Review: Goldbaby Productions Tape-101

Goldbaby Productions is a household name when it comes to quality drum machine samples.

Goldbaby’s love for tape machines, vinyl and vintage instruments has resulted in a bunch of top notch sample libraries.

Goldbaby Tape-101

With Tape-101, Goldbaby brings yet another collection of sounds treated with some analog tape love. But it’s not a drum machine this time around.

The SH101 is a legendary 80’s analog synth. A small synth with a large sound. It can be warm and phat or nasty and raw. Some say the sound is a cross between a Juno and 303.

So… I have taken this little synth and created a sampled instrument library. Of course I haven’t just sampled the synth naked. Oh no… I had to let the sounds get caressed by tape first!

Analog synth plus analog tape… Mmmm.

Tape-101 includes 1,658 24 bit samples, and over 70 instrument patches for both Kontakt and EXS24 (most of the instruments are multi-samples from every key on the SH-101).

I used the Kontakt version of The Tape-101, which has its instruments divided in 3 folders:

  • Drums & FX, 2 Drum Kits and an FX instrument with wobbles and such.
  • Gold Presets, almost 40 mono- and polyphonic instruments, extended and enhanced with the Kontakt sampler software (the SH-101 is monophonic).
  • Raw Ammo, 35 multi-sampled instruments with little or no software sampler modifications.
Tape-101 in Kontakt
Tape-101 in Kontakt (red HOT!)

The samples are available as .wav files and like the Kontakt instruments they are clearly labeled so you can tell which kind of processing was done.

Goldbaby used the following gear:

  • Otari MX5050 1/4 inch 2 track, recorded normally and HOT.
  • Hitachi Cassette Deck, for some wow & flutter + Dolby C.
  • Boss SE-70, the digital multi-effects processor with an analogue distortion circuit.
  • E-mu E4XT, sampled and processed by this ultra sampler.
  • Akai MPC-60, for some gritty 12bit samples, dirty & phat!
  • A bit of secret extra processing was done on a few instruments (labeled _X) as well.

If you want to get an idea of the type of sounds you will get make sure to check the media player on the Tape-101 product page. Hugo did some lovely demo mp3s.

Tape-101 is available as a download for Kontakt and EXS24 (both formats included) for $49 USD.

So what do I think?

Tape-101 sounds deep, nasty & dirty… in a good way. It appears this synth was actually designed as a strap-on instrument with an optional modulation attachment that stuck out like a guitar neck. Weird, it doesn’t seem like the keytar kind of synth to me at all.

Anyway, there’s a good variety of sounds and they generally sound warm, punchy and fat (or phat if you prefer). Playing some of the instruments I hear the sounds of True Playaz and Dillinja, so I reckon they’re great for drum & bass. The SH-101 is a popular synth so you might also recognize some if its sounds as there are tons of big names who’ve used it (Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, Bjork, Carl Craig, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada to name a few).

Tape-101 is another solid sample library from Goldbaby, highly recommended if you’re looking for some heavy bass and cutting lead sounds for techno, acid, drum & bass, and the likes. Plus you get some lovely drum kits and a bunch of cool LFO effect sounds. What more could you want? (except a real SH-101)

Visit Goldbaby Productions for more information.

  • http://www.loopyc.com Loopy C

    Ahem brother, nice review ;-)

    As I noted elsewhere, I had the great fun of helping Goldbaby beta these before final release and as a big, BIG fan of his excellent tape+drum catalog he has created, I also highly recommend this new venture into ‘old skool’ secret weapons.

    It’s phat and tasty, a ‘real tape’ tribute to the qualities of the SH-101. In my association with former players of the dub-punk group ‘Sublime’ I saw many a track made ‘golden’ with one of these little beasts. Good stuff (as always) from Mr. Goldbaby :)

  • http://akaimpcblog.com Glenn

    I've been ready about the Goldbaby products for a while now, but haven't actually bought any yet. I don't use either Kontakt or the EXS, so would have to convert the programs.

    This one sounds interesting. My friend had a blue SH101 a long time ago, just like the one on the cover here. A nice little synth.

    I like the list of old gear too. I never knew the Boss SE70 had analog distortion. Makes me want to get back into using some of that old gear. I remember the E-MU ultra samplers too. The auto sampling features were brilliant for the time.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rekkerd ronnie

    It's a great sample library, Glenn. You could also wait and see how you like D16's Shioiter of course, that thing looks amazing. If it sounds as good as it looks it's going to be sweet!

  • http://mpcakai.blogspot.com/ olvus

    As I noted elsewhere, I had the great fun of helping Goldbaby beta these before final release and as a big, BIG fan of his excellent tape+drum catalog he has created, I also highly recommend this new venture into ‘old skool’ secret weapons

  • Ticoune cool

    Did Tape-101 got some basic raw oscillator patch (nothing but the oscillator, filter at off) ?? If so, i’m buying it now !

  • http://rekkerd.org ronnie

    @Ticoune cool, the library includes multi-sampled osc sounds. You could ask Hugo at Goldbaby for details but I’m pretty sure this is what you’re after :-)

  • http://www.goldbaby.co.nz Hugo (Goldbaby)

    Ronnie is correct… The Tape101 includes raw oscillator patches!

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