VTM-M2 – THE VINTAGE TAPE MACHINE
VTM-M2 is the Ultimate Vintage Tape Machine for authentic, World-Class Saturating Tape Compression, using our very own, unique Virtual Interactive Signal Chain Technology. The VTM-M2 brings you two calibration modes and unmatched quality for tracking, mixing, and mastering to tape. VTM-M2 is the perfect vintage Tape Machine.
Important! This latest version is a free update for registered commercial users! Make sure that you update either the 32 bit or 64 bit version and not both simultaneously, or you may experience a conflict in scanning within your DAW. On a 64 Bit Windows system, your 32 bit directory path is typically something like: “Program Files (x86)/Steinberg/Vstplugins”. Typically, your 64 bit directory looks like: “Program Files/Steinberg/Vstplugins”. Make sure your DAW is closed when installing the update. For Win 7, log on as administrator, right click ‘run as administrator’ for install and opening DAW.
(*If you are considering purchasing both the VTM-M2 and R2R, make sure that you purchase R2R FIRST in order to receive the biggest discount on VTM-M2.) *Important! R2R Customers: Contact Us for your Returning Customer Discount.
The VTM-M2 is the result of 5+ years of research and design. It stands for “Vintage Tape Machine” and we believe that it defines a new level of authenticity in plug-in technology. It is based upon an original concept developed by Michael Angel of CDSoundMaster called “Virtual Interactive Signal Chain Technology”, and has been brilliantly executed in code by Michael Heiler. This unique cooperation has led to this special line of products developed for CDSoundMaster by “MX2” or ‘Michael Times Two’.
The VTM-M2 reproduces the unique character of reel to reel tape machines for use on all aspects of recording, mixing, and mastering. It can be used on every track of a multi-track project, on a single instance of a final mix or master, on group buss duties, and any combination of the above. It has two completely independent operating modes, calibrated for Low and High calibrated tape settings. This provides a full range of use from subtle, clean response to higher gain, deeper harmonic distortion and compression, giving the user every desired response of a real tape machine without alteration to the source’s frequency range. It contains advanced multiple operations yet requires very few parameters for operation. It uses minimal system resources and is ideal for multiple instances and use on every track in dense multi-track session projects.
For those who have been using CDSoundMaster Program Libraries for the Nebula Pro Plug-In for several years, the VTM-M2 represents the long-awaited “3rd Stage” for the complete building-block concept for creating absolute authenticity in reel to reel tape inside the DAW. R2R – Reel, Too REAL, and Tape Booster +, are stages one and two, found in the Nebula Pro Plug-In list of CDS original software on this website.
R2R brings the user a complete collection of actual reel to reel tape machines, each with its unique frequency response, dynamic response, and harmonic distortion. Not only are multiple machines included in R2R, but each with its own tape speeds and tape stock choices. Literally every authentic nuance of these machines are represented in R2R. So, why three stages? Because Nebula Pro is the finest platform for reproducing absolute accuracy from such machines, and what it does is unrivaled. But, there are certain limitations to what the engine is created to do. Each instance of Nebula Pro acts as a certain process. In this case, tape is reproduced with frequency, dynamic change, and harmonic content. Nebula Pro can also act as a very realistic compressor, but this takes a different form than natural tape compression, and would require a separate instance even if it did include this type of function. This is where Tape Booster + comes in.
Tape Booster + is used as a second stage after R2R to build the level of perceived volume based completely on saturation or harmonic content. Dynamic harmonic distortion in exact detail to tape response is what Tape Booster + adds to each individual R2R machine. The two together make for an amazing daily mix, tracking, bus, and mastering tool using any desired machine.
