And that's not including stuff like RC-20 Retro Color (XLN) that can do some tape stuff, and the tape plugin that comes with Ozone. (Noticeably absent, here, is Slate Digital's Virtual Tape Machines. I've tried it; it's great. Just haven't pulled the trigger on it).
So, yes. I am a man obsessed.
These all have different sounds and different levels of tweakability. Some are more-or-less "set it and forget it" (Softube Tape), some are painstaking recreations of particular tape machines (the Studer and Ampex from UAD are the pinnacle of that category), and some are more like "tape toolkits" for getting tape effects more generally (Satin is the probably the deepest tool if you want to go that way).
Reelbus 4 is solidly in that "toolkit" category, and so probably bears the closest relationship to Satin.
But honestly, as awesome as Satin is (and it really is), Reelbus is damn close. And it's noticeably easier to use. There's very little skeuomorphism in the interface; it's basically a set of sliders that let you play around with various elements of the "tape sound" (including such arcana as hysteresis and asperity). And it sounds great. The presets, while not extensive, are really good at hitting the fundamental tape sound categories, so you can just use it straight.
If you already own something more in the "set-it-and-forget-it" category (whether it's a straight emulation or not), and would like to go deeper into the weeds of what tape machines can do, this is absolutely your best bet. It's super cheap, but incredibly deep and sophisticated. And it might be the best way to learn how to tweak the tape sound, because the interface is so clear. You can really go bonkers with it. and that's a good thing to do when you're trying to learn how to play around with tape. Once you get your head around this, you'll have a much easier time popping the lid on, say, the Ampex from UAD or the service panel in Satin.
And even though I own tape plugins that cost nearly six times as much (man, those UAD plugs hurt), Reelbus 4 is perilously close in sound quality to some of those fancier plugs. If you're into tape -- or thing you might like to be -- this is really a must buy.
This plugin now has a permanent spot in all the DAWs I use. Combined with Waves NX, it really makes working in headphones a much more productive process for me. I do not get to crank the monitors as much as could in the past so having majority of my work done in headphones and then using the hour or two when I can crank it loud for minor tweaks and edits is a blessing.
There is a wide range of headphone models. The ability to choose between correction or simulation or custom is a useful feature too.
Very low CPU footprint is always important and Morphit barely registers a blip.
I was very skeptical about it when it just came out because I didn't think that headphone compensation is a worthwhile idea but it turned out to be a very useful plugin.
As sextonr3 I also have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990s and Sennheiser HD280Pros, but I don't have studio monitors and I use HD280Pros at work and DT990s at home. They sound wildly different, and I figured that even though I know both pairs very well mixing the same material using both tend to mess up my mixing decisions, so making both pairs to sounds roughly the same started to look like a noble goal.
Luckily Morphit does just that and it works very well for the headphones I have. It's been in my monitoring fx chain for a month now and it's not going anywhere, it's just too convenient after you get used to the compensated sound. Mind you, it won't make your headphones "perfectly flat", but it doesn't need to, because there's no such thing as "perfectly flat" anyway. So if you're stuck mixing on headphones like me, give it a try.
It is difficult to describe what makes a reverb sound great, because as listeners, we are more absorbed in the emotional response, rather than considering the algorithms and the technicalities involved...
The TB Reverb v4 has a lovely density to it and like most well coded reverbs, it adds the ambience you need within a perfectly natural soundstage....
You can create virtually any reverberation you can imagine with this plugin....
One thing is for sure....
Jeroen knows how to code top quality plugins that are some of the best audio tools on the planet...
I've been using the Toneboosters tools since their inception and even though I have many great plugins to choose from, the TB plugins are permanently on the top shelf of my toolbox...
I just bought the update for Reverb 4 and it is going to be used extensively...
Thanks once again to Jeroen for coding these very high qualty, practical plugins :)
I been looking for a reverb with a graphical EQ and then I found this new TB Reverb v4 from Toneboosters. It is very Clean and it can produce a long tail as well. It is simple but nice and easy to understand. Best of all it's cheap and a lot of reverb for the Money.
I picked up Reelbus maybe a month ago - I was working on a 60s style track and wanted something that would impart that "tape feeling" to my recordings. It only took me a short demo period to decide Reelbus does what I want and does it well. I ended up using multiple instances all over the project.
Now my personal experience of working with tape is limited to mucking around on an old Studer (same model as the Beatles used) and using a 4-track tape recorder back in the 90s. But I grew up with cassette tape and walkmans, so I am definitely familiar with the sound of consumer-grade cassettes. Reelbus seems to be a pretty good emulation of this sound: if you drive the signal too hard, you get that "tapey" distortion; you can get a nice warbled effect if you turn up the W&F.
What really struck me about the Studer was that no matter what you recorded to it, if you sent in the signal with a nice level, it would do wonderful things to your audio and make everything just sound "betterer". OK, the tubes obviously played a big part, but tape also has interesting characteristics in how it reacts to different signal levels. Reelbus has similar mojo. If you drive your signal just right, it'll saturate and compress the signal in a really nice way (to my ears). And as said before, if you don't drive it right, you have the potential to mess up your sound just like when recording a signal that is too hot to tape.
But Reelbus goes further than just simulating compression and the frequency response of tape though. You can add all the blemishes associated with tape recordings such as hiss, tape defects, wow and flutter etc. What I really like is that all of these settings can be set independently of each other. On top of that, there are several different models to choose from, all of which have their own sonic characteristics.
The fact that you have various different settings that are all independent also makes Reelbus more than just a tape simulation. The Hiss and Asperity settings include a -30dB switch; if you turn these all the way down, it's basically inaudible in a mix. That means you can selectively use Reelbus just for certain sonic characteristics of tape - meaning you can use Reelbus as a compressor with the right settings. Or turn up the W&F and leave everything else low to get a nice subtle warbly effect. I've actually used Reelbus as a drum compressor on a new track, and really like the results. Having a decent amount of settings and different models also means that Reelbus is great for simulating different scenarios. In my 60s song, I had a few old& dusty tapes that had been lying around in the studio for a while as well as a newer, well-serviced tape deck for the main mix.
One of the coolest things about Reelbus is the auto gain setting, and I have simply kept it engaged whenever I have use it. It's a great way of avoiding the effect of something louder inherently sounding better, as well as meaning you don't have to be contantly setting your mixing levels if you make changes to the settings. Brilliant.
The interface is very clear and well organised, but I would recommend taking a quick look at the manual which goes into a bit of detail into how the Spectrum and Saturation knobs affect the sound depending on the signal your are processing.
The price is very affordable, which was one of the reasons I decided to give the demo a go. I'd definitely recommend Reelbus to anyone looking for this type of plugin - although you really should just try the demo and see for yourself.