IK Multimedia T-RackS Tape Machine Collection Review

IK Multimedia have released their take on classic tape machines and high end tape formulas. Did I like what they had to offer? Find out by watching this:

24 – 1980s vintage MCI JH24

Controls: Input knob controls the signal

Input button: Signal passes only through the ins and outs, bypassing the tape.

Repro: Passes signal through the entire recording system.

Transport Modeling: Keep it on for the mojo. Models the mechanical irregularities of the tape reel.

True Stereo: Slight volume, EQ and distortion differences between two channels.

Bias: Higher = Overbias, which gives a warmer/gently saturated sound.

Underbiasing = boosts high frequencies.

Tape Formula: 

250 – 3M/Scotch 250. Warm tone, more saturation than other formulas.

456 – Ampex 456 High Output Mastering tape. The most used tape ever. Warm and round with a touch of saturation.

GP9 – Quantegy GP9 Grand Master Platinum. Punchy and high fidelity.

499 – Ampex 499 Grand Master Gold Studio Mastering Audio Tape. Can handle a lot of level with minimal distortion/compression. Sounds closer to digital recording than the others.

Auto Calibration: Resets to factory calibration

Record Label: Leve of the recorded signal AFTER the input when Repro is on.

Record HF EQ: High shelf, added to recorded signal on tape.

Play Level: When in Repro, adjusts the level of the recorded signal, AFTER the tape. Used to calibrate the machine.

Play HF EQ: High frequency shelf, after the tape.

Play LF EQ: Low frequency shelf, after the tape.

Output level: controls the output level of the module.

On: Bypass

Reset: all controls back to default.

Tape Machine 80 – Studer A80 MK II, 1970s vintage. Perfect blend of transparency and subtle harmonic enhancement.

Tape Machine 440 – Ampex 440B. Late 1960s vintage. “Soulful color”.

Tape Machine 99 – Revox PR99 Mk II

Fuse Audio Labs 258-A VCL 864 & VQP Bundle Review

For those looking for a Langevin 258-A, 259-A or Federal Television Corporate AM-864U plugins, look no further. Fuse Audio Labs has you covered and in this video you’ll hear them in action:

Script notes:

The thing I like about Fuse Audio is they model esoteric gear that most of us have probably never heard of. Instead of doing the typical LA-2A, Fairchild or 1176 thing, they are over in left field looking for four leaf clovers. I respect that.

The Federal Television Corporation AM-864 was a 1950s era tube compressor. Original used for military purposes, https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/76374-just-got-federal-limiter-am-864-u.html 

Great on drums, vocals and bass guitar.

Langevin EQ 258-A Program Equalizer. Similar to the Pultec. Zero phase shifting.

Langevin EQ 259-A – Passive Filters

Fuse Audio VCL-864U = Federal AM-864. Review it with the VQP bundle

Compare Acustica Aquamarine’s EQ to the Fuse 258a.

– A 1950s era hardware emulation. It was one of the cleanest equalizer designs around back then. 

The user manual says that Fuse rebuilt the original unit.

The interesting thing with this EQ is that the cut frequencies are fixed at 
100 Hz and 10 kHz, respectively. The selection is for boosting, The low 
hand is a low shelf filter and the high band boost is a proportional Q 
peaking filter. The high band cut is a shelf filter.

The gold screw, which is easy to miss, is a an output gain trim control. 259-A: Out/in is the bypass switch. The Low Freq and High Freq controls are 

mostly self explanatory. 18 dB per octave filters. On the right, you can 
control which filters are active.

Federal AM 864. Vari mu compressor.  Great as a parallel vocals, bass or drums comp when driven hard.
https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=518333

  • A 1950s era hardware emulation. It was the cleanest EQ around back then.

The interesting thing with this EQ is that the cut frequencies are fixed at

100 Hz and 10 kHz, respectively. The selection is for boosting, The low

hand is a low shelf filter and the high band boost is a proportional Q

peaking filter. The high band cut is a shelf filter.

The gold screw, which is easy to miss, is a an output gain trim control.

259-A: Out/in is the bypass switch. The Low Freq and High Freq controls are

mostly self explainatory. 18 dB per octave filters. On the right, you can

control which filters are active.

Download the trials at https://fuseaudiolabs.com/product.html?id=300910246 and https://fuseaudiolabs.com/product.html?id=300879685