Tape Fragments is one of our more experimental, yet super useable, releases to date. It was created by sending analog synth movements through feedback loops using various tape machines, echoes and an API console. The results were then mapped to keyboard instruments and can be played melodically to achieve rich, dreamy, lo-fi tape synth textures and soundtrack-esc pads, leads, and FX.
This pack is our most meta sampling to date. The story goes:
We sampled an Oberheim synth a few years ago, and Nico made a beautiful demo for it using the samples. In fact, I loved it so much that I wanted to experiment further with it - so I ran bits and pieces of the demo out into an Echoplex, and an Otari reel to reel (that spirals into white noise, from the tape hiss), and then sent the returns of those tracks on the API back into the tape machines (via Aux send), creating feedback loops. I then took those feedback loops and put them back through the tape machines again! ♻️
I loved the sound of this and wanted to get a few more sounds, so I dipped into a music session (also made with Nico) that used the Polysix synth, and sent that through the same feedback loops. In the process, I stumbled on some random artifacts from previous takes on the tape, like reversed drums, and decided to include those as well.
Finally, I took the most interesting fragments of all of these synth movements and tape artifacts, and mapped them to keyboard style instruments, so you can compose whatever you'd like with them-
We spent a lot of time building the instruments - creating repeating, energetic loops and honing in on a diverse array of sounds, deleting redundant samples and ones that didn't fit this specific vibe.
In Ableton and Kontakt we focused a large part of our effort on creating huge echo chambers, reverbs, and tape FX emulations. If you're working in another sampler, I definitely suggest trying out some ambient FX 😃
The result is 32 presets of soundtrack-esc pads, warbley flutes, textured leads, plucky basses, and tape FX.
We've been using these extensively in our own music, often instead of analog synths, because of the energy they provide. And now you can too :)