Baby Audio releases TAIP, an AI-powered analog tape emulation plugin.
By Baby Audio’s admission, AI is an overused and often misused term. I think that’s true; it almost became a buzzword for anything tech-related that wanted to sound cool and cutting-edge, even if it didn’t represent the true meaning of AI.
On a basic level, AI refers to technology that can make the most appropriate decisions based on what it has learned. Once it knows too much, it will send a T-800 back from the future, take your clothes, boots, and motorcycle, and try to kill John Connor.
Conveniently, Baby Audio provides no warning of this.
OK, one of the above statements may be in part (in full) borrowed from a popular 80s movie. In this case, Baby Audio fed the intelligent algorithm masses of data from dry Vs processed audio so that it could identify and understand the differences.
The idea is that it can then apply the correct characteristics to new audio, emulating analog hardware more accurately than a traditional DSP approach.
Taking a quick walkthrough of the GUI, the controls are pretty straightforward.
Drive sets the amount of heat/color applied to your signal, from very subtle to harsh distortion. Output is your plugin output volume, and between the two is a dry/wet Mix slider.
The lower section of the GUI, from left to right, features Noise (adds tape noise), Wear (introduces Wow and Flutter to mimic the wear and tear of an analog tape machine), and Glue (a compression-like effect that tightens everything up).
Next up is Input, which can be Normal or Hot, where the signal is pushed (distorted) pretty hard before it even hits the plugin Drive.
There are two Model types, Single (normal) and Dual, which chains two tape emulations together that split the Drive value equally. Working in Dual mode adds some extra weight and depth without doing anything too drastic, very nice.
Presence allows you to adjust the level of high-end attenuation and bring back some clarity and definition. Lastly, Hi/Lo-Shape lets you saturate the high/low end more or less than everything else.
There’s a lot to like about TAIP.
The plugin is intuitive and feels easy to get the result you want. I also like that it’s not a modern interpretation of a vintage effect; it’s just a modern approach to creating something authentic.
TAIP has a vast scope for how subtle or aggressive you want to be. I’ve messed around with that versatility on a Pop/Dance track and a pretty heavy Trap beat with great satisfaction.
I could say it adds warmth, glue, distortion, it sounds authentic, and so on, because it does. But, more importantly, it sounds right; I get the impression I’d need to throw an awful lot at TAIP before I struggle to get the effect I want from it (if ever), which speaks to how flexible it is (and still super-easy).
It’s definitely my cup of tea.
TAIP is available in VST2, VST3, AU, and AAX formats for macOS (10.7 up/M1 supported) and Windows (7 and up).
UPDATE: There’s an extra 10% OFF discount for Baby Audio email subscribers. Thanks to BPB reader Rushy for the tip.
More info: Baby Audio TAIP (40% OFF intro sale)