Harness The Crackly, Warbly Goodness of a Worn-Out VHS Tape With This Free Plug-In

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  • February 24, 2017
vhs tape plug in

There are a plethora of plug-in options out there for tapping into the saturated, warbly goodness of a reel-to-reel tape machine, or even a shitty cassette recorder. But if you’re after something that replicates the sonic artefacts and imperfections of a worn-out VHS tape then this free plug-in is your go-to.

vhs tape plug in

If you’ve been hunting around for an excellent plug-in that replicates all the sonic artefacts of a worn-out VHS tape, then your prayers have just been answered.

The VHS Audio Degradation Suite is a new multi-effect for Native Instruments’ Reaktor 6 that replicates the wow and flutter, noise and saturation, and other imperfections of a worn VHS tape. The interface looks super easy to easy, with controls for ‘hum’, ‘hiss’, ‘crackle’ and ‘noise’, as well as tone controls, compression, ‘wear’ and pitch modulation all laid out neatly on a single panel.

Note that the plug-in DOES require Reaktor 6. You can listen to a sample here.

Go forth and get nostalgic.

Here is the spec sheet from the Native Instruments website:

Summary
An audio multi-effect combining saturation, pitch modulation and noise, to emulate the imperfections of VHS tape.

DSP Overview
Input > Chorus > Mic Emulation > Preamp > Slew Limiter > Compressor > 2-Band Saturator > LPF > Wow/Flutter > Noise > Wow/Flutter > Output

Chorus
Controls: On/Off, Chorus, Speed, Delay, Width
Adds some additional pitch variation the input signal. Can also function as stereo widener.

Mic Emulation
Controls: On/Off, Mic Select Menu, Gain
Simulates the signal being re-recorded on a microphone. From “The Mic”. Adds about 15% CPU usage.

Preamp
Controls: Tone, Drive
Tone and Drive controls from the “Tape Mate” ensemble. This emulates the input circuit of a VCR (somewhat)

Slew Limiter
Controls: Wear
An idea from Tape Mate. Knob is labeled as “Wear” to simulate the age or generation of the tape

Compressor
Controls: Comp
Provided to beef up input signal more and limit dynamic range

2-Band Saturator
Controls: On/Off, Lows, LoSat, Split, Highs, HiSat
When a generation is added to a tape, the highs get lowered and saturated (around 15khz down to 7khz). A crossover control (Split) lets you split the signal into low and high band, and saturate each separately.

LPF
Controls: HiCut
To control the high cut of the signal. 4-Pole Lowpass filter.

Wow/Flutter
Controls: Warp, RPM, Shape, Flutter, Hz
Emulate the tracking and speed imperfections. From “Simpler Vintape”

Noise
Controls: Hum1, Hum2, Hum3, Hiss, Crackle, Noise
Actual samples recorded from VHS tapes, and a regular white noise generator. Able to be inserted post or pre effects.

Wow/Flutter
Controls: Flutter2, fRate, Wow, wRate, LoCut, HiCut
A slightly different wow/flutter (from Tape Mate)- if a tape were re-recorded it would have additional pitch variation like this. Additional low and high cut controls.

Output
Controls: Mono On/Off
Option to sum to mono

Notes:
-No master Dry/Wet control, as that would induce phase nightmares
-Use chorus sparingly.. on transient heavy material it will cause flamming and phasing
-Be careful with noise levels when inserted pre fx and compressor is used. When no signal present, the noise will be very loud
-CPU Usage: approx. 5% no Mic Emulation
-CPU Usage: approx. 20% with Mic Emulation
-Created with Reaktor 6.0.4

You can download it for free here!

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