Lately, I have been trying to learn more about tape. I grew up listening to albums tracked to tape, but have only worked professionally in the DAW environment. There is a craze with tape plugins in the last several years - including Universal Audios Officially endorsed Studer A800 mkIII plugin, as well as u-he Satin and Slate's Virtual Tape Machines. I happen to own these, and enjoy using them on a case by case basis, as they all have their own "flavor". In a nutshell, to my ears, the Studer has a fairly subtle and transparent sound - but is fully tweakable. You can go from "almost no effect" to hissy, driven tape sounds. Slate is less tweak-able by far, and has a slightly less subtle sound. Its a very pleasing one - big, wide and fat on the 456 emulation. A bit forward and sometimes a tad too sharp on its GP9 setting. Satin is a good sounding plugin that I put in between UAD's Studer and Slates VTM. Its tweakable, much like UAD but with less tape formulas - and has a fatter default sound, more like Slate's VTM. My feeling on this is that these companies probably very accurately modeled these machines. Each machine sounds different, and whomever sets the machine up and maintains it also plays a role. I would like to know more about harmonics in tape. I've taken some screenshots of my plugins with sine wave testing. Interestingly - Satin and VTM both show the strong 3rd harmonic - while the UAD Studer shows strong multiple harmonics - many more than the other emulations. At least, at its default tape settings for 456 at 15IPS. I was able to push the bias level from its default 10.18 volts to 11.87 - which is an interesting spot apparently, as most of the harmonics, except the third, mainly, all but disappear. They quickly return on either side of this voltage. The sound is bassier and more compressed to my ears with the higher bias - along with a loss of highs. I tend to shy away from the 456 on the Studer, because so much odd order harmonics tend to show up too easily, which doesn't seem realistic. Has anyone shot a sine wave through tape and looked at it on an oscope? Obviously, someone has - I am curious if the Studer is really correct in it's modeling. What are everyones thoughts here on tape and its emulations? Close enough? Nailed it? Not necessary? Here are the pics.