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Building a Tape-Style Saturation Rack with Ableton Plugins

You can recreate a tape-style effect within Ableton Live 10 with a few built-in effects. First, start by opening an instance of Ableton's EQ Eight onto the channel you want to treat. 

To emulate the effect of tape, create a 48 octave low cut at 50Hz, and a 48 octave high cut at 17kHz. 

Next, add the Saturator plugin and set the Drive to 1.5dB. Set the type to Soft Sine, ensure that the Color button is switched off and that the Soft Clip button is switched on. To compensate for the added gain that we added, lower the Output by -1.5dB. 

Lastly, add Ableton's Glue Compressor. Set the attack to 1ms, release to .8ms, Ratio to 10:1 and turn on Soft Clip. The high ratio means that once the sound passes through the threshold, it is dramatically decreased in level. Finally, adjust the threshold to reduce 1-2dB of gain reduction. 

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