DAW Cassette – Klevgrand Brings Back the Grit

This week we want to share with you Klevgrand’s new plugin, DAW Cassette. DAW Cassette is a cassette tape emulation software that can immediately bring you back to the late 80’s/early 90’s for that classic sound only found on cassette. We played around with the plugin and it was extremely impressive, and we’re not being too generous, this was one of the coolest plugins we’ve reviewed in a while. Read our review then below that read an interview we had with the developers of DAW Cassette from Klevgrand.

The interface is fun and easy to experiment with using the 6 buttons and 6 knobs to control each parameter. From left to right you have control over the Tape Quality, Head Quality, and Motor Quality, Input Gain, Output Gain, and finally a Dry/Wet Mix. The buttons available can alter the tape’s materials from Normal, Metal, or Chrome. Then you can choose how much noise to introduce into the signal from High, Low, or Off. Two VU meters can be seen in the upper right corner to reflect the stereo output of the signal.

Messing with the quality knobs is where this plugin really adds its unique touch. There are an endless amount of combinations that can be made with these three knobs that will warrant sound design results of your nightmares or your dreams. The range here is incredible. You can, of course, aim to actually emulate your favorite tape sound from history but if you’re someone to play and play until you’ve found a sound never heard before then look no further than DAW Cassette. Its parameters add a classic warmth and wobble to the mix, dialing in the exact tone you desire can be done, but finding exactly what you want with all the possibilities may throw you for a loop (not a bad thing). Klevgrand said it best,

“DAW Cassette brings back the magic era of the 1980’s by emulating the sound of a tape deck. Saturation, distortion, noise, wobble, it’s all there. While there’s no real rational logic to it, the sound color gives us chills down the spines, (or it might be the mullet haircut that tickles). Fresh.”


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When did you/your team start developing music software?
It started around 2012 when we worked on a music engine for interactive apps and sites. Some of the audio processing stuff in there sounded nice and we decided to develop a plugin of a distortion algorithm we liked. That became our first plugin ”SquashIt – Multiband Distortion”, and from there we just kept on working on new ideas for plugins…
Are any of you music producers in addition to developers, if so, any advice for young developers and/or music producers?
All of the Klevgränd staff has a music producer/musician background, and most of us are still working with music production on a professional level. The best advice I can give is to make sure you’re enjoying doing what you do and trust your ears. Becoming a decent developer (or musician) requires a lot of hard work, but it can be fun at the same time. It goes for anything creative I guess.
What inspired this specific plugin?
We’ve been working on an algorithm for emulating analog amplification, and our lead dev started measuring audio signals from an old Tape Cassette Deck he had lying around. As a proof of concept, he made a prototype plugin of the algorithms and sent over to a couple of personal friends for feedback. One of his friends, who is a web developer, started to make a web version out of this which ended up as WebCassette. Klevgränd shared the link and discovered that a lot of users wanted a plugin version. We really didn’t plan to make a plugin version of this before that, but after all that response, we just had to make one.
Klevgrand has all sorts of projects going on, how do you find the time?
The development team consists of two developers, one all-around guy handling web/making the promotional assets etc and a CEO who’s responsible for the business part. Our music- and film production team are helping out a lot with graphics/filming etc and sometimes we’re using our network of consultants and freelancers when we don’t have the time ourselves.
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Check out DAW Cassette in this video below:
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