ModeAudio VHS Beats Review


Read our ModeAudio VHS Beats review and enter the giveaway to win a free copy of ModeAudio’s epic Vintage Drums Bundle, including the VHS Beats drum library.

ModeAudio’s VHS Beats – Drum Machine Samples is a collection for those who want to step back in time to the glory days of magnetic tape. It’s a sample pack that delivers the perfectly imperfect sound of your favorite VHS movie soundtrack before DVD players, TiVo, and streaming services came along and made everything sound better (worse).

VHS Beats offers some vintage nostalgia for modern music makers.

What’s in the pack?

The pack contains 500 royalty-free samples, including 490 drum samples and ten tape hiss & vinyl crackle loops.

It also features thirteen drum kit sampler patches, four channel strip settings, and five MIDI loops.

The 490 drum samples break down as follows:

  • 34 Clap Samples
  • 45 Hi Hat Samples (Open and Closed)
  • 129 Kick Samples
  • 52 Percussion Samples (Shakers, Tambourines, Cymbals)
  • 108 Snare Samples
  • 22 Tom Samples
  • 100 VHS Drum Samples (Processed through a VHS player)

The MIDI loops cover Deep House, Downtempo, Hip Hop, Retro Pop, and Synthwave patterns. You can use them as ready-to-go rhythms or as foundations for tweaking; the Downtempo, Hip Hop, and Synthwave patterns are particularly nice.

If you want to create something more unique, the drum kit sampler patches and channel strip settings make it easy to shape your ideal sound and rhythm.

Name Your Source!

There are so many good sample packs readily-available that we rarely need to think about the quality or the attention to detail throughout the sampling process; it’s almost taken for granted that there will be no issues on that front. It’s especially true of a name like ModeAudio that releases so many high-quality collections.

So, there has to be something different that makes us choose one over another, and that differentiator is often the source of the samples. Sometimes it’s about sampling rare, sought-after, vintage gear in unique locations, but ultimately, it’s whatever adds the most authenticity to any particular sound.

In this case, you’d expect some classic/retro groove/drum machines, and you get sounds from the Akai Professional MPC 60, the PO-33, and the Zoom Sampletrak ST 224.

The PO-33 is quirky, which is good, and the ST 224 had a lot to offer, not least of all its built-in effects; some of which were kind of awful, and that made them kind of great.

As a self-confessed MPC-lover, the MPC 60 stands out most for me. It’s not just the fact that it’s the first-ever MPC unit; it’s the collaboration with Roger Linn. Starting with a unit from 1988 that was designed to have the impact of the LinnDrum with more flexibility was a good choice by ModeAudio.

How good does it sound?

We’ve got high-quality samples from appropriately retro/classic equipment, so how good do they sound? How well does the pack capture the VHS character?

The VHS, lo-fi, retro drum sound isn’t new to us, so I can’t tell you that you’ll hear these samples and be blown away by the sound because, chances are, you already know what to expect.

The good thing about knowing what to expect is that you can instantly spot anything that falls short, and I think it’s fair to say that VHS Beats doesn’t fall short.

A quick listen to the demo is enough to tell you that the samples have the right character.

Once you go beyond the surface level and run through the many samples, you can hear the Linn/Akai influence pretty clearly.

The kicks and snares are fantastic, with just a few bad apples in each group.

Many classic songs and soundtracks used kick and snare sounds from the LinnDrum machine because they just hit so well. But, producers would often (and still do) mix and match drum sounds from multiple machines, with one of the main reasons back in the day being that the LinnDrum hi-hats and claps were a bit clumsy (for lack of a better word).

Sometimes those sounds were a bit obnoxious, too thick, and didn’t cut through well enough (depending on the context, of course).

The Linn/Akai collaboration on the MPC 60 maintained the classic kicks and snares with thinner/brighter hi-hats and claps, amongst other things. VHS Beats benefits from that classic LinnDrum sound in some areas with the added versatility of the MPC 60 and Akai’s approach to curating soundbanks.

Throw in some personality from the PO-33 and ST 224, and it’s a very cool collection, indeed.

I wish the percussion samples offered more variety, and it would have been great if ModeAudio processed the entire pack through a vintage VHS deck rather than 100 favorites. But those are pretty minor complaints for a collection that is currently on sale for €12.71 (down from €18.16).

I must be careful because I’m a sucker for buzzwords like lo-fi, VHS, and retro. If it reminds me of 80s movies, I’m almost handing my money over without question. However, I don’t think I’m being too hasty with this one; I like it.

