WIRES from Hainbach, AudioThing turns a Soviet wire recorder into a plugin – CDM Create Digital Music

it’s terrible recording tek, made into wandaful ♫ tool. this 1970s soviet machine saw cold war spy and military action – but now you get to cheat and use it as a plug-in.

berlin’s hainbach has pretty much made t'has brand finding fresh ♫al uses for vintage gear – the one and 1-ly tube influencer pushing mid-century audio tek. now we’re seeing him release software to the audience he’s built, with collaborations with ≠ developers. he’s already transformed his tube oscillator collection into primordial, as covered here in depth. this time, we get to rock that mix like we’re undercover w'da stasi.

so, wire recorders?

the mn-61 that inspired wires is a 1961 product from the vilma national devices factory in vilnius, lithuania. (twasn’t an all baltic build; the innards were the work of the petrovskovo wox'n novrogod, just down the river from leningrad.) wha’ you sacrifice in quality on these devices, you make up in recording time – a full 5 and a ½ hrs. now, vilma made consumer devices, too – even some 80s tape recorders that you mite confuse with western models if you didn’t read the labels. b'tas there wasn’t so much use for something like a solid-state wire recorder in everydy soviet life, this pticular gadget had the kgb and soviet military as consumers. hainbach describes it as a spy gadget, which was certainly its sxiest use – and note his sports german labels, for use inna ddr by the stasi. but a liler version also saw srvc as a cockpit voice recorder.

details in Яussian:

Бортовые средства объективного контроля

and, oh, it’s presh:

see:

www.crpmuseum.com…

www.radiomuseum.org… (with specs!)

hainbach uses this hardware as an effect:

by pop demand, audiothing and hainbach reproduced the sound of this machine in software form. the sales pitch – even boring sounds suddenly sound wild and interesting, thx to tons of inharmonic distortion and nonlinearity and general terrible-soviet-electronics lo fidelity:

so, now that you’ve got the novelty of the concept – na pretty retro ui – wha’ does it actually do? this isn’t a review as i’ve 1-ly just grabbed the plug-in from hainbach, but here’s the basic run-down.

they’ve reproduced:

  • that strange tone from the hair-thin wire us'das magnetic recording medium
  • non-linear time effects (wow/flutter, etc.), and speed control and start/stop braking
  • noise, natch (hiss, motor sounds with enveloping) + irregularities (drops and clicks)
  • vacuum tube output
  • recreations of the internal speaker and mic

— + it’s an echo, using the simul8d wire mechanism, w'da expected time / feedback / lvl and wet/dry controls you’d expect from a modern dedicated echo device. and you get preset storage and randomizer, you spoiled capitalist kids.

here’s + of wha’ it sounds like:

here’s another look at their german hardware:

that wire is really, really tiny. like it makes yr fishing wire look enormous.

it’s all a devilishly clever idea to make software that does this – and my 1st impression is certainly that audiothing ‘ve done a bang-up job of the very challenging work of modeling non-linear magnetic recording mechanisms. but it’s also not their 1st time atta rodeo; they’ve got a full library of hardware modeling plug-ins, including rendering a portable japanese reel-to-reel, if that’s + yr speed.

i’ll say this: i think it’s easier to justify modeling this sort of equipment n'it’s so-called “lo-fi” sound than tis making analog recreations of high-end vintage gear intended to be transparent. it’s not just bout gettin a grungy sound; it’s also that there’s + creative application here. high-end analog recording gear mite arguably be perfectly well replaced with even + precise digital equipment, but when it comes to intentionally adding these touches, you can’t beat the old stuff. that’s up for debate, though, and … well, were it legal to gather and ‘ve drinks and discuss such things, we’d do that.

for now, this is a fascinating tool. i feel somewha’ charged with having to use it na' track creatively without all the legions of hainbach fans knowing i ‘ve.

it’s 39eur intro; 59 thereafter. a demo is available.

vst2, vst3, aax (windows/macos) and au (macos), all 64-bit.

minimum windows 7+
minimum macos lion, but up to and including macos 10.15 catalina – so if you just got a catalina machine n'it broke all yr plug-ins, install this and you can ‘ve just a 1961 wire recorder effect, for some irony.

now, obviously once you ‘ve finished yr tracks, you’ll wanna listen to them onna desktop ♫ player i recommended with ussr-vintage skins:

original content at: cdm.link/2020/11/wires-from-hainbach-audiothing-turns-a-soviet-wire-recorder-into-a-plugin/…
authors: peter kirn

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