rainstick wrote:What exactly is tape saturation, ? I understand that it's distortion resulting from overdriven tape (magnetic strip running out of thing's to magnetize or what not) But essentially is it the addition of harmonics, ? I don't follow what kind of harmonic's there are / should be ( even, odd? ) Or how to tell what kind of harmonics are being given as a result of distortion...
Saturation is a form of waveshaping created by the addition of both harmonic and non-harmonic partials, and in some cases also attenuating the original signal. The level and relative frequency location of these partials changes based on what type of overdrive you want to emulate, eg tube, tape, transistor.
and i get that there are different types of distortion, but when people say tape saturation, are they basically just meaning over drive, ? or is tape saturation a specific sound (achievable in logic) that people know and use, ?
Tape saturation simply means that the algorithm is emulating the distribution (level and spectral density) of the added partials in the same manner that an overdriven tape head would. The real trick to getting it right is being able to faithfully emulate how that distribution changes depending on the signal level. It's easy to do on a static signal, but when the signal is dynamically changing, like music, it gets tricky.