Beatskillz REELight Review – (Analog Tape Plugin)
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Awesome Analog Reel-to-Reel Tape Plugin: REELight
I thought sharing this plugin would be a perfect fit as I talked about analog reel-to-reel tape and the benefits it gives us producers!
So you can watch the video above to hear how it sounds, but I’ll do a little write-up below, too!
REELight – Giving Consistency and Clarity to my Mixes.
Right off the bat, I really loved how REELight made my track sound fuller, more consistent, as well as brighter with it’s air knob.
Let’s cover each knob and its purpose it serves:
- On/Off – Simply use this knob to turn the plugin on/off to compare the effected vs. original track. (Make sure to volume match when turning the plugin off and on for a fair comparison; we as humans tend to think that louder is better regardless if it is or not!)
- Low Boost – Use this to add a bit of extra low-end to your mix. (Helps the kick drum have a little extra thump.)
- Low Cut – The manual says this is a low-cut/high-pass filter removing frequencies below 80Hz. (I would of liked the option of a mix knob to dial in my own desired low-cut frequency, as 80Hz is a bit aggressive, in my opinion!)
- INPUT/DRIVE – This is the whole purpose of this plugin. Increase the input knob to drive more saturation into your mix. This is where you’ll get more consistency in your track and reduce dynamic range which glues the mix together.
- OUTPUT – The output knob is where we do our fine adjustments. If we choose to drive our input knob lots, we can use the output knob to lower the level. However, if we choose to lower the input knob for less drive, we can use the output knob to increase the volume. In other words, the output knob is the audio control AFTER your effect.
- IPS – This stands for inches per second and requires a bit of history in regards to analog tape. Here’s a helpful video by Mr. Audio I watched to learn more about analog tape and how it all works. This plugin gives you 15 IPS and 7.5 IPS. 15 IPS retains more high frequencies giving you a more ‘open sound’, and 7.5 IPS rounds off your high frequencies giving you a duller/warmer sound.
- Air – I really liked this air knob. It boosts your high frequencies to add clarity and brightness to your track. I found I could really push this knob without my track sounding too harsh. Obviously, pushing it too hard made the track a little unbalanced, so find the sweet spot and you’ll instantly get some more clarity in your mix!
- Noise – Noise is apart of the analog tape world. For many, it’s a desired effect which gets added onto the sound. REELight‘s manual states that “It’s an artifact of physical tape recording, which has been known to add vibe“.
- WET/DRY – This knob allows you to mix the amount of effect you want. It’s just like parallel compression, all in one plugin! – If you want, you can use your input knob to drive a little extra hot, then dial back the knob to have more dry than wet signal!
Things I’d Like to See Updated in REELight by Beatskillz
A/B Comparison Option:
I really love when a plugin has an A/B comparison option.
As a producer, it’s important to be able to switch back and forth in between settings to see what you like better, and how it compares to your previous settings.
So I’d like to see REELight implement an A/B comparison mode. I’m sure it’s not too hard of a process to implement.
Recognize FL Studio Undo/Knob Tweaks:
Currently it seems like REELight doesn’t register the knob tweaks in FL Studio, so you’re unable to undo your changes.
Again, this is just a bug and very easy to fix with an update.
I’d definitely recommend REELight.
It’s a really cool plugin which does exactly what it’s intended to do.
It add frequencies from the saturation, makes your track more consistent, and in the case of the air knob, improves clarity in your mix.
The price point is a tad bit high in my honest opinion, but works very well at what it’s intended to do.
For more info, you can check out the REELight Product Page on PluginBoutique.com