Nostalgia for the sounds of yesterday has always been a big thing for many people. Whether that's proclaiming about how much better music used to be, buying classic gear, or making retro sounding music. The problem with buying classic gear is that it can either be extremely expensive, hard to find, or unreliable. Sometimes a combination of all three. Fortunately, with today's modern technology, it's never been easier to get that classic retro sound with only a few plugins. The hard part is getting the combination right. Fortunately, Baby Audio has just the thing for you. They recently released their Super VHS plugin that combines the essential elements needed to get that retro/lo-fi sound with the press of a button. In this review, we'll be taking a look at the plugin and how you can use it in your music. But first, check out the audio demos below for context.
What is it?
Super VHS is a multi-fx plugin that combines 6 different effects into one simple and easy to use interface, or "channel strip". Super VHS provides all the essential tools needed to achieve that retro and lo-fi sounds we all love so much.
Using the different effects, you can add everything from subtle textures to harsh noise. There aren't any other controls other than on/off and dry/wet. The different effects are:
STATIC — Static noise synthesizer
HEAT — ‘Analog tape’ saturator
SHAPE — Sample rate reducer
MAGIC — Dark chorus FX
DRIFT — Pitch fluctuation LFO
WASH — ‘Bad hall’ reverb
+ Internal EQ, bit-crusher and limiter.
I'm a big fan of retro sounds, especially analog gear. I've gotten away from using plugins, at least in terms of synths. FX plugins are a different story, and for some of the sounds I like to create, Super VHS was exactly what I was looking for. I like how simple the plugin is to use. After only a few minutes, I had a decent understanding of what all it could do, and how I could see myself using it. My favorite part is a toss-up between the Magic button and Drift, especially when using it on chords. I didn't find it too useful for drums, but that's mostly because of the style of music I generally make. That's also not to say that I couldn't use it, and maybe one day I will.
While I like that the plugin is so simple and straightforward, I would actually like to have more control over certain parts. One thing I'd also like to see, maybe in an update, is a smoother transition between the levels of reduction on the shape slider. It would also be great to be able to adjust the amount of chorus on the Magic button, as the only way to control the wetness is the overall dry/wet slider which affects the whole plugin.
Overall, I will say that Baby Audio did a great job with the Super VHS. It's fun and easy to use, which is extremely important. I can see users going mental with this thing, which is easy to do, but when used tastefully, this plugin can add that special sauce you've been looking for. For more information, click here.