Chrome Oxide

TL;DW: Chrome Oxide is an alternate path to vibey old tape sonics.

Never can tell what’s going to turn up in the weekly plugins…

I’ve been getting asked for this one. It’s a re-release, like some of these Character plugins, and there are times when I hasten to add that the old stuff isn’t really special, it’s just that I’ve released so much and people do want some of the quirky old stuff but I don’t recommend it…

Well! Not this time.

Chrome Oxide was an experiment, one that didn’t go further than this. It is a dual-band tape emulation, where the lows are a bit saturated but the highs are delayed by a random noise warble that can also be biased to delay them a bit further. My pursuits of tape emulation have always gone toward the ‘BETTER than digital’ direction, where I tried to capture the magic without diving into the audio degradation.

But revisiting Chrome Oxide (and re-releasing it, with modern wordlength handling etc and dithering to the floating point output buss) showed me a plugin that excels at some tonalities I didn’t even know about when I made it. For instance, your Boards of Canada type stuff, mulch-core audio where it sounds like it’s coming off an old Walkman or Wollensack? This will not do crazy pitch wobbles or dropouts… but you can instantly, effortlessly get the tone of it. The intensity controls a noise effect that is FM, frequency modulating the highs against the lows. Bias further delays the highs, and this sculpts the phase aberrations of the output and the flavor of roll-off… so, without ever getting aggressive or obvious, you can just dial-a-mulch and go as fuzzy and old-sounding as you like, but musically. It is subtle enough to use on anything and aggressive enough to completely change the mood of a track.

And now you can have it. Mulch away! You don’t have to obliterate a track to get into the vibe you crave. (and of course some people hate this sort of thing: if you doubly hate this one, I’ll know I’ve done it right :D )

This work is supported by Patreon, which is useful at times like this: I’ve been so busy doing Chord Organ firmware, making Teensy boards run at 340khz audio, drawing up chord charts and working on music theories, that it’s taken me this long to do Chrome Oxide. But here it is: if I’d known it was this good I’d have done it sooner, I like the styles of music that do this (hadn’t even heard of them when Chrome Oxide was originally made). You don’t have to join the Patreon to use these plugins: I’m doing good and want you to take care of yourself first, you can SEE I’m doing good, the work is going great. But if you want to support this work or enable ever-grander stuff for me to do, you can join the Patreon for $20 a year for each plugin you can’t do without (or less, or nothing: whatever! I just want to put it in a context people understand). When you leave, you keep the plugins, and in fact you get the source code and can make your own plugins and even sell ’em so long as you credit me as the MIT license requires. Top that, competing subscription services :D