And now, stage 3, the VTM-M2. Natural, authentic, complex saturating tape compression with two independent calibrations for subtle mastering work and for higher gain functions. The VTM-M2 is a completely new concept in creating code that sounds like, thinks like, acts like real analog. At literally every dynamic level it is processing uniquely, based upon the input. If it is receiving fast transients, it acts one way, if it is receiving long lyrical passages, it responds differently. If it gets a loud signal it operates uniquely to that signal. If it is given a quiet signal, it operates in a different manner. The VTM-M2 is always compressing, and it is always adding saturation. As it is driven harder, all forms of processing increase, change, and adapt. We believe it is the first product of its kind, and if used on its own, it may very well become your favorite replacement for digital brickwall limiters, mastering compressors, and tape saturation emulators. But, when used with R2R and Tape Booster +, you will experience the complete tape revolution that can only come from CDSoundMaster. Choose your unique R2R machine, load some saturation boost from TB+, and then add one instance of VTM-M2 or several! It has been carefully tested and designed never to loose its authentic analog response. We have run the VTM-M2 through its course to make certain that its sound never goes digital!
VTM-M2 Frequently Asked Questions
The VTM-M2 is a plug-in that reproduces the unique character of reel to reel tape machines for use on all aspects of
recording, mixing, and mastering. It can be used on every track of a multi-track project, on a single instance of a
final mix or master, on group buss duties, and any combination of the above. It has two completely independent operating
modes, calibrated for Low and High calibrated tape settings. This provides a full range of use from subtle, clean response
to higher gain, deeper harmonic distortion and compression, giving the user every desired response of a real tape machine
without alteration to the source’s frequency range. It contains advanced multiple operations yet requires very few
parameters for operation. It uses minimal system resources and is ideal for multiple instances and use on every track
in dense multi-track session projects.
What is the “VTM-M2”?
The “Virtual Tape Machine – Michael Times Two”
What does the name stand for?
Michael Angel and Michael Heiler.
Who created this plug-in?
How does it work?
We have created a completely new approach to making digital sound truly analog. We call this unique process our “Virtual Interactive Signal Chain Technology”. The VTM-M2 is the first plug-in of its kind.
There are many successful concepts out there that developers use to code great sounding plug-ins. Some simply create a signal flow that reads and processes the incomming sound. Some other developers follow a virtual machine approach, where the real analog device is studied and the plug-in is formed to follow the individual stages of the machine’s operation. This means that if the hardware has an input transformer, followed by an op-amp, followed by an elop limiter, and an output transformer, then the plug-in will have code that represents each of these resulting sounds in the order that they appear so that they will function the same as the hardware. This concept has many forms where some multiply the hierarchy of each process at each different setting to develop an extremely complex virtual device that is as complex as it is high on cpu processing demands.
CDSoundMaster has been at work researching and developing an original software concept since 2004, with its first product releases in the form of program libraries for the Nebula Pro plug-in host (Acusticaudio.com). Nebula takes a complex sampling approach to sound reproduction, where live streaming responses of actual hardware or emulated hardware sounds are sampled and played back much like a keyboard sampler. It has a complex engine for handling functions in addition to playing the sound. The result is a wonderful range of quality programming.
For the VTM-M2, CDSoundMaster’s unique approach was developed and coded by Michael Angel and Michael Heiler as the first in their unique line of originally developed recording tools. Michael Angel’s years of research studies on the interaction of analog hardware and its effect on recording, mixing, production, and engineering processes has been skillfully crafted and coded by Mr. Heiler in a collaborative effort that was extremely inspiring, educational, laborious, often times overwhelming and frustrating, and one of the most fulfilling experiences for this team as developers of a new level of realistic processors. We believe that when you spend some time listening to, reading about, and using our plug-in hands on, that you will recognize the deep level of care, hardship, struggle, and victory that are represented here.
Our Virtual Interactive Signal Chain Technology places the emphasis and importance on the final result of the sound as it pertains to actual music over any other part of the process. We believe that the weak link of other coded plug-in concepts is that the format or template is given more emphasis than the final sound. What seems like a perfect reproduction technique usually has unknown or unresolved complexities that simply cannot be explained without returning to the drawing board countless times to problem solve.
Our approach is to take actual audio examples of many, many different analog machines, run them through countless sound processes, examine things that are unique to the individual machines and what elements are universal to one extent or another. The language of the sonic art form is then translated through multiple advanced chains of events that break the process down into small elements, placing each element into a unique order that creates the perfect reproduction of otherwise very complicated and cpu costly processes. By making each stage of sound reproduction its own process based upon the what, when, and why of the real machines, we end up with an extremely detailed digital process that requires remarkably few computer resources, yet does more processing to the signal than most of its competition.
