Some plugins, such as the UAD Ampex ADR-102, go as far as emulating the unwanted side effects of tape recorder technology such as hiss, hum, wow and flutter.
These all add ‘vibe’, but do they make it better? Their ‘analogueness’ comes from the perception that there are less perfect or even flawed.
Keeping It Reeled
Many of the same characteristics come in handy when using delay effects. Let’s take this drum hit as a starting point:
Here it is with a delay plus feedback applied:
Many delay plugins allow you to process the feedback chain with filters to make each repeat degrade sonically – just like their tape-generated counterparts.
Here we apply a low-pass filter to the feedback loop:
Adding a high-pass filter alongside the LPF works even better:
Adding some tape-speed modulation via the Wow section allows you to create mild chorusing…
…or full on sickness-inducing pitch swaying.
Notice also the Drive control for creating extra harmonics.