|Product||Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder|
|Type / Tags||Tape EmulationMastering|
|Copy Protection||UAD Hardware Specific|
Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder is an emulation of the legendary Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder.
- Ampex-authenticated plug-in emulation of the ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder — the most popular professional 2-track machine ever made.
- Provides rich, cohesive tape sound, without the hassles of calibration, maintenance, tape degradation, etc.
- Models entire ATR-102 electronic path, including transformers, amplifiers, Repro, Sync, and Input paths.
- Features multiple tape formulas, head configurations, and calibration levels.
- Adjustable Wow, Flutter, Hiss, Hum, Crosstalk, and (L/R) Tape Delay.
A Note about UAD Powered Plug-ins
UAD-2 and UAD-1 Powered Plug-Ins run exclusively on Universal Audio's UAD DSP Accelerator Cards. All available Powered Plug-Ins are included in the UAD Software Installer/Updater Package; and every Plug-In title has a separately activated 14-day trial -- so users can try before they buy, at their own pace. Once a user decides to purchase a Plug-In, they can click on the Plug-In toolbar "Buy" button, which automatically takes them to the www.uaudio.com website and carts the plug in; or this can be done manually via browsing our webstore. Once the purchase is complete, a downloadable Authorization File is made available. Users simply drag and drop this Auth. File into the UAD meter, and the Plug-In is authorized. UAD-1 users can transfer Plug-In licenses to UAD-2 format for free (one time only). Via Customer Support, Universal Audio also allows registered UAD owners to sell their UAD card(s) with Plug-In licenses, transferring the licenses to the new card owner (subject to Universal Audio approval).
Reviewed By neil wilkes
January 18, 2012
There seem to be a lot of tape emulation plugins appearing these days - this one is actually Universal Audio's second machine (their previous one being a spot-on emulation of the Studer A800 multitrack machine) and is one of those rare plugins that literally nobody should be without. You hear the expression "game changer" an awful lot around the various forums but in this case it is thoroughly well deserved. I mean it too - even if you do not have a UAD2 DSP card, it is worth buiying one just to run this plugin - of course, the problem there is that you will end up hooked on what is essentially the audio plugin equivalent of crack cocaine, but that is a problem that I can live with.
Getting back to the ATR-102 though, what you get here is actually much,. much more than you might at first think. There are 3 different tape head sizes to choose from (1/4", 1/2" & 1") at 4 speeds (3.75IPS, 7.5IPS, 15IPS & 30IPS) and no fewer than 7 different tape compounds, although not all compounds are available at all sizes and speeds. If that were not enough, you also have the option for both european & US emphasis EQ and 4 different calibration levels for allowing accurate unity gain from inout to output dependent on the magnetic flux of each tape compound and the ability to tweak Hi & Low shelving EQ as well as reproduction head EQ (on a channel basis, so controls for both left & right) as well as the levels of tape hiss, hum, wow & flutter (plus the ability to turn them off altogether) and even crosstalk between channels and even a built-in equivalent of MRL alignment test tapes to set everything up with!
If all this control seems intimidating, don;t panic as there is an auto calibration feature that sets manufacturer recommended levels for each tape compound and a plethora of presets to get you started - plus a very interesting set of UltraLinear presets for each compound & speed created by Mastering Engineer Stephen Smith so you can get the flattest & widest response on each formulation.
This is a truly superb tool and even though I have had it for a couple of months now I am not only still learning how to get the best from it but the usual "glow" from a new toy has not yet worn off either - and that is a great sign as I often get the "wow" factor on initial use of a tool but usually it subsides after a couple of weeks and can be assessed honestly. This has not happened here, and I honestly cannot recommend this highly enough. Yes, it will mean buying a UAD2 card - but that will leave you open to all the rest of the UAD world, and you will also - on any new card - get their excellent 1176LN, LA2A and Pultec EQ right out of the box as well as their channel strip which although it is not an emulation of any beloved gear is still very usable.
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