IK Multimedia T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb: What is it?
Mac: Minimal: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM (8 GB suggested), macOS 10.10 or later. Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): Audio Units, VST 2, VST 3, AAX. Windows: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2, 4 GB of RAM (8 GB suggested), Windows® 7, Windows® 8 or Windows® 10. Requires an ASIO compatible sound card. Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): VST 2, VST 3, AAX. Buy at IK Multimedia
Over the last ten years or so, there’s been a considerable explosion in classic studio-modelled plugins. From Ocean Way to Abbey Road, the spatial character of these semi-mythical places, and their legacy recording equipment can spatter the sort of sonic magic sauce that is imbued in those legendary hits onto your music.
With FAME Studio Reverb, IK Multimedia has utilised its proprietary Volumetric Response Modelling (VRM) technology to realistically model one of soul’s most celebrated locales – FAME Studios.
Based in the recording studio heartland of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, FAME saw the likes of Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Wilson Picket and many more track the tunes that defined an era within it, with the studio’s unique atmosphere being imbued forever into their beloved cuts.
I want to live forever
IK’s FAME plugin brings virtual versions of both FAME’s live rooms – Studio A and Studio B, as well as 5 iso booths, an EMT plate and a recently restored echo chamber, used way back in the day. The plugin’s suitably retro-tinged interface allows access to up to nine unique spaces in all, while also throwing in a series of easily navigable reverb effects.
While there’s clearly a lot of scope to shape up the reverb to your project, IK clearly intends for you to bask in the precise attention to detail that their team has bottled here. Emphasising this is the fact that IK has carefully considered mic placement for instruments, based on some of the finest examples of FAME’s most cherished records. The team has carefully locked down the positions to call up the exact same sound characteristics, instantly.
Space is one thing, but to get the full FAME experience, IK has also incorporated the particular qualities of the studio’s desks, from the more modern Neve 8232 in Studio A to the SSL 6056 E of Studio B. For purists, there’s also the option of switching back to the original, purpose-built Universal Audio 610 console to wallow in maximum authentic warmth, this can access this by switching a suitable simple dial to the ‘Vintage’ option.
IK Multimedia T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb: Performance and verdict
Upon loading up the plugin, the first thing to choose is whether you want to work in one of the live rooms, a booth or either a chamber or plate reverb.
Next, you choose where you’ll site your mic, particularly in the live room. Shifting the position really does elicit a discernible change in the character and sound of the space, and the qualities it brings to your sound. While we’re not exactly expert soul singers, using FAME on guitars and drums gives us the most obvious evidence of how this reverb can enhance our tone.
Using FAME’s suggested instrumental source positions carefully conjures the very best position for our instruments in either room or within a booth, with guitars being granted a warmth and weight, and drums something we can only describe as an ‘emotive’ spread across the space.
IK Multimedia’s VRM technology is central to the engine on which FAME is powered. Able to precisely measure and reproduce a fully navigable 3D version of the space, in tandem with the company’s close dialogue with the (still working) studio, the FAME plugin is nothing short of that studio in a box.
FAME has also drawn on proprietary new techniques to further fine-tune the measurement process. It’s these brand new approaches that have enabled more flexible abilities like the Spread controls, which allow the user to stretch out the room response and re-mould the room to your own choosing.
The Broad option allows more air around instruments that hinge on space, while the Focused control keeps things – as the name implies – much more precise, spotlighting the amp, kit or vocalist with minimal room spill. This kind of room re-shaping would be literally impossible in the physical world unless you had a very large mallet.
What’s really nice about this plugin is just how easy it is to get to what it promises. While other plugins in this vein might leave it up to you to get the best from a modelled space, IK’s finesse here saves time.
It’s almost the equivalent of working with seasoned engineers who know the studio’s nooks and crannies inside out. Greater refinement can be wrangled from the EQ, Pre-Delay, Decay and Mixer sections, each of which is rendered with fitting era-conscious rotaries and fader depictions within the UI.
Care has clearly been given by IK to producing the very best software tribute to this hallowed place that they can, and we can’t fault the results. Though the particular style of reverb might not be suitable for those working in more electronic genres, for those wanting to layer on authentic vintage sweetness to vocals and instruments, FAME is recommended.
MusicRadar verdict: A staggeringly accurate, virtual version of one of music’s most revered spaces, IK’s FAME Reverb quickly imparts the same feel that the big names sought in your music.
IK Multimedia T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb: Hands-on demos
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IK Multimedia T-RackS FAME Studio Reverb: Specifications
- Mac: Minimal: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM (8 GB suggested), macOS 10.10 or later. Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): Audio Units, VST 2, VST 3, AAX.
- Windows: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2, 4 GB of RAM (8 GB suggested), Windows® 7, Windows® 8 or Windows® 10. Requires an ASIO compatible sound card. Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): VST 2, VST 3, AAX.
- CONTACT: IK Multimedia