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Waves Audio Introduces MPX Master Tape Plug-In

Modeled on an Ampex 350/351 tape machine; the final link in Eddie Kramer's Olympic Studios signal chain from the 1960s

Waves Audio has unveiled the MPX Master Tape plugin. Developed in association with legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss) as part of an ongoing series of collaborations, the MPX Master Tape plugin is modeled on a rare machine consisting of an Ampex 350 transport and 351 electronics.

With adjustable tape speed, bias, flux, wow and flutter, along with noise parameters, the MPX provides comprehensive control over the contours of any sound.

Waves has also added a flexible slap and feedback delay, ideal for rock, dance, dub and countless other styles. For recording, mixing, mastering and more, MPX brings the richness and warmth of real tape saturation to any DAW setup.

When Waves started their hardware modeling project with Eddie Kramer, it was always their intention to create a model of the original recording chain from Olympic Studios in London that Kramer used on his great recordings of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.

The first two plugins resulting from this project were the successful HLS Channel and PIE Compressor. The last piece of the chain was the MPX Master Tape plugin.

The Ampex 350 and 351 valve tape machines were mainstays of the recording industry and were used for literally thousands of hit albums and singles over more than two decades of recording.

Waves tracked down a perfectly maintained machine (owned by veteran mixer/engineer Eric Schilling), and began the long, complex modeling process. Assisting Waves were Bob Olhsson (Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross) and co-developer John Haeny (Jim Morrison and the Doors, John Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne). Waves used 3M Scotch 206/207 tape for the modeling, as it was considered an almost ideal match for this machine.

—Modeled on the Ampex 350/351 1/4-inch reel-to-reel
—Adjustable tape speed, bias, flux, wow and flutter
—Slap and feedback delay
—Up to 24-bit 96kHz resolution
—Mono and Stereo components
—Supports TDM, RTAS, Audio Suite, VST, AU
—PC- and Mac-compatible

—SPEED selects the simulated tape speed
—MONITOR selects the monitoring mode
—BIAS controls the level of the ultrasonic bias signal
—VU METER displays input or output level
—VU CALIBRATION controls the VU meter headroom calibration
—DELAY TIME controls the time of the tape delay effect, with settings for 7.5 ips (266 milliseconds) and15ips(133ms)
—DELAY TYPE toggles between delay modes
—FEEDBACK controls the amount of the delayed output signal
—LOWPASS controls the LP cutoff frequency on the delay path
—RECORD LEVEL controls the input level
—LINK I/O links Record and Playback Levels controls
—PLAYBACK LEVEL controls the total signal output level
—FLUX controls the level of simulated magnetic radiation emitted from the record head
—WOW & FLUTTER controls the speed and gain modulations and fluctuations
—NOISE controls the level of added modeled noise but not noise modulations and signal additive noise

MPX co-developer John Haeny states, “Do you want to impart warmth, sweetness and clarity without any muddiness to your entire mix or just an element or two in your mix? Would you like to offset the harshness and clinical quality of digital? Would you like a good and easy way to ‘glue’ your mix together? The MPX is the answer to all of these questions. I take great pride in having been a part of the development team for this particular product.

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“It’s a plugin I’ve been dreaming of for decades, and I think Waves has finally accomplished what so many have tried to do and failed. Not only has Waves done it, they’ve done it in spades! I am confident that many will find uses for MPX in mixes, sub-mixes, mastering or across the final bus of their mixes. This is the real, original Ampex sound I remember, and this is a real game changer.”

The Waves MPX Master Tape plugin is now available at a U.S. MSRP of $200 Native/$300 TDM, with special introductory prices of $99 Native/$149 TDM being offered for a limited time. It is also available at no additional charge to owners of Waves Mercury with current Waves Update Plan coverage.


Waves Website