Best Tape Simulator Plugins in (2021)
Best Tape Simulator Plugins in (2021)
Best Tape simulator plugins in (2021)
This is an effective tape emulator that recreates sound of the vintage cassette decks.
It comprises of 12 unique tape types & quality profiles to use on your productions.
Moreover it has age modelling parameters with continuous control to either degrade the signal
or clean it up.
It has 2 dedicated Tape Saturation models which are:- A (gentle), B (harsh) of which can be tweaked further.
It can perform many actions from everything from mild saturation, sound aging , noise
reduction ,tape filtering and compression and adding stereo width to any signal input on any DAW.
The best part about this plugin, is the FM (Frequency modulation) ability to change any
parameters to achieve your desired new effects.
It comes with 61 factory custom presets system showcasing Sketch Cassette II’s versatility.
The pricing is consumer friendly ranging from 20-30 dollars depending on the music company
vendors you shop from.
Windows 7 or later (64-bit only)
VST3 and AAX
macOS 10.10 Yosemite – macOS 11 Big Sur (Intel and M1 Apple Silicon supported) (64-bit only)
AU, VST3, and AAX
Any references to any brands on this
NB: Does not support Reason 11 version
This is one of the best Free Tape Saturation Plugin in the market. It emulates the vintage tape
machines. Has a simple and realistic user interface, which is user friendly and easy to
The main feature about it is the tape saturation parameter that you can brighten or lower the
It also comes with an in-built limiter which you can control the signal going in and out without
using an extra limiter plugin on your DAW.
The cons or draw back is that, it is not the best sounding emulator .You have to do abit more to
achieve what the type of sound you want.
This audio plugin is a unique tape emulator that is versatile and easily applicable on any signal
to bring out realistic vintage sounding effect.Infact the creators inadvertently claim ”it is not a
tape machine but a time machine” no pun intended.
The plugin is attributed to bring out the imperfections that was found in the old fashion music
that we grew up listening from discman and walkmans whenever you popped in your favourite
Has being modelled from extensive number of signal outputs recorded into real tapes.
It has unique features which are remodelled after a tape cassettes such as frequency-
dependent saturation, frequency response,high-frequency compression, hiss, asperity noise
among many others .
It also brings out moving reels ,quirks and random fluctuations, red peaks and analog
saturation. It also has virtual Play,Rewind,reset and listen again capabilities.
Wave factory cassette has 4 main components which are:
1.Tape – which emulates a modular tape plugin which is easily enabled or disabled for
2. Stability -has stability control panel that is built internally, to about randomness on
vintage analog machine
3.Extra- Brings out the cassette feel sounds,including the innovative re-cassette parameter
4.Artifacts – It includes a ‘Random snaps’ for simulating the tape being caught momentarily
causing pitch instability.
The plugin works at 192Khz sample rate by oversampling in order to avoid anti-aliasing.
Aliasing is an effect thats causes different signals to become undistinguishable.
10.7 or higher (64-bit only)
DAW capable of hosting VST, VST3 or AU, or Pro Tools.
Windows 7, 8 or 10 (64-bit only)
DAW capable of hosting VST or VST3 plugins, or Pro Tools.
Important Note: This software is available in 64-bit format only and will not function on 32-bit
Any references to any brands on this site/page, including reference to bra
4. SofTube Tape
This a tape machine emulator that has realistic tape effects and saturation parameters. It adds
a variety of features to a signal such as warmth, analog tape saturation ,color and fullness in
the sound. It is created by Softtube company.
The audio plugin is very unique and comprises of three distinctly different tape machine types,
and it offers the ease of use and low CPU strain which is highly relatable nuance to today’s
music producers .
The plugin has various parameters and presets to tweak from giving you versatile ideas to input
in your music. One distinct and Unique feature i experienced while working on the tape-speed
settings is that the lower the speed the more pronounced is the tape head bump is, which also
adds low end to the mix.
Pros: -Has Realistic analog tape sound
-Three tape machine types included
-Easy to use
-Budget friendly ranges about 39- 49 dollars depending on the vendor
-Mac OS X 10.12 or newer (older OS versions may work but are not tested (64-bit only).
-Windows 64-bit, versions 7, 8 or 10 (64-bit only).
-Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer.
-Screen resolution 1280×800 or larger.
-Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz, in both mono and stereo.
-8 GB RAM or more is recommended, as well as at least 8 GB hard disk space for installation
(individual plug-ins take less space, while sample libraries may require additional disk space).
-A Softube account is required to register and install the software.
-An iLok account is required for authorisation of the software.
-Internet access for downloading installer and managing licenses.
-iLok generation 2 and up, if you intend to use a physical iLok dongle for authorizing your plug-
ins (note that an iLok dongle is not a requirement).
-In theory, any 64-bit VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (11.0.2 or higher) compatible host application
-The most recent maintenance release of the DAW application is recommended.
5.XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color
Last but not least is Rc -20 retro color one my favourite tape emulating plugin.
RC 20 Retro Color is a creative vst effect plugin that adds life and texture to any recording.
It easily recreates the warm, cozy feeling of vintage recording equipment, but also works
perfectly in any modern production setting.
It emulates the sound of old recording devices which can be used for any modern music. Mostly
added to any instrument effects chain and adds character and texture to the recording.
The plugin has 6 FX Modules that can emulate everything from vinyl records ,VHS machines to
noise ,wobbles, magnetic, distortion, creating space and digital crackles of the old machines.
The space and chorus effect transforms your guitars into warm and lively unique recordings.
When used on drum tracks, it will add that raw distortion and crunchy bit reduction, therefore
adding more grit and texture.
It also incorporates a Flux engine that adds subtle instability and fluctuations to all the Fx
modules on the plugin engine. As a results bringing out that character, warmth and analog
goodness and old feel of the classic recordings.
The plugin has magnitude slider at the top which regulates and acts as a master control button
to all the effects modules used and chosen by the user.
This product should run on any host supporting VST, AU, or AAX plugins. It is also available for
free trial and has a paid version.
Visit their website to download your copy today.
For further evaluation check these great videos for further information below.
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“……One distinct and Unique feature i experienced while working on the tape-speed settings is that the lower the speed the more pronounced is the tape head bump is it also adds low end to the mix…”
Sources and Links
6Frequency modulation ; Importance of FMhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency_modulation#:~:text=Frequency%20modulation%20(FM)%20is%20the,computing%2C%20signal%20processing%20and%20telecommunications.&text=Frequency%20modulation%20is%20widely%20used%20for%20FM%20radio%20broadcasting.
7. Ghm Beats ; Easy guide to mixing techniques https://ghmbeats.com/easy-guide-to-mixing/
8. Image line ; Formular controller https://www.image-line.com/support/flstudio_online_manual/html/plugins/Fruity%20Formula%20Controller.htm