Re-live the magic of the Studer A80
When it comes to professional analog multi-track tape machines, there’s perhaps none more respected than the Studer A80. This Swiss machine became the universal standard for professional high-end multi-tracking, and now it’s available for you as the T-RackS Tape Machine 80.
The A80 was produced from 1970 through 1988, and remained a studio staple throughout that time. In its various revisions, the A80 became an essential part of countless influential records, with a perfect blend between transparency and subtle harmonic enhancement.
Using a careful mix of dynamic convolution and physical modeling, the Tape Machine 80 re-creates the complex interplay of effects taking place in the analog audio tape recording process, down to the finest detail.
Re-Creating the Magic
Analog tape audio recorders are complex systems. They impart magic to the audio material, lifting the art within the music to a higher level. They add musicality to music. What a tape machine adds to the audio is the result of a number of interactions amongst several interdependent factors. More than just saturation, compression, or EQ alone, these factors work together, one affecting each other with the dynamics of music, adding a “movement” that goes into the soul of what we perceive.
Decades of music produced on these pieces of artful human engineering have tailored the way we think music should sound. It’s imprinted in our DNA. Trying to recreate this magic in the digital domain has been attempted since the early days of real-time audio plug-ins, with various degrees of success.
The T-RackS Tape Machine collection is the culmination of two years of full-time research and development on real world-class machines. Each machine went through a complete electronic and mechanical restoration to bring them perfectly back “to spec” before the scientific modelling process started.
Then IK’s DSP engineering team took each of the stages apart, studied and analyzed them in-depth, thus producing a model of the entire magnetic tape recording process. This model now works in symbiosis with a powerful dynamic convolution engine that captures the full essence of the real machines, creating what we believe is the only way to faithfully bring the complete picture of these complex analog engineering marvels to the digital realm.
The program coming out a professional tape recorder is very similar to the one coming in, just better. It's subtle but you can feel that it is not. This is the essence, and the T-RackS Tape Machine collection faithfully bring all this magic right to your DAW.
Tape Machine 80 features a set of controls to enhance the ease of use. Key features include:
Signal path selection: With “Input,” the signal only passes through the input and output electronic stages of the recorders, bypassing the tape. Depending on how the recorder is designed, the “Input” path can sound extremely transparent or just slightly more colored. “Repro” passes your signal through the entire analog recording system: input-> recording amplifier -> recording head -> tape -> playback head -> playback preamplifier -> output stage.
True Stereo: Even a perfectly aligned tape machine will have slight level, EQ and distortion differences between the left and right channels. This is good and part of the analog recording mojo! The T-RackS Tape Machine Collection perfectly recreates these subtle differences to deliver the real experience. If perfectly identical left and right channel processing is a must, simply disable this feature.
Tape Speed: Select the speed of the tape transport between 15 and 30 inches per second (“ips”). The higher speed gives you more fidelity, and the lower speed delivers a warmer, rounder tone.
Transport Modeling: Precisely models the behavior of the mechanical transport. Small irregularities in the movement of the tape creates various degrees of sonic alteration to the audio program, especially between the two channels. Keep it on for the magic to happen! In case a perfectly steady performance is needed, just disable the control.
Record Bias: Ideal bias voltage settings provide maximum sensitivity and low distortion. Intentionally overbiasing is a common technique to produce a warmer, gently saturated sound. Underbiasing can be used to nicely boost the high frequencies in a truly unique way and add distortion and other nonlinear effects.
- T-RackS individual processor module
- Full 14 day free trial period
- Individual processor or part of the T-RackS processing chain
- 64-bit native support
- 32-bit 192 kHz support
- T-RackS Custom Shop integration
- Also available as part of T-RackS Tape Machine Collection
- macOS 10.10 or higher
- 64 bit
- Intel Core 2 Duo (Intel Core i5 recommended)
- RAM: 4GB (8 GB recommended)
- Windows 7-10
- 64 bit
- Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Intel Core i5 recommended)
- RAM: 4 GB (8 GB recommended)
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