Can a plug-in really emulate a classic Abbey Road vocal recording technique?
Item: Waves ADT, Automatic Double Tracking Plug-In
Price: $99 (Download)
At A Glance: Waves’ Abbey Road Reel ADT is a computer plugin that aims to emulate Abbey Road Studios’ pioneering process of Artificial Double Tracking. The effect, used famously by The Beatles, involved using tape delay to create a delayed copy of a vocal recording which was then combined with the original. The aim of the process was intended to simulate the sound of the natural doubling of voices or instruments achieved by double tracking without the need for the singer to re-sing the lines. The plug-in is compatible with all major DAW formats and will work on both PC and Mac OS.
High Notes: Reel ADT features intuitive controls and a clear interface with several presets to get you started. It emulates the sound of the tape recorders that were used in Abbey Road and the playback speed of the doubled track fluctuates slightly to stop the effect sounding too static and artificial. You can choose to advance or push back the doubled signal to achieve different delays and pitch variations. You can also drive each of the signals separately to add varying degrees of tape saturation that can move from subtly-warm to heavily-distorted depending on the sound you are after.
Off Pitch: For users wanting a natural double tracked vocal sound, the sound of automatic double tracking is never going to sound the same and may be of limited use. Although the effect can sound great, in many ways it is better off being used as a special effect than gets used occasionally. This may put off singers with limited budgets who would sooner spend their money on other potentially more useful plug-ins to enhance their vocals.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: One feature the ADT plug-in offers that was impossible to find in the 60s is the automated (via MIDI) manual control of the speed and delay of the effect. This can open up a whole new world of creative possibilities with the effect and well as give you total control of how your vocals are processed note to note. Overall, Wave’s ADT is a unique plug-in that sounds close enough to the original effect for most users and creates a sound that would be hard to replicate with other effects. Whether or not it produces a sound that is of use to you depends on the type of music you are producing; however Waves offer a demo version that you can try out first before buying.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.waves.com