Effects pedal or unit (or combination thereof) that simulates tape recordings?

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thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
Bear with me on this if it is a silly question. 

I much prefer the sound of recorded guitars than "amp in the room" so I'm trying to curate a setup based on either preamps or a modeller through cabinet IRs for home playing (there's no point me considering any live or public playing requirements).

But they tend to sound quite pristine rather than like the albums I enjoy playing along to so I was wondering if this is why they often come up short.

Sound example of what I mean is The White Stripes Elephant album, which was recorded through ribbon mics and into an 8 track tape recorder and therefore has a slightly different sound to those recorded in the modern method. A bit distorted, is it saturation? Maybe some compression? I dunno.

Anyway, do you guys know of anything I could whack at the end of the guitar chain that might do that to the sound? Are there IRs for that?

Are there combinations of effects I could do it with? I have an HX Effects which is living very much on borrowed time but if it could do this then it might be worth keeping it.

I know of the Strymon Deco but I believe that only does mono to stereo not stereo input.

Thanks
Matt
I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • NPPNPP Frets: 152
    could you just put an actual tape machine at the end of the signal chain - going from some sort of modeller into a hifi cassette deck, or a video recorder? Set it to record and use the monitor output? That would take stereo signals, and you could adjust the amount of saturation / overdrive / gain you want. You could even send both your guitar signal and the record you are playing along to through the tape.

    I think that this is what the Deco simulates but I actually fooled around with such a setup, using a video tape recorder for distortion, way way back in the past.

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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    edited January 13
    I suppose there is that yes, though space is at a premium so was hoping for something stomp box sized or at most rack sized ...

    I will certainly give that done thought though :)
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  • keirkeir Frets: 53
    the deco has stereo input with a y cable 
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 10720
    Deco is a good option. The delay side is one of my favourite things on the planet, but if you wind up the tape saturation side that would probably make you grin. 

    The other obvious option is a Hudson Broadcast. That emulates a tube desk, iirc, but it's a similar theme
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  • Roger Mayer has a tape emulator thingy. I think it's called the 456 or something.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    keir said:
    the deco has stereo input with a y cable 
    I think it sums to mono though doesn't it? I can't justify having two (she with the Broadcast really)
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 10720
    keir said:
    the deco has stereo input with a y cable 
    I think it sums to mono though doesn't it? I can't justify having two (she with the Broadcast really)
    Looks like you have both options: 

    https://www.strymon.net/faq/wide-stereo-mode-work-deco/
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    edited January 14
    keir said:
    the deco has stereo input with a y cable 
    I think it sums to mono though doesn't it? I can't justify having two (she with the Broadcast really)
    Looks like you have both options: 

    https://www.strymon.net/faq/wide-stereo-mode-work-deco/
    It says the input is summed to mono of its stereo input then sent to stereo afterwards as the effect of the two tapes
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    Roger Mayer has a tape emulator thingy. I think it's called the 456 or something.
    Thanks I'll have a look though the stereo one on Google seems to cost more than my car haha but will look better for it later
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    I think there is an Echoplex or Space Echo model on my GSP1101  With a gain control, might try that with the delay off maybe with some compression after?
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 4108
    There's probably a billion plugins you could use after an amp modeller to do some of that.

    IR's probably aren't a great tool for what you're trying to achieve beyond the cab/ speaker part of the chain, because they're a static snapshot and won't reproduce, for example, differing levels of distortion as you dig in on the guitar more. But absolutely you could find an IR shot with a ribbon mic.

    Try a vst preamp into a tape sim. Vpre-73 by black rooster audio is cheap and brilliant. Airwindows do some free tape emulations - Iron and ToTape, IIRC. Set both to be a little blown out but not fuzzy nonsense.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 20783
    edited January 14
    Here you go:


    http://www.empiricallabs.com/fatso.html

    UAD do a plugin version of this.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785

    Thanks guys, though the Empirical thing also costs more than my car :)

    If it can't be done, then it's ok I just thought I'd ask. I think best possibility so far if trying to use the tape delays on the GSP doesn't work (or if there's an HXFX one) is a couple of Broadcasts as that seems to be about the same cost as a Deco but would be stereo. But willing to concede this might be overkill and a silly whimsical pursuit in general.

