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Slate Digital VTM Virtual Tape Machines Plug-in (download) Reviews

4.5 stars based on 42 customer reviews
Questions about the Slate Digital VTM Virtual Tape Machines Plug-in (download)?

Questions about the Slate Digital VTM Virtual Tape Machines Plug-in (download)?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Ashton Vaudt

    When I bought Slate Digital's Virtual Tape Machine, my mixes suddenly improved. Without even turning a knob, the bass tightened up, and everything became punchier, just like what old school tape machines would do. The various settings give me flexibility in shaping the mix. I can't think of a reason NOT to use this plug-in on every session.

  • from December 7, 2016


    I've tried the Kramer, and Waves J37. For metal, this is by far the best of the three with the J37 coming in 2nd. This plugin adds the most warmth and really makes the low frequencies punch with clarity! It does a great job cutting back on the digital high frequency harshness that you can't EQ away without sacrificing your track or mix.

  • from Earth August 30, 2016Music Background:
    Studio engineer, producer, multi-instrumentalist.


    Real simple. This is flawless tape saturation. End of story.

  • from Lauderdale Lakes, FL May 20, 2016

    Simply marvelous

    I've heard and read a lot about this plugin but I thought it was all hype.... Until I bought it.... Amazing!!!! Adds warmth and character to whatever you put it on, my mixes now sound much better... Thanks Jason... For your recommendation.

    Steven Slate keep up the great work!!!

  • from Nashville March 8, 2016Music Background:
    songwriter, musician

    Slate VTM

    this is a great sounding plugin, does as advertised !!!!

  • from Miami August 28, 2015Music Background:

    Great great great plug-in!

    What a great simulation of the real deal, I don't have experience on Tapes machines, but I gotta say...it really feels way different when I'll put this plug-in its every track. Just sounds warm and natural, don't know how Slate did it, just works perfectly!!!!

  • from Portland Oregon August 18, 2015Music Background:
    Multi Instrumentalist, Songwriter, Producer, Engineer

    UN-REEL Plugin ;)

    Just like every other slate plugin, so worth the money. I put this across all my tracks in 1/2 inch, and then put the 24 track on busses. Then I set my bass and kick drum to the 15ips setting. Words dont describe the difference. You bypass them all at once (option-command) click the insert (if they're all in one row of inserts in pro tools) and it feels like night and day. So much added punch on the low end, and silky air/clarity on the top end. Now i need to also go review the VMR, because that thing is also on another level.

  • from Quincy Fl May 27, 2015


    This plugin is amazing......i love what it do to my mixes......i definitely recommend this bad boy.......

  • from Memphis, TN February 27, 2015Music Background:
    Music Producer,Studio Engineer,& Artist

    Great Plugin

    It's just a great plugin that brings life to your music. Also it can beef up your lows or smooth out your highs. It's an instant change in the feel of a song or instrumental ounce you add this plugin to the mix bus.

  • from Boise, ID USA February 19, 2015Music Background:
    Music Production, Composer

    VTM Review

    So...here's the deal. My first personal music experiences was with tape back in college recording concert bands, orchestral, etc....back in the day (late 70s, early 80s). Shortly after that, I had a Foster 4-track cassette recorder. Now we have amazing DAWs and the ability to virtually do whatever we want. Digital is pristine! So what's the big rage about analogue? It's character. Slate Digital has created in the Virtual Tape Machine plugin a very "musical" interface that processes the tracks you record into a wonderfully, discrete way. It's subtle. We're not looking for over-the-top, but rather for that organic & natural thing that influences the mix - and in my experience with this plug-in, it makes the mix sound better with additional body without the additional flab. Knowing how to record great signal, knowing how to trust ears and mix in a musical way helps, for sure. I completely dig Slate Digital and the hard work and dedication they put into the their work - they understand that in the end, it's about the music. If you understand tape technology, you'll appreciate the detail Slate Digital has put into the VTM. I kind of laugh because it's sort of like all the stuff we had to endure in the early days of photography, whether it be darkroom B&W or color processing. Now we have Photoshop. Well, here we have tape technology faithfully reproduced and presented on a silver platter. Go visit Slate Digital if you want the tech specs - it's well covered there.

