Tape MELLO-FI emulates the imperfections of vintage tape recorders, including pitch instability, noise, flutter, and mechanical wear. It also simulates some of the tape’s more desirable artifacts like gentle saturation and warmth.
But that’s not all. Tape MELLO-FI packs a few more sonic tricks up its sleeve, such as the tempo-synchronized “tape stop” and “tape catch-up” effects, stereo width enhancement, and a 12dB multi-mode filter.
Tape MELLO-FI Overview
Arturia’s latest audio effect is more than a lo-fi tool. Tape MELLO-FI is a versatile sound design toolbox with pitch modulation, noise, saturation, stereo enhancement, and lo-fi features.
Here’s how Arturia describes the plugin:
“Tape MELLO-FI is an easy-to-use plugin that brings instant atmosphere and vintage tape-aged warmth in a few clicks. The plug allows users to add sublime lo-fi vibes over drum loops, vocals, mix bus, and anything in between. Tape MELLO-FI’s sound and behavior are inspired by Mellotron V, our software recreation of the legendary Mellotron instrument.”
I always loved Arturia’s plugin design, and Tape MELLO-FI is no exception. It sports a beautiful GUI that resembles the Mellotron V virtual instrument, both in terms of color scheme and knob design. The controls are pretty straightforward, and the plugin is an absolute joy to use.
By the way, that animated spinning reel is more than just a visual gimmick. You can click it to generate glitchy tape effects in real-time. Or, press the Play/Pause button for the tempo-synchronized tape stop effect.
Another thing Tape MELLO-FI borrowed from the Mellotron V is the tape algorithm. It delivers the same tape warmth and saturation you’ve heard in Arturia’s virtual Mellotron.
And if you don’t like building sounds from scratch, Arturia ships the Tape MELLO-Fi with 25 presets based on popular retro and lo-fi effects.
I heard the plugin briefly and it sounds wonderfully lo-fi. Coming from a fan of tape emulation plugins, this little gem from Arturia is one of the best I’ve tried so far. It exaggerates the wow and flutter effects but does so in a way that still sounds authentic (as opposed to some older lo-fi plugins which always sounded artificial to me).
You can hear the plugin in action in the demo video below.
Tape MELLO-Fi is available in VST2, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for digital audio workstations on Windows and macOS. Only 64-bit plugin hosts are supported.
Tape MELLO-FI Download
Be sure to claim your free copy of the plugin before December 31st, 2021. You’ll need to register on Arturia’s website and download the Arturia Software Center for activation purposes.
Want more saturation tools? Check out our free BPB Saturator plugin.