going through all the tape emulations none gave the good tape compression, they only produce the harmonics for saturation and a very bad crush compression when push hard. Is Acustica tapes the closest thing ?

tried.. Waves tapes Softube Tapes Magnetite psp tonebooster Yamaha Vintage machines tapes many which I fogot all popular vst tapes available in the market..


1 Answer 1


I don't believe there's a thing like "tape compression", there are certain things happening to the sound that we explain as "compression" but really it's a collection of non linear processes, such as slew rate, crossover distortion, transformer style distortion , noise enhancement at certain frequencies , harmonic content enrichment and goes on.

You can try to imitate these effect but there's really no such thing as "tape compression".

Each machine distorts in it's own unique way, which then gets multiplied by what kind of tape you actually use, which then gets multiplied by the tape wear and condition, which then gets multiplied by the condition of the record head and the repro head , the calibration of the machine (azimuth etc) and last but not least the actual format of the machine (inches/channels) and the speed that you're using and nab/ccir formats

The only time actual compression happens is when there's a denoiser in place such as dolby or dbx but even that can't be described as a compressor , cause it's actually a compander (compression-expander) using high frequency pre-emphasis and de-emphasis and cancelling the compression with expansion so you have no noise. But it does even ever so slightly introduce some effect.

Now all these are changing depending on how hot you hit the tape which is an art by itself, so there's nothing "given" here. It's a world of possibilities.

To answer your question as simply as i can, ubk/kush knows the game really well, maybe take a look at what they offer.

Keep in mind that the tape effect is actually subtle (when not going to extremes), don't expect to get your mind blown as the essence of the tape sound itself lies in the details.

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