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Impressed by Slate Digital VTM (virtual tape machines)
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Impressed by Slate Digital VTM (virtual tape machines)

Attention engineers, we have a truly amazing plug-in at our fingertips right now - Slate Digital VTM (virtual tape machines). Last night I had a perfect moment of experimenting with this plug-in on my mixes in different configurations and I was very very impressed, totally blown away!! Talk about value for money...!! It amazingly nails the sound of analog tape machines!!

A few observations. The default settings are far from optimal in my view, be aware of this. The hum and noise is too loud if you really want to boost the sound of tape, which I want, but that noise is easily removed using the settings... It is also CPU intensive, that's another thing to be aware of. Also, using multiple units both stacked and on individual instruments works really really well!

What happened to my mixes with this plug-in creatively applied? I was able to make them phatter - bigger, softer, warmer, wider, deeper. My drums loved it!!!

In my view this plug-in finally eliminates the analog vs. digital discussion, at least when it comes to the recording part. In my opinion the sound is identical, I can't hear a difference and we now have that sound ITB.

So, I'm nothing but blown away Steven! This is an amazing achievement!
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Diastro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
How does it compare to Waves Kramer Tape?
Old 16th September 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothVibe ➑️
Attention engineers, we have a truly amazing plug-in at our fingertips right now - Slate Digital VTM (virtual tape machines). Last night I had a perfect moment of experimenting with this plug-in on my mixes in different configurations and I was very very impressed, totally blown away!! Talk about value for money...!! It amazingly nails the sound of analog tape machines!!

A few observations. The default settings are far from optimal in my view, be aware of this. The hum and noise is too loud if you really want to boost the sound of tape, which I want, but that noise is easily removed using the settings... It is also CPU intensive, that's another thing to be aware of. Also, using multiple units both stacked and on individual instruments works really really well!

What happened to my mixes with this plug-in creatively applied? I was able to make them phatter - bigger, softer, warmer, wider, deeper. My drums loved it!!!

In my view this plug-in finally eliminates the analog vs. digital discussion, at least when it comes to the recording part. In my opinion the sound is identical, I can't hear a difference and we now have that sound ITB.

So, I'm nothing but blown away Steven! This is an amazing achievement!
Amazing piece of equipment indeed, I can't mix without it anymore
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diastro ➑️
How does it compare to Waves Kramer Tape?
Don't own it yet..but used it on a mastering/remixing session few weeks back.
But I will be buying it and I do own the MPX.

They are different it's to different machines. Just because they have 2 cartoon reels spinning doesn't mean they are the same thing.
They sound totally different.. The Waves also can be used for a Delay which is nice. But honestly I think you can use them both and they are that different.

The slate is cleaner and bigger in some ways. I didn't really try to compare the 2 because they are different so I knew it wasn't really a fair test.
I think (if i remember) I tried to put them on the same source a few times and toggle between them.. But again that doesn't mean anything.
Because the MPX could work well on a gtr track where the Slate can sound great on another different gtr track for different reasons.

But when I get it.. I think based on the session I used it on (this could change) I would use Slate on the 2buss and on tracks I want a tape glue/smoothness/bigg-ness. And MPX on tracks I want for an effected sound/saturated or a different style glue. Or used as a tape delay unit. Or not used at all...
Old 16th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
"Attention engineers!!! Attention engineers!!!"
Old 16th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Let the Superlatives begin ..
Old 16th September 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diastro ➑️
How does it compare to Waves Kramer Tape?
As said, very different. MPX is good for individual tracks while VTM blows it away on the master bus. The thing with VTM is it's more of a finishing plugin. On 1/2" tape / FM9 / 30IPS just lettin the input kiss the red on the meters. I am unable to achieve the depth and low end detail this thing gives with any other plugin.
Old 16th September 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Like I said I liked it.. But I wish the under the hood settings were per track adjustments.. I get that it's not how a tape machine works.. but who cares none of this is real. But when I used it on that session.. I found out the hard way that changing those change the whole session.

