BPB Dirty VHS
An authentic lo-fi VHS and VCR emulation (VST3/AU)
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It’s a VHS plugin
BPB Dirty VHS simulates the sound imperfections of old video cassette recorders and VHS tapes. It was born out of our love for resampling audio for VHS and the need to streamline the process and make it more instantaneous.
We deeply analyzed multiple VCR models ranging from units in perfect working condition to those in desperate need of repair. We also tested multiple VHS tapes, including new and completely destroyed cassettes.
Our analysis focused on extracting the information for pitch variation, circuit and transport noise, dynamics, and frequency response for each analyzed unit. Then, we developed different models that use all this information to recreate the sound and vibe of each analyzed unit.
The internal tape emulation algorithm slices the incoming audio into small pieces, with tiny crossfades for each slice, so that the musical timing of the incoming material will be preserved even with extreme variations in pitch.
BPB Dirty VHS offers eight processing modes. Each mode simulates different combinations of VHS and VCR units with unique pitch inconsistencies and tonal characteristics:
- Golden – Modelled on a VHS player from the 90s, in fairly good condition.
- Old – Modelled on an old VHS player in poor condition with dirty heads.
- 80s – Modelled on a 1980s VHS player using an old, heavily worn-out VHS cassette.
- Generation – Emulates the effect of recording the same signal repeatedly using the same tape until there is a significant amount of ‘generation loss’ in the quality of the signal.
- Broken – Modelled on a broken VHS player in dire need of repair!
- Long-play – Emulates accidentally switching the VHS recorder into ‘Long Play’ mode.
- Circuit-bent – Modelled on a ‘circuit bent’ VHS player with deliberate modifications for unusual effects, for example, wiring the player’s audio output into the servo mechanism that regulates the tape speed.
- Console – Models the sound of a vintage video game console recorded onto a VHS tape.
Dirty VHS also features three operation 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.
We included 20 factory presets to help you get started with the plugin. You can edit and save your own presets using the built-in patch manager.
It’s a Tape Chorus
We also implemented a tape chorus effect that simulates the chorusing you’d get when recording a signal to multiple VHS tapes. It’s an incredibly warm chorus that perfectly matches virtual analog synths.
The chorus also has a stereo spread feature that makes the effect wider.
You can make the chorus sound more lo-fi by increasing the value of the Pitch knob. This will result in more pitch inconsistencies and volume drops, leading to crazy chorusing effects.
It’s a Distortion & Pitch Shifter
This wouldn’t be a BPB plugin if it didn’t have the Dirt algorithm. You can use BPB Dirty VHS to distort the signal using tape-style distortion. Combine with the pitch and tone coloration modules for complex lo-fi effects.
But the Dirt knob isn’t the only way to distort the signal using BPB Dirty VHS. Experiment with the Circuit-bent, Console, and Whammy modes for unique pitch modulation, pitch shifting, and crushing effects.
It’s BPB Dirty VHS!
In addition to the features listed above, BPB Dirty VHS has a freely resizable GUI, a randomize button, and undo/redo functionality to help you restore previous settings.
Keep in mind that BPB Dirty VHS is very CPU-hungry. This is necessary because of the internal processing needed to simulate the complex non-linearities of VHS tapes.
Check out the demo video below to hear BPB Dirty VHS in action.
What the users are saying
- “Dirty VHS is the most accurate plugin simulation of an old VCR.” – SteelbeAT (Beta tester)
- “This is a wild plugin. I am using it to instantly make anything sound analog and lo-fi.” – J. B. (Beta tester)
- Mode Selection: Choose from eight unique VCR models, each imparting authentic tone, pitch, and noise characteristics.
- Pitch Modulation: Closely mimics the effect of VCR motor inconsistencies and tape condition on pitch.
- Tone Shaping: Carefully modeled after actual VCR hardware to shape the sound.
- Noise: Authentic VHS noise blendable with the original signal, complete with noise gate and filtering.
- Dirt Algorithm: Emulates the overload effect characteristic of VHS tapes.
- Tape Chorus: Simulates the chorusing effect of recording to dual VHS tapes, with options for stereo widening.
- Stereo Control: Adjusts the width of the chorus effect.
- Randomization: Fully randomize parameters for unexpected sonic discoveries.
- User-Friendly Interface: Freely resizable GUI with large controls and a simple layout.
- Presets: Comes with 20 built-in presets and the ability to create and save custom presets.
- Undo/Redo Functionality: For hassle-free sound design experiments.
- State-of-the-art DSP design.
- Available for Windows & macOS;
- 64-bit compatible;
- VST3/AU plugin formats.
The plugin is freeware.
(click to enlarge the screenshot)