Tape Saturation Emulation (hardware)

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Tape Saturation Emulation (hardware)

Post by tallowwaters » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:26 pm

I know Neve, Empiracle Labs, and few other higher end pro level manufacturers make these, but what are some cheap options? (besides tape which has been banned from my studio after a recent nervous breakdown)

Now, the trick - I doesnt need to be authentic, I simply want some magic mojo device that will screw with compression, frequency, and filtering in a cryptic fashion.
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Post by aeon » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:05 pm

I was going to suggest a hi-fi VCR, but that uses tape. Hmm.

I think you could likely get something tasty happening with a FMR RNL combined with a Frostwave Resonator, but the combo of those starts exceeding cheap by a good margin.

The Boss VF-1 has a tape echo algo, but I have never used it, so I dunno how dial-able it is.


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Post by otto » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:44 pm

I've been recently considering just a cassette deck for some tape degredation. I'd love a reel2reel but just can't seem to find a good deal on one. I think ebay items are overpriced for my purpose.
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Post by tallowwaters » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:56 pm

otto - i could have given you a reel to reel, though i dont know if it works, doesnt have spools, and weighs a ton. it isnt a multitracker.

I do have an RNLA and VF-1 (which is quite an impressive machine), but they dont quite get there. Again, I am not looking for an authentic to tape sound, but rather something that just gets nasty, and is more like a cartoonish emulation of tape saturation (think Alesis ModFX boxes)
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Post by hageir » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:02 pm

maybe like the Scream distortion box's Tape setting, in Reason?

hmm, you might "s**t-mix" together something combined of:
a low pass filter (just to cut a little bit of the hi's off)
then something like a aural exciter to bring them back? :lol:
then add a little dirt to it with a "cheap/dirty" analog delay, with no delay/echo? hah (like the Johnson EAD-1 - Analog Echo Delay)
it's so dirty! -uses BBD chips too
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Post by aeon » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:40 pm

Yea, a bounce through a BBD delay, esp. a modulated one, can work wonders for some lower-fi degredation, but IIRC tallowwaters, you already have a Yamaha E1005/E1010, so I am guessing that does not fit your criteria.

I suppose I never pursued this in any substantive way in hardware because I have fantastic tape saturation/breakup on my Korg OASYS PCI.


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Post by Tyler2000 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:41 pm

It's a bit of a stretch, but the Realistic Electronic Reverb does some wierd stuff to signal with all the echo turned down, especially if you mess with the input volume. It's been a while since I had one, so I'm not sure, but it's a cheap option if you don't have one already that might be worth checking out.

maybe.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:11 pm

I was going to suggest that trick of running 100% wet, 0% feedback through your E1005, but you already know that one.

I'm almost 95% sure I'm gonna get one of those Hiwatt tape echoes, one of the reasons will be for that kind of thing.

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Post by JSRockit » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:21 am

I've been looking for this as well...and cannot find anything. I've given up really. I'll just try to make things sound good...and if they are digital sounding, so be it.

(However, if you find something...let me know :lol: )
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Post by ramos » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:29 pm

why don't you want to use tape?

Just get a decent 3-Head cassette deck. Nakamichi etc

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Post by insky » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:50 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:I was going to suggest that trick of running 100% wet, 0% feedback through your E1005, but you already know that one.

I'm almost 95% sure I'm gonna get one of those Hiwatt tape echoes, one of the reasons will be for that kind of thing.
Yeah I bought a Simms-Watts Echo Dek tape reverb off eBay that I'm waiting to be delivered for that exact purpose. Luckily it's got a function where you can use it like a reel-to-reel recorder with about a 5 or 10 minute record time that also has sound on sound capabilities...That's all I know about it because it's impossible to find any information on this thing.

So is software out of the question? If not you've got

This
This
And This

I'm sure there's more out there.
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Post by Cruel Hoax » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:58 am

Well, there's always the PA-type stuff that I mentioned to you directly, but here's some other food for thought, and though it involves a computer, I hope I'm not just suggesting a bonehead VST plugin or software synth:

I just got a new (used) G5 for the scrudio and -o happy day!- it supports OS9 via the Classic environment. Now, this opens up a whole heap of options, chief among 'em being a copy of TurboSynth. I have yet to see anything like TurboSynth's Waveshaping processor. You can draw gentle, tube-ish curves, or squared-off tapey curves, or unreal wack-a*s curves, and stack 'em one after another (or blended with each other) in whatever fashion you choose.

See, the thing I always liked about tape was its "instant squishing." There's no "attack" or "release" when just slamming the s**t outta Ampex 459 without noise rediction. Stuff just gets instantly mashed, peaks get sheared off willy-nilly and, in general, the world is a good, good place for drumsw and bass to live. The waveshaper is like that: it squishes without attack and release, which -again- is like tape.

The other thing that TurboSynth has going for it is the "remove volume envelope" command, which just pumps the whole goddamn audio file up to max, using a window which is "x" number of milliseconds wide. I would generally process the sound 5 or 6 times, using different sizes, then blend 'em together (to avoid obvious tempo-related stuff.) It's sorta like attack and release controls, only they happen before the transient as well as afterward!

(Er, speaking of "before the transient," ever turned a noisy drum loop backwards and then run it through an envelope filter? The filter is still "recovering" after the (reversed) peaks, but when you turn it rightside-about, the "recovering" happens before you hit a note, which gives you the effect of your Cutoff knob moving into the future. No need to be limited by time and space, eh what?)

Anyway, you can run Turbosynth on a s**t-cheap old-a*s Mac, and it dumps multisamples via MIDI to your Emax or whatever.

Also, look at those PA boxes

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Post by tallowwaters » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:50 pm

still havent found any deals, but did figure out the name of that tube box.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:06 pm

tallowwaters wrote:Again, I am not looking for an authentic to tape sound, but rather something that just gets nasty, and is more like a cartoonish emulation of tape saturation (think Alesis ModFX boxes)
It just hit me! The cheap transformer box trick.

Go to you local electronics place, or if you don't have one get on the mouser or whatever website. Get yourself some cheap audio transformers, a couple of those metal boxes, some wire and some 1/4" connectors. You know the trannies I mean, the really little crappy ones.

Image

Try out some that are a little better to if you want, but you should be able to get results from the cheapies. OEPs are also pretty cheap over there I believe, could be worth giving them a go. I'm using 262A2Cs on both the in and out of my 1176 clone, should overdrive nicely on the output. The JLM14s are worth considering too, as are a similar looking transformer available over here from Altonics which is half the price, and I know is used by at least one high end mic pre manufacturer.

Get a few different ratios and a few different sizes. Wire them up and start running stuff through them to see what it sounds like. Keep a note of what's what, which is the primary and which is the secondary, so you can start to learn what each sound like. The little ones saturate really easily when you drive them and you get a bit of a caricature of transformer distortion, won't please the golden ears but could be just what you're looking for. Put em before or after the RNLA or anything else, drive em as hard as you can, have fun!
Last edited by Stab Frenzy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Tyler2000 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:30 pm

wow that seems pretty cool

do you have any sound examples?
so what do I put down here now?

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