Not a deal breaker. but I would find it more useful per track.
I'm seeing guys bitching in the other thread about troubles. I hope when I pick it up there isn't issues. I'm mixing a project now..and I don't want to start using this late on this. I'm waiting till this projects over. before I get it.

I'm trying to keep up on the other thread to see what guys are saying about updates. but the thread moves faster then I have time to read.
Old 16th September 2012
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Yes VTM really sounds like tape that was dumped into a DAW. I wish the UAD Studer plug in sounded as good. The waves Kramer one is the weakest of the three, I use it as an effect.
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.rOk.stA ➑️
As said, very different. MPX is good for individual tracks while VTM blows it away on the master bus.
It would be nice if we would refrain from saying things like "blows it away" without more information. It is often subjective, so being specific about what the differences are is a lot more helpful.

For the record, I have the waves plugin, haven't heard VTM. I would like someone to do a better job describing the difference if possible.
Old 16th September 2012
  #11
Gear Addict
 
rhythmic5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can't hear any difference between the demos on Slate Digital

is there seriously anything more than a negligible difference with the plugin on/bypass (not trolling)?

Old 16th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
unsung's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Slate stuff has sent me running to New Egg to re-do my DAW computer. Wonderful but hungry plugins.
Old 16th September 2012
  #13
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm finding VTM to be outstanding sounding!
Old 17th September 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve ➑️
It would be nice if we would refrain from saying things like "blows it away" without more information. It is often subjective, so being specific about what the differences are is a lot more helpful.

For the record, I have the waves plugin, haven't heard VTM. I would like someone to do a better job describing the difference if possible.
If you'd demo it, you'd save me a bunch of typing. It's really hard to explain or I would've. After you hear it, you could take a shot at explaining it.
Old 17th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.rOk.stA ➑️
If you'd demo it, you'd save me a bunch of typing. It's really hard to explain or I would've. After you hear it, you could take a shot at explaining it.
Maybe, but if something is that different and that much better (blows it away) you would think that it would be easy to describe.. No?
Old 17th September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JozTheShark ➑️
I wish the UAD Studer plug in sounded as good. The waves Kramer one is the weakest of the three, I use it as an effect.
I have both UADs and the Kramer tape. While I agree the Kramer sounds more like an effect, the UAD Studer is an excellent emulation of a subtle tape machine and the UAD Ampex an excellent emulation of a bolder tape machine. Given that there is just a small gap between the UADs and the originals, it is quite hard for me to believe that something better can be better to a big degree just by making the tiny gap between emulation and original even tinier. I will try the slate soon but I know already I won't sacrifice my CPU power for something I already have in absolutely satisfying quality on my UAD cards. Curious how much better it can be though, if any...
Old 17th September 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
chrisjones's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great plugin! I demo'd the plugin for 10 minutes and then just had to buy it! Great on drums, great on the master bus, well great on almost anything.

Now if only they could make a channel strip...
Old 17th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by WunderBro Flo ➑️
I have both UADs and the Kramer tape. While I agree the Kramer sounds more like an effect, the UAD Studer is an excellent emulation of a subtle tape machine and the UAD Ampex an excellent emulation of a bolder tape machine. Given that there is just a small gap between the UADs and the originals, it is quite hard for me to believe that something better can be better to a big degree just by making the tiny gap between emulation and original even tinier. I will try the slate soon but I know already I won't sacrifice my CPU power for something I already have in absolutely satisfying quality on my UAD cards. Curious how much better it can be though, if any...
If you are familiar with real tape - the slate absolutely KILLS the UAD version. Its not really a real question after that.
Old 17th September 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Attention engineers! I tested it a little on a mastering session today. At first I was very impressed, then I found out some little things like how it bends the frequency range in different ips settings and how the tape types differ etc, the usual stuff. Then I analyzed a little and tried to take out stuff like compensating for the frequency bumps and especially level differences, so I am not judging a preset EQ curve and gain boost. What remained was a tape emulation plugin thatΒ΄s good, but nothing much better than the UAD tape emulations in my opinion. People get carried away easily, and Slate is a smart guy, so in the default operating modes with identical In vs Out settings, there is always a little subjective volume boost (just like when using VCC) between 0.5 and 1dB mostly...when doing proper comparisons the plugin is still good, but not as good as it seems when you use it for the first time...as I have the UAD machines, I will pass on this one. For people without UAD, it is a good thing as the Kramer tape does not do "this" tape thing.
Old 17th September 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I own the Slate plugin but I'm not so convinced it's a game changer. It doesn't really sound like dumping to real tape to my ears (in my case, 456 on a JH-24), and I have to force myself to adjust volumes and not look at the spinning reels to really decide if it's making a positive difference. I do like using it to fatten up a track on occasion by upping the bass frequency response.

