LoFi Tape Plugin

Reels - LoFi Tape Plugin with Echo and Start/Stop Effect - GUI

Reel to Reel

Reels is a tape emulation plugin with built-in echo section and tape start 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!

Reels is available for MAC, PC, and LINUX (VST, VST3, AU, AAX, CLAP, 64-bit only), and also as AUv3 and Standalone on the App Store

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 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
  • Drops, 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
Toho Reel To Reel 402 - Photo 1
Toho Reel To Reel 402 - Photo 2
Toho Reel To Reel 402 - Photo 3

Tape Start and Stop

When you press stop on a reel-to-reel player, the tape doesn’t stop immediately.
Instead, it gradually slows down creating a pitch down and fade out effect.

The same thing happens in reverse, if you hit play, the tape gradually speeds up creating a pitch up and fade in effect.

You can replicate this effect with Reels, and you can also change the speed of the start/stop effect.

Reels - Reel Tape Stop

Tape Modeling

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).

JPUsed tape but with an overall better frequency response
ITNew old stock but with a limited frequency response
FROverused 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.


Computer Music Magazine Logo

“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 creates a VERY convincing simulation of old tapes/machines – perfect for Lo-Fi productions.”

StrongMocha.  Film Score, Sound, Picture, and Motion Blog

Bedroom Producers Blog - Logo

“Beautiful, intuitive, lush, unique. AudioThing’s Reels offers plenty of analog flavor while sacrificing very little outside of your music’s high fidelity. – 93%”

Bedroom Producers Blog. An online magazine for music producers.

Also available on iOS

Reels is available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store, as a AUv3 plugin and Standalone (IAA).

Reels Demo

Try Reels for free with some limitations: silence for 3 seconds every 45 seconds, saving disabled.
If you like it, you can purchase a license and then authorize the demo version.


Requires macOS 10.9 or higher
AU, VST2, VST3, AAX, CLAP (64bit only)


Requires Windows 7 or higher
VST2, VST3, AAX, CLAP (64bit only)


Requires Ubuntu 20.04 or newer
VST2, VST3, CLAP (64bit only)


  • Vintage Tape Emulation
  • Tape Start and Tape Stop Effect
  • 3 Tape types
  • Echo Section
  • Speaker and Mic Emulation
  • Hiss and Motor noise with Envelope
  • Oversample up to 16x
  • 50 Presets
  • Resizable Window
  • Brightness and Contrast Controls
  • Preset system with randomizer

Download the Manual (PDF)

System Requirements

 Windows 7 – 11
VST2, VST3, AAX, CLAP (64-bit)

 OS X 10.13 – macOS 14
VST2, VST3, AU, AAX, CLAP (64-bit)
Universal 2 Binary

 Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
VST2, VST3, CLAP (64-bit)

Copy Protection

To activate your plugin you can choose between Online and Offline authorization.
Create an account, log in through the plugin to activate, or download your license file for offline activation.


1 license up to 3 computers

No iLok

We don’t like dongles

No Internet

No connection required to activate


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