It’s the strange, warm warble and distortion of a mixtape that had been taped over too many times and left in a hot car – now in your mixes, for free.

Without some old tapes and a recorder handy, that effect isn’t all that easy to get. Yet one James Peck has nailed it in Reaktor 6 as an effect, then given it away for free – and since you can run Reaktor FX as a plug-in, you can add it all over the place. (Hmm… yes, I have been hosting Reaktor inside VCV Rack and Reason for extra modular-inside-modular action!)

The name is brilliant – memorecks. (artist name, evidently?)

And it sounds great:

MRX90 does not set out to model the sound of any particular tape, or tape recorder.

There are only 2 knobs:
The “Noise” knob adds in tape noise, gated to the strength of the signal.
The “Age” knob compresses, filters out the high end, and adds some wow and flutter.

Reaktor 6.3.0 or higher is required in order to use this. In your DAW, load the “Reaktor 6 FX” plugin, and then load this file within that.

Built in Reaktor, so you can open it up. Free, but you will need a Reaktor license… though, honestly, Reaktor is one of a handful of tools I think are among the best investments anywhere. (Also, now, dear NI, do you see why I’d love it if you’d allow us to load Reaktor ensembles on Maschine+? I mean, this thing simulates a broken tape. Give us some warnings that make users feel like they shouldn’t be doing it, but then let them do it and break things. It’s music, not medical equipment. But I digress.)

MRX90: 2 knob, “Tape-like” audio effect [Reaktor User Library]

Want VHS instead of compact cassette? He’s got that, too. (It was also updated last year.)

VHS Audio Degradation Suite: VHS Tape Noise and Flutter Simulator [Reaktor User Library]

Thanks to James, who has made some lovely effects as well as especially handsome knobs, all stored on that treasure island that is the Reaktor User Library.

Try his lowpass gate and pitch modulation, too – Deep Water. And Ben Stiller’s personal synth? Uh…

Now it’s time to load up some old projects, and utterly destroy them.

I’m going to just leave this here. It says more than words can say. Thanks, memorecks. And Bettye Lavette, who can make this dinner seem positively lush. And Kraft General Foods – stay orange.