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Thread: Virutal Tape machines and Analog Effect

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    Virutal Tape machines and Analog Effect

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    Hey guys,
    I'm somewhat new to audio production. I have read online that the use of virtual tape machine and analog effects can bring life to the sound of your mix.
    I've had this program recommended in particular

    Slate Digital VTM Virtual Tape Machines Plug-in (download) | Sweetwater.com

    So has anyone used this kind of software, does it really make that big of a difference in your music. Here is a link to all of my work. Like I said I'm looking to bring the sound to life, is there anything else that can be done other than buying a $150 plugin?
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-V...fp3cwNUQ75HPlg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex3vious View Post
    ...is there anything else that can be done other than buying a $150 plugin?
    Buy the real thing.

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    so buy a mix console for thousands of dollars lol.

    More specifically I should have asked, what can be done other than using a virtual tape machine to bring music to life?

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    Play well and have great recorded tone in a room that sounds good with good mics. Done.



    Seriously, there is not a plugin that 'brings music to life'. Hopefully the music does that.

    There are many things that can get you there, but no magic plugin.
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    But I'm fine with my tone and playing, the mix always sounds a little muddy or dead. There has to be something I'm missing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex3vious View Post
    But I'm fine with my tone and playing, the mix always sounds a little muddy or dead. There has to be something I'm missing
    Well then what you need to look into or more accurately 'find' is a way to get each instrument to work in the mix. EQ would be my #1 suggestion.

    This is basic advice to start with:

    HPF on most everything that does not need low end. Sweep the frequency up until it kills the tone, then back it off a bit.

    Muddy sounds can build up quickly around 200 to 500k. Start by using a fairly tight 'Q' on a parametric eq for each instrument. Find what is creating the 'mud'. It can be just two instruments battling for space.

    Watch out for upper mid frequencies that get harsh, but try boosting the ones that bring the mix to life. Be careful here. Depending on the eq you are using and the sound you have recorded, boosting frequencies can cause a whole bunch of nasty stuff. As a general suggestion, 3 dB boost would be pushing it. But that really depends on what you are eq'ing. Drums/percussion tend to do well with some extreme boost and cuts but that also is not always needed.


    Best of luck man! Use your ears!
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    Ok thanks, I've been using high pass filters on the guitars, would you add them to the snare, overhead drum mic, toms, etc? Would you use one on the bass guitar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex3vious View Post
    Ok thanks, I've been using high pass filters on the guitars, would you add them to the snare, overhead drum mic, toms, etc? Would you use one on the bass guitar?
    We're not trying to be vague or mysterious. The answer to these questions is "yes/no/maybe/it depends/if it needs it, etc....". It's impossible to answer with a definite answer. Each track/song/situation is different and every situation is different in the context that it's put in. In other words, what might be considered a bad sound for one song might be the perfect sound for another song, depending on what's happening around it.

    As far as plug-ins that "bring your music to life", there are no magic buttons. If your mix is dull, it needs to be addressed at the tracking and mixing level. How did you record your track? How is the room? How id the mic placement? How is the performance? etc......You have to identify what's making it sound to dull to you and address it. Not saying those plug-ins are useless but they're not going to save anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex3vious View Post
    ...the mix always sounds a little muddy or dead. There has to be something I'm missing
    Virtual tape plugs wouldn't fix that anyway...they would work better in mixes that are too edgy/strident.

    There's a plug by Noveltech called "Character", and also there's the SPL Vitalizer MKII, both can be gotten through Plugin Alliance, and might be more along the lines of what you are after.

    Products - Plugin Alliance (scroll down to the Tone/Character section).

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    The overall effect of tape emulation would be compression with an emphasis on the mid range and maybe some noise-floor, right? Seems like that would just make your mud issues worse.

    There are some good tutorials out there on what EQing different frequencies does to different instruments. (I wish I had some links, but I just have some notes on a piece of paper). Google it a bit, I suppose.

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