The Tape Loop Course - A Four Track Tape Tutorial

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Layering, distortion, saturation, tape speed, instability - tape machines aren’t just for ambient music or lofi beats.

This course offers a hands-on introduction to the world of tape loops and four track tape machines, from getting started to sketching ideas to mixing your tape creations in a DAW. It features 9 sections, each with a short video tutorial and assignment explaining where to start and how to get creative quickly.

(There's a preview video above, if you hit the )

The sections:

  • Getting Started - making a tape loop, tape machine signal flow, and functions
  • Gain Staging and Tone Shaping - noise, EQ, distortion, tape speed, and more
  • Tape Loop Ideas #1 - The four chord cliche
  • Tape Loop Ideas #2 - Layering chords
  • Long Tape Loops - Looping beyond the cassette casing
  • Tape Loop Ideas #3 - Layering melodies
  • Record Arm - Using the punch-in function creatively
  • EQ - How to work with tape sound in a DAW
  • Compression - Using dynamic plug-ins with tape sound

The course distills what I've learned in my years of creating music with tape into a concise collections of ideas and starting points. Each video explains the concepts covered and shows them being done in real time - from conception to music making.

While the course does focus on a tape loop oriented approach, it can be just as applicable to more generalized uses of a four track tape machine. It will provide valuable information for anyone just getting started with their tape machine.

Required materials: a four track tape machine, at least 10 blank cassettes (I use these), and a way to digitally record your creations. All examples in the course’s videos are on a Tascam 424 mki. While the knobs and functions may be slightly different on other four track machines, the vast majority of the information here will apply to any four track tape machine. If you are using a simpler stereo or mono machine, for example a walkman or Marantz PMD, some of what is covered in these classes won’t be accessible to you.

Also, each section includes an assignment and I strongly recommend you do all of them. Following each lesson with hands-on experience is the best way to get the most out of the class.

A bit about me - AKA Tyler Gilmore (he/him) uses degraded tapes and analog synthesizers to create sounds meant more for the body than the mind. In addition to his popular line of tape-oriented sample packs,'s sounds have been sampled on the Ethan Gruska and Bon Iver single ‘So Unimportant' and he has provided remixes for The Cinematic Orchestra, Arthur Moon, and Para One. His collaboration with Spitfire Audio, Tape Synths, is a one-of-its-kind tape-based fully playable instrument. He has released two EPs on Bitbird and a full length album on Puremagnetik. Tyler maintains an aggressively transparent relationship with his fans, sharing the ups and downs of his creative process and has built a 100k+ following across social media platforms.

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9 Videos, 9 PDFs

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The Tape Loop Course - A Four Track Tape Tutorial

5 ratings