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Tape - R2R etc

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Tape - R2R etc

Postby kriece » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:56 am

I am looking at adding some tape to my Nebula setup and just wondering a couple of things.

1. What is the difference in sound (if any) between the Nebula version of R2R and the VST version?

2. Is R2R the pick of the bunch?

3. I have Satin & Slate VTM - how does everybody find the Nebula libraries compared to these. Slate is good for softening harsh highs but not really (IME) for other stuff. Satin is great for a range of reasons but takes a bit of tweaking to get right.

Thanks guys !
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby mtalavera » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:27 am

Once I got R2R and the Tape Booster+ libraries from CDSM I immediately stopped using Slate VTM. There was just no comparison for me when comparing the two. The R2R/Tape Booster+ combination just brought a smoothness to the track, which is the only way I can really describe it.


There is one further step in the CDSM tape process, which CDSM describes as being three stages. R2R, then Tape Booster+, and finally VTM-M2, which is a VST plugin. I don't have the third stage yet, though.
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby ngarjuna » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:41 am

kriece wrote:I am looking at adding some tape to my Nebula setup and just wondering a couple of things.

1. What is the difference in sound (if any) between the Nebula version of R2R and the VST version?

2. Is R2R the pick of the bunch?

I'm pretty sure the Nebula R2R and the VST are based on the same sampling sessions. The Nebula library has way more variations, though, so to me the VST is more aimed at non-Nebula users.

R2R is great but the Ampex set is equally great. I'd say it mostly comes down to do you want Ampex or Studer for the large format multitrack and mastering decks? Of course each set has a strong compliment of other decks that are situationally useful (I adore the R2R's Wollensak programs). There's so much good stuff in both libraries that I would say if you have serious uses for tape emulations get both.

I've never used the other products you mentioned so I'm out on #3. I stopped demoing competing tape products after a while, for me nothing even really comes close to R2R/Apex/Tapebooster+/VTM-M2.
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby flipnaut » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:08 pm

Hey ehm,

i have the same questions...

I think abaout Tape Booster+ with R2R (or VTM-2)and i can't make a decision.

Well i make Rock music and i'm digging for example the great tape sound of the album "four" by blocparty. I like also the coulourd stock tape in nebula pro - but it does bad artifacts which is a sort of effect in the preset. So what could be the right decision?

I own also the slate VTM (many think it is just wow) and in comparison to the Nebula Tapes it really is a disappointment!
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby dagovitsj » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:58 pm

I think abaout Tape Booster+ with R2R (or VTM-2)and i can't make a decision.


@ flipnaut: I know that a lot of Nebula folks here are very satisfied with the NAG Tape from signaltonoize.

Zabukowski says:
September 22, 2011 at 3:40 am
This thing is insane – THANK YOU :))


It's only 15$, so perhaps that's a good starting point?
Check it out here: http://rhythminmind.net/STN/?page_id=3002

I don't have this NAG tape myself, so I can't say anything about that. But I do have R2R, Tapebooster+ and VTM-M2 and although it's quite an investment, I find myself exploring new and different colors since I purchased it, and I really like the sound I'm getting.

I have never worked with real tape before - Fostex 4 track doesnt' count, I reckon! So I have to explore all the different colors.

I have both the VST version and the Nebula version and I'm using the VST version a lot - it's so easy to use and something with the GUI that attracts me! The Nebula version is nice to have if you use NebulaMan 1.5.2.

Although I have the three parts, R2R,Tapebooster+ and VTM-M2 I seldom use only that combination. I often use R2R and TB+ and often only VTM-M2.

Cheers!
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby flipnaut » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:55 pm

Thank you... i will try the nag demo version and he has also a studer.
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby flipnaut » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:53 am

Hey dago,

the two demos are smart and worked for me. The studer sim sounded very similar to what the VTM-M2 did. So for the money your link is very welcome :)

The NAG Tape is also very useful. I liked the speed knob of the tape: it was like a sort of eq through tape... 30ips very lively and under 15ips very warm.

