AudioThing aims to reel you in with its lo-fi tape emulation plugin

Like many plugins before it, AudioThing’s Reels emulates the sound and sonic characteristics of a reel-to-reel tape machine. However, rather than drawing inspiration from one of the classic models, its focus is a Japanese consumer-level unit that was picked up at a local flea market.

As you might suspect, this means that the overall effect is distinctly lo-fi and imperfect, but potentially desirable nonetheless. There are emulations of three different 1/4-inch tape frequency responses and saturations, and parameter controls include Harshness, Wow/Flutter, Ducking, Crosstalk, Hiss and Motor.

Other features include Tape Stop, which simulates the pitch-down/fade-out effect that occurs when you stop a real reel machine, and there’s also a tweakable echo effect.

Reels is available now for PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats. It’s currently on sale for €39.95 (regular price is €59), and you can also download a demo. Find out more on the AudioThing (opens in new tab) website.

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.