the reason i purchased Yamaha Vintage Open Deck, was because it has an emulation of American ’70
The recorders that have been emulated so carefully are three Studer A80 Mk-I, A80 Mk-IV and A-820 (identified as ‘Swiss 70’, ‘Swiss 78’ and ‘Swiss 85’ respectively), plus the American Ampex ATR100 (called ‘American 70’). The two types of tape are modelled on new BASF and older Ampex formulations.
i dont like much the Studer sound, and there are too much Studer plugins, UAD, Digidesign, Steinberg/Yamaha, etc…
originally this plugins were Only available for some Yamaha Digital consoles, around 2005 e-mailed Yamaha.jp asking why the spx2000 cannot be upgraded with the VCM plugins? if have a USB port? and the answer was, it does Not have enough DSP.
so i was happy when plugins were available for VST…
and bought a license + a usb eLicenser key.
so far so good…
Now there are many different Tape & Tube emulation plugins, i compared vs some… like Avid Heat “tape emulation” i like Yamaha better.
there are many other brands like Toneboosters TB ReelBus 3 that emulate Teac & Revox, Ferox, ReelBus4,
i have Not compared vs. those yet.
but i did compared vs. Softube Tape,
Softube has 3 different emulations, [A],B,[C].
B-type, is very similar to Ampex ATR 100 “American 70” with [New] tape formula.
Softube original settings are too soft, needs more tweaking, agressive settings, starts with 5, but needs around 9 to have similar saturation sound as the Yamaha tape saturation.
the High frequency Shelf Eq, at maximum setting sounds very similar to Yamaha High-EQ Output at máximum, and input High.EQ at +1dB.
i wish it also had Low EQ at input.
Bias at 1.0 or 0.9 maximum sounds very simimlar.
the instability knob of the Softube its weird, its more like Sci-Fi effect, sounds too exagerated… the original tape machines had a very small & gentle wow & flutter, that made analog sound a bit more interesting, like salt & sugar, too much is bad, too little tastes weird…
i havent tested yet, with a sinewave, and APTuner 3 to see if has Wow & Flutter at mínimum settings, it should be around +/-5~10 cents.
more Wow & Flutter starts to sound weird, less it starts to sound digital.
Waves Abbey Road Vinyl manual .PDF describes Wow & Flutter as:
Wow is Frequency Modulation,
and Flutter is Amplitude Modulation…
the softube tape sounds a bit more transparent, mainly becasue the Gain stages.
but that can be tricked, using another plugin, with more transparent Gain stage Pre-Tape, like Soundtoys FilterFreak2 Op-Amp algorithm or Plugin-alliance Millenia compressor plugin-2.
the Yamaha Saturation part seems to sound more analog, the softube saturation sounds similar, but the differences start to appear increasing saturation, in extreme settings.
when i had Real Tape machines Tascam32, Nagra 3, Fostex, Pioneer, Revox, i found the Nagra3 + Quantegy 456 something out of this world,
the saturation never saturated, it just converted the exces energy into low frequency energy, was something unique…
the Fostex also had a very nice sound when the Noise Reduction was Turned-Off.
i miss that… alive sound.
there are other Tape plugin emulating Tube Tape Machines…
each machine has its own characteristic sound, makes me want to have them all.
the only thing i find frustrating about Yamaha is the lack of Low-EQ input,
but most important, that does not have All Tape speeds, 30ips, 15ips, 7.5, 3.75.
i find this very dissapointing…
because the old Cakewalk FX Tape plugin had a very nice EQ curve change/emulation using different tape speeds, that was my favorite thing…
others McDSP, will see, DUI plugins,
Cakewalk FX2 was my favorite Tape plugin back in 2001,
Now seems included in X2.
but It was dropped from X3 with several other legacy plug-ins.
“Replaced” with ProChannel Tape Emulator Only included in Sonar Platinum.
Magix Samplitude also has a Tape plugin if i remember correctly…
ve|Ecox “effect tape machine”
but last time i tested were unstable…
and didnt like them, were similar to PSPAudioware Tape emulation.
will have to try again, and compare…