PerforModule is an amazing producer and sound designer. I’ve worked with him in the past with things like the Free Drawbar Organ, Sub Follower, and the Pitch Bend Vibrato. So when he hit me up about a new instrument using a Microcassette tape I was stoked. He sent me over an awesome collection of sound designs using the tape sound. The three experimental sound design instruments are crafted using noise from a microcassette tape transcriber, recorded at a sample rate of 48kHz.
Download the Live Pack below and read more about the instruments in this awesome pack by PerforModule.
What is in the Live Pack:
Microcassette Hiss Machine Instrument
This is a device which can be used to provide authentic analog microcassette tape hiss, either to layer in as a background noise floor or for sound design purposes. It has a tone knob which is not a usual filter, but instead alters the playback loop point to highlight a different tone slice, each with a different combination of hiss tone and rotor speed, thus retaining full bandwidth and maximum fidelity at all settings. The brightest, default tone is with the knob in the center position; as it is moved to either the left or the right different sample slices will be resultant, each providing its own unique combination of hiss and mechanical tone settings. Any played key will generate the chosen slice (playing different keys will not repitch). A useful capability is to select a tone setting wherein the pitches of the hiss and rotor harmonically match the key of your song. There is also the option to switch between “SP” (standerd play) and “LP” (long play) modes, which each have their own distinct character.
Ideas for Usage:
- Background Hiss: play a loop and set to a tone (by ear) which seems to resonate with the song’s fundamental key. Now that it is set, reduce the volume to just below where you can barely hear it in the mix, and let it loop throughout the entire song. This is a way to add a little analog background noise to an overly dry, digital mix, or to pretend to have recorded onto tape for hipster cred.
- Sound design (custom sound effects): set up some of your favorite plugins after the instrument, particularly modulation and glitch effects. Record short to medium-length bursts of noise, play with plugins, and freeze. Chop up snippets that sound interesting and save them in your user library as composition resources.
Mecha Noise is an instrument which can be used to create or augment melodies out of mechanical noise (hum & hiss). This one is melodic, outputting pitches, matching the MIDI given it. The planned operation is to use it to double a melody line in a song, providing analog noise which follows the key. Since it is monophonic, it tends to work best with lead, bass, or harmony lines, and will give unpredictable results when playing chords (which still might be interesting).
Once you set it to double a line, you can then reduce its level to almost imperceptible for an analog noise which emphasizes the note flow.
An alternate usage of “Mecha Noise” is as a beefy, square-wave-esque synth with a warm, fat tone. When playing notes in the upper octaves, the ultra-low hum noise shifts into this type of sound, becoming a unique instrument of its own right.
Percussion drum rack made from “stop button” click sounds.
Simple, but useful for organic percussion programming.
- Quick, fast transients with virtually no decay
- Subtle variation and randomization between samples for human feel
- Macros to modulate timbre for variety