  • from February 3, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    Couldn't believe it...

    I saw demos of this on youtube and all of them sounded fantastic. But I thought if I got this plug it might not work as well for me (murphy's law maybe)?
    ...I was wrong.
    This is...just..analog juicy I can't describe it in detail. When you put this even on an individual track, it brings that track to life like no other plug I've used. Thick rich harmonics, robust tone....And the best part?
    No endless tweaking for me. I haven't even applied it to my stereo bus yet but I can tell you it is a plug you can't live without. And for the price? Oh yes. There is a heaven!
    Please treat yourself to this plug. It does not suck.
    VCC is next on my list!

  • from Waterford, MI USA January 12, 2015Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician, Hobbyist, Student, etc.

    You don't miss it until it's gone.

    This is one of those fairly subtle effects/emulations that you will be tempted to dismiss if you just use one instance of it somewhere in your mix and expect it to make poor audio sound good. This effect is for taking a well recorded, well mixed track and simply make it sound BETTER.

    Having never personally recorded or mixed to tape, I can't speak to it's accuracy in emulating the aural qualities that tape imparts. All I can say is, put this plugin on your tracks and/or sub-mix busses set to 2" tape and on your 2-buss set to 1/2", mix your session, then bypass all the instances of VTM in your session. You're welcome.

  • from ontario, CA July 1, 2014Music Background:
    recording engineer, musician

    get the digital out with digital

    I downloaded a demo and started putting it on a project i was mixing, before I knew it I had it on almost all my tracks and couldn't see myself mixing without. It made such a huge difference in the mix, it took the digital sound out and added a real, full thick sound, i mixed some midi drums and slapped this on there, it made a world of a differnce and made them sound real.if your recording and mixing everything in the box this is what you need.

  • from June 23, 2014Music Background:
    Professional musician, song writer, producer, engineer, mixer.

    Does it say Slate Digital on the box? Yes? Than it's getting 5 stars.

    Don't over think it, it adds harmonics that make the bottom end fatter but not muddy and smooths out the hi end. A must have for in the box production.

  • from Tampa, FL April 21, 2014Music Background:
    Professional Producer, Mix Engineer, Musician

    Blown Away!

    After seeing some youtube demos that were pretty impressive, I decided to give the demo a try. Literally, the WOW factor was instantaneous. So many tape plugins seem either too subtle or way overhyped. This sounds absolutely spot on. Best all around tape emulator I have ever tried. Needless to say, I'm permanently adding this one to the collection.

    I still have and use the Waves Kramer plugin, its a different type of sound and has a lot of versatility that I really enjoy. So, I'm not replacing this, just complimenting it. The Slate will be the workhorse of my studio, the Waves Kramer will become more of a specialty tool/character choice.

    This plugin has a sweetness and life to it that really the closest thing to good analog tape I believe I've ever heard.

  • from Paonia March 13, 2014Music Background:
    Performer , sound engineer, studio owner.

    Slate Rules All

    Everything Slate Digital does is above and beyond anything else out there period. Truly superior. I buy and use all their stuff and it changes my digital sound from the ground up.

  • from florida January 18, 2014Music Background:
    recording engineer,producer,musician



  • from New Jersey January 3, 2014Music Background:
    Music teacher, composer, audio hobbyist, and future pro mixing engineer!

    Back to Analog

    In the digital audio world, I'm very new at using the analog modeled plugins. I bought VTM because of all the positive reviews and thought I'd try it out.
    At first, I couldn't really hear any difference when putting the plugin on separate tracks and A/B-ing them (unless I cranked the input drive all the way up), but the amazing thing is that, when used properly, it gives the complete mix new life! The best comparison was to mix a song with and without the VTM and listen to the difference. Actually, it was more about FEELING the difference than hearing it!
    Since I grew up listening to music in the analog world, it feels like I've 'come home.' I wish I knew about this earlier-I want to redo all my old mixes now!