No. In fact, there is little that the VTM-M2 has in common with any traditional saturator, tape drive, tube drive,
leveller or compressor that you have ever used before. Having said that, yes the VTM-M2 does operate on the signal with
elements of saturation and compression, but it does so with care taken to literally every element of incomming sound.
If you give it a slow, smooth, quiet signal, it acts like tape at that instance. If you give it a very loud fast signal,
it reacts differently. Special attention has been given to literally every imaginable scenario with regard to how fast a
signal starts, finishes, increases and decreases in volume, whether the signal is clean or distorted to begin with,
whether it is weighted towards more high end or mid or low frequencies, and any fluctuation from one of these elements
into another. It may sound too good to be true, but we felt this was the level of detail that customers deserve in the
long wait for a real tape machine that can do every task that a generalized single device can and should achieve.
We believe that this is the tape compressor-tape saturator that you have been so patiently awaiting.
Does this mean that the VTM-M2 is just a tape-drive plug-in or another tape compressor or leveller?
R2R stands for “Reel, TOO Real!” R2R is CDSoundMaster’s collection of real tape machines for the Nebula Pro plug-in (
Acustica-Audio.com). R2R contains a Studer 24 track, an Otari 2 track, and many pro-sumer solid state and tube reel to reel
machines. It is a comprehensive collection of tape machines for use in multi-track and mastering.
What is R2R?
Nebula is a plug-in created by Acustica Audio (Acustica-Audio.com). It is a sound effect sampler that recreates complex
analog functions in live-streaming data much like a keyboard sampler, with an advanced engine that handles multiple
processing duties. Nebula Pro is our preferred format for releasing CDSoundMaster program libraries of real high end
analog eq’s and other devices.
What is Nebula?
Nebula handles analog reproduction with an amazing range of accuracy. But, it does have some limitations. This doesn’t
affect the realism of its reproduction, but it does offer a range of what it should be used for. Once we completed the
R2R project, we created an articulate process for adding additional “instant compression” sounding saturation that reacts
like real tape, adding perceived volume in the form of perfectly aligned harmonic content. When used on its own, it adds
bulk and volume to signals like tape. When used with R2R, it adds the specific character of the actual tape machines
with a new level of expression, so that a person can choose the device they want and add more volume and drive than is
possible within a single instance of Nebula. It is important to mention that Nebula handles programs in unique,
different forms according to their function. R2R and TB+ are not compressors or levellers. They provide change in dynamics,
eq, and harmonic content like the real analog hardware. Therefore, VTM-M2 has always been in development to provide a third
and final layer of processing to handle advanced tape saturation and compression at higher levels of drive and processing.
What is TapeBooster+ (TB+)?
What is the difference between R2R, TB+, and VTM-M2?
R2R provides the Nebula Pro user with a complete collection of specific tape machines. It reproduces exacting character of what happens to the sound when recorded to tape specific to the device chosen. This means that every aspect from tape stock to tape speed (IPS) on each machine is reproduced. R2R includes everything from a Studer 24 track 2″ machine at 15 IPS or 30 IPS to a Revox running at 7.5 IPS or 15 IPS. The overall interactive spectral qualities of the machines are reproduced along with changes in harmonic distortion and dynamics.
TapeBooster+ (TB+) adds higher gain output to any of the R2R machines. It is an original harmonic content generator created from scratch to add perceived volume in the exact manner that real tape machines do when hitting the tape harder. When added to R2R, it sounds identical to driving the specific machine with a higher signal. TB+ remains flat in frequency response and can be added in multiple steps with additional serial instances of Nebula Pro to add more dB without harming transient peaks like a digital signal would normally do.
