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Iron Oxide

Tape Emulation Plugin by Airwindows
Iron Oxide by Airwindows is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS. It functions as an Audio Units Plugin.
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Iron Oxide 4 is a tape emulation AU universal binary plugin. It's old school tape emulation. Unlike ToTape, Iron Oxide 4 doesn't present a realistic tape model with wide-range sound—instead, it traps in the sound in the lows and highs and lets you make it bark. This is the one for putting on isolated tracks and cranking out, hitting hard.

Also, you can blur out the tone with flutter which will help get away from the 'digital' sound too—and Iron Oxide 4 features a new control, Inv/Dry/Wet. How this works is, you can narrow down the tone to a focussed area that is saturated, and then mix this with dry signal as you might in Reaper. But it doesn't stop there: you can also add the Iron Oxide tone inverted, subtracting it.

What you get when you cancel out a saturated bandlimited tone is this: you're producing a mid cut, but the mid cut stops happening when the Iron Oxide section saturates. As a result, your tone cut lets through only the punch and impact, and pulls back the mud. This makes Iron Oxide 4 a really flexible, easily approachable tone shaper. If you're trying to heighten sound density it's a great way to intensify a frequency range, and if you want to amp up the impact it can do that with the Inverted range on inv/dry/wet. You can also dial in the area you don't want on full-wet, then subtract it.

Simulates tape speeds of 1.75 ips to 150 ips (.) and you can give a separate tape speed for lows and highs. This is really designed to act as a bandpass in a way more realistic tape sims can never do, it serves an entirely different role in a mix. I've never recommended use of Iron Oxide on the 2-buss or a final mix for it's too colored and vivid- use ToTape for that.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.00 from 2 reviews

Iron Oxide
Reviewed By markmann
June 2nd, 2007

I agree with MInx that this plug-in is fantastic. I also own the DUY Tape and while it is better for a few sounds, the vast majority of the time I find myself going with Iron Oxide. And now that the developer has added a gain knob, you can drive the "tape" as much or as little as you want. This feature is really helpful and makes the thing sound even better because you can really fine tune to a particular sound.

I graded features at an 8 because it just does the one thing. But that's all you want in a tape emulation. There is no need for documentation. You just move the speed and drive knobs until you find a combo that's right for the sound you're working on. And who needs presets when it's this simple. The developer is one guy and the support has been fantastic.

But the plug (like all his stuff and I have several others) is totally stable and EXTREMELY CPU efficient. It basically uses the host GUI thing. It doesn't have a pretty interface. But those "vintage" GUIs are totally superfluous to me. I'm so glad he kept it simple. You've got two knobs and they make a great sound. Who cares how they look.

Once you get this thing on many of your tracks the whole mix just stands up and wails. I've tried every native tape emulation I can find for PC and Mac and this one just blows everything else away. When used in conjunction with Airwindows Hard Vacuum plug-in (a tube emulation), you can get great sounds quickly.

The tape speed slider control is really important. You can slide it until Iron Oxide emphasizes the sound you're working on. For drums and bass, lower speeds of 8-14 ips seem to bring out the fatness. For piano, vocals and guitar, speeds between 15 and 30 ips work better. This control is almost like an EQ and it's very effective.
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Iron Oxide
Reviewed By minx
May 16th, 2007

Anyone who is looking for a fat tape tone really owes it to themselves to buy this plug in.
I A/B it against the Duy Tape emulation and Iron Oxide clearly won the shootout.
Airwindows really do have some unique plugs that dare I say have a real analogue flavour to them.

After buying the Oxide I went crazy I bought loads of other plgu ins including tape tone which gives more of the
color that tape imparts and is great for fattening up thing cold signals.
There are no demos of the Airwindows plug ins which is a shame but as the Developer states he offers a slew of free plug ins whihc should give you a clear idea of the quality of his plugs.
There are still a few plug ins I have nto yet bought but sadly my bank balance will not let me purchase the last few and once Ive got those Im sure there will be more new AirWindows plugs.Ahhh the never ending cycling of what to buy next.
Finally there are no fancy Gui's with thses plug ins whihc in a way I like as it really makes your ears focus on the sound and also is one of the reasons these plug ins are so stable and cpu effecient.
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