  • from December 3, 2013Music Background:
    Recording/Mixing Engineer/ Vocal Trainer/ Choir Director/ Lyricist/ Arranger/ Producer

    It adds the magic I've been looking for

    So I was blown away by the Virtual Bus Compressor so I bought it. So I had to demo the Virtual Console Collection and The Virtual Tape Machines. I was blown away with the magic the tape imparted on my mixes. It has a permanent spot on my vocal chain along with the VCC. If you're mixing In The Box you definitely need this plugin. There's something that Slate Digital is doing that is breaking down the wall between digital and analogue with every release of their plugins. I bought all and can buy any of their products with my eyes closed because I know their attention to detail is impeccable. Buy this plugin NOW!!!!! I ran a friend's mix through my arsenal of Slate plugins including the Tape and He as well decided to make the purchase citing the character the plugins imparted that was undeniable. Buy this plugin NOW!!!!

  • from Longview, TX November 8, 2013Music Background:
    Studio Engineer, Producer, Songwriter, Band Member

    Absoltely Incredible!

    I first want to say that the Steven Slate Virtual Tape Machine is AWESOME!
    When I first asserted the plugin to a project I had already started, the mucic sounded very thick with no eq color because the prior eq settings I was using were set before the VTM was applied. AS I began to raise the eq levels the the tape saturation came to life! And the music just kicked butt!
    Usually in the digital realm alone, eq adjustments don't do much to enhance the music, But with the VTM the eq's all sound natural and breath even more life into your mixes!
    I bought the boxed version because it included the iLok2. And it was a breeze installing it. Trust me,.....get this software, as it will not only bring life into your music, it will bring new life into "you" as an artist.
    My music is now FAT, Thick, and no matter what you do to EQ it it sounds excellent. You'll never be the same without it.
    That being said,...the specs say that the VTM is only compatible with Windows 7, (WRONG),.....I use Windows XP 32 bit with Pro Tools 7 LE and it runs as smooth as butter! NO ISSUES!
    If you want your mixes to sound somewhat good, then don't use the Steven Slate VTM, but if you want them to sound GREAT, then buy it! You "will not" regret it. Just remember to adjust your existing eq settings from what they were to bring out the punch, and excellence in the VTM! It is awesome! Finally,.......I am enjoying recording again, and have the ultimate confidence that it will kick A** in the end!
    The $199 price tag on this VTM is worth thousands of dollars in my opinion. Reel to Reel recorders now belongs either in the dumpster or a museum, for sure.

  • from boston,ma usa April 15, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician

    just amazing

    this product is awesome , use it in all my mixes , i'm getting that big warm sound at home studio now thank you Slate Digital

  • from Kirkland, WA December 15, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer & Music Producer

    As close to the real thing as it can get!

    I was skeptic. I gave a chance to several other tape emulation products before, and I never found anything that I would qualify as good enough... until now. Slate's VTM is amazingly close to what a real studio tape machine sounds like. In other words, this is your best option, short of having access to the real thing. Give it a try!

  • from Nashville November 5, 2012Music Background:
    Produce Music for TV/Film.

    Virtual Tape Machines is the 'Reel' Deal!

    If you want to add tape compression and coloration to your tracks this is definitely the way to go. Way to go Slate Digital!

  • from N'Djamena, CHAD July 12, 2012Music Background:

    Love it!

    I have never used a real tape but i like what it brings to the sound. There is something diffrent that i like in the mix i do now in Logic. My CPU suffers little bit. I put it only on few submix and on the master track.
    Nice plug.

  • from April 6, 2017

    Slate Digital VTM

    I use it in my Master Track in 1/2" stereo 30ips mode and in MIDI and some audio tracks in 2" 16 track 15ips mode. Simply put it is to add warmth, saturation and dimension to the project and it does exactly what I want it to by making the song more inviting to listen too. I want to focus real music without much obvious post production and this plug in can be used without making the track sound processed. It's simple to use and does what it says it will do - excellent!

