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.



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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Lo-fi noisy and dirty

    Very wobbly and glitchy lo-fi kind of sound. I love it

    Jim Sanger16 October 2021
  • Very Fragile

    It sounds very fragile. It can add instantly nostalgia in your track, with the characteristic tape noises and the hight filter. Love it.

    Oathr12 October 2021