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Author Topic: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?  (Read 1239 times)

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Offline heathen

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Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« on: January 24, 2020, 01:08:26 PM »
As I've been slowly working on processing transfers of my old cassette recordings, I've found myself enjoying them more than I expected.  It's like there is a certain magic to them, and I don't know if it's simply because they were made on cassette tape or something else.  I was using a D6 so there's certainly no mojo to the recorder, and generally I'd either patch or use an Audio-Technica AT822.  Again I'm not certain I'd chalk the "magic" up to the mic(s).

Now let's be clear up front: terms like "coloration" and "warmth" are almost 100% subjective and I can't even articulate entirely what I mean.  Some of you may have a gut feeling for where I'm coming from, though.

So what I'm wondering is if there's any sort of post-processing that might be able to take a purely digital recording and get it somewhere in the ballpark of that analog magic.  Obviously it won't be exactly the same (particularly when I can't even explain entirely what I'm going for), but getting part of the way there would be a nice start.  I'd appreciate any ideas...this is pretty open-ended so any input is appreciated.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 01:53:52 PM »
Yes!! There are lots of plugins which saturate the signal to emulate the kinds of distortion caused by analog tubes, transistors and tape.

Here are three I've purchased and use with some frequency on the 16bit versions of the tapes I release.

https://www.soundtoys.com/product/radiator/ A "Tube" amp modeled on classic Altec preamps used in Motown

https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/SDRR/SDRR.php A very versatile plugin which covers tube, transformer and other kinds of distortion

https://blackroosteraudio.com/en/products/vpre-73 a plugin modeled to give the sound of a Neve preamp.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline if_then_else

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 02:31:25 PM »
Fabfilter Saturn (incl. various tape saturation presets)
https://www.fabfilter.com/products/saturn-multiband-distortion-saturation-plug-in

Offline heathen

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 03:54:14 PM »
Yes!! There are lots of plugins which saturate the signal to emulate the kinds of distortion caused by analog tubes, transistors and tape.

Here are three I've purchased and use with some frequency on the 16bit versions of the tapes I release.

https://www.soundtoys.com/product/radiator/ A "Tube" amp modeled on classic Altec preamps used in Motown

https://klanghelm.com/contents/products/SDRR/SDRR.php A very versatile plugin which covers tube, transformer and other kinds of distortion

https://blackroosteraudio.com/en/products/vpre-73 a plugin modeled to give the sound of a Neve preamp.

Thanks!  Is there one of those in particular you like best?
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline heathen

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 03:54:53 PM »
Fabfilter Saturn (incl. various tape saturation presets)
https://www.fabfilter.com/products/saturn-multiband-distortion-saturation-plug-in

I'll try to test this and the ones Noah suggested.  Thanks.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 06:54:03 PM »
Try the klanghelm first. It has 4 modes (I use tube and desk), and it’s very inexpensive
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 07:24:29 AM »

I use a touch of Waves L3 Ultramaximizer (older version VST plugin) on the mix buss on a lot of my recordings to provide light compression and a little more oomph. The presets are combinations of multiband limiters that provide gentle but effective coloration. Most of them are called things like "Loud and Proud", "Extreme Analog", "Lean and Mean"  and so on. Takes a little experimentation but I get a combination of a little more volume and some "color" although I'm definitely light on the touch with it. I generally prefer the "Extreme Analog" setting that emulates a high end optical compressor in line after any EQ I may slap on there.

https://www.waves.com/plugins/l3-multimaximizer#introduction-to-the-l3-and-l3-ll-multimaximizers



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Transfers - Tascam DA30 (dats) or Nak MR2 (cassettes) > Sound Devices USB Pre

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Offline wforwumbo

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 10:41:38 AM »
Just to chime in here...

My personal favorite (and part of my production signature now) is Soundtoys Decapitator. Radiator is great, it models a specific tube preamp while Decapitator models 3 tape machines, a triode tube, and a pentode tube.

Different flavors, but there’s room for both in a plug-in collection. Both are best IMO when used lightly rather than gratuitously.
2x Schoeps mk2
2x Schoeps mk21 (matched pair)
2x Schoeps mk4
2x Schoeps cmc5

Nbob KCY
Naiant PFA

Sound Devices Mixpre-6

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Post-processing for analog coloration/warmth/whatever?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 01:05:55 PM »
Just to chime in here...

My personal favorite (and part of my production signature now) is Soundtoys Decapitator. Radiator is great, it models a specific tube preamp while Decapitator models 3 tape machines, a triode tube, and a pentode tube.

Different flavors, but there’s room for both in a plug-in collection. Both are best IMO when used lightly rather than gratuitously.

Isn't the "N" setting on decapitator a model of a Neve mic preamp circuit as opposed to a tape deck?
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

 

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