  • from Charleston SC January 30, 2016Music Background:
    Musician, sound engineer

    FaaaT FaaaT

    This Slate VTM Plug-in just makes everything that much Bigger.
    I've been using it on my Kick, Snare and Vocal Tracks when tracking and also during Mastering.
    A great addition to my library of tools.

  • from USA February 24, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Hobbyist, Explorer of Sound

    Great Plug!

    I've used it on a few tracks so far, and am very pleased with the character it brings to the track! Slate Digital is a good company that continue to make good value plugs.

  • from United States February 8, 2015Music Background:
    pro musician, engineer

    Great sound

    I like the way this plugin sounds. It reminds me of tape. it has an easy to use interface. However, it was a pain to get it registered with the ilok. I understand the need to keep things secure but it was a lot hassle to get to work with both Cubase and Ableton. Tech support was required twice. It should clearly (maybe bigger print of placement of statement), that it will only work with an ilok.

  • from United States October 1, 2014Music Background:
    Owner at THStudios, Film Sound Designer, Recording/Mix Engineer

    Tape - Who Knew!!!

    I have never had the privilege of using tape, so I cannot attest to the accuracy of this emulation - but I love what this plug-in does when I throw it on my mixes! I use it as a type of "EQ" sometimes, use it to get some creamy saturation, and to get a thick, fat, warm, punchy,"sheen" in my mix. VTM could be just what your mixes have been missing - grab it today, and give it a try for yourself! I don't think you'll be disappointed...

  • from Elgin, IL May 31, 2014Music Background:
    recording engineer

    Yep - pretty cool

    I grew up with analog tape so I know what tape is and I know what it ain't. I understand why it's still highly regarded. That warm sonic fingerprint probably has more merit in today's digital world than it did back in it's heyday. The irony is, back in the day, we all longed for something like digital. Now that we have it, we long for the good ol days lol. I had to wait a few weeks to get some projects under my belt before I felt confident enough to write a review. At first blush, the effect isn't very obvious. It's not like a wah wah pedal where you understand what it does in 10 seconds. You need to spend some time with it. It's not a complicated plug-in. If you do nothing more than plop it into your master bus you'll already have an idea of what it does. It does a pretty good job of emulating the sonic qualities of magnetic tape. They supposedly modeled it after two different decks. Had some experts come in and do the alignment and biasing on the original machines. I sense they spent some time listening and tweaking. It definitely takes some of the high-end brittleness away and helps tighten up the bottom end. It's the bottom end tightening effect I think I like the most about this thing. I don't know how it compares to the other VTM products on the market but since it's about half the price of some, I'd say it's a great bang for the buck and worth owning. It's resource hungry (as mentioned by others). I don't know I would use it on everything. But it's a cool tool and has already found it's place here especially on classic-rock-style projects. Another great SS product made better with Sweetwater's great price point.

  • from Charlotte, NC February 24, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar Player, Music Arrangement, Freelance Mixing Engineer.

    Indeed Slate Analog

    Just as I expected from Slate Digital's renowned reputation, this plugin not only stood up to the expectations. It definitely blew me away.
    Not only gave me analog warmth and great tone
    It also tightened up my low-end and gave me the clarity and silkiness on the top-end I wasn't expecting to receive from it.

    MID range suddenly had more punch and felt like it gained live,
    Don't get me wrong. My mixes sounded very good already without it. So I wasn't expecting VTM to improve them at the level It did...
    I will continue to train my ears and trust my instinct to get my mixes to sound as good as they can.
    I don't want VTM to be my Lifesaver but to improve what's already a mix that I love

    I send this message to all Mixing Engineers taking refuge among the Mixing boards and DAWs

    VTM is here, and is waiting!


    4.5 Stars = no AAX for VTM and VCC? WHEN

  • from Trinidad &Tobago December 29, 2013Music Background:
    Mix Engineer


    This thing is worth all the ratings it has gotten. I use it on every mix now......
    I gave 4.5 because it's a CPU hog but it's very good....

  • from United States July 16, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, Recording engineer

    Slate VTM is amazing!

