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Emulation, degradation, mutation

(18 Votes)
S Millward
790797 (Updated 3 weeks ago)
September 21, 2021
Reaktor 5 or lower
Effect Multi-Effect


reTape is a multi-effect ensemble for EQ, chorus, phasing, filtering, ring and amplitude modulation, wow and flutter, compression, saturation, aural excitement, limiting, noise generation and sound mangling. It can simulate tape-like saturation and model the frequency response of analogue tape recorders and audio devices. It can produce crackle, dust, hum, hiss, pitch warp, wow, flutter and age degradation as commonly associated with analogue media such as tape and vinyl. It can also produce rich chorus, phasing, distortion and filter effects. In addition, it can generate drone and buzz effects, room tones, background ambience, and hitherto uncategorised forms of noise and interference.

A monitor switch provides monitoring of the signal at each stage in the chain. A global bypass button allows A/B comparisons between the processed and unprocessed signal. The order in the effects chain for the Preamp, EQ, Noise Matrix, Compressor and Tube sections can be changed between twelve combinations. High precision peak indicators and numerical values help monitor the final output level with extreme accuracy.

reTape offers advanced switching and routing behaviour for maximum flexibility. The GUI features intelligent colour coding and it has the same appearance in both Reaktor 5 and Reaktor 6.

Each of the Preamp, Noise Matrix, Compressor, Tube and Exciter sections includes a Mix parameter. After setting up the effects it is then an easy matter to dial in the amount you need from each effect using the corresponding Mix control.

reTape is commonly used as an insert effect on a group bus or on the main stereo output of a host DAW. It is also suited to processing individual tracks and audio files, and works particularly well with vocals, speech, guitar, synthesizer and drums. When used in a subtle manner, its main strengths are its warmth and saturation characteristics, its analogue hardware emulations and lo-fi effects, and its capacity to provide 'glue' and character. When used with radical settings, reTape can completely transform the characteristics of the input signal and is thus useful for sound effects and voice mangling. The heart of reTape for sound effects and radical treatments is the Noise Matrix.

reTape runs in Reaktor 5 or Reaktor 6. Reaktor 6 is the preferred option since it uses less CPU and is more reliable.

S.Millward 2021


reTape features 128 presets arranged in two banks. These make good starting points when programming your own presets.

Bank 1 contains mainly analogue tape machine and other audio hardware emulations, and lo-fi effects. Most of these are subtle effects which do not result in radical changes to the input signal.

Bank 2 contains mainly phaser, chorus, saturation, ring modulation, filtering and abstract creative effects. Most of these are more radical effects which result in obvious changes to the input signal.


reTape 7907 version 9.7

reTape 7907.9.7 is the culmination of a lengthy and detailed exploration of analogue device emulation, digital sound manipulation and sound design. It is based upon a series of test ensembles which together form the current multi-effects unit. The following are the latest features and additions:

- A new GUI with greater clarity, improved knobs and buttons, new custom meters and intelligent switching behaviour.
- Addition of a redesigned saturation module in the PreAmp section.
- Addition of a new chorus effect in the PreAmp section.
- Redesign of the EQ section, now featuring a frequency adjustable monoizer switch.
- Redesign of the Tube section, now including wear, tone, presence, boost and mix controls.
- Addition of a redesigned Limiter in the Compressor section, now with channel link / unlink function.
- A new Noise Matrix section featuring noise sources, modulation, and filter effects. The noise sources include crackle, dust, hum and hiss. The noise generator includes white, pink and brownian noise.
- Addition of warp, density, tuning and filter controls for the crackle and dust noise sources.
- Three way routing arrows for all noise sources and the main input signal.
- Pre-routing buttons allowing noise sources to be routed to the Noise Matrix input or the main input of reTape.
- Addition of two multi-mode filters with saturation
- Addition of a ducker effect.
- Addition of a twin ring modulator.
- Addition of a phase control and a phasing effect.
- Addition of a bit crusher effect.
- Addition of a noise shaper effect.
- Addition of a random fluctuation parameter, for subtle variations in rpm, hum pitch and hiss filters.
- Addition of a continuous portamento function for the hum generator for pitch glide effects and drones. This includes a freeze button for capturing the hum sound at any point in time.
- Addition of a continuous portamento numerical display.
- Addition of sine, triangle, pulse, parabolic, sawtooth and impulse train oscillator options for the hum signal.
- Addition of extra multipliers for LFO rate, shape and flutter depth parameters.
- New noise signal gate switch to ensure the noise signals are heard only when Reaktor or the host DAW is in play mode.
- Addition of a Noise Matrix link button within the Aural Exciter; this removes the Exciter from its normal position in the FX chain and places it at the noise signal outputs within the Noise Matrix.
- Addition of equal power mix parameters for each of the Preamp, Noise Matrix, Compressor, Tube and Exciter sections.
- Re-ordering selector to change the order of the PreAmp, EQ, Noise Matrix, Compressor and Tube in the chain. Twelve orderings are provided.
- Inclusion of peak indicators, overload indicators and numerical values in the Output module for high precision output level monitoring.
- New mono button in the Output module
- New logarithmic output fader in the output module
- A wide range of bug fixes and performance enhancements.
- New presets.


1) The GUI and layout of the effects chain facilitates fruitful interaction between the various processes and helps you get results with the minimum of fuss.

2) For information about each control activate Reaktor's info hints (Alt + I) and then hover over the parameter on the GUI.

3) For subtle adjustments, most of the parameters in reTape can be moved up or down in fine increments / decrements by holding down Shift while dragging, or by holding down Shift while pressing the up / down arrow keys on the computer keyboard.

4) If you wish to mute or unmute the noise signals according to the stop and play buttons on your DAW transport, activate the 'Gate' button in the Noise Matrix. When the Gate button is de-activated the noise signals play continuously.

5) The CPU load varies according to which effects are engaged. To avoid CPU overload, you are advised to activate only those effects which are strictly relevant to the desired result.

6) When experimenting you are advised to work with the Limiter section always engaged.

Donations (for build effort and presets):


cool breeze
3 weeks ago
Oh yes, this is going to get a lot of use, even before I figure it all out ! Thank you, S Millward. Side note: The weather forecasts in the UK are very precise for each and every hour in the next fortnight, but as I wake each day it is rarely what was predicted just a few hours before. And that, is not too dissimilar to your version numbering method, two updates that I know of but all carrying the same precise info; reTape
3 weeks ago
Yeah, there are a few good different tape-style manglers/degraders here in the UL, but this is just - WOW, a great multi-effect that can get you to that sweet spot quick, w/ the excellent/simple onboard eq just making it an instant go-to for taming those frequencies and achieving a more analog "vintage" studio sound. So much to explore here, I've barely scratched it and consistently getting great results. If your thing is the ambient/soundscape, then I'd say this qualifies as multitool essential. Thanks!
Kimmo Kivelä
3 weeks ago
Good one.
4 weeks ago
Thank you S Millward. R5 can do a lot!
4 weeks ago
This looks cool, can never have too many.
1 month ago
Great multieffect, thanks!
Laurence Ketchin
1 month ago
The most comprehensive tape emulator thus far. Awesome!
Raf Dell
1 month ago
The Best Tape!
Vagelis M
1 month ago
Looks great, thanks for sharing!
Guillaume Richard
1 month ago
whoa! this is a very versatile and interesting beast! not the usual tape-like abuser:) thanks mr Millward!!!