VTM-M2 is our original coded “Virtual Tape Machine” developed and designed and coded by Michael Angel and Michael Heiler for CDSoundMaster. The VTM-M2 a completely unique approach to algorithmic sound reproduction, using Michael Angel’s concept of “Virtual Interactive Signal Chain Technology”, providing ultra-realistic, complex analog sound with very low resource requirements. It is the result of years of R&D and it replicates the advanced process of harmonic saturation, inter-frequency overtones, overlapping signal-dependent levelling and compression, and separate uniquely calibrated Low and High signal processing chains. It is the final result of the long-awaited “third stage” high gain compression aspect that many Nebula Pro customers have been waiting for. On its own, it the answer to realistic tape drive and compression. Combined with R2R and TB+, it is the most comprehensive, detailed, and complete way to use any real tape machine inside your DAW, providing a flexible and unmistakably real solution to tape recording.
I own R2R. Why would I want TB+?
If you use R2R, we do not want you to feel obligated to buy TB+, but it has been created with R2R specifically in mind. TB+ users have reacted enthusiastically to its quality harmonic saturation as it interacts with R2R, and we feel that it is the perfect solution to maintaining the high level of realism contained in the R2R collection by adding additional perceived volume on top of your R2R machine of choice. We have kept the cost of TB+ very low so that it is an easy financial decision to add it to R2R should you wish to. Regardless of whether you should decide to add VTM-M2 to your set-up, TB+ maintains an important role in creating the tape sound people have been asking for.
I own R2R and TB+. Why would I want VTM-M2?
For Nebula Pro users, VTM-M2 provides that all-important “third stage” tape machine effect, bringing us higher gain saturation and real tape compression. It is meant to interact specifically with R2R and TB+ to make things a complete picture of tape at all settings, from low level compression to complete signal overdrive. If you do not own R2R or TB+, or do not plan to use Nebula Pro, then we believe that you will be extremely pleased with VTM-M2 on its own. It contains plenty of real tape character. If you own R2R and TB+ and are happy with their range of use, you should not feel obligated to purchase VTM-M2. If, however, you find that you continue to try to find ways to boost drive and compression from other plug-ins and are still seeking the real result of higher gain or compression that is truly distinct to tape, you will want to give VTM-M2 a try. We believe it is at the top of its class for this purpose.
I own VTM-M2. Why would I want R2R or TB+?
Each CDSoundMaster Tape Program has been created to answer the call for the ultimate realistic sound of tape in digital form. There are elements of tape that are very specific to the character of the specific machine being used and there are more generalized traits that address similarities to all tape machines.
For Nebula Pro users, we have created R2R to provide ultra-realistic programs of specific tape machines, from world-class reel to reel’s like the Studer 24 track 2″ and the Otari 2 track mastering deck to pro-sumer decks like the Akai, Sony, and Revox, and early vintage tube classics like the Wollensak and Lafayette. For a small fraction of the cost of other tape drive programs, you get the true sound of actual machines using different tape stock and running at different IPS speeds. Every aspect from dynamic range to harmonic distortion and spectral changes are all included in the R2R collection.
TapeBooster+ is created to add the realistic effect of tape saturation which specifically increases the perceived volume of driving tape harder. It is created to work in concert with R2R so that your ideal machine can be selected, and then additional instance(s) of Nebula can be used to increase the volume with little negative artifacts. We have intentionally kept the cost of TB+ extremely low so that it is an easy addition to R2R, although it answers the same element of sound that lesser tape drive programs have attempted to emulate at nearly ten times the cost.
If you own the VTM-M2, then you have an excellent general tape machine that works in a range from very clean to overdriven, containing all aspects of the character of tape from compression to saturation. If you want to personalize the sound of tape processing, then you will be pleased with the amazing realism that comes from using VTM-M2 after R2R and TB+. Each stage has been carefully crafted to fit into place. When using an R2R machine and gently increasing its volume with TB+, the path is paved for the VTM-M2 to personalize and specialize the absolute dimension of sound available with compression and high gain drive where needed.
We reiterate that all three tape stages work very well on their own, and we wish that every customer find the use that works best for their projects. We would prefer that everyone get what they need over the desire to sell you on more products. We feel that all three products together answer the full and complete need for the ultimate tape sound in digital form, but if any one element is not important to you, then please consider them separately. We are always happy to answer specific questions about what product is right for you, so please feel free to email us your specific questions and comments. Contact Us