    Well, I was already using the Waves Kramer tape on my tracks and it really works great, however, I wanted something a little different. So, instead of going with Universal Audio tape plugins, I decided on this Slate VTM. Wow ! Definitely good and different (in an awesome way)! compared to Kramer tape, It has a much SMOOTHER feel to it. Kramer is not better or worse, just different. They both sound amazing, but the Slate is much smoother and not so drastic. Sounds very authentic! Thanks Sweetwater and Slate! A+++

  • from new york June 27, 2013Music Background:

    vtm slate

    great product -- loud...

  • from March 1, 2013Music Background:

    Absolutely Amazing

    As soon as I used it on my first track I was amazed at the difference. My acoustic guitar was warmer and less flat. Its easy to use as you would expect a tape machine to be. It glued my tracks together and I needed less EQ to get a nice high end sound. I haven't used any other VTM but this should be used on all DAWs.

  • from Dripping Springs, TX February 18, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Musician

    The Fat is back!

    I bought this plugin after several "big time" guys said that they always use a tape emulation on their mixes. I've always been a Slate fan, so I bought his version. It definitely adds the "fat" to the fat free sound of all digital music. I have had problems with computer freeze-up using this plugin - although I use it in conjunction with Blue Cat M7, so I can't be sure who's the culprit. Adding the VTM to the Slate VCC plugins give my mixes a more professional, smooth and meaty feel.

  • from Austin, TX October 3, 2014Music Background:
    Creative writer, VO Talent, Punch my own buttons.

    Like an old pair of sneakers

    Having cut my teeth on 4-8-16-24 track machines before joining the digital crowd, It was a nice feeling seeing reels spin again in front of me. As has been quoted many, many, times, there's just a sound that "tape" gives you that can't be had with ones and zeros. This plug-in gives you more than mental assurance.."that sound" is "there" as was in times gone by. "Always rool tape". :-)

  • from Seattle August 1, 2014Music Background:
    Pro muscian, recording engineer.

    Sounds Really Good

    Adds the need color that makes the misxes sound more authentic and clear.

  • from December 29, 2013Music Background:
    Recording/Mixing Engineer; Pro Musician

    Good sound

    This plugin offers compression and saturation in a very musical algorithm. The controls are deceptively simple but offer, to my ears, a wide palette of colours through compression and excitation utility. Makes out really nicely with esses and kick drums ;). Slight bug on the UI where the controls stick for a bit in logic 9, but that may be lthe fault of logic and/or system limitations. Minus 1 star for needing an ilok.

  • from CT, USA. July 17, 2013Music Background:
    Live / recording

    Great addition!

    Gives a great warmth to the overall sound or just individual tracks. Easy to use and adds depth to the bass end.

  • from Plumas Lake, CA USA December 29, 2012Music Background:
    Beat Maker

    This Rocks!!!!!

    The sound this vst produces really is on point. A must have for the money.

  • from Nashville, TN November 26, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer / Producer / Audio Instructor


    I've been working professionally in Nashville for nearly a decade, so I've worked on some beautiful analog gear. But like everyone else, I need the ability to mix a "big" sounding record in my house as well. This made all the difference on a live project I just mixed. I slapped it across all my sub-mixes (2"), and then on my Master as well (1/2"), and mixed faster with it up. When closing the mix, I A/B'd with and without it, and the mix didn't fall apart without it, which told me it's not changing or overhyping what goes in. But the mix went from 2-dimensional to extremely life-like when engaged. I got to meet Steven at a demonstration here in Nashville, and I love that this plug-in has such a passionate driving force behind it. Couldn't be happier with this purchase!

    My only complaint so far is that the most recent update added a TON of tape hiss. To the point that I uninstalled and went back to the previous version, but I have complete faith that they'll make it right.

  • from Seattle WA August 8, 2012Music Background:
    Recording engineer, Producer

    4 outta 5

    It's a solid plug in. I do think UAD has the edge on this though. I supoose it's all subjective and a matter of taste. I really do like the 1/2" mastereing deck on this I must say.

Questions about the Slate Digital VTM Virtual Tape Machines Plug-in (download)?

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