Delicious Audio Review: Adding Warmth to your Tracks with “Magnetic”

Magnetic, the latest plug-in from Nomad Factory, is a versatile addition to the growing list of tools that recreate the classic sounds of analog tape warmth and saturation. Useful for sweetening up tracks or as a vintage effect, this plug-in works well on a variety of sources and also functions as a respectable master buss compressor.

Nomad Factory Magnetic, a Reel-to-Reel Audio Tape Warming effect plugin

Nomad Factory has outfitted the plug-in with a number of features to help dial-in your desired tape characteristics. The Reel Speed control sets the tape speed – lower speeds will decrease the fidelity of the audio and sound more like a cassette or AM radio effect. The Saturation knob adds harmonic distortion, which you can select to emulate tube circuitry, analog tape saturation, or a combination of both.

Handy Low and High EQ knobs are also present, each with three different frequency curves to use: Body, Warm, and Lush for the Lows – Detail, Focus, and Brilliance for the Highs. All of the controls except Reel Speed also have individual in/out switches, so you can easily A/B and hear exactly how they affect the track.

Magnetic has a couple of options when it comes to compression. The Tape Color knob selects the amount of tape compression added to the signal, allowing you to hit the virtual tape as hard as you like. Gain and Ceiling knobs control Magnetic’s mastering section, which includes “multiple stages of limiting and a look-ahead brickwall limiter.”

A Boost button engages and disengages limiting: when it’s not activated the Gain and Ceiling knobs function as input and output gains for the plugin. Also when using the limiter, the VU meter smartly measures the amount of gain reduction taking place.

Working with the plug-in hands on, I was immediately comfortable with the simple control layout, and the many, many factory presets made it easy to find a good starting point. A little saturation and tape compression brought my guitars alive, and I found that I could warm up drum overheads without making the cymbals sound dull by adding back in some highs using the Brilliance setting.

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-Mike Bauer

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.brockway Christopher Brockway

    Well said Mike! I just purchased this plug in as this type of effect does not come with any DAW I’m aware of. I’m extremely pleased and at the risk of parroting all of the praises you went into above, I might add that Magnetic also works great on direct recorded acoustic guitars and bass, adding a nice upper mid presence to the guitars and a desirable growl and punch to the low end of the bass track. I was lucky enough to find it on sale at $30.00 off at Don’t Crack.com which offers all of Nomad Factory’s plug ins and offerings from just about every plug in manufacturer on the market. There is a long list of free plugins available for download as well. I recommend this site to all of my audio addicted friends. Also, I might add that Magnetic doesn’t require the cumbersome iLok dongle that many plug ins of this quality require you to have. Anyone who is serious about making good music should have this plug in in their pull down menu. You’ll be happy you got it! Thanks Mike for a great, detailed review.

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