VirSyn VTAPE v2.0.0 | 19 MB
VTAPE is a set of three plugins based on a thorough simulation of the famous sound of analog tape machines. VTAPE Saturator simulates the recording and playback on an analog tape mastering machine. VTAPE Delay combines this sound with a modern, step sequencer-like tapped delay engine which leads the tradition of the tape echo machines into the 21st century. VTAPE Flanger simulates the legendary “Tape flanging” effect which can be achieved through the playback of two tape machines running at slightly different speed.
Why and How ?
Why bothering about going back to analogue tape recording knowing that todays digital audio recording is undoubtly more precise in reproducing the original sound ?
Perhaps you already guessed the answer: it´s the imperfection and the technical deficiencies which can add something wonderful to the sound if properly used.
Most emulations of the `tape sound´ focus on the saturation characteristic alone and underestimate the effect of a subtle amount of `flutter´ - high frequency fluctuations of the tape speed. This adds something which is probably the most important part of the special sound: The harmonic lines are "widened" by the effect of frequency modulation due to flutter which causes a 'thickening' of the audio signal contributing to the fat sound of analog, compared to the more accurate, but thin sound of digital. This effect called `Modulation noise´ makes it easier to mix tracks together by removing the static character especially of electric/electronic sounds. It´s interesting to know that many natural instruments have a "built-in" flutter effect which strongly contributes to their sound.
The distortion and compression effects due to the saturation characteristic of magnetic recording depend on the input signal level. With normal recording levels the distortion is around 1% which is away from sounding really distorted but quite audible and adds a pleasant color to the sound. Higher values should only be used as special effect on some suitable tracks dependant on the style of music you´re after.
The saturation is also responsible for the `instant compression´ effect which causes transient signals to be reduced in level. In contrast to a dedicated compressor this one is working with instant attack/release and therefore avoiding the typical pumping artefacts.