Cassette Poly

A modified Korg Poly 61 captured on cassette tape

The story

“The Cassette Poly” by Constant Little Ghost

My old (modified) Korg Poly 61 synth has a wonderful quirky character which I wanted to capture. Due to battery acid damage it’s needed some repairing and even now isn’t in the best of health – I fear it may not last much longer!

Instead of simply recording straight into my computer I decided to capture the notes on cassette first to create something a bit interesting. The cassette samples were then imported along with all the noise and hiss that comes with old tapes.

The sounds have a raspy, mellotron-like quality (I haven’t denoised the raw samples), but I’ve added a touch of filter (which can be controlled with the modwheel) to help shape the sound and and also manage some of the noise.

The Cassette Poly Kontakt Instrument has three versions:
1) “Original” – closest to the organ-like recordings.
2) “Soft and Long” – a longer release.
3) “Expressive” – more filter control options (modwheel, velocity & aftertouch) as well as some dynamic velocity control over the envelope: Play softer, the dampened tones have a longer attack and release. Play harder and the brighter notes have a shorter attack and release.

If you’re interested I’ve made a YouTube video documenting the creation of these samples. Feel free to dip in! https://youtu.be/n_j_OxxHUow

Hope you enjoy playing with them.

 

Reviews for Cassette Poly

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Very cool but not my favorite

    This is a pretty nice sound but there are a few electric pianos on pianobook that i much prefer to this. The tape effect does sound nice but its a bit muddy and dull. I personally love to hear the attack of the key hitting and the mechanical sounds, both of which i can't hear in this library. I forget which but one of the electric pianos on pianobook lets you adjust the finger noise of the player and the mechanical noise and hum which gives so much character. Again this sounds good but i would definitely reach for a different ep over this one

    septemberwalk26 October 2021
  • Some nice warm sounds.

    This sample library of the Korg Poly is very warm and organ-like, however a lot of the time, almost too warm. For something that has been recorded to tape, the kind of character you typically want from tape is missing and instead there is an overabundance of low-mid frequencies which gives everything a dull sound, and also makes this difficult to implement into a mix. However, it has been programmed well and is very playable out of the box. I'm eager to see what you come up with next!

    R.Treves21 October 2021
  • A nice retro lo-fi cassete pad

    This is a very warm cassete pad, that gives you these retro, lo-fi vibes. Each version offers a different shaped enveloped, but I'd really think it would be perfect if there was just one patch with ADSR settings and filters, just for the user to have complete control over the sound design experience.

    Alex Raptakis30 October 2021
  • Warm muted sounds with hiss

    This library has a lot of nice character. It all sounds a bit muted until you come to realize that the mod wheel controls filter cutoff. It might have been better to save the presets with the filter open rather than mostly closed. That's a minor detail, though. A bit larger issue is the amount of noise present in the samples themselves. I get the whole lo-fi cassette tape esthetic, but I like that sound for the natural compression and warmth it brings, and not for the noise it adds. My thought is that if you're going to go that route, you'd better be prepared to do some serious noise reduction afterwards so that you don't end up with so much noise in the recordings. Even so, if you keep the filter's cutoff low, it's not such as issue. It might just be something to consider for future sampling efforts. Overall, I think this is a great and usable library. The editing within Kontakt is solid, and it has some good character. Well done!

    Sam Ecoff29 October 2021