Baby Audio Taip: What is it?
Tape emulation plugins offer a quick and convenient way to access the great sound of analogue tape, and there are already a number of excellent emulations that capture classic tape machines and tape formulation.
Taip (VST, VST3, AU, AAX) from Baby Audio is a new plugin that uses artificial intelligence to deliver its tape emulation. This novel approach is coupled with a fresh, slick interface with three colour schemes, and distinctive reel-to-reel style graphics that are animated during playback.
Nevertheless, you won’t find typical tape machine options such as speed, tape type and bias. What you have instead are more creative settings (Glue, Wear and Noise), coupled with Single and Dual machine modes and three types of EQ (Hi, Lo and Presence). Factor in more than 100 pretty varied presets and it’s quite clear Taip is designed as a creative tool as much as it is a tape machine emulation.
Baby Audio Taip: Performance and verdict
Signal level plays a very important role when using analogue tape, so it should come as no surprise that Taip has plenty of ways to adjust level. Your starting point is the main input Gain with a whopping +/- 40dB of gain. But there’s also both Normal and Hot input settings, and a handy Auto Gain option, which compensates for the main Gain setting. Integrated into the output stage is a limiter, which you can drive using the Output level, and rounding things off is a global Mix blend.
Taip loads up in a default state with some parameters set, and you can return to this state at any time using the Reset control in the top right. Nevertheless, if you actually zero all settings, Taip still has a subtle effect on the signal, adding 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortions. If you were simply after a basic tape machine emulation, this would be a good starting point and we used it across all the component tracks of a drum kit to add subtle presence.
Nevertheless, Taip has so much more to offer. Wear for example introduces wow, flutter and a different frequency response, emulating a malfunctioning tape machine. Blend this in and the top end becomes darker and the overall sound more unpredictable, and this is great for dirtying up loops. However, Wear really comes into its own when you combine it with the Mix blend (about 50% works best), as rather than getting a tight parallel process (as you do with Wear set to 0) you get sumptuous tape flanging. And of course adjusting the Wear setting delivers different tonality to that flanging.
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• AudioThing Reels
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Next up, Glue delivers a range of tape compression effects and we particularly like the higher settings where it adds wonderful pop and thump to transient heavy sounds such as snares and kicks. If you’re still after more exaggerated effects, the Dual mode applies two tape processes at the same time.
Rounding things off the EQ section includes frequency-specific saturation (Lo-Shape and Hi-Shape) which allows you to increase and decrease the saturation for low and high frequencies. Meanwhile, Presence adds a gentle boost from about 2kHz upwards, so is great for adjusting for high-frequency loss.
Overall, Taip delivers a fresh approach to tape emulation that is flexible, easy to use and most importantly sounds great. Another wonderful plugin from the Baby Audio team.
MusicRadar verdict: A great-sounding and flexible plugin that offers everything from subtle enhancement to full-on sonic destruction.
Baby Audio Taip: The web says
"An utterly believable tape saturation emulation, albeit one that is slightly heavier on your CPU than a traditional DSP-based emulator."
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Baby Audio Taip: Hands-on demos
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Baby Audio Taip: Specifications
- Plugin formats: VST, VST3, AU, AAX.
- Platforms supported: Mac OS 10.7 and up including Catalina, Big Sur and Mac M1. PC Windows 7 and up.
- DAWs supported: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason + more.
- CONTACT: Baby Audio