Bedroom Producers Blog proudly presents BPB Dirty VHS, a freeware VHS tape simulation effect in VST3 and AU plugin formats for Windows and macOS.
My favorite way to make something sound analog and lo-fi is to record it to a VHS tape and then re-sample it into the DAW. The technique has been used by numerous artists, most notably by Boards of Canada, who pioneered the intentional lo-fi VHS sound in electronic music.
However, the technique is time-consuming and a bit fiddly, especially if you don’t have the space to keep a VCR connected to your music production setup at all times.
For those reasons, I always dreamed of having an authentic-sounding effect that would simulate all the imperfections of a piece of audio resampled from a VHS tape.
Luckily, I had the chance to team up with Toybox Audio (the developer behind Thump One), who helped me turn my VHS effect idea into a plugin.
BPB Dirty VHS includes eight different VCR and VHS combinations, each with unique pitch and volume inconsistencies, tone characteristics, and authentic VHS noise.
We deeply analyzed different video cassette recorders, including those that still run perfectly and those in desperate need of repair. We extracted the data and used it to create eight distinct models which are now available in BPB Dirty VHS.
The plugin has two main knobs. The Pitch knob controls the intensity of pitch and volume inconsistencies that are applied to the signal. The Tone knob controls the amount of filtering, modeled after different VCRs and tapes.
Remember that each mode sounds different and has different pitch and volume variations.
The additional controls are:
- Noise – Controls the volume of VHS noise that is mixed with the signal (each mode generates a different type of noise)
- Dirt – Controls the amount of tape distortion applied to the signal.
- Chorus – Controls the tape chorus effect.
- Spread – Controls the stereo spread of the chorus.
In the settings menu, you can choose one of the three available engine modes:
- Grainy – The most accurate processing mode but also the hardest on the CPU. Use it if you’re able to bounce the signal.
- Smooth – A less precise but also less demanding mode. Preserves transients better than the Grainy mode.
- Whammy – Turns BPB Dirty VHS into a pitch shifter. Use it for extreme pitching effects.
You can also turn on the noise gate (so that the noise is only audible when there’s audio on the input) and use noise filtering to shape the noise.
Additionally, BPB Dirty VHS comes with 20 factory presets and the ability to edit and save custom presets. It features a freely resizable user interface.
BPB Dirty VHS is compatible with VST3 and AU plugin hosts on Windows and macOS. You can download it for free right now from Bedroom Producers Blog.
Download: BPB Dirty VHS