Baby Audio Pitch Drift - Make your music sound like it came from a 1980s VHS tape (Review)
A review of Pitch Drift - a free plugin from BABY Audio.
Infuse your music with the kaleidoscopic qualities of the world of 1980s VHS tapes. With just a touch of this plugin, your music is immediately infused with the feeling of a memory, of childhood, of longing - a deeply human quality that can, at times, get slightly drowned out when working within the digital realm. Demos of this plugin are included in the review - enjoy!
About Pitch Drift
Price: Free / Download
Pitch Drift is a new plugin from BABY Audio, which introduces pitch fluctuations to your music and sounds, in order to make them feel more alive and organic. This was done in order to emulate the imperfections of acoustic music; as there is rarely a perfect sound in this realm of sound (it is in these subtle variations where the human element lives, and this characteristic contributes significantly to how music induces emotional responses in us) - this plugin allows you to introduce this into the digital realm.
This is powered by the Drift algorithm found in their Super VHS plugin (a 1980’s retro color plugin), which makes your music sound like it was taken from a kaleidoscopic 1980’s VHS tape.
As strings are the instrument group that induce the strongest emotional response in me, I decided to put this to the test on these first. There are two controls on display on the main user interface; one being ‘Amount’(the controller on the bottom), the other being ‘Speed’ (which is controlled in the screen section - see figure 1). However, there are a few more controls available when you hit the middle arrow see figure 2).
Once Pitch Drift drift is added, the effect is noticeable immediately. Even with just the ‘Amount’ control set to 1 or 2, there are noticeable fluctuations and wobbles, adding a beautifully warm character to the instrument. The pitch fluctuations get more intense as you raise the speed and amount, so adjust to whatever your desired sound is. I have included examples below (I recommend the third one, as I introduce a little Crystalline reverb to the send, and it really works well)
AFTER (WITH REVERB)
I also tested this out on an electric piano sound, and the results were divine. I used a little more on these (I pushed the amount to about 50), the effect having a warm, nostalgic feeling on the piano chords; one that captures the mystery of night-fall, when the smoke is the air, and you feel like you can do, or be, anything and anyone.
It can be easy to forget when working in the digital realm, how important imperfections are to the character, and overall world your music creates. With just a touch of this plugin, the instruments were immediately drenched with the quality of a memory, of nostalgia, of mystery; of some human element that draws us to art in the first place, something that can, at times, get drowned out when under pressure to get things done, or making sure that everything sounds absolutely pristine (which, to be honest, is never as interesting). This is a hugely powerful plugin, and it is completely free, and can subtly enhance the emotional qualities of your music, or shift them to another time and dimension entirely.
100% worth it - go on, you deserve it.
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