I believe to jump into the whole nebula-tape-world i defenetly must buy R2R and TB+. On Drums i like the Booster when Bassdrum and Snare hit the tape hard into the ass. So a first idea could be to buy TB+ and the NAG and the Studer and to look if it does the job for me.

On CD Soundmaster there are some audio samples and a very interesting description how to use the TB+ with R2R. The TB+ is cool. But would also a overdriven EQ or loud comp do the job to hit the tape machine?
Monitors:PSI A21m, System: Presonus Studio One Pro V3, Intel i7 4790k. Plugins: Pink2412, Amethyst2,Navy, Honey, Scarlet3, Ochre, Magenta3, Titanium, Blue, EQp1, Silk. HW: AML EZ1073, Ap*550a, Chandle* LD Comp, Tape 542. Visit me on: http://audiopaw.de/
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby pleplo » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:15 pm

Hey guys I bought the Nag tape a long time ago but I cant hear anyway difference in sound. its too subtle for me to use. its weird. and I dont see any speed knob on the nebula preset?
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby flipnaut » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:41 pm

Well. I can hear the difference... of course you could increase the input of nebula or you could use a comp with make up gain to pump and hit into the tape a bit. I use tape on drums and bass...for bass i use the 15 speed.
Monitors:PSI A21m, System: Presonus Studio One Pro V3, Intel i7 4790k. Plugins: Pink2412, Amethyst2,Navy, Honey, Scarlet3, Ochre, Magenta3, Titanium, Blue, EQp1, Silk. HW: AML EZ1073, Ap*550a, Chandle* LD Comp, Tape 542. Visit me on: http://audiopaw.de/
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Re: Tape - R2R etc

Postby dagovitsj » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:14 pm

@ flipnaut: Good to hear!

On CD Soundmaster there are some audio samples and a very interesting description how to use the TB+ with R2R. The TB+ is cool. But would also a overdriven EQ or loud comp do the job to hit the tape machine?

- AFAIK it's common to use the TB+ after the R2R to "enhance your specific R2R Tape Machines, but it can also be used on its own as an accurate generalized tape saturation effect".
- I think you have to experiment, but it's very important to understand proper gain staging working with Nebula. Check out david1103's excellent video about this :D

Hey guys I bought the Nag tape a long time ago but I cant hear anyway difference in sound. its too subtle for me to use. its weird. and I dont see any speed knob on the nebula preset?


@ pleplo: I actually purchased the NAG Tape some days ago, but haven't tried it yet! However I have used R2R for quite some time. How do you listen for the difference/effect? Which DAW are you using? From my experience, it's very important to line up DRY and processed files on each own track (i.e. starting exactly at the same time) in your DAW and listen for 5-6 sec and then switch to the other file and focus on for example one instrument (the bass, kick, snare, cymbals), then switch back.

OBS: listen for the difference on good earphones or good monitors. I have Genelec 8030 A and Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro - and I can hear those small differences.

BUT, and this is very important to put on the table: If you don't hear the difference, try putting the tape on several mix busses like drums, guitars, vocals etc. Print the mix and level match the Nebula-mix with your dry version -and then listen again. You will hear it, but it may take some time.

Sometimes I have experienced that if you listen with eyes closed and try to just enjoy the music, not stressing - you suddenly hear it, it's like there is something missing in the DRY version, when you have listened to the Nebula version. First time I was like: Aha, so this is what they're talking about on this forum!

I'm only semi-pro, so my conclusion is that it really comes down to listening skills. And I'm not talking down here, this is just my experience - and I am constantly working to develop my ear.

A pro mixing/mastering engineer will have a very good ear entering the Nebula world - and he/she will probably pick out all the little subtleties quite easy, while others lacking that kind of skill level are just thinking: I don't get this!

So I wish someone had told me this 4 years ago when I purchased Nebula - then I would spent more time developing my listening skills, than reading this forum for countless hours...! :D

Hope this is inspiring to others!

PS: and regarding the speed control - AFAIk there are only two speeds in the NAG Tape lib:15 ips and 30 ips. To my knowledge you can't alter the speed to something between. However R2R have 7,5 ips, 15 ips and 30 ips.

@ flipnaut: What do you mean by "speed knob"?
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