Create “tape-drenched textures” with Spitfire Audio and BlankFor.ms’s Tape Synths

The instrument employs a range of BlankFor.ms’ vintage and rare tape machines.

Image: Spitfire Audio

Spitfire Audio and Brooklyn-based artist BlankFor.ms have teamed up for Tape Synths, a virtual instrument centred around the tone-shaping character of tape.

The instrument presents “tape-drenched textures from an analogue expert” with a collection of multi-layered analogue-style sounds and textures created by the artist.

It employs the Bon Iver-sampled artist’s collection of classic and rare tape machines and other outboard gear to achieve its sound. With a broad palette of sounds demonstrating the range of the artist’s medium and method, Tape Synths promises anything from lo-fi digital grit to playful stabs, plucks and bells to 80s neon-lit, retro pads and gamer’s nostalgia to woozy, shimmering euphoria.

BlankFor.ms, aka Tyler Gilmore, helped design the instrument by passing basic synth tones through various tape machines, which users can scroll through using the mod wheel and also apply a range of onboard reverbs.

“The idea then grew to include complex synth tones, delay circuits, analogue distortion circuits, and effects pedals,” said Spitfire Audio in a press release, “passed through various signal chains for degradation, flavour, colouration and vibe.”

Specialising in textural and ambient music created with tape machines and vintage hardware, BlankFor.ms has risen to prominence as an explorative artist of analogue formats. His arsenal for Tape Synths includes a Walkman, Library of Congress C1 cassette player, a Tascam 414, 424 and PortaOne, Marantz PMD and GE Portable with FoldyMakes Mod.

“For me, it starts with the signal chain. I try to find a unique pathway for the sound, a pathway that tells a story,” Gilmore said. “I don’t know of another software instrument quite like this. Once the Spitfire team built out the first draft, we knew we had something incredible.”

Watch the walkthrough video below:

Spitfire Audio’s BlankFor.ms — Tape Synths is available now for £49/$49/49€, compatible with all major DAWs. For more information visit spitfireaudio.com.

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