BPB Dirty VHS is a new free multimode cassette tape plugin for win and mac that infuses analog/lo-fi charm into your tracks.
If there’s one trend you can’t ignore in the plugin world, it’s virtual tapes. In recent years, many developers have released plugins that can take digital sounds back to the 80s or 90s by adding analog-style warmth and lo-fi crunch. A topic that has been covered massively in recent years.
There are many top-notch commercial tape plugins and some excellent ones that you can get for free. The BPB Dirty VHS from my good media colleague Tomislav, aka Bedroom Producers Blog, is brand new and free for download.
BPB Dirty VHS
Dirty VHS is a free effect that tries to imitate the workflow of bands like Boards of Canada in a plugin. This is about recording sounds on VHS tape to make them sound more analog/lo-fi and to resample them into the DAW.
BPB’s new plugin does all this but without the time-consuming sampling. The plugin was developed in collaboration with ToyBox Audio, the makers of the free Thump One synth plugin, and many Reaktor modules.
Dirty VHS features eight unique VCR and VHS combinations (Golden, Old, 80s, Generation…), each with unique pitch and volume inconsistencies, tone characteristics, and of course, authentic VHS noise.
We deeply analyzed different video cassette recorders, including those that still run perfectly and those in desperate need of repair. We extracted the data and used it to create eight distinct models.
The plugin is super easy to use. You don’t have to be a sound professor to work with it. It has two main knobs. Pitch controls the intensity of pitch and volume inconsistencies that are applied to the signal. Tone, on the other side, controls the amount of filtering, modeled after different VCR and tapes.
Then, you get additional controls, including noise volume, dirt (tape distortion), chorus, and stereo spread. The engine can be tweaked more deeply by changing the engine modes hidden in the settings menu.
There are three different modes: grainy (most accurate, more CPU), smooth (less precise, better transients…), and whammy turns Dirty VHS into an extreme pitch shifter FX.
Further, it hosts a noise gate and a noise filter, allowing you to work more flexibly with the noise amount. For a carefree start, it comes with 20 factory presets. Yes, you can also create custom presets.
Congratulations to the BPB team and ToyBox Audio for developing this excellent free tape plugin. As much as I love this release, I hope that this trend does not continue in 2024.
So many new tape plugins, free and commercial, were released in the last few years. Hopefully, there will be a new trend in 2024 that everyone will follow.
BPB Dirty VHS is available now as a free download. It runs as a VST3 and AU plugin on macOS (native Apple Silicon + Intel) and Windows.
More information here: Bedroom Producer Blog