Audiority PlexiTape Review: it is an analog-modeled vintage solid tape echo plugin that brings the iconic sound character of vintage echo devices to your DAW. SYNTH ANATOMY took a closer look at PT.
The sound of analog tape echo devices is legendary because it gives a distinct warmth and saturation to sounds like no other effect. So it is no wonder that also software manufacturers try to recreate these iconic sounds in plugins.
One of these is the Italian software developer Audiority, who developed PlexiTape, a plugin that emulates the best-known Maestro® Echoplex® EP-3™ from the 70s.
Vintage Inspired Interface
The PlexiTape interface is very simple and intuitive to use. To bring some vintage flair in the software, the plugin has a very vintage look as well as nice thick knobs as you know from hardware devices otherwise. Unfortunately, a bit too much space was wasted, especially in the gray areas left and right. Only the vintage look would have been better here. Also, the input/output and mix knobs on the left side are very small and not so great to use. Less light gray more green/gray would be nice here.
It can also be scaled in three different sizes (small, default & big). A custom scaling would be highly recommended here because so the user can change the plugin to this desired size. This works especially great with vector-based interfaces.
Testing The Features
PlexiTape is divided into three different areas: AUX & pan, delay time setup and an area with advanced sound parameters. In the middle, you can reduce (left) or raise the delay time with the slider. Nice is that you do not hear crackling or glitches when you change the time. So the transitions are very authentic and produce the lovely effects we all know from tape echos. Further,it has two different echo modes: a classic and the Sound on Sound that works like a looping tape recorder.
With the first one, you can produce very classic echoes effects. From small subtle to hall-like sounds. If you turn up the sustain (feedback amount) & volume echo over 5, it starts to self-oscillate so you get nice endless echo-spheres. But attention, as with the original hardware unit, these effects can quickly get out of control.
This mode can do one thing excellent: adding warmth and saturation to your sound. Additional control over the sound offers the preamp, the tape speed and the echo tone parameter which emulates the EP-4 echo equalizer. If you put per example the pre-amp on the early setting you get an unfiltered sound that sounds bright. On “later”, you get a darker tone.
Tape Loop Recorder & Pre-Amp
Interesting: PlexiTape can be in addition to a classic echo effect processor also a tape loop recorder in the Sound on Sound mode. This feature is especially useful for experimental musicians who would like to make sound design improvisions. Unfortunately, there is no visual feedback what is currently in the loop but the SOS function is fun and invites you to experiment.
Another feature is a bit hidden in the echo modes. If you turn off the PlexiTape echo engine (echo mode OFF), you can use the plugin as a pre-amp. Nice little feature in my opinion.
Audiority did a good job with PlexiTape. The plugin sounds very good and emulates the original at a high level. But not so perfect that you can not distinguish the plugin from the original. The vintage device (Maestro® Echoplex® EP-3) still has more power and a richer sound which is hard to reproduce with software.
More specifically, the life of analogue devices is almost impossible to emulate in code. Analog remains analog. Nonetheless, PlexiTape can reproduce nicely the main sound character of this vintage tape echo.
Audiority PlexiTape Review Conclusion
Audiority has with PlexiTape has nice and authentic-sounding tape echo plugin at the start. It is versatile and can produce many different echo flavors (lush atmospheres, endless echoes…) Plus it is very intuitive and easy-to-use. I personally do not like the interface very much and need some visual improvements. A less photo-like GUI with less gray and more scaling options for the window would be very desirable.
- authentic emulation
- sound quality
- Sound On Sound mode
- CPU consumption
- random generator
- GUI resize function is limited
- GUI not perfect (in/out/mix to small, a lot of free space (grey area)…
Audiority PlexiTape is available now for 65€ for PC & Mac (VST/VST3/AU/AAX).
More information here: Audiority
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