Review Tape from Soundiron
A true genre breaker, Tape has something for everyone whether your need is for soundtrack work, game design, EDM or anything in between.
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Review Tape from Soundiron
Soundiron has long been a leader in the race to provide unique sonic tools for composers and musicians alike. I have been a fan of their work since the birth of Soundiron from the ashes of Tonehammer. From sounds of the stone age to modern brass, Soundiron have a wide array of virtual instruments. This time they have released a product called Tape that will again have wide appeal to the musical community. A true genre breaker, Tape has something for everyone whether your need is for soundtrack work, game design , EDM or anything in between.
Soundiron took a very unique approach to creating Tape. They started by recording purely acoustic sounds through old cassette tape recorders and micro-cassette recorders, then played that back from the built in speakers In these dusty old devices. The Source material is then twisted and turned through sound design, processing and more sound design. The end result is a wonderful, weird and wacky assortment of sounds that defy genres.
Soundiron Tape is primarily labeled percussive but in addition to awesome strikes, you will find a vast array of stingers, sampled mechanical noise from these old tape machines and surprising atmospheres derived from the combination of multi-sampled mangled sounds. Just playing around with Tape the first time, you can easily start to hear the possibilities that are available.
The interface is clean and well laid out. To get started, you can select one of the 8 primary instruments or simply use the dropdown selection of the Tape kits and you can quickly explore the sonic offerings of the 19 prebuilt kits and mash a few keys to experiment with the results. Changing the settings for Attack, Release, Edge, Filter, Jitter (tape head) and Swell on the interface allow you to sculpt the sound quickly and change the kits and make your own individual sounds. Tape is truly made for exploration and experimentation. I really like the possibilities offered including the ability to directly access and utilize the individual WAV files as samples in your work.
Some of the real fun starts when you dig into the arpeggiator and effects. You also have full control of the step sequencer with the standard ability to shape the directionality and step patterns. This adds some real rhythmic flair to the kit sounds and allows you to build backbeats, glitches, complex patterns and some sonic mayhem!
Soundiron Tape includes a complete DSP effects rack including a convolution reverb with 70 different IR spaces. It is another pleasant addition to the package to be able to shape your reverb in the interface using spaces such cathedrals, churches, halls and custom FX spaces. Moving to the effects rack tab, you will find everything from a ring mod and delay to amp and cab simulators, reverb and overdrive (distortions). I normally prefer to use external FX plugins when recording, however the ability to precisely shape and sculpt sound within the Tape interface really offers possibilities in the moment that you cannot easily duplicate in your DAW without a fair amount of work.
I have a pretty large collection of sample libraries and many times fall back on the old reliable tools for a new project. After having an opportunity to work with Tape and really experience the sonic capabilities, Tape will indeed become one of the new members of that go-to collection. I don’t typically review virtual instruments without some level of disappointment or longing for features, but to me, this one is a no brainer. Tape really punches above its weight at a super reasonable price point. If you compose music for any reason, there is something here for you to raise your game. Before you take the plunge, check out the official demos to make sure that this is the right tool for you.
Soundiron Tape is based around 8 preset banks, 19 sound kits and 752 raw samples. The preset banks are categorized into Bass, Cymbals, FX, SFX, Snares, Toms, Tones and All Kits. All samples and present banks are unlocked and can be used for your own customization. The preset banks are “outside the box” sounds and Soundiron describes them in this way:
- • 28 unconventional kick/bass sounds.
- • 126 unique snares in 2 style categories.
- • 46 strange toms.
- • 47 cymbal-like splashes, crashes, clicks, blips and snaps in 2 style categories.
- • 238 long and short special effect strikes, stingers and stabs in 4 style categories.
- • 243 acoustic tape recorder multisamples, including buttons, ejection, tape handling, power, and motor running.
- • 24 ambient, atmospheric, tonal pad and environmental presets.
There are also the additional bonuses of having the arpeggiator, step sequencer, DSP FX rack and the vast array of built in convolution reverbs.