Handsome Audio Zulu Presets: Real Vintage Vibe

Detailed review of the ZULU by David Gnozzi of MixbusTV.

Handsome Audio Zulu Presets

Discover the magic of analog warmth and texture with the Handsome Audio Zulu Passive Analog Tape Simulator through our newly crafted presets.  Karl Barnes, Mixing and Mastering Engineer at Loom Sound Studio, developed this custom collection of presets specifically for the Handsome Audio Zulu in the Analog Matrix Plugin. 

Each preset is crafted to provide immediate results. With this comprehensive collection, you’re equipped to start mixing with confidence, achieving a sound that not only fits your vision but also brings out the best in your audio.

Try the Handsome Audio Zulu presets today – they will infuse your audio with classic tape sound and a real vintage vibe! 

Handsome Audio Zulu Presets in the Analog Matrix

When using the Analog Matrix Plugin, you are connecting to the actual hardware in the cloud and streaming in real-time to a robotically controlled Handsome Audio ZULU.

From the clean, detailed enhancement of the Swiss Bus to the warm, saturating effects of the Vintage Tape Glow, each setting has been meticulously crafted to reproduce the nuances of traditional tape machines.

These presets promise to bring life to vocals, drums, synths, and more with authentic tape saturation and dynamic effects.

Let’s take a look at how these presets can transform your audio, providing that sought-after analog magic.


NOTE: With this unique piece of gear from Handsome Audio, you WILL find that the Zulu tape simulator adds a unique warmth and vibe to any stem or mix. What you WON’T find is a power cord for the Zulu. It’s 100% passive, which is truly an amazing feat of engineering. As with any fully passive device, you will notice an insertion loss when you add the Zulu to your chain. You will need to add gain at the input or output of the Zulu; we recommend the output to make it gain-neutral.

For each preset, Karl has included his specific gain adjustment so you will be gain neutral and ready to take advantage of all the Zulu’s features immediately. 

Vox Bus – Swiss Hifi Push: 

Smooth vintage tape compression and tone. Brings vocals forward with a lively stereo.Increase bias for more top end and the enhance knob for more three dimensional character and bass.Default tape is MX but EX is a nice alternative. Quickly flicking between tape type for every preset is highly advantageous to the sweet spot adventurer.  ADJUSTMENT: +13db

Vox Bus – Smooth Tape Glow:

Open 3 Dimensional midrange and top end glow. Clean Swiss tape mojo.  ADJUSTMENT: +12.5db

Vox Bus – Vintage Tape Glow:

Tastes like the above but phatter and warmer. Switch to MX tape mode for more punch and pop ADJUSTMENT: +12.5db

Hip Hop Drum Bus – Vintage Phat:

Pushing hot into the Japanese Pro Tape deck mode with lower bias setting and contrasting high enhance mode. Enhances the stereo with grainy rich textures and a nice phat kick. Shape your digital drums like a crate diggers sample.  ADJUSTMENT: +12.5db

Synth Bus – Old Timer:

Pop your synths out of the mix with a very textured retro vibe. TK setting for maximum aggression/compression with a mellow top end. Add delicious heaps of rich harmonics to pads – push a lead synth for punchy girth and a rounder Boards Of Canada sounding tone. ARHH! Nasty digital transients be GONE!  ADJUSTMENT: +10.4db

Acoustic Gtr – Tape Room:

Rich open harmonics that lifts the guitar and shapes the room/stereo field with a lush expensive sound Just go from there as this unit is beautiful on Acoustics and tweaking here is well rewarded. Pro Tip: Lightly mix your acoustic guitars, pan them out and finish them on a bus with the Zulu. Compression/tone from the Zulu will glue them naturally and allow you to push the box and its settings harder for a more creative finish then your standard Bus Chain.  ADJUSTMENT: +10.6db

Warm Bus:

Need something warmer, throw it here. Tweak Bias, Enhance and output together to taste.  Nicely toasted with character.  ADJUSTMENT: +11.3db

Swiss Bus:

Cleaner tape feel with nice midrange detail. Tweak enhancement to taste. ADJUSTMENT: +12db

Gold Bus:

My default mixbus mojo when I want tape enhancement , very classic/natural sounding nicerizer. Will replace a compressor and eq if tweaked. Thank me later ;).  ADJUSTMENT: +13.5db

A Final Word

The Handsome Audio Zulu presets are more than just settings; they are gateways to rediscovering the soulful touch of analog in today’s digital age. Whether you’re looking to subtly enhance your tracks or dramatically transform them, these presets offer a palette of sonic colors that can inspire and add a vintage touch to your music production. Dive into these presets and let the Zulu bring the spirit of analog tape into your studio, ensuring every mix sounds meticulously crafted and undeniably analog.

Enjoy Experimenting and Happy Mixing!

Give the Handsome Audio Zulu Presets a Try!

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