When to use tape emulation

Hi there

I was wondering how you use tape emulations ?
On each track (instruments, sounds) separatly or just at the end of the mixing chain (2buss) or only at mastering stage ?

I am doing it with all separate tracks and then once again (allthough with different plugin) at mastering stage.



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I think it is personal taste, but for me it is SoftTube tape on each channel and then UAD on the groups and mix Buss (because not many people can have UAD on all!). Slate is a good alternative if neither of the above… You dont need to drive anything too hard with this (again, unless you want to)!

As Danny teaches in Mixing Foundations: tape should be everywhere - individual channels and mix bus. It helps to organize the sound and glues everything together

everywhere except vocal :slight_smile:

I have tried to use some models of tape simulation. It gives some noise and dirty distortion a little bit different for each model. I don’t using tape simulation when i want to get sound clean, for this i like compresion. But if you want to get a little dirty sound tape sim will be good, more tape more dirty :slight_smile:

Excuse me for the newbie question but Why shouldn’t you use tape on a vocal?

Hi dejanilly,

Tape is a wonderful thing, and as Danny teaches at Mix:Master Wyatt Academy, I also think it should go on EVERYTHING! (almost everything at least haha) Kick, Snare, Bass, Sub, Melodic instruments, etc etc etc etc etc etc :smiley: It really adds a nice weight and fatness to things among many other valuable sonic characteristics. Try adding tape to each individual channel in your mixes and adjust them to taste. You won’t regret it. Everybody has their preferences but for me I like to use either Softube Tape and/or Slate Tape on individual channels within my mix, and I almost always reach for the UA Ampex ATR 102 Tape in my mastering chain. Hope this helps and best of luck to you!

I don’t see any reason why Tape can’t live on a Vocal unless it just plain sounds bad for some reason. Tape is absolutely applicable to treating Vocals just like any other element of a mix.

Thanks a lot for critiquing my track Kevin!

I guess a lot of this just comes down to what sounds good and what sounds bad and being a good judge of that with references.

Jacob M Friedman

Tape on everything for me!

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Thank you guys. I guess i am not the only id…t doing it that way:slight_smile: :+1:

i was very excited when using tape everywhere, but i started to notice, my dialogue chain is much better and more intelligible with no tape and no decapitator. probable reason might be this. vocals are much more complicated (e: and more difficult to understand not only tone, but also lyrics…) than music instruments and thus they do not take well when you are trying to complicate them even more. (i mean add another harmonics) i like my vocals clean and i wait for the last moment to add colouring plugs to see if it helps or not. usually you have tape or some kind of harmonics exciter during mastering, so you (kind of) hit vocals with tape anyway :slight_smile:

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It is completely down to taste and ultimately, it is the final output that will matter more than the exact channel strip.