Software developer Baby Audio has announced TAIP a new AI-powered tape emulation plugin.

It feels we might be living in the AI gold rush. From Sonible to Izotope to online mastering such as Landr, most producers will be working with AI at some point in the creation of a track.

Joining the party is Baby Audio a company whose other plugins include Smooth Operator, I Heart NY and Spaced Out.

Tape analogue quality is regularly sought after by producers looking to ‘warm’ up their digital mixes. TAIP is positioned to help producers without the the need to route any audio outside the box.

The tape plugin in marketed is ‘saturated‘ but Baby Audio has taken a different approach. Instead of using traditional DSP, Baby Audio has developed TAIP around an AI algorithm designed to decipher the invisible nuances of analog circuits.

The result is designed to produced a faithful tape emulation, being both intuitive and creative in use, whilst also adding modern features. Baby Audio boss Caspar Bock elaborates:

“For a hardware emulation project like TAIP, AI offers a more faithful approach over the traditional DSP method. Where a normal DSP emulation would entail ‘guesstimating’ the effect of various analog components and their mutual dependencies, we can use AI / neural networks to accurately decipher the sonic qualities that make a tape machine sound and behave in the way it does. This happens by feeding an algorithm various training data of dry vs. processed audio and teaching it to identify the exact characteristics that make up the difference. Once these differences have been learned by the AI, we can apply them to new audio.

This process may sound overly digital for a plugin that brings an analog sound. But the reality is that ‘analog’ and ‘digital’ are two fundamentally different domains. To get a computer to behave (or sound!) in a certain way, it helps to think like it does. Re-creating an ‘analog-style’ signal path in DSP is thinking about the problem like a human. The AI approach helps us solve the problem like a machine would – for a more faithful emulation”

PRESETS

TAIP comes with 135 presets created by a mix of well known producers and designers including:

  • Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, Bloc Party, Elton John)
  • Max Jaeger (Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Drake, Calvin Harris)
  • Eestbound (Travis Scott, Young Thug, Jazz Cartier)
  • Rob Kleiner (Sia, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Cee Lo)
  • Cesar Sogbe (Prince, David Byrne, Jennifer Lopez)

FEATURES

  • DRIVE: You can use the DRIVE knob to add just as much colour as you need – from a subtle touch of heat to heavy distortion.
  • MIX/TAPE FLANGING: MIX lets you run your tape in parallel. You can combine MIX and WEAR to get a classic ‘tape flanging’ effect. This is caused by the wow and flutter of WEAR running in parallel with the dry track.
  • MODEL: While SINGLE is a regular tape emulation, DUAL creates a series of two tape emulations chained together under the hood, each applying half of the DRIVE value. This will add slightly more weight to your signal.
  • LO-SHAPE / HI-SHAPE: These sliders let you saturate the low/high end more or less than the rest of the frequency spectrum. (Example: warm up a drum buss without distorting the low frequencies).
  • GLUE: Tape machines are known to introduce a pleasing compression-like effect due to their low dynamic range. TAIP lets you add this effect – or even exaggerate it. Use GLUE for subtle cohesion or as an actual compressor.
  • NOISE: Lets you add tape noise to taste – or avoid it altogether.
  • WEAR: Combines wow, flutter and an altered frequency response curve to emulate a worn-out tape machine.
  • PRESENCE: Part of the tape warmth comes from an attenuated high-end. PRESENCE allows you to decide how much of that attenuation you want. It can bring back the brightness that is sometimes lost on tape.
  • INPUT: Choose between NORMAL or HOT (more distorted) input levels without affecting the output volume.
  • AUTO GAIN: Allows you to add more DRIVE while keeping a consistent plugin output level.

TAIP is out now and priced at $69 but with an intro offer of $39 running until October 31st.

Plugin formats: VST, VST3, AU, AAX. Full Mac M1 compatibility.

30th September, 2021

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