Tape wow n' flutter

inspired by @titaanzink phasing preset, I starting wondering about using tape delays…
then of course got rather sidetracked on the idea of getting a ‘tape’ feel for delay
024 tape wow n flutter.pbp.zip (37.3 KB)

(ok, I also wanted to test out my ideas for future ideas of tape delay modules ;))

this patches uses a simple sequence running thru plts, but you could easily substitute what ever you want

when we talk of tape feel, I think we assume and old battered out tape deck…
we think of something perhaps a bit lo-fi, where the belts are worn out,

my thoughts were:

  • wow n’ flutter, caused by the tape drives slowing and speeding up.
  • a of a loss of low high end
  • a bit of noise/distortion

the core of this patch is therefore modulated delay line using SWAT.
plts is fed into this the input (x) , then we modulate the delay time using (y)
the delay is set to its max time (5seconds).
we modulate Y with 2 LFO, both attenuated to small amounts of movement.
the first LFO is as slow as possible, and provides the length of the tape , so its simulates a tape ‘stretching’ ( its not flowing smoothly, so tension builds up and is released)
the second LFO is a bit faster but is very shallow in depth, this represents the wavering speed.

I use the bit crusher module to get a bit of ‘noise’ into the signal (on input to swat)
after the delay line we feed into SVF as low pass, to loose the high end.

then off to clouds, to give us a bit of space and air :slight_smile:

of course, alot of parameters in the above, so fun to adjust and hear the changes.
(you might want to mute clouds in pmix, to hear the subtle changes)

anyway, hope you enjoy… and hope it gives some ideas on how to use the modulatable delay in swat.


Oooohh - I absolutely love this. It is almost like stepping in a time machine. Grainy black-and-white footage comes to mind. Glimpses of times long past. And Boards of Canada!

The eye-opener revelation goes to the Delay in the SWAT module. With the micro adjustments I - wrongly - assumed short delay times only. But you’ve given us a whopping full five seconds!

Thanks for sharing!


added an audio example so people can hear what its about without downloading preset to ssp.
Note: Id still recommend playing on SSP, as you can tweak the parameters, and use your own audio sources :slight_smile:

thanks @titaanzink glad you like it.

yeah, I could make SWATs max time much longer, as the max delay time (and so memory) is only allocated when its set, so there is no overhead when its not used.
(e.g. if you set max delay time to 3 seconds it only allocates memory for 3 seconds)

however, the UI was kind of more aimed at small delay times - mainly, because I really want to create a more elaborate delay module, as ive got quite a few ideas for it - that will naturally have longer delays times and a UI that suits it.

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heres an interesting one…
so an LFO min frequency is 0.005hz, which is 200s, about 3.5m.
for normal modulation this is pretty slow.
but with ‘tape’ if you are modulating the tape length, it has to be be really slow to make the pitch changes less obvious.

well if you use the pitch input, connected to a DCG, and scaled down - I could scale this down to 0.0006 hz, thats 1666 seconds or nearly 30mins.
… at this rate you can cannot perceive the pitch changes.

which means, the phasing effects explored in this post can be completely done in the audio realm… i.e. we treat the delay line as a tape.

note: if you want it to feel like the phasing is always moving forward, you would have to use a melody length = max tape length (or rather the amount of tape you modulate over). SWAT gives you precise (to sample !) display, to the point where you can basically use a phasor (aka inverted saw) to basically loop the tape at the appropriate point (when the delay time = melody length, so we are back ‘in phase’)


Wow n Flutter I feel as I really love to get that old sound, so many times I have thought about a reel to reel, but love all the thoughts and patch sharing are brilliant, and to be able to build something that expands on this, I can see Magneto coming to my SSP very soon :grinning: Nearly just purchased one too, but happy with my E520.