Caelum Audio Releases FREE Tape Cassette VST3 Plugin

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Caelum Audio has released Tape Cassette, a free lo-fi tape cassette recorder emulation in VST3 and AU plugin formats for PC and Mac.

Tape Cassette emulates the sonic imperfections of an old tape recorder, including their sound character, noise, and pitch instability. The plugin provides the controls for adjusting the intensity of each aspect of the simulation. The user can finetune the saturation amount, low-pass filter cutoff, noise volume, and the depth of wow and flutter effects.

Thanks to the ability to control the magnitude of its FX components, Tape Cassette can be used both as a subtle lofi effect or a more intensive audio coloration tool. The plugin is easy to use and not very CPU intensive, which is why loading multiple instances across the entire mix shouldn’t be a problem. You will get the best sounding results if you add a bit of saturation and pitch instability to several mix components, especially the background synthesizers, pads, and other less critical instruments.

The interface is well-designed, with a row of control knobs positioned at the bottom and the preset browser located at the top. The user can edit the existing presets and save custom parameter settings for later use.

Tape Cassette can be used in any digital audio workstation capable of hosting VST3 and AU plugins. The software can also be used as a standalone app or an AUv3 plugin on iOS.

More info: Tape Cassette (32-bit & 64-bit VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

Tomislav is a content creator and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

19 Comments

  1. With this I think I having enough of those Tape Emulations then:

    -WavesFactory, Reelbus, Softube, J37&Kramer, Magnetite, Sketchcassette, Satin, BadTape, Reels, DAW cassette e.g.

    • I still love the 32-Bit-only Sonitex STX-1260 for some legit lo-fi cassette-like goodness, though that one is in no way a comprehensive cassette emulation. Wavesfactory’s Cassette is by far the most comprehensive emu out there right now, and it’s a joy to use. The other night I spent over 5 hours jamming and just messing about with Cassette’s numerous settings. It’s a must have! And that GUI is gorgeous!

      As far as Caelum Audio’s plug: I haven’t tried it out yet, but in the video demo that I’ve watched, Tape Cassette sounds good, especially for free. Looking forward to giving it a test drive tonight!

      • That was the secret weapon for ages some time ago. I would also add Bootsy’s Tesla and Tesla Pro Mk2 & the famous FerricTDS (Also ALL32Bit) as a very good sounding Tape emulation, which actually doesnt sound like Tape, but in a very good way, which might be the real secret to those plugs.

        • Ah yes! I’d forgotten about Bootsy’s gems! Great stuff and honestly worth it alone to continue using a 32bit-capable DAW!

      • Anyone else having trouble getting it to work in FL Studio 20? Have it in my vst folder but doesn’t show up when I do a plug-in scan

        • Haelmich Dabro

          on

          Maybe it should be in standard VST3 location ie: C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3, not sure because I use different DAW but give it a try.

        • Brad: I haven’t tried Tape Cassette in FL 20 yet, but once I do, I’ll come back here and share my experience.

  2. And yet, you could still find features to add to most of those, like tape defects and artifacts at will, wearing of the magnetic substrate, motor noises up to impulses responses of classic tape recorders speakers from portable models to boomboxes or their EQs… There are more ways to FSU your sound. :D

  3. Thats true & I think none of those even nailed it. The Wavesfactory one comes pretty near though. But all in all except for some slick Algorithms all of the mentioned are just sampled noise and wooble and flutter lfo, maybe some impulses & thats it.

    • I really like Sketch Cassette by Aberrant DSP for what it’s worth. It models Type I, Type II, and Metal, has a slider for tape age, and a toggle for emulating the Dolby B encoding on old decks. Closest I’ve found for that dirty playhead sound.

  4. corrosiveabuser

    on

    Nice plugin, thanks.

    IronOxide5, ToTape5 and IronOxideClassic are not to be underestimated though IMO, – I spent 35yrs working with tape before I started using Logic around 5yrs ago, and I have to say, if it wasn’t for Airwindows I probably wouldn’t be as happy working in the laptop as I am. Honestly, for saturation and such, I prefer the simple streamlined Airwindows approach over most of the others, – although I’ll admit, I haven’t tried them all..
    ~love to ALL, feel no hate~

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Steinberg is slowly discontinuing the VST2 format and developers can’t get the required license any longer (unless they obtained it in the past).

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