If it's not 'tape flutter', then what's it called (and how do you reproduce it)?

How to make that sound...
publicradio
KVRist
302 posts since 23 Mar, 2008

Post Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:44 am

I always thought that the 'wow', in 'wow & flutter', was the slightly undulating pitch, and the 'flutter' was the recording cutting in and out. Like when you're using crinkled or used tape, and the volume seems to flutter in and out.

But I guess I was wrong. 'Flutter' is also pitch variation, but faster than 'wow'. So what is the other kind of 'flutter' called? (listen from :16)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXzUMuz9ItU#t=16s

I think you can kind of get the sound by placing a noise gate threshold right at the edge of audibility, but you could also create a random modulation wave that controls volume. Also, it usually impacts the left and right channels asymmetrically, so you would need to waves for left and right.

It's especially effective when it's very subtle, and when you're using a very clean, consistent tone, like a MiniMoog or an electric organ. It breaks up that tone very slightly, and gives you a 'warbling' sound.

Anwyay, what is this called, and are there any ways to emulate it digitally?

publicradio
KVRist
302 posts since 23 Mar, 2008

Re: If it's not 'tape flutter', then what's it called (and how do you reproduce it)?

Post Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:23 am

OK, the only name I can find for this is 'volume flutter'. Flutterbird, a free VST, can reproduce this sound by changing the wave to 'drift', turning the pitch control off, and turning the volume knob all the way to the left, causing the volume to falter and cut out.

For this reason, Flutterbird is the best free tape flutter VST I've found because it emulates both pitch and volume modulation. You can set the wave to 'drift' and control both pitch and volume simultaneously, simulating crinkled magnetic tape. Or, you can set pitch to a slow sine wave, and volume to a faster drift, simulating both vinyl wow and tape flutter.

You can also use flutterbird for more straightforward vibrato, tremolo effects. I only use it for volume modulation, because the latency gets worse the more you alter the pitch. Great VST though. Very useful!

Kwurqx
KVRist
208 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: If it's not 'tape flutter', then what's it called (and how do you reproduce it)?

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:34 am

Short insight into tapespeed issues/artifacts....

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... tape-sound

But "analogue" circuits and media can introduce all sorts of "imperfections". A short article on some....

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/analogue-warmth

User avatar
drzhnn
KVRist
438 posts since 1 Jan, 2013 from Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Re: If it's not 'tape flutter', then what's it called (and how do you reproduce it)?

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:10 am

Fabfilter Volcano2 is amazingly good for creating all sorts of vibrato and tremolo effects. Generally, it's perceived as a filter plugin, but it is so much more. It has 6 free-shape LFOs (with rate, skew, glide and phase controls), which you can set to modulate Input/Output levels, Pan etc of your signal. But most importantly, the filter section has a Delay knob that can delay the signal (tape style) and you can modulate it as well. If you use only a single filter lane and set the Mix knob to 100%, filter type to Clean fully open LP, you can then modulate the Delay knob with LFO(s) to get pitch fluctuation. The cool part is that Volcano's delay range starts from 0 ms, so you can avoid latency issues.

retroactivecont
KVRer
6 posts since 22 Sep, 2017

Re: If it's not 'tape flutter', then what's it called (and how do you reproduce it)?

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:24 am

Airwindows makes some awesome freeware tape effects. I highly recommend IronOxide, ToTape, TapeFat and ADT. Most of these have Flutter.

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