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Some plugins, such as the UAD Ampex ADR-102, go as far as emulating the unwanted side effects of tape recorder technology such as hiss, hum, wow and flutter.

Pic 6a

These all add ‘vibe’, but do they make it better? Their ‘analogueness’ comes from the perception that there are less perfect or even flawed.

Keeping It Reeled

Many of the same characteristics come in handy when using delay effects. Let’s take this drum hit as a starting point:

Here it is with a delay plus feedback applied:

Many delay plugins allow you to process the feedback chain with filters to make each repeat degrade sonically – just like their tape-generated counterparts.

Pic 9a

Here we apply a low-pass filter to the feedback loop:

Adding a high-pass filter alongside the LPF works even better:

Adding some tape-speed modulation via the Wow section allows you to create mild chorusing…

…or full on sickness-inducing pitch swaying.

Notice also the Drive control for creating extra harmonics.

Pic 12a

Author Bruce Aisher
2nd August, 2013

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  • Good knowledge in here. Would love to see some sort of side by side analysis with the real deal vs what you can achieve in vst

  • Brilliant, as always

  • Good article. We’re pretty spoiled for options these days. The quality of these plugins are getting pretty damn good. Got to say that Struder emu stood out a lot to me, VERY nice.


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