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Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machine Quick Review

Discussion in 'Audio Units: Effect and Instrument Plugins' started by MarkPetrash, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. MarkPetrash

    MarkPetrash New Member

    I have been working on an album with my partner now for quite some time. The most difficult part of the process for us is duplicating the analog sound in the digital realm. Logic 9 Pro has been an incredible resource so far, and we have been incredibly impressed by its available functions.

    A gem I discovered last week is Slate Digital's Virtual Tape Machine (VTM). The best way to describe it is like adding a third dimension to a two dimensional space. Prior to using the VTM plugin, you can tell what instrument was panned to which side. After adding VTM to the first plugin slot, it sounds like you can actually feel the person playing the instrument in that space.

    I remember the RCA home stereos growing up. The ones about the size of half a refrigerator on its side with the wooden slots in front of the speakers and the smell of the tubes inside the cabinet. VTM reminded me of listening to music as a child on the floor in front of those speakers...minus the smell.

    Choosing to continue to use VTM, I have to remix all of my tracks and make small adjustments, most notably not having to use as much EQ as before. The depth and richness of VTM allows me to use my other plugin instruments without as much noodling around to get them to sound like I want. VTM does that for me.

    For $200 ($50 discount for using other Slate Digital products), it's like having my recordings directly on to reel to reel. I am still using Slate's VCC one space after VTM and before compressing, and that adds more yummy analog sounding tasty bits that I haven't been able to find in any other plugin.

    I do have friends that say that VTM takes up a lot of memory on their machines, but I haven't yet noticed that on mine...I have 10GB RAM. If memory issues to come up for me, I'll just freeze the tracks I'm not currently working on to get around that.

    There's nothing I've ever found that sounds like a first-played 33 vinyl, but this is the closest plugin I've found.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts on VTM if you have it, or what tape simulation you have and how you like it.


    Mark Petrash

    Logic Pro 9
    East West Symphony Orchestra
    Blue Yeti
    PresSonus Audio Box
    Slate Drums
    Slate VCC
    Slate FG-X
    RealGuitar 2
    RealStrat 2
    Ozone 5
  3. joelonsdale

    joelonsdale New Member

    I use the Slate VCC (Brit N is my favourite) on each track or group and the Waves Eddie Kramer Tape on the master buss. Sounds great, really great. I would love a little more control over tape type, out of curiosity, and wonder if the Slate tape would combine in some lovely way with the VCC! I also use Nomads Magnetic on the drum buss (awesome for drums, but none-too-subtle). I also LOVE Stillwell Audio's Bombadier as a master buss compressor - great value, massive sound (use oversampling mode). I have yet to find a limiter I love but I hear the Slate one is amazing!

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