Caelum Audio Releases Tape Cassette 2 VST3/AU Plugin

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Caelum Audio has introduced Tape Cassette 2, an updated version of their freeware tape emulation effect in VST3 and AU plugin formats for DAW software on PC and Mac. The software is also available as an app and AUv3 plugin on iOS and iPadOS.

Tape Cassette 2 is based on the original Tape Cassette plugin, with improved algorithms and expanded functionality. The most notable improvement is the addition of a convolution engine. Tape Cassette 2 uses a Type 1 audio cassette impulse response (IR) to recreate the frequency response of a cassette tape. The plugin now also uses a noise sample from a Type 1 audio cassette. These two features combined result in a more authentic emulation of an audio cassette, especially when combined with Tape Cassette’s other features like wow and flutter simulation. Both features are adjustable, meaning that the user can turn off the IR and turn down the noise volume if required.

Speaking of wow and flutter, that part of the engine was rebuilt to ensure a more realistic emulation. Tape Cassette 2 now also features oversampling (2x, 4x, 8x, 16x) to ensure artifact-free saturation. Also, the newly designed interface includes a pair of VU meters for monitoring the signal gain on the input and the output for more straightforward gain staging. The interface is freely resizable, but I’ve noticed that the resized UI doesn’t look crisp in Studio One. This could be DAW-dependent, and it’s possible that the resize feature is working better in other plugin hosts.

So, who is Tape Cassette 2 for? With its latest additions, the plugin is now more versatile than before. You can use it as a subtle lo-fi effect and even as a tape saturation effect, thanks to the improvement saturation algorithm with oversampling and hysteresis. That said, Tape Cassette 2 is still an excellent tool for more pronounced lo-fi effects, with audible distortion and obvious pitch inconsistencies.

The plugin is available for free download via Caelum Audio’s website. A valid email address is required to get the download link (your confirmation email will contain an activation code to activate your user account). After signing up, you will find the download link in your user area, along with the serial number that needs to be entered when loading the plugin for the first time. Tape Cassette 2 is compatible with all VST3 and AU plugin hosts on PC and Mac. Both 32-bit and 64-bit digital audio workstations are supported on Windows, whereas only 64-bit hosts are compatible on macOS.

More info: Tape Cassette 2 (4.99 MB download size, EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST3/AU plugin formats for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer, and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

11 Comments

  1. It’s a shame they went the registration+online activation way (and for a free plugin). Anyway, I prefer Ferox (payware) and CHOW Tape (completely free and wonderful) for tape saturation effects.

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      I know online activation sucks most of the time, but the way Caelum Audio implemented it, it’s not bad at all. What’s most important for me is that you don’t need to log in when activating the plugin in your DAW. Just paste the code from your user account and it’s good to go.

      • From the description on the website it appears that the computer you want to activate the plugin on needs to have an active internet connection during the activation. I prefer the method you describe Tomislav, where you can paste the activation code and activate on an offline machine.

      • Yes, I don’t mind a simple serial or a key file, the problem I have is with online activation (Challenge/Response), which means that if tomorrow the company will close down my plugin will become useless. That’s why I try to buy from developers like TAL, Valhalla, Audio Damage, Toneboosters and the likes (unless it’s something I really want to have and has no alternative, like the wonderful Unfiltered Audio plugins).

    • What can I say, BMOVIE, except +1. Older v1.5 is still available on their website, also. No strings attached. And to add some wow you can always use Flutterbird. ;-)

  2. Unfortunately there is no way to regulate the output gain directly in the plugin and the VU meter seems to be miscalibrated. Typically the zero db value should correspond to -18 dbfs, but it seems to be calibrated to -14 dbfs. Other than those two flaws, the plugin is pretty perfect as a quick and raw tape lo-fi effect.

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Hi Atme, thanks for letting me know! So, this is an older plugin but it’s now also 64-bit? At least that’s what I could gather from the product page. Is that correct?

  3. I love this plugin, but I’ve noticed that everything is panned to one side when I export audio in FL 20. The problem goes away when I try exporting a couple of times, but this is a recurring issue. Anybody else run into this problem?

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