ELPHNT has introduced TAPE, a freely downloadable analog tape emulation rack for Ableton Live (no third-party plugins or M4L required).
TAPE focuses on emulating the pitch instability and tonal imperfections of tape recordings, rather than attempting to create a detailed simulation of analog tape’s saturation characteristics. It is the type of effect you’d want to use for adding a touch of wobbliness and a vintage lo-fi vibe to digital recordings which may sound too dull or lifeless otherwise.
The rack relies on components available with any copy of Ableton Live, meaning that you won’t need to install any third-party plugins or additional tools in order to use it. The interface features eight knobs which control the input and output gain, noise level, tone, compression amount, drive, color, and the tape’s pitch instability (wow & flutter). Perhaps the best way to learn what the TAPE rack can do would be to check out the official demo video which is embedded below.
ELPHNT made some rather interesting signal chain choices when building the rack. For example, the noise source is placed before the compression module, resulting in a nice gelling effect when both are used simultaneously. What’s most important, though, is that the rack does a great job at emulating the lo-fi feel of analog tape while being very easy to use. Please keep in mind that a copy of Ableton Live Standard or Suite 9.7+ is required in order to use the TAPE rack on your computer.
You can download TAPE completely free of charge from the product page linked below if you enter $0 in the price field. You can also choose to support ELPHNT’s future work by entering any other amount you prefer. The rack is delivered as an ADG file which should be dropped onto Ableton Live’s interface to install.
TAPE is available for free download via ELPHNT’s website (13.2 KB download size, ADG file, contains 1 FX rack for use in Ableton Live 9.7 or later).