Waves ADT Whats it for?
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So one those hidden gems of a plugin. one of those you dont know that you don't know until you know. right?
Here i show how i tend to use the waves ADT for doubling up vocals tracks and making some more narrow sounds feel super wide in the mix. theres a special guest appearance from H-EQ to remove the mono section leaving us with just the new side information created as another effect giving further creative control.
Let me know how you like to use this little artificial double tracker.
The Original Setup
The original setup consisted of two tape machines:
Source Tape Machine: This was a valve tape machine with a unique feature. Most professional
tape machines had three heads (ERASE, RECORD/SYNC and PLAY) and one output amplifier
to switch between the RECORD/SYNC head and the PLAY head, depending on whether the
machine was being used for recording/overdubbing (the RECORD/SYNC head) or for mixing
(the PLAY head). Abbey Road tape machines, by contrast, had two output amps: one for the
RECORD/SYNC head, another for the PLAY head. Using an Abbey Road model, it was
therefore possible to output two instances of the same original signal simultaneously. Due to the
physical gap between the two heads, there would be a slight delay between the two instances.
This delay, along with the ability to play both outputs simultaneously, were the vital features that
made ADT possible. These unique features of Abbey Road’s tape machines may also explain
why other studios were not able to recreate the Abbey Road ADT effect very convincingly.
ADT Tape Machine: This was a second valve tape machine with Varispeed control (a VCO, or
voltage-controlled oscillator, coupled with a powerful amp). The signal from the RECORD/SYNC
head of the SOURCE tape machine would feed into this second tape machine. The ADT tape
machine would be in INPUT/RECORD mode, so the signal fed into it would come straight back
off the tape. This would create yet another delay, due to the gap between the RECORD/SYNC
head and the PLAY head of the second tape machine.
The delays caused by the head gaps in the two machines realigned the two signals, so that they
were nearly simultaneous. The Varispeed could be used to fine-tune the length of delay and
even to advance the effected sound before the source sound.
The two resulting signals would then be fed into a mixing console. Different results could be
achieved, depending on how the two signals were panned in the stereo field. When both signals
were panned to or near the center, the result would be a distinctive, if not entirely naturalsounding
effect (this unnatural sound was, however, part of what made the technique so appealing). However, when the signals were panned left and right in the stereo field, the double
tracking effect could sound very convincing indeed. This version of ADT was often used to
create lush-sounding stereo imaging when using a four-track tape as the source for a stereo
It was common practice to constantly move around the Varispeed of the second tape machine.
This was done by hand, using the VCO remote control. Depending on the direction in which the
knob was turned and the speed at which this was done, subtle (or, if so desired, very unsubtle)
movements could be created between the two sources. This is what made the effect sound so
organic, as even certain words or phrases within a single vocal take could be treated differently.
The fact that each of the two tape machines had its own variations of wow and flutter, not to
mention a different motor running at a slightly different speed, only enhanced this lush organic
The resulting sound is the most legendary of all Abbey Road tape effects.