Cassette Tape Organ

A 1950's Wurlitzer vacuum tube organ processed through tape machines...

The story

This is a 1950’s Wurlitzer vacuum tube organ I got for free on Front Porch Forum (Vermont’s Craigslist) processed through two different cassette tape machines and one special sample processed as a crumpled up tapeloop for extra character.

Nine different voices/combos were sampled giving a variety of tonal qualities to choose from. Recorded with condenser mics on the front facing tube amp speakers and then onto cassette tape using a Technics RS-TR232 dual deck tape recorder. I recorded one note for each voice (“middle” C) to be spread across the keyboard.

The samples were played back using two different tape machines; the Technics (stereo) and a Coby (mono) shoebox tape player. Each machine has a unique noise character and eq curve, as well as varying degrees of wow/flutter/dropouts. The tapeloop was physically mangled and played back on a walkman.

There was some noise/hum-reduction applied to the original recordings because this old organ has a hefty background hum but the cassette samples were left with the noise intact except for some light high-pass filtering to limit low end build-up.

I’m finding myself using the samples way more than I ever used the organ because I can adjust the adsr. I particularly like giving a long attack/decay and spreading the voices across the stereo field. Included is 1 Logic Sampler and 1 Logic Quick Sampler intrument to give examples of how they can be used.

Enjoy!

Reviews

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

  • An Organ recorded to cassette tape? Yes please...

    An easily tweakable instrument Wirth a great sound thanks to brilliant programming and a well designed GUI.

    R.Treves20 October 2021
  • A Lovely Sound

    This instrument is a great little pack. There's heaps of flexibility and control to customise the sound how you like! It has a very nostalgic type of sound and definitely has an interesting character about it. I'd recommend giving this a try.

    Jake18 October 2021
  • PS-20 Wannabe

    This sound has lots of character and is reminiscent of the Yamaha PS-20 organ sound. The cassette hiss is really present, so if that's not your thing, you might want to pass on this. However, I found this sound to be very musical, and the clever mod matrix programming was a nice touch with the automated panning.

    Sam Ecoff17 October 2021
  • A cassette labeled "nostalgia"

    Wow, imagine stumbling through boxes in your attic and you come across a cassette with "nostalgia" sharpied haphazardly onto the front. This is whats on that tape. Oozing with imagery at every touch, I find myself yearning for a time which feels familiar, but one I never knew. The tape loop patch gives theses vibes especially well with its crackly and wavering tone.

    Forrest Love15 October 2021
  • Beach House

    This is really great, i put off getting DecentSampler for a while, just sticking to Kontakt for Pianobook, but i had to download it after hearing this. It instantly made me thing of Beach House and i think would work so well in a mellow indie track. I love the fact that its been run through actual cassette and not just a tape plugin which definitely makes it stand out

    septemberwalk15 October 2021
  • Amazing emotion and character

    So good, so good. Simple, tasteful, full sounding. Beauty.

    prodbycfr14 October 2021
  • WOW - a great Organ!

    I just love this thing! I now played it only for about 10 minutes but I'm really impressed how much possibility is given to me to form the sound. So I'm totally looking forward to use it in some tracks. I wonder how it would sound without the tape cassette?

    Philemon Reinhardt14 October 2021
  • Fantastic library, versatile and smooth

    Another great sounding library and also extremely useful. I really like software interface, its boosting my creativity :

    Dennyiah13 October 2021
  • Instant vibes!

    This instrument absolutely shines when used in the right context. It has a very peculiar sound, my favourite being the simpler Tape Loop patch; it's a bit wobbly, and the vinyl-esque crackle definitely adds a lot of character. I personally found the other patches to, more often than not, be a bit too much, often restricting myself to no more than one or two extra voices, but this does give it a lot of versatility, as it gives you the option to shape the sound as you see fit. That said, all the extra layers together, when panned, makes it sound positively huge, which could definitely be useful in the right context. All in all, real solid library, and a must have if you're planning on making something more dark sounding.

    Hidde Pieters12 October 2021
  • Delightful and Nostalgic, Yet Feels Widely Usable

    The Tape Loop is good and gritty, the Coby is lofi, mono, and a little darker, which are less to my taste, but definitely have their uses. The Technics, for me, is instantly pleasant and musical, with a remarkable range of timbres, thanks to the numerous sliders for various "stops" including but not limited to "Cello", "Flute", "Melodia", "Pedal", "Tbone", and "Var. Highs", "Var. Mids". Control over Attack, Tone & Dynamic Range, Reverb and Release, as well as panning of individual "stops" makes this a particularly usable and functional interface, that allows a lot of control and flexibility in getting what you want from the instrument. I would love to see the Mod Wheel mapped to something by default, probably Tone. I feel like I've gotten sounds ranging from "1970's Instructional Safety Video" to "Reed Organ" to "80's synthpop" to bordering on "Cathedral Organ" out of this instrument.

    Jake Hendriksen12 October 2021
  • Neat Little Organ

    It has a specific place though because of the way in which it was recorded, i.e, it can be hard to mix with other instruments. Despite this it sounds amazing and plays fantastically. It is quite noisy but I wouldn't have it any other way as that is what adds life to it. Really like it, well done! :D

    Nidal B12 October 2021