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June 2017 Giveaway

Rupert Neve Designs 542 Tape Emulator Reviews

4.5 stars based on 10 customer reviews
Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 542 Tape Emulator?

Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 542 Tape Emulator?

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  • from san francisco, CA February 22, 2017


    Magical tool. I have two of these set up in mid-side mode (using a plugin to encode/decode) that lives on my master bus. I use it to fatten up and glue together drums and samples... easy to get that classic hip hop sound by driving the mid channel on 15 ips mode with full blend/silk red. Mixing is a lot simpler now, no more stacking plugins to chase that full/saturated sound of boom bap. A++++

  • from Earth January 30, 2017Music Background:
    Always learning

    Vintage Saturation & Tape Warmth

    If you want a true, vintage saturated tone.....don't mess with virtual plug-ins. You get everything from a subtle sweet-spot for vocals to rock girt for drums or electric guitar.

    I purchased 2 of these for 2 channel strips I have. I placed them after the preamp and before the compressor, with the EQ at the end. These emulators are superb.

  • from Beverly Hills, Ca. January 12, 2016Music Background:

    TRUE TAPE 542


  • from Syracuse, NY October 13, 2015Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    It's true.

    You may be skeptical looking at this unit, but it really does what everyone says. When it's in your signal chain, everything sounds richer, warmer, and bigger. It's awesome.

  • from NJ April 20, 2015

    Love At First Listen

    People either love these things or hate them. I love them. Don't expect an over the top audible difference at first. Listen closely to the top end smooth over as you increase the saturation. Listen to the mid range come to life, and the low end get bigger. It's all very subtle, but the cumulative effect is pretty striking. I don't think I could live without my pair after using them for the last few sessions!

  • from June 20, 2014Music Background:
    music compouser , producer ,singer

    the magic box

    Agree with the other user review. Is like to have a kind of eq-comp-saturator all in one. It compress dynamics in a transparent way plus add rich harmonics content to the audio you pass throw it. Makes vocals sound rich and present , and my drum loops kind of a real drummer playing passing throw analog source. The cure for digital recording.
    I think this module will be more appreciated for some trained ears.
    Great for tracking and mixing bus. Thanks Rubert Neve, such a genius

  • from El Segundo, CA June 1, 2014Music Background:
    Band Groove Sun Regalia Engineer Producer Artist

    Tape Sound Perfection!

    This box is incredible, it's exactly what today's music scene needs. I have no idea why the one reviewer gave 1 star, but I would give this box 6 stars if I could, just sheer happiness. The 542 gives you more control than the 5042. Recording everything on 2" reels in the past, this has got me reeeeel close to that sound. Way better than any plugin version, but then again hardware generally is. Blown away! Thanks, Rupert another genius device! Thanks, Tristan at Neve for the great recommendation!

  • from December 3, 2013Music Background:
    Recording engineer

    Bloody awesome!!

    It's the closet I've enter found to a magic box. Makes most things sound better.

  • from Brooklyn, NY December 7, 2013Music Background:


    Not sure what the reviewer below was expecting from this module but I believe there's a bit of magic in this little box. Just grabbed a second unit for stereo. I guess if what you're after is an ultra clean detailed and somewhat thin mix with piercing high end this unit is not for you. If you're after a true tape sound with a smooth slightly rolled-off top end and a bit of a thick bump in the low and low-mids this unit is as close as you can probably get without the hassle of tape. What I've learned so far is that the magic lies more in the layered mix than simply running a single track through this or simply adding it to the master-bus. There's also a sweet spot depending on how many tracks you're running through it. I keep the saturation around 50% or a bit more, the blend at about 50-75% and depending on the track I'll add silk red for some nice high end sheen or silk blue for a nice roll-off on tracks with a slightly harsh top end. I usually keep it set on 15ips as I'm running a max of 8-10 tracks through it but you may want to use 30ips on higher track counts. Love it. Great purchase. Thanks to Adam Chesi for all of the help filling up my Api lunchbox with these as well as the moog delay, crane falcons and neve 511 pre. Awesome

  • from Augusta, ga October 22, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, home recording studio


    Big disappointment. Using Gibson acoustic thru condenser mic and bae 1073, I get a good sound. Running thru 542 without using any of the effects immediately degrades the sound drastically, then you have to engage all the effects to try to get it back to par. I played with it 30 min and packed it back up.
    No unit shud degrade the sound....


  • Mitch Gallagher

    Watching the studio-gear paradigm progress has been interesting. Years ago, of course, everything was analog. Then the digital era hit, and many of us switched to completely in-the-box systems for the advantages they provided. But these days, many studios (including mine) are switching to a hybrid approach - using the best of both digital and analog. A big part of the growing popularity of the hybrid approach has been the rise of the API 500 Series format, which condenses pro studio gear into compact modules that can be loaded into a rackmount or portable chassis.

    Rupert Neve Designs recently released a family of modules, including two brand-new pieces that were first shown at the 2013 Winter NAMM show. I was able to load up all four into a chassis and take them for a spin. There are two preamps: the 517, which combines an RND preamp with an opto compressor and RND's signature Silk control, and the brand-new 511, which is a preamp with Silk and a variable highpass filter. The 517 actually has two paths, mic and DI, which can be blended. Both modules sound phenomenal, with a full but open tone. The Silk control allows you to shape the tone, adding a subtly smooth texture.

    The 543 is RND's mono VCA compressor. It offers full control over all parameters, plus a choice of RMS or peak detection, feed-forward or feedback operation, and the ability to sidechain with or without a highpass filter in the path. I found it to be transparent, with just a touch of added "polish" - the tracks I ran through it sounded subtly enhanced in that beautiful Neve fashion.

    Also brand-new is the 542. This tape emulator module can do great things to your audio, adding beef and rounding out harshness while adding desirable harmonic content. You get a saturation control, a blend control for mixing in the effect, and the choice of 15ips or 30ips tape-speed simulation - as well as the ability to add Silk to the signal. Here's my favorite setting: 30ips, fairly heavy saturation, the blend set to around 50%, and a good amount of the "blue" texture setting. It's analog heaven!

    Rupert Neve has really hit the mark with these modules. All the Portico sound is there, with plenty of control and powerful sound-shaping options, but in the compact, affordable 500 Series format. Outstanding!

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