This is what you have been looking for. Really. The UAD Studer A800.
…And now with Luna integration! I don’t want to start any arguments, but in my opinion this is the flagship UAD plugin. It does what it says, does it extremely well, and generally makes life worth living. But before you start to swoon, you might want to read my “The Joy of Analog Tape” on the UAD Ampex ATR-102 post.
I have spent some time getting the Studer A800 plugin set up the way I want it, and creating a starting point preset. I take down the hum and hiss which makes it quieter especially across multiple tracks, and get rid of the rumble and generally flatten out the frequency curve. I like to think of this as keeping the good “tape stuff” while getting rid of the bad “tape stuff.” You can check out the differences in the charts below and check out my presets here.
- Just like real reels, the tape speed and type effects the high and low end. 7.5 ips will roll off the highs, 30 ips will give a little bump to them.
- Without getting into a technical explanation of what bias does, functionally you can use the bias control to push the harmonics and create more distortion. (Commonly called ‘saturation’, which is just a “warmer” sounding name for distortion!)
- If you are using this on a bunch of tracks, consider turning the noise off. And keep in mind the head bump will also build up.
Compare some other tape emulations:
PENNY_Channel is my starting point preset for the Studer A800. You can see the differences, especially in taming the wow and the noise.