Tape has so much nostalgic value and analog-sounding charm! It’s only understandable that there are more tape machine emulations out there than ever before. Anyway, here’s Flywheel by Fuse Audio Labs – another ticket to the promised land of analogue reel-to-reel lusciousness. Graphically, Flywheel is nicely presented and has all the typical functions you’d expect in a virtual R2R. If dubbing your audio or instrument tracks onto tape is not an option, this plug-in will do. Grab it while it’s on sale at a pretty welcoming price!
Fuse Audio Labs Flywheel tape machine plug-in
Flywheel’s reason for existing is to bring back the subtle imperfections of tape recording. It gets there through simulated saturation, hysteresis, upper frequency damping, and even the occasional head bumps. These are the exact organic elements that are often missing in surgically clean digital recordings. While the clear, present digital sound is very good for certain genres like modern dance music or super-intense extreme metal, it does a disservice to anything that’s supposed to sound intimate and lively.
Looking at the available parameters, we have tape speed (15 IPS and 30 IPS), record gain, and playback gain. These are the controls you’d use to get the tape machine into overdrive and squeeze out some warmth and spike. Of course, you can add the obligatory hiss, wow, flutter, and simulated crosstalk to taste. Two “Formula” buttons are available here, which are responsible for the character of the tape machine. Last but not least, a VU meter shows you the input or output volume graphically.
If you like the tape machine sound, you should strike now. Because it’s not often that you can get a competent virtual tape machine at this price!
Prices and dates
Fuse Audio Labs Flywheel is available on the manufacturer’s website at an introductory price of EUR 24.90, down from EUR 49.90. The offer is good until November 21, 2020. The plug-in runs under Mac OSX 10.9 or higher and Windows 7 or higher in AU, AAX, VST3, and VST formats on 32 and 64-bit computers. A 14-day unrestricted demo version and a detailed explanatory video are also available on the developer’s website. Of course, there are also several presets to get you started!