VHS Beats – Not just nostalgia

I’m sure it goes without saying, but there’s more upside to VHS Beats than just helping me live in the past, like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.

The VHS sound lends itself well to all sorts of modern music, like Synthwave, LA Beats, Hip Hop, Pop, and lots more.

Visit the link below to learn more about VHS Beats and grab your copy on sale for €12.71 (or enter our giveaway for a chance to get VHS Beats for free).

More info: VHS Beats / Vintage Drums Bundle

The Giveaway

ModeAudio provided a FREE copy of the Vintage Drums Bundle for one lucky BPB reader. Thank you, ModeAudio!

To enter the giveaway, answer the following question in the comments section below: Do you think VHS tapes and VCRs might make a comeback, kind of like how vinyl records and turntables did?

We will randomly select two lucky winners on Monday, April 24th.

Good luck, and thank you for reading Bedroom Producers Blog!

The winner is: LessLax

Congratulations! ModeAudio will deliver your prize via email.

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About Author

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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.


  1. There will always be a market for ‘obsolete’ audio/video tech. Mostly because audio & videophiles enjoy raising the dead. They’re real world necromancers.

  2. Well, no. Mainly because VHS tapes deteriorate over time. They lose the “quality” they had as new as time and the elements affect them.

      • I feel like they already are. I’ve been searching for seminal tv programming in my life on YouTube, I don’t think tapes will come back physically because they’re just not as efficient, but they spirit I believe we can and probably will inject into future art

  3. People love the nostalgia surrounding the technology, but not the technology itself. So, no it won’t return in my opinion

  4. I don’t think VHS tapes and VCRs will make a comeback in a physical form, but I can see digital video devices adopting a ‘VHS’ option that degrades the visual and audio content for a nostalgic experience. Maybe I should patent that idea.

    • I really like your idea, PHOO3Y. That would actually be really cool! If streaming services such as Netflix and AppleTV offered that option, I’d likely choose it every time!

  5. The comeback of VHS and VCR is already here. However It could very well increase with it’s popularity. We already see various music videos that sport the tarnished VHS look (obviously most are digital emulations.)

    I personally love that the old gear is popular because that means it will hopefully be easier to obtain.

    I honestly would love to have another VCR since I have a bunch of old VHS tapes.

    I’m also a huge fan of LO-FI…. Its insane how many tape machine emulations there are now.

    It would really be awesome if all the vintage stuff became widely available again as the norm. That way we wouldn’t need the emulators and could just get the real thing.

    Being born in the 80s I will always have a special place in my heart for all the vintage gear

  6. I think VHS tapes and VCRs will remain a niche thing. I have a friend who got into it recently & is collecting tapes. But he’s an anomaly. The places he gets his tapes acknowledge it’s a dead format. Vinyl made a comeback because it is a higher fidelity format than what came after it. The same can’t be said for VHS. HOWEVER, there is some stuff released on VHS that never made it to DVD or digital formats. Particularly 80s horror movies & foreign films.And adult stuff. So there may be a small niche for this stuff, but it definitely won’t be on the scale of that the vinyl comeback was.

    • cd is definitely the highest fidelity mass medium that was available after vinyl (apart from highest quality streaming nowadays), not vinyl. most contemporary music was just 0 and 1 before it was brought onto the vinyl disc.
      in mastering for vinyl you would do changes to the material in order to make it better suiting to the medium and its limits, and then the medium itself has its flaws in general, and you need really expensive gear in order to listen to a vinyl disc at good quality.
      because of all that often what you hear from a vinyl disc is actually different from what the music was sounding when it was created, which i would consider the highest fidelity at all.
      i would not go as far to call vinyl lo-fi, but it is also not high fidelity in the actual meaning.
      the only true thing about vinyl maybe that the own sound and physical experience is contributing so much to the joy of listenig that it is worth it to sacrifice some quality for that.

  7. Gregory Grant


    I agree that there will always be a need for older video formats like vhs so I do hope they do have a comeback with these beloved formats from the past.

  8. Don’t forget that there’s still a market for cassette tapes – for new music, that is! So VHS tapes could very well come back, too. The question is whether video is as equally attractive as audio when it comes to resurrecting old tech.

  9. there’s already been a resurgence but it won’t have the staying power of vinyl. tape is a vastly inferior medium, and the technology is too convoluted and expensive to end up as accessible as turntables ended up becoming.

