Meet Wow Control: a new audio plugin entirely focused on the weird & wild ~modulations~ of analog tape and other less-than-perfect analog playback devices. In developing Wow Control, we set out to accurately capture the essence of three tape machines spanning three decades: every noise, every wobble, & every harmonic. The plugin that has resulted is the most comprehensive analog tape model we’ve ever heard.
Wow Control expands and improves upon the wow & flutter section from the classic Vulf Compressor — bringing more expressive shape controls, beat-syncing, and an extensive randomization section — available in the expanded Advanced controls — for creating complex and unpredictable modulation effects.
At its extreme settings, it will bend and distort anything that it touches. Used gently, however, it can breathe a little life or movement into individual mix elements or bring color and richness to an entire master. Case in point: Wow Control was used on almost every master of Vulfpeck’s The Beautiful Game.
You can keep your trusty 424 around if you want, but you no longer need to if you own a copy of Wow Control.
Anyone who’s put on a warped record has heard their music bend and wobble as it moves unevenly under the stylus. Similarly, if a tape player reel, capstan, or pinch-roller doesn’t spin smoothly (or isn’t perfectly round) the tape will speed up and slow down under the repro head. The speed of this movement directly correlates with the pitch of the audio: moving the media too quickly sounds high pitched, while moving it too slowly sounds low pitched. These continuous pitch changes, exhibited by all turntables and tape machines (to some degree), are called wow & flutter.
One of Wow Control’s coolest features is the ability to double — and even triple — sounds in interesting ways. Consider this drum loop, played on a drum machine. It’s from the Funklet.
Now what if we select the “Two Diff Drummers” preset on Wow Control? Here’s the result — two different drum machines, one in each ear. Or go for Three Diff Drummers — that one includes some randomization of the wow’s speed, meaning the pitch goes up and down, all of its own accord.
Want to go wilder? Crank the “Amount Multiplier” to 64x and see what happens. But remember it’s random, so if you bounce that sample again, you’ll get something different. What if you crank the multiplier to 128x and all the analog controls to 200%?