Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Effects and signal processing hardware, plug-ins, presets, impulse responses
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chrisj
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Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by chrisj » 19 Jan 2011, 08:49

Image
Airwindows ToTape

Before and after, drums: http://www.jinxtigr.com/m/ToTapeDrums.mp3
Before and after, guitar: http://www.jinxtigr.com/m/ToTapeGuitar.mp3
Demo: http://www.jinxtigr.com/f/ToTapeDemo.dmg

ToTape is a tape emulation AU universal binary plugin, and the next-generation Airwindows tape emulation. This one can go on the 2-buss! It operates by isolating all the factors in the sound that don't sound like tape, refining them, and then taking them out of the source material with a single subtract- the input sound is otherwise untouched and unprocessed. This produces a tape emulation of resolution so high it can be used in mastering- or on the 2-buss- or stacked up as if it was Desk (mind the head bump if you're doing that).

This is not an elaborate faceplate made to resemble a tape machine. There are no capstans or twirling reels, nor is it pretending to simulate a specific brand name. This is the Airwindows take on the matter, which means a plugin streamlined to deliver an unmatchably high-quality sound with low overhead and simple controls that tweak lots of stuff under the hood to accomplish simple, useful, obvious things without wasting mixing time.

There's three controls. Tape Slam is simply a boost going into the effect. Treble Soften goes from a very upfront, unromantic clarity to a washed-out, more pillowy fluffy top-end without radically altering the overall amount of highs (not simply a roll-off, it's called 'soften' for a reason). Head Bump is dial-a-head-bump and goes from a subtle reshaping at the lowest subsonics, through your classic luxurious head-bump low frequency foundation, to dense thick saturated tones that might be good on drums or guitars. All controls are continuously variable so once you learn them, if you think 'it needs to be just a bit less spongy and pillowy in texture, and the lows should be a bit more resonant and fat' you can just tweak the sliders.

This is one of the good ones. Which is not to say Iron Oxide isn't- to me that was always about trapping things like softsynths into a bandpass frequency range to sit in an overall mix, but I have always advised against putting it on the 2-buss. This one, you can. (it's neither a brickwall limiter or a clipper, though, so don't expect it to act as one)

ToTape is $49.99.

(In the example I'm hitting it pretty hard, with treble softening and head bump set to about 0.5 (default). Feel free to grab the demo and beat it up more- or, don't boost at all, and pull the soften and head bump back until it's subtle enough to master through. The examples are separately normalized, not level matched: one purpose of hitting tape is tucking in stray peaks.)

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Ned Bouhalassa
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Re: Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by Ned Bouhalassa » 20 Jan 2011, 05:31

Nice addition, Chris. Can't wait to try the demo later today... :D
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Ned Bouhalassa
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Re: Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by Ned Bouhalassa » 20 Jan 2011, 06:08

BTW, after listening to your two demos, I humbly suggest that it would be a fairer comparison between dry/wet if the signals were more even in terms of volume (perceived or real).
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chrisj
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Re: Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by chrisj » 20 Jan 2011, 08:23

I understand- I just did it that way because I normalized each section. I think it's a valid point and I did say they were separately normalized, not level matched, in the post :)

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Re: Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by abernathy » 25 Jan 2011, 21:49

I think ToTape sounds really wonderful. After playing with demos of UAD Studer and Nomad Magnetic, I really appreciate the simplicity of ToTape. Not sure how you made it work without twirling reels...

I would actually like a tape hiss option - I use that on VTAPE Saturator.

chrisj
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Re: Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by chrisj » 26 Jan 2011, 05:13

If I come up with a tape hiss, it'll probably be a freebie :)

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Loopy C
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Re: Airwindows ToTape: Competitive Tape Sim Out NOW

Post by Loopy C » 26 Jan 2011, 09:38

Great job Chris :D

I have had it in my chain for about a week now and just simply LOVING it! The 'Treble Soften' and 'Head Bump' are the perfect tools when generating digital sounds (in my work VERY experimental and avant garde) to adjust them 'aesthetically' into a desired and pleasant sonic space despite their raw nature.

When combined with 'Buttercomp', 'Buss Colors', and 'NC-17', I have a very pleasing 'tracker' chain for experimental work that needs to be useful on it's own and in other contexts/combinations.

btw, I had many of the 'competitor's' products (both console and tape sims) when I made the decision of 'must have' for both 'Buss Colors' and 'ToTape' if that is any kind of statement of satisfaction ;-)
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