A labour of love from start to finish, Tuned Tape Drums provides a unique twist on the classic machines we all know and love; delivering over 8,000 characterful tape drum samples from a jaw-dropping line-up of iconic drum machines and layered sound sources – processed impeccably using a 100% hardware chain throughout, and lovingly tuned across two full octaves (per sound) in the analogue domain using tape machine Varispeed!
From quirky drum synths such as the SDSV and Syncussion, to timeless classics such as the 808, 909 and everything in-between; we sourced a collection of beautifully restored drum machines specifically for the purpose of this project:
- 808 (2 different machines)
- Mixed Machines – a unique selection of lesser known drum machines, hybrid drum sounds, synthesized and never heard before drums…
- Layered – a unique collection of heavily layered modern drum sounds. We carefully layered sound sources from modern drum machines, synths, foley / found sound, acoustic drums & percussion and many more creative sources.
Keeping it analogue
Our goal was to capture as much character and depth as possible, and so we kept to a 100% analogue signal chain throughout – from the recording to the processing / shaping, and even the tuning of the drums themselves (more on this later)…
To preserve this character, we captured everything through Apogee Symphony MKII converters in high definition at 96K. Included in the download are both the 96K samples, and a 44.1K version – giving you a choice to suit your workflow.
We’ve also left generous headroom (around 6dB), giving you plenty of room to shape things even further, should you wish.
Tone shaping – bringing the machines into the modern era
Of course, these drum machines sound great right out of the box… But our goal was not to capture their clean tone as closely as possible. Instead we shaped and enhanced each sound uniquely, specifically to fit a modern music producer’s needs; shaping transients to perfection, adding tasteful analogue saturation, introducing additional punch and clarity, characterful EQ adjustments and more…
Each drum sound from each drum machine / sound source was carefully processed individually through a totally unique analogue signal chain, using a plethora of high-end and esoteric gear.
To take things further, we then printed these sounds directly to analogue tape, introducing even more character. But that’s not all…
Tuning – the machines as you’ve never heard them before
What’s most unique about this library is the addition of 25 analogue tuned variations of every drum sound (2 full octaves of pitch per sound).
We didn’t use digital pitch-shifting for this process, we instead applied true analogue pitch alteration using a Studer analogue tape machine; via a process called Varispeed.
Seeking advice from a tape machine specialist, we worked out a formula that would allow us to slow down / speed up the analogue tape reel to play back at perfect semi-tones relative to the drum sound’s original pitch. We then spent countless hours recording each drum back from tape using this process; ultimately giving us two octaves of unique analogue pitch for each drum sound.
What does this actually mean for you?
You get much more control over tuning than the original machines could ever offer; vastly expanding the tonal range and sonic possibilities of the original machines!
Because we did the pitch shifting 100% in the analogue domain via tape, you hear none of the artefacts that are introduced when pitching a sound digitally (in your DAW or sampler for example). What you are hearing is the true sound of analogue tape, playing back the drum sounds at variable speeds; delivering real pitch shifting in perfect semi-tones.
Kicks sound more realistic and super deep, snares retain all their high frequency content – everything sounds very characterful and above all, very real. Play tape-tuned 808 bass lines, melodic percussion rhythms, or simply introduce sounds into your music that have never been heard before.
As an added bonus, we’ve also included a large collection of drum machine samples, pre-tape machine processing, which deliver a much cleaner tone.
Ableton Live & Push Integration
As well as the included 8,000+ drum samples (in WAV format), Tuned Tape Drums also boasts a powerful, custom built Ableton Live Pack (for Live 9 and 10)…
- Easily mix and match any drum sound using our extensive modular Drum Rack environment
- Tune drums in the analogue domain using our powerful ‘Tape Pitch’ macro control. This gives you real-time analogue tuning of every drum sound!
- Easily load full, pre-built drum kits for each drum machine, and control their parameters via our custom macros
- Get creative with our ‘Drum Modules’ presets and create your dream drum machine by mixing and matching drum sounds in real time
- Get musical with our ‘Melodic’ and ‘Pitched’ presets, which offer hundreds of multi-sampled patches; allowing you to play any sound across your keyboard chromatically, in a musical way… Think huge 808 bass lines, moody percussive arps, chords, and melodic percussion
- Deep Push and Push 2 integration. Control everything directly from your Push / Push 2 controller
- As a bonus, we’ve also included a powerful collection of Drum loops presets, which can be previewed and brought into your Live Session. (Ableton 10 required for this bonus loop content)
What’s included? Let’s Recap…
- 8,889 drum samples, recorded from a mouth-watering line up or iconic drum machines and layered sound sources
- All sounds impeccably processed via high-end outboard, and recorded to a Studer analogue tape machine for extra character
- Two full octaves of tuning per sound, all pitched 100% in the analogue domain using tape machine Varispeed
- Feature-rich and powerful Ableton Live Pack environment, with full Push / Push 2 integration
- 25 ready-to-play drum kits, conveniently mapped for the following software sampler formats: Battery, EXS24, Halion, Kontakt, Reason NN-XT and SFZ.
- A bonus collection of lovingly processed drum machine sounds, recorded pre-tape machine for a cleaner sound
- Download includes both a high definition 96K version, and a 44.1K version of all samples – giving you a choice to suit your workflow