Reel To Reel
Reels is a tape emulation plugin with built-in echo section and tape-stop effect.
Based on an old Japanese portable tape recorder with a very distinct Lo-Fi analog sound, Reels emulates all the imperfections of consumer reel-to-reel recorders.
We have modeled three different 1/4” tape frequency responses and saturations, along with all the analog imperfections of tape recording / playback.
Reels will add a very rough retro analog sound to your mixes. If you are looking for a Hi-Fi mastering tape emulation, this is not the plugin for you!
Portable Tape Recorder
Reels is based on a vintage Japanese reel to reel, ironically marked as High Fidelity, found in a distressed state at a local flea market. Most of these consumer tape recorders, also due to their age, produce has a very rough Lo-Fi analog sound.
During recording or playback, the motor noise somehow bleeds in, along with the usual tape hiss, limiting the actual bandwidth available on the tape.
Reels recreates all the imperfection of consumer reel-to-reel vintage recorders, including:
- Harshness, harmonic distortion with loss of clarity (mid-range)
- WOW/Flutter, pitch instabilities due to recording and playback issues
- Ducking, random volume loss due to tape or rec/play head imperfections
- Crosstalk, the leak between left and right channel in a stereo signal
- Hiss, high-frequency noise caused by the magnetic particles in the tape
- Motor, mid-frequency noise caused by the reels motor
When pressing stop on a reel-to-reel player, the tape doesn’t stop immediately. Instead, it slows down creating a pitch down and fade out effect. You can replicate this effect with Reels, and you can also control the speed of the tape stop.
We’ve modeled three different tape types, from ruined to NOS (new old stock) state.
The tape types are named after the country of origin: JP (Japan), IT (Italy), FR (France).
|JP||Used tape but with an overall better frequency response|
|IT||New old stock but with a limited frequency response|
|FR||Overused and badly stored, very bad frequency response|
Each tape will affect the sound in different ways, especially at higher feedback settings when using the Echo section.
WOW/Flutter, Ducking, and other parameters will also change according to the selected tape, creating different amount of pitch and volume changes.
“Creative noiseniks and retro-minded producers will get much more than their money’s worth from Reels’ evocatively crusty sonics and evil echoes. – 10/10”
Computer Music Magazine. The world’s best selling magazine dedicated to making great music with your Mac or PC.
“Reels allows you to generate the vibe you hear from those old tape machines. The effect creates a VERY convincing simulation of old tapes/machines – perfect for Lo-Fi productions. It sounds really good on different types of sound effects, drums, synths, and vocals.”
StrongMocha. Film Score, Sound, Picture, and Motion Blog
Windows 7, 8, 10 (64 bit)
Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 4 GB RAM
VST2, VST3, or AAX, 64-bit host
OS X 10.7 – macOS 10.14
Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM
VST2, VST3, AU, or AAX, 64-bit host