Dictaphone Loop Synth

A synthesiser through home-made microcassette tape loops. What's not to love?

The story

As the name suggests, this library was created by recording a synthesiser onto home-made microcassette tape loops. Splicing these tiny tapes is fiddly work, and the results are distorted, wobbly, noisy recordings with a crushed bandwidth and frequent drop-outs. They were perfect. As soon as I heard them I was blown away, and when I shared my first experiments on twitter, Pianobook veteran Angus Roberts-Carey immediately replied “sample it!”

Here is the result, a couple of patches using the dry samples, and a couple of patches turned into pads with the help of Valhalla Supermassive.

I hope that you find these ghostly sounds inspiring, or at least somehow useful.


Reviews for Dictaphone Loop Synth

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • The perfect tape-inspired instrument

    Hands down, this is GORGEOUS. Extremely well done, beautiful textures and sounds, perfect design, awesome and handy options provided, and an instant favourite. Well done, and thank you!

    Alex Raptakis30 October 2021
  • The Great Crime Tension Sound...

    ... I used it a lot in filmscoring and it's always instant tension-building and a great fit. Thanks so much Peter for sharing this!!!

    Isola Music02 April 2022
  • The best of tape based virtual instruments...

    In what you think would be quite a limiting library is actually one of the most playable and well programmed instruments on Pianobook. Included is a full range of ADSR control, filter and reverb. The supermassive and supermassive stretch patches are absolutely heavenly, especially in the mid to upper register. I can't get enough of it! It really shouldn't be free.

    R.Treves19 October 2021
  • My Fave Pianobook Sample Pack Of 2021


    Because the minute I started playing it I created the theme for a big picture I worked on this year called "Unwelcome". This is what pianobook is about, dive into it, pull something out.... and what do you get? An entire score.

    Lo-fi, tapey, warbly gorgeousness that reeks of a story. There is nothing contrived about this, like when a commercial dev makes "lo fi" sounds. This is proper Blue Peter / Edward Heath, playing with a sonic chemistry set.


    C. x

    Christian Henson24 December 2021
  • Almost magical...

    If you're looking for a lo-fi synth sound for your mix then look no further, because these samples are perfect. It's rare that I find an instrument that sounds good and is usable right out of the box, but this happened to be one of those. I'll be entirely honest that I don't particularly enjoy listening to lo-fi or more contemporary electronic music, but this library made me want to go and write some! Absolutely fantastic work!

    Christopher20 October 2021
Log in to leave a review