TL;DW: Tape is simplified, all-purpose tape mojo: my personal jam.


Once more, with feeling!

This one’s for me. It’s very similar to last week’s ToTape, but with the following differences:

-simpler name
-overdrive uses Spiral, not the Mojo algorithm
-simpler controls (not exactly ‘input gain’ but close)
-changes to the Head Bump algorithm
-no flutter

This is what I WANTED to do with ToTape6, and didn’t. In some ways, that’s good: if I’d axed flutter I would not have spent all day struggling with it and coming up with a better algorithm that more closely resembles real physical tape, something that could come in handy for future echo plugins etc. If I’d done the things I’ve done with Tape, to ToTape6, then ToTape6 wouldn’t be as adjustable as it is. There’s room for both, and I gave people the complicated many-knobs version because I know you too well ;) and I know what people like, and I’m there for you.

But I also have dreams of my own. So, the plugin (first ever from Airwindows) that carries just the generic name ‘Tape’ is Airwindows tape emulation MY way.

I’ve heard a lot of tape in my time, being over 50 years old. I’ve dubbed and re-dubbed tapes a lot. So I dialed in (and re-programmed) Tape by loading up eight instances of it, in a row, and making it behave itself as well as could be expected while running audio through eight instances of Tape. It’s not meant to be clean if you do that: it’s meant to be eightfold trash, but the right kind of trash I’m familiar with when you’ve got that much generation loss and head bump buildup. I knew that if I could get that right, if I could get it to behave okay under that kind of duress, I could rely on it as a go-to output stage (going just before Monitoring) that would condition the sound in the right kind of way.

And so it does.

Tape will be heard from again, but much as ToTape5 bore the standard for Airwindows tape emulation for years, Tape is my personal choice for ‘mix into’ DAW output stage and it’ll stand for a while, I think. If you need more phat or more flutter or more controls etc etc, use ToTape6, which is just as good in many ways. This is just my ‘director’s cut’ version, designed to my tastes, for if you trust my ears and my choices. Since it’s Airwindows, ToTape6 (and 5) still works and you can have both. This one is for those of you who pursue the simple creed: I have a (virtual) tape machine. I record to my tape machine. I am happy. :)

(this original version is made available just in case. It’s the one that has no Bump control, and the head bump on it is equal to 1.0 on the final Tape plugin, which defaults to 0.5 volume)(This was originally released with a bug where attenuated input gain produced a change in tone: if you need that version it’s now called evenmoreoriginalTape.zip. You should be using the current one, you can’t run both at once and this is only in case you needed the original release for some reason)

I have a Patreon. People support this work, so I’m happy too. If you already threw an extra $50 a year at the Patreon over ToTape6, don’t feel you have to add more: my treat. On the other hand, if I made Airwindows Tape even more like tape for you (as in, how often do you sit around tweaking the record bias, really?) and the previous one didn’t quite clear the bar, maybe give it a thought?