Robotic Bean Portatron, a tape loop Synthesizer plugin based on the iconic Portastudio

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Robotic Bean brings the sound and workflow of the Portastudio 4-track cassette recorder to your DAW in form of a new Portatron tape loop Synthesizer 

The Tascam Portastudio is a 4-track cassette recorder loved by many today. Mainly because of its lo-fi, characterful sound and hands-on workflow. For artists like Alessandro Cortini, this vintage device is an integral part of the live set. Due to the increased interest in the device, the used prices have skyrocketed in recent years.

If you don’t feel like plundering your piggy bank for a vintage, there is a new Synthesizer plugin by Robotic Bean that takes up this concept and sound.

Robotic Bean Portatron

Robotic Bean Portatron Tape

Portatron is a loop Synthesizer that takes inspiration on the iconic 4-track Tascam Portastudio cassette recorder. The core uses a sample-based loop playback engine with a wide range of features. There are four independent audio tracks with dedicated level sliders and pan control. You can also dial in an EQ, delay, and reverb effects per track giving tons of shaping options. Great for multi-layered drones and soundscapes.

According to the developer, they have carefully modeled and recreated the beloved cassette sound with all the same character. You can tweak the tape speed, noise, dropouts, wobble, start/stop lag, switch bewteen normal or chrome tape for different noise types or frequency response. Plus, you can simulate the saturation and compression effect when recording a signal hot on tape by pushing the drive on a track.

Robotic Bean includes a tape editor in the Portatron plugin that allows you to resize, move, repeat and reverse your sample content with a few clicks. It ships with a newly recorded sample library including pianos, vibraphones, vocals, synths, and more. Alternatively, you can load in your own samples or loops and create massive layered sounds.

Further, Portatron gives you the option to choose between two playback modes. Either it follows your DAW’s transport controls or it can be triggered from your keyboard like a 4-track monophonic Mellotron. A cool addition is the ability to restart the engine on the first, second, or fourth bar to create semi-synced loops.


An interesting new Synthesizer plugin. For everyone who loves the way Alessandro Cortini works and sounds (yes, he is a Portastudio user) this plugin will be very tempting. It emulates the functionality and injects it in your DAW as a DAW.

Robotic Bean Portatron is available now for an introductory price of 89€ (reg. 129€). It runs as a 64-bit only VST3, AU and AAX plugin on macOS and Windows.

More information here: Portatron 

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1 Comment

  1. As a one of external sound designers for this VST, I have to say that working with it was a lot of fun! I will definitely use it alongside my Tascam Portastudio 424.

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