Avid Reel Tape Saturation
Avid Reel Tape Saturation

Reel Tape Saturation, Tape/Vinyl simulator from Avid.

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mooseherman 04/21/2011

Avid Reel Tape Saturation : mooseherman's user review

« Really cool tape emulator for Pro Tools! »

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This is a Digidesign made plugin. It's the Avid Reel Tape Saturation plug-in. It comes with the ReelTape suite which also features the Reel Tape Delay and Flanger. It's a pretty easy plug-in to install and get started. I didn't feel as though I really needed to use the manual, as I've basically just been testing out the different features to get a feel for it. The manual is informative enough though. The basic idea behind the plug-in is that it's supposed to replicate the sound of a tape machine on your digital tracks. There have been many attempts to get this pattern right, and they've all had different results as far as I've seen. This is probably one of the better attempts at nailing this sound that I've come across. It has controls for drive, speed, noise, bias, output, and calibration adjust. These all give it characteristics of tape machines, but actually also allow the flexibility of getting a variety of tones as opposed to the specific sound of one tape machine.


I haven't had any issues with this plug-in at all. It's never crashed Pro Tools on me (unlike some other plug-ins i've used). It's never really bogged down the system for me either. It's been a quick, satisfying performance the whole time. I use it with my Pro Tools LE 8 home system with a Digi 003 and have yet to experience any issues, and there have been times when my system has had a hard time keeping up with a plug-in.


I really like the way that this plug-in recreates the tone of a tape machine. While that's certainly not going to be useful for everybody, it's pretty nice to use when you are working with any sort of retro-themed band, or anything with a folkier, more rustic feel. It can also be used really effectively in electronic music, if you need something to bring a warmer contrast to whatever you are working with. All in all, it's got a variety of uses, it can be used on individual tracks plus busses with equally good results. Perfect for fans of analog recording who don't want to have to maintain all that gear!