There’s a lot talk about tape vst plugins when it comes to mastering and subtly coloring sounds. But some of the biggest, most influential tunes were recorded straight to a four track cassette recorder back in the days. Not just the lo-fi producer start to rediscover the dirty sound and unique effects of an old school audio cassette. That’s why we want to look at some of the best best cassette plugins out there.
Wow Control is an audio plugin entirely focused on the weird & wild modulations of analog tape and other less-than-perfect analog playback devices. Goodhertz accurately captured the essence of three tape machines spanning three decades: every noise, every wobble, & every harmonic.
Wether you choose 15 IPS, 7.5 IPS or the good old cassette, this plugin is the most comprehensive analog tape model we’ve ever heard!
RC-20 Retro Color. $90.
RC-20 Retro Color is a creative effect plugin that adds life and texture to any recording. It easily recreates the warm, cozy feeling of vintage recording equipment, but also works perfectly in any modern production setting. Recreating the sound of cheap cassette tape is only a little part of it’s magic, that’s why it’s an essential for our lo-fi beat sessions!
RC-20 is great on drums, guitars, keys, bass and full mixes. And its Flux Engine adds subtle (or not so subtle) instability and fluctuations to all of the FX modules, providing the character, warmth and analog goodness of yesteryear’s best technology. Add some life and texture inspired by classic gear!
Fuse Audio Labs TCS 68. $59.
Before the rise of affordable digital recorders, manufacturers of home studio gear competed to provide the most band for the buck. Tascam did the unthinkable with their massive 688 Midistudio, cramming a full eight tracks onto a standard audio cassette and providing a comprehensive 10-channel mixer.
The TCS-68 accurately models every glorious link in that chain. Find out more on fuseaudiolabs.de
Klevgrand DAW Cassette. $40.
Cheap and cheerful, this one is certain to wow your flutters thanks to Klevgrands meticulous recreation of all the dirt, distortion and dynamics,(or rather lack thereof) of cassette recording.
Choose your favourite tape type and noise reduction technique (or opt out for none at all if you’re not after those particular effects.) and adjust tape, head and motor quality for the full compact cassette experience.
Tape Stop. $44.
At about the same time as dinosaurs roamed the earth, magnetic tape was the hottest way to store recorded audio. Naturally, cave men discovered that starting and stopping the tape while playing back would lead to interesting effects. kHs Tape Stop simulates this arcane technology in a simple way, allowing you to get great spindown/speedup sounds quickly with the push of a button.
Crap Cassette. Free.
If you’re a Max for Live user, you might want to have a look at the endearingly named Crap Cassette. This intuitive little add-on recreates everything that’s bad about working with cassette players and tape, from the thum and noise, and wow and flutter, to misaligned heads and dropouts. It’ll even recreate the sound of your tape being chewed and regurgitated if that’s your bag.