Caelum Audio’s Schlap and Tape Pro is more than just a dynamic duo — it takes on modulation and creative transient shaping. Engineering the Sound was keen to take them for a spin.
Caelum Audio is a UK company that specialises in making innovative and affordable plugins and sample libraries. Not content to walk the beaten path, their tonal signature is full of vintage character, but with interfaces that plant them firmly in the 21st century. At Engineering the Sound, we were keen to try out two such examples, Schlap and Tape Pro.
Schlap is a compressor that’s based on the signal’s RMS value, with transients able to escape untouched, resulting in a hard-hitting yet natural tone. Tape Pro replicates all the natural ‘faults’ inherent in analog tape and allows you to harness them.
On Schlap, you’re presented with some of the controls that you would typically find on a compressor: threshold, ratio, plus a nifty variable knee setting. With automatic gain makeup and simple sidechaining controls, it’s a picture of simplicity.
You’ll notice the lack of attack and release though; this is by design. Part of the charm of Schlap is that this parameter is program-dependent, meaning that it changes depending on the real-time dynamics being fed into it. The result is a natural, colourful compression.
Additional harmonic material can be added to your signal with Tape Pro. You can dial in five different types of saturation, with impulse responses from a plethora of cassette and reel-to-reel machines. Of course, half the fun of tape is delay and modulation — and just like Schlap, the warble and echoes spill out of Tape Pro in a way that can only be described as musically very satisfying.
To pick up Schlap and Tape Pro, or read up on all the details, head over Caelum Audio.