I'd evaluate this plugin just in terms of what it sounds like to you, not what it claims to emulate.

Isn't it even possible that we want to be moving past the limitations of tape? I mean seriously, adding in tape hiss and circuitry noise just seems sort of dumb.

-R
Old 18th September 2012
  #21
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi Rick. The jh24 is a very unique and rocking machine that sounds very different than the machines we replicated in the VTM. I really want to model a jh24 and am seeking one in good condition so check your pm.

I'm really happy that you folks are liking the vtm. We really wanted to end the debate on getting the analog tape sound in the daw, and I truly feel like we succeeded. I love this plugin not just as a developer, but as a musician, audio engineer, and analog tape enthusiast!

Cheers,
Steven
Old 18th September 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Can all us engineers stop standing at attention now?

My arse hurts....



P.S. Ivan & VTM sitting in a tree..... etc.
Very nice indeed.




heh
Old 18th September 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
davey boy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I wanted to try the demo but it didn't validate in a logic 9.17/os 10.7.4. Is it currently working in this configuration?


Sent from my iPad
Old 18th September 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Just a little update, I have found one setting I really like with VTM to tame HF transients in a nice way, it really helped to take the spikes away and made the mix more stable and less fatiguing. I am not sure though how much of it is coming from the "mere" frequency curve that the setting applies, whenever I used it I compensated a little be boosting the highs afterwards and dipping the bass area where the VTM applies its low freq bump. The setting is very similar to the initial preset, 30ips 456 tape normal bias but trimming the bass down in the settings 1-2dB, adjusting the levels until the the red lights go on and then backing it down again. Nice effect whenever a mix is too s***** and hysterical.
I will try to find according settings with UAD and report back if I succeeded.
Old 18th September 2012
  #25
Slate Pro Audio / Slate Digital
 
Steven Slate's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The way tape saturates the top end is quite stunning to me. It absorbs the annoying highs and somehow keeps the sound articulate and rich. This was one of the more difficult things to get right, especially since that effect is sooooo dynamically nonlinear.

I find that I can listen to my mixes LOUDER and not have ear pain due to excessive high frequency garbage. It's amazing. I love it.

Cheers,
Steven
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
bryan k's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Slate ➑️
The way tape saturates the top end is quite stunning to me. It absorbs the annoying highs and somehow keeps the sound articulate and rich.

Cheers,
Steven
#FACT
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Your team at Slate Digital should be extremely proud, you have done something very interesting, so it's a time of celebration! Now, let's have some great reverb plug-ins out there as well that truly can create that awesome warm reverb sounds that make us feel weightless... OK?!
Old 10th February 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
GJ999x's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
No question, it's a great plug, subtle and probably not for people who've just opened garageband for the first time but more than worth a demo. VCC and VTM really kill it... one of only a few purchases this year that feel like they've got me off a mixing "plateau"... my 2c.
Old 21st February 2013
  #29
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Might have to pick this up. I do love me some tape saturation.
Old 21st February 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I own UAD Studer and Ampex and VTM and Kramer MPX. I find Kramer MPX to be the most drastically "effect" like. Of the others, I slightly prefer the UADs for their respective tasks to the VTM. That said, I like the VTM and would be more than happy with it if I didn't have the UADs. I just find it a little more heavy handed than the UAD emulations.
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