Samples From Mars has released Analog Tape Synths, a free collection of tape processed analog synthesizer samples compatible with NI Kontakt 5, Ableton Live, Apple Logic and all WAV compatible samplers.
While tape processed drum samples are very common on the soundware market, analog synthesizer multi-samples captured from tape are quite a rare feat, especially if offered as a free download. As if multi-sampling a bunch of old keyboards is not hard enough of a task, Samples From Mars took this process one step further by placing a 1/4″ mastering reel to reel between the sampled instrument and the audio interface. Needless to say, this made the sampling process at least two times more complicated and time consuming. The hard work definitely paid off though, as the end result is a unique free sample library that every fan of analog synthesizer sounds should check out.
Out of the box, the library is compatible with Kontakt 5, Ableton Live and EXS24, however the individual samples can be loaded in any WAV compatible sampler instrument. The Kontakt 5 patches lack a custom user interface, so any tweaks will need to be done in the advanced patch editor. I’ve noticed that some of the NKI patches actually sound much better after the LPF has been turned off, so keep that in mind when browsing through the available presets. EXS24 and Ableton Live patches are probably easier to tweak out of the box, but the provided Kontakt patches will probably satisfy the majority of the users as well.
The actual samples sound very nice and the benefits of re-sampling from a reel to reel are clearly audible in the majority of the included multi-sample sets. My favorite set is the MKS Poly patch which sounds absolutely beautiful with a bit of extra reverb and tape delay applied on top. The sounds included in the Analog Tape Synths sample library were captured from a Roland MKS-7, Oberheim SEM, Moog Micromoog, and the Novation Bass Station analog synthesizer.
The download link is delivered via email to the email address submitted on the product page linked below. I’ve received the download link in a matter of minutes, so check your spam folder if the email doesn’t hit your inbox after five minutes or so.
Analog Tape Synths is available for free download via Samples From Mars (709 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 522 audio samples in 24-bit WAV format, instrument patches for NI Kontakt 5, Ableton Live and EXS24).