  10. Well, if I totally enjoy handling a large vinyl record, I never enjoyed playing with VHS… and I don’t think they will do a comeback, I don’t see the appeal…

  11. No, I don’t think so. Partly because it’s hardly possible, since VHS VCR’s need the coax (antenna) signal and nowadays tv’s work different (at least in the Netherlands).
    If it’s just the comfort of being able to record what you want, then HD / DVD recorders are more convenient anyway.
    But why would you wanna record something when (almost) anything is already available on one of the many streaming services or even YouTube?

  12. Hello !

    I don’t think so because this kind of support may be erased if not stored properly and their usage seems less convenient than vinyl.

    Thanks for the giveaway !

  13. Absolutely it will resurge. I still have one connected in my studio, along with my minidisc recorders and cassette portastudio. VHS and cassette are analogue solutions for bedroom producers than vinyl (for recording)!

  14. I don’t think they will, unfortunately. On the other hand, the cassette tapes are gaining popularity (I wish someone produced a high quality portable tape player, not the Chinese sh.. we are flooded with). Some young people are turning to classic cellphones, ditching their smartphones. So maybe there is hope. I would love to rewatch movies I watched in the 80s and 90s on a quality VCR and CRT TV.
    Vinyl records, as someone mentioned, are a totally different case. Quality on vinyl can be better than any digital audio format in addition to pleasure of a “hands on” experience and nostalgia.
    But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for VCR return.

  15. Music tastes of people are changing almost too quickly. They are always looking for something new to give them a new sense of taste. so yeah. why not.

  16. I suspect it will be more like cassette tapes — there will be a pickup in people releasing things, but not huge like vinyl.

  17. hello…I don t think! but we do admit that it gives a lot of caracter to music and re-alive modern sounds…peace

  18. If they do make a comeback it’ll be for nostalgia reasons not actual functionality. We have continuously worked towards downsizing just about everything it wouldn’t make sense to go back to VHS, tapes, or even CDs. Anything based off of them could probably be produced digitally at this point

  19. Absolutely! I mean, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned VHS tape? Rewinding, fast-forwarding, and that satisfying clunk when you hit eject – it’s all part of the experience. And let’s not forget about the joy of carefully curating your video collection, with those classic 80s movies like The Breakfast Club and Ghostbusters.

    But let’s be real, the real appeal of VHS tapes and VCRs isn’t just the nostalgia factor. There’s something undeniably charming about the quirks and imperfections that come with analog technology. Plus, who doesn’t love a good tracking adjustment?

    So while the rest of the world may be obsessing over their fancy streaming services and digital downloads, we’ll be over here in our VCR lair, living our best 80s lives. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll be cool enough to start a VHS revival trend – after all, stranger things have happened!

  20. Apart from nostalgia, unfortunately, VHS is a sub-par medium whose production costs surpass the interest it generates.
    No, for how much I’d love to, I don’t see it coming back like Vinyls did.

  21. Ivan Grigorov


    They are totally coming back. I have couple of friend listening music only from tapes. They actually transfer all their music to tapes just to listen them from there.

  22. I wouldn’t say that VHS will ever be on the same level of popularity as vinyl, simply because it’s much more inconvenient to use. And I’d say that video counterpart for vinyl quality is a film reel.

  23. No, not officially or largely. Maybe in some niche way but the technology is mostly obsolete and not exactly Hi-Fi. So it’s more cumbersome than it’s worth and probably only carries nostalgic value.

  24. Come back! Oh MY GOD! I am still using my VCR and My video tapes. The Advantages are that my trusty old VCR works all the time (even when the clock is blinking 12:00) LOL I find that using the DVD some video discs scratch very easily and sometimes just stops in the middle of the movie. With using streaming services such as NETFLEX to watch movies, there is just too much to choose from. I love my VCR and video tapes. I think that there will be a come back. If you take a look at reel to reel technology. The machines are hard to find and once you find them they are expensive to purchase. of course getting blank tapes is next to impossible. I have music that have been recorded at many house parties that I would like to listen too again. A lot of great memories of people playing music and just having fun!.

  25. I don’t think VHS will come back. At least not to the level that vinyls have come back, but again anything can happen! Just one Tik Tok trend and ppl will be scouring for VHS tapes lol.

  26. Maybe not, because they deteriorate over time and they are not as easy to manipulate live as vinyls. The warmth they add to sound can easily be simulated by other means.

  27. I think for a lot of music enthusiasts, its just for nostalgia. But I dont think there is gonna be a big comeback like the vinyls did

  28. I don’t see VHS coming back in the way vinyl has, but there will be always be someone using them for fun things like this sample pack

  29. I don’t think this is going to happen anytime soon, I’m 24 and I almost don’t remember how a VHS looks like.

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