Wavesfactory has released Cassette Transport, a freeware effect that emulates the imperfections of a cheap cassette tape player right inside your digital audio workstation.
Cassette Transport is an audio effect in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats (only 64-bit plugin hosts are supported). It simulates the gradual tape speed changes that occur when pressing the transport buttons on an old cassette player. In addition to the shift in pitch caused by the tape slowing down or speeding up, the plugin also blends in the noise of the physical buttons being pressed.
Unless you need to emulate the play/stop sound effects of an old cassette player in your DAW for some reason, Cassette Transport may seem like an unnecessary gimmick. One could easily disregard it as a simple marketing tool to draw attention to Wavesfactory’s more advanced Cassette plugin. But to be fair, there’s a bit more to this freebie that turning your expensive (or free) digital audio workstation into a virtual equivalent of a cheap walkman.
The thing is, both the play/stop time and the button noise volume can be adjusted. Also, the pitch shifting caused by the play/stop effect can be synced to the host application’s tempo. So, with the button nose turned all the way down and some clever automation applied, Cassette Transport can pull off some rather dramatic pitching effects. For example, you could use it to trigger a half note pitch down effect on every beat. Or, you could use it to create those long build-up noises right before the drop in an EDM track. Obviously, there are other pitch-shifting tools that were built specifically for such purposes, but not many of them are freeware.
As for the interface, Cassette Transport looks gorgeous and provides an intuitive control scheme. The interface design is clean and minimal, with labels under each control parameter. The plugin supports host automation and the accessible parameters are all properly named for easy automation setup.
Cassette Transport can be downloaded completely free of charge from Wavesfactory’s website. A valid email address is required to receive the download link. You will also need to subscribe to Wavesfactory’s newsletter.
More info: Cassette Transport (23.4 MB download size, EXE installer, 64-bit VST/VST3/AU/AAX plugin format for Windows & macOS)