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The Idea & Process
Cassette Keys.02, a successor of Cassette Keys.01, wasn't created to replace it, but rather to make things different, bigger, and to make use of the new .02 interface. In fact, both of those instruments complement each other very well. Cassette Keys.02 contains two instruments, both inspired by classic FM keys from the 80s, but expanded with other synthesis techniques plus even a little sampling to achieve interesting transient sounds.
Each instrument contains 5 dynamic layers and was recorded with 3 different cassette decks. Overall, there are 2193 samples - 365 samples per deck, plus 3 noise samples from each deck (5,73 GB of uncompressed 24-bit WAV files).
Below, you can listen to each of the instruments, plus how each deck affects the sound in their own different way:
Sound 01 deck A MONO - sound: full, soft & warm - deck: almost neutral cassette sound
Sound 01 deck B MONO - sound: full, soft & warm - deck: lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Sound 01 deck C MONO - sound: full, soft & warm - deck: dark 'under the blanket' sound, medium pitch instability
Sound 02 deck A MONO - sound: sharp, glassy with a strong transient - deck: almost neutral cassette sound
Sound 02 deck B MONO - sound: sharp, glassy with a strong transient - deck: lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Sound 02 deck C MONO - sound: sharp, glassy with a strong transient - deck: dark 'under the blanket' sound, medium pitch instability
Every note has been carefully denoised with a high quality algorithm to avoid noise stacking when playing more than one note (there’s still some noise left in the samples to avoid denonising artifacts). Noise can still be added with the noise knob - it’s much more flexible this way and allows the ability to adjust the volume of the noise independently whilst also applying parameters such as filtering. It also creates a more realistic sound, so when playing a five voice chord, only one sample of noise instead of five stacked on top of each other will be heard.
Video showing how Cassette Keys.02 was used in audio demos:
The End Result
Custom impulse responses in Kontakt version
Kontakt version contains custom impulses (4 spring impulses, 4 hall impulses & 3 corridor impulses), along with a choice of whether you want it to be placed pre or post insert effects - same thing goes for the delay.
Useful and fun production tool
If you like vintage sounds and you're looking for something to enhance your production toolbox, then this product will be for you.
Simulated Round Robin
Makes faster note passages sound more realistic and adds to the overall nonlinearity of the instrument - available in Kontakt and SFZ versions only.
Variety of sounds
Aside from the sound of a cassette record with this instrument you can easily create some weird sounds and there are already quite a few presets included to get you started (Kontakt & Ableton Live versions only).
- Available in multiple popular formats: Kontakt 5, Ableton Live 9, Logic, SFZ & Multiformat
- 5,73 GB of uncompressed 24-bit WAV samples (2193 samples in total)
- Recorded on 3 different decks
- Simulated round-robin in Kontakt and SFZ versions
- 2 instruments
- 3 noise samples (each 2 minutes long)
- 5 dynamic layers
- Organic sound with lots of little imperfections
Format specific features:
- Full version of Kontakt 5.6.6 (or higher) required - not compatible with Kontakt Player
- Simulated round-robin
- 41 presets
- One-page interface for easy and fast sound design
- Convolution Reverb with custom impulses (spring, hall, corridor)
Ableton Live version:
- Full version of Live 9.7 (or higher) required
- 52 Instrument Racks: 12 basic + 40 additional presets (both with mapped macros)
- Custom Effect Racks
- Full version of Logic Pro X required - not tested in Logic Pro 9
- 30 basic presets (normal, reverse 100%, reverse 75%, reverse 50% & reverse 25% for each deck)
- Compatible with any SFZ player, for example: Plogue Sforzando
- Simulated round-robin
- 12 basic presets (with and without simulated round-robin for each deck)
Share this Product
I love Cassette Keys and the ability to degrade the sound in really interesting ways. For example, it’s easy to get a Boards of Canada feel pretty quickly. Nice interface too.
Love it! The warm authentic old-school vibey sound and how the instrument responses to velocity ranges. Also the ability to tweak the sounds and presets is good and fun to play with. One of my favorite vst's.
These tones are exactly what I was looking for a nice rustic tone, I enjoyed the slight pitch shifting and real tone feel overall would definitely recommend this product for anyone looking for a vintage tone that has a “Mac DeMarco” esk feel great for experimenting with!
It was a real gritty experience. Loved the sounds that you guys were able to produce and the presentation of the plug In was cool too and. But over all anybody who does Lofi music or Frank ocean songs need it lol
Amazing sound and fantastic team to deal with!