collection. Vintage Tape features all of the imperfections of a tape machine, talking about coloration, phase effects, saturation, noise, and pitch changes. A brand new saturation mode (7.5 IPS setting) has been added, to emphasize the low/mid-frequency range. This will add the typical warmth and thickness you are all looking for. Choose to mix in even harmonics, in order to add more warmth, or to mix in odd harmonics, in order to add more presence.
5. Waves Factory Cassette
This Tape emulation plugin is a digital reproduction of an old cassette, in which Waves Factory gathered the most characteristic features and put them into this VST plugin. Use the input knob to drive the tape to a point of compression, saturation, or obvious distortion. By using the 6 knobs at the bottom, you’ll be able to control all of the extra imperfections, such as flutter, noise, stereo width, wear, and much more. Scroll through many custom-made presets (made for synths, drums, guitars, mixes) that will add character to your sounds straightaway.
6. UAD Studer A800
This digital replication of the world-famous Studer A800 Multichannel tape recorder is the first of its kind. They maintained the exact same appearance as the vintage tape recorder and mimicked the outcome. Easily add warmth to single sounds or even total mixes. Use up to 4 different tape types and 3 different tape speeds to change the incoming signal to your likings. The cal control allows you to change the amount of distortion without changing the gain level. Above the Struder logo, you can open up an extra control window. Here you can add noise (hum and hiss) to your recordings, and use multiple EQs to affect the frequency spectrum.
7. PSP Vintage Warmer 2
The PSP Vintage Warmer is a digital simulation of a vintage multi-band compressor/limiter. The implemented knee, speed (attack), and release functions the same as a normal compressor, but now you can set a ceiling like a limiter. On the right side, you’ll find an EQ section where you can boost or reduce the selected frequency point. Use the mix knob to dial in how much compression you want to apply or just turn the whole plugin on and off by using the switch on the left side. PSP has made some incredible presets perfectly useable for drums, instruments, synths, or complete busses.
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Image Credits: Softube