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Tapes: Synths.01

Tapes: Synths.01


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22 reviews

Kontakt 5 full version required - it does not work in Kontakt Player.

DOWNLOAD: sound sources list

DOWNLOAD: manual


About the series

Tapes 01

Idea for Tapes was born from a desire to try something a little different than our previous releases, something more experimental (but still useful) and bigger, with great sound design possibilities. Since we still wanted to record everything on tape, but at the same time avoid creating just a bigger version of our Cassette series and also because of how great and inspiring are the tape slicing composition techniques from the past (or today's cassette tape loop music) we decided that Tapes should be inspired by these to a greater or lesser extent – especially the sound sources.

Tapes can be many things – you could use it as your main lead or harmony instrument like keys or pads. It also works great as a bass or texture instrument or even an fx generator and that's because of its wide array of available sound sources, flexible engine and the possible modulation routings. The truth is that these days many instruments have features like this – so, what makes Tapes stand out? We think that it’s down to the sound sources – just how easy and fast you can come up with something inspiring and useful. That’s because we've spent several months creating those - experimenting, recording, fine tuning - just making sure that it’ll be a pleasure to work with.

Tapes 01

All the sound sources were recorded either on tape reel, cassette tape (regular and loop) or microcassette – in total we've used around 13 different units, each with its own strong & weak points. All the available sound sources loop, but there are some differences in how they were created, and so they are divided into 3 categories:

  • Sounds - every key has its own sample (73 samples per sound) – like in a cassette tape loop you can hear where the loop point is, but the loop itself is longer, smoother and more 'stable' than in regular tape loops.
  • Tempo Sync - every key has its own (73 samples per sound) - the loops were recorded at 80 BPM and are mostly 4 bars long (a few of the sounds are 2 bars long). Sounds from this category loop very smoothly and are synced to the host tempo thanks to Kontakt's time-stretching algorithm.
  • Tape Loops - one sample for the whole key range (1 sample per sound) - these are actual cassette tape loops: warm, lofi and sometimes 'unstable'. This category contains both complex and simple sounds. Due to the nature of tape loops, using these can produce the most unique and beautiful results, especially when you start combining two sound sources together and then modulate everything using built in sequencers.

    Tapes: Synths.01

    Synths.01 is the first instrument in the Tapes series and like the name suggests, it focuses on synth sounds and sound synthesis in general. The sound sources were created using various hardware and software synthesizers and effects – from digital FM and physical modelling synths to analog (and digital) eurorack modules. Due to the fact that everything was recorded either on tape, cassette, micro cassette or cassette tape loops it excels in creating lofi, warm sounds, but not all decks used in Tapes are wonky – plus most of the significant settings can be modulated, so it's also a nice tool for creating modern, even cinematic sounds. Feel free to check out some examples (in total there are 239 presets):

    Presets used: tape loop 03 -> tape loop 09 -> tape loop 19
    Info: all three presets are playing the same, single chord

    Presets used: complex 06 -> complex 15
    Info: both presets are playing single note (C3), all the movement comes from sequencers

    Presets used: short 09 (s) -> short 17
    Info: first preset has swarm mode turned on - second one doesn't

    Presets used: pad 16 -> pad 17 -> pad 20
    Info: all three presets are playing the same, single chord

    Presets used: keys 01 -> keys 10 -> keys 13
    Info: all three presets are playing the same, single chord

    Used presets: vintage synth 08 -> lead 07 -> lead 14
    Info: all three presets are playing the same melody line

    Tapes 01 - SOUND SOURCES

    Full list of available sound sources.


    The Interface

    Tapes: Synths.01

    When we designed Tapes interface we wanted to keep the same approach as in the Cassette series: avoid any visual distractions and keep everything on one page for fast & easy access. The whole thing is divided into 4 main parts: Source, Effects, Modulation and the Bottom Bar – below you'll find a short explanation for each part, but if you want to learn more about the GUI and its functions, then feel free to download the manual: Tapes: Synths.01 manual.

    SOURCE - This is the part where you can set the fundaments of the sound: load sound sources, set the sample start and its randomisation, set the amplitude envelope, tune each source, etc. Additionally in the upper part, right below the controls for choosing the sound sources there's a swarm mode activity indicator (it can be turned on/off using keyswitch A-1, the lowest note on the 88-keys keyboard.). Swarm mode can be compared to a wonky arpeggiator/sequencer – just press some notes and it'll start sequencing those 'as played'. Its speed can be set using the mod wheel, but it’ll always drift a little – on higher speeds it can sound almost like granular synthesis. Using a sustain pedal (or automating a MIDI CC 64) you can easily build simple sequences for up to 256 notes. Here's an example:

    EFFECTS - here you can set the filter & insert effect settings, as well as choose which settings should be modulated by sequencers 03 and 04. Also, here you can set the reverb and delay settings as well as their position in the signal chain (pre insert effects or as send effects).

    MODULATION - here you can set the speed and number of steps for each sequencer as well as move, invert, flip, increase or decrease the value of each step, randomise, reset and finally copy and paste the sequencers. To the right you can find a modulation destination matrix for each sequencer.

    BOTTOM BAR - that's the final part of the instrument where, beside the background noise, you can also set things like additional wow & flutter, amount of tape drive and also sculpt the sound a little with a simple 2 band equaliser.


    Features and Requirements

    • Full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 (or higher) required - not compatible with Kontakt Player
    • 17,15 GB of samples (WAV 24-bit, uncompressed), 13,66 GB after lossless Kontakt compression (8312 samples in total)
    • 285 sound sources
    • 239 presets
    • Samples recorded using 13 different decks
    • 34 noise samples
    • Warm sound with lots of little imperfections
    • Convolution Reverb with custom impulses (spring, hall, corridor, short, digital, delay, metal)
    • Lots of sound design options
    • 4 sequencers for parameters modulation
    • Swarm mode


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Customer Reviews
4.8 Based on 22 Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
Mate G.
United States United States
Tapes: Synths.01

You can make a lot of great textural sounds with this library that would be hard to make with any other plugin or synth. I like it because it sounds like nothing else.

Matthew N.
United States United States
Amazing for Starting Ideas

The sounds spark many creative ideas and this is certainly a worthwhile product!

Trav E.
United States United States
Unable to Download

My overall experience has been terrible so far. I've tried downloading two products and neither of them have downloaded properly. I tried to download the free version of Mozaik and it wouldn't finish downloading. I purchased Tapes the product won't download properly though I keep trying. I've sent a message in the Help section but have gotten no response. I need help immediately getting access to what I paid for. I only have one download left.

Kenyatta B.
United States United States
Must Have

These collection of samples are inspiring. So happy that I’ve added these to by library.

Stan B.
United States United States
Markedly and Magically Evocative

Tapes:Synths.01 is just one of those libraries/instruments you know is going to be useful and enjoyable every time you open it up. It's not the only ThePhonoLoop library that does this but---be they from film, concerts, TV, recordings---it never fails to recall memories of aural experiences. It has its own creative style and once you get the hang of it you will find yourself saving many snapshots. It's notable but not just niche, with nice features for sound design/manipulation, modulation, arpeggiation and randomization. I love using the arps/sequencers to create a family of similar percussion or evolving tonal loops. I initially wished for more numerical read-outs but quickly accepted the just-use-your-ears workflow. The results sit nicely in the mix and hold their character. The worst thing about using this library is that, at some point, you're going to have to discipline yourself to just stop having fun exploring and finish what you started. I have to think that the evocative quality of the sounds will have similar effect on a listener and that it something well worth sharing.

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