    I don't really want to use plugins as I broke my laptop doing that before as there are too many cables, plus the noise through the interfaces is awful so I have to be in the next room playing to reduce the noise which means further cable runs and a little walk every time I need to adjust anything! I might give it another go in fairness to try the wireless which reduces noise a bit but I prefer the sound of actual units as the computer seems to add too much latency, more than just a standard digital unit. It's not for recording that I want this, just for general playing at home

    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • fyooshafyoosha Frets: 3
    If you do decide to look at the VST option again, then Wow Control from Goodhertz is absolutely wonderful. Really intuitive, uncomplicated design and offers control over wow and flutter, colour, saturation, "analog" noise and a lot more. 

    https://goodhertz.co/wow-ctrl

    I've had good results using a Focusrite Scarlett and Ableton and have had no issues with latency - and my laptop is almost 10 years old - when just jamming and playing about at home. 

    Or you could always pick up an old reel to reel from eBay and run everything through that. Have you ever watched Hainbach's YouTube channel? Not a guitar in sight, it's more synth/ambient based but his use of tape might interest you and he shares loads of useful information on there. 

    https://youtu.be/XCtvpgQsAxc
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  • jdgmjdgm Frets: 273
    Buy a genuine tape delay like an old Watkins Copicat.
    That will do it.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    fyoosha said:
    If you do decide to look at the VST option again, then Wow Control from Goodhertz is absolutely wonderful. Really intuitive, uncomplicated design and offers control over wow and flutter, colour, saturation, "analog" noise and a lot more. 

    https://goodhertz.co/wow-ctrl

    I've had good results using a Focusrite Scarlett and Ableton and have had no issues with latency - and my laptop is almost 10 years old - when just jamming and playing about at home. 

    Or you could always pick up an old reel to reel from eBay and run everything through that. Have you ever watched Hainbach's YouTube channel? Not a guitar in sight, it's more synth/ambient based but his use of tape might interest you and he shares loads of useful information on there. 

    https://youtu.be/XCtvpgQsAxc
    Thanks for the YouTube link I shall have a listen to that, it sounds very interesting. Regards the latency my laptop struggles with loading Chrome and Word quickly so with the best will (or interface) in the world it just isn't a good method for me unfortunately. I have tape sim VSTs that I use when mixing recordings and they are adequate - believe me with my playing ability I don't need anything great, just adequate would be fine.

    jdgm said:
    Buy a genuine tape delay like an old Watkins Copicat.
    That will do it.
    I do have a valve powered tape recorder in my loft but the reason I don't use it (apart from it's mono and the output is limited to listening back on tape after the event), is that it is massive and I don't have space for it unfortunately. I'm not sure if the copicats are stereo but the prices from a quick Google search suggests that two Decos would probably be a more reasonable price :)
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 20142

    It says the input is summed to mono of its stereo input then sent to stereo afterwards as the effect of the two tapes
    That's out of the factory. It works true stereo (I have one) and use it in stereo.

    The 1/4” input can be set for either mono input or TRS stereo input. The pedal ships in mono input configuration from the factory.

    Here’s how to change the input configuration:

    Remove the back cover of your pedal. On the left side of the circuit board, you’ll see a jumper that can be set in two positions. Place the jumper on the left 2 pins for TRS stereo input. Place the jumper on the right 2 pins for mono input.

    In order to use the TRS stereo input, you’ll need a TRS stereo input adapter.




    Frexited
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  • timbuk02timbuk02 Frets: 81
    Try making one of these?


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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3785
    edited January 14
    timbuk02 said:
    Try making one of these?


    Brilliant!!! Love that

    Fretwired said:
    :Clever stuff:
    Oh blimey I am silly, I've never bothered buying one because I thought it was mono only, can I facepalm fret myself?!?!

    Although just to check, this definitely means if I put a left and a right signal in, the two signals will come out with the effect still separated left and right? As everything I've ever read says the stereo gets summed to mono then the stereo outputs are the two virtual tape reels

    EDIT: I'm a stupid idiot. Just found this thread from 2017, double facepalm  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/106105/strymon-deco-question
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 20142
    Oh blimey I am silly, I've never bothered buying one because I thought it was mono only, can I facepalm fret myself?!?!

    Although just to check, this definitely means if I put a left and a right signal in, the two signals will come out with the effect still separated left and right? As everything I've ever read says the stereo gets summed to mono then the stereo outputs are the two virtual tape reels

    EDIT: I'm a stupid idiot. Just found this thread from 2017, double facepalm  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/106105/strymon-deco-question
    You just need to open the unit and shift the jumper - takes a couple of minutes - and buy a stereo TRS Y cable. I run my Deco in stereo - sounds great.
    Frexited
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