- 48 total loops arranged onto 12 virtual Cassettes for use in Portatron
- Not bound to any tempo*
- Long evolving atmospheres, epic leads, melodic and static drones
*please be advised that tape and tape loops by nature contain noise, pops, and the occasional clicks. These anomalies or what some might consider errors are what makes tape loops organic and "real". For more information please see below.
The immortal 4 track, the prize of bedroom producers and enduring muse of lo-fi aficionados, has once again been brought into focus in unique form. Sans Fin is a collection of 12 original 4 track tape loop sessions, played on the 4 track like an instrument, affected and recorded to set the backdrop for your next prolific production.
Each Sans Fin session is fueled by an analog synth performance recorded in four parts to our vintage 4 track machine. Through real-time adjustment of guitar pedal effects, filters, level controls, etc during playback, we brought each session to life, routing in a tasteful array of outboard grit and external ambient effects. The result is a seamless, unending loop with endless potential for producers in search of a sonic drape on which to hang a melody, or an emotive texture with which to build a movement.
These 12 sessions cover a ton of sonic ground, exploring expanding atmospheres, droning chord builds, and suspenseful shadows. Some loops (minimum of 45 seconds in length) set a reliable contour for a melodic overlay, perfect for live performance, studio textures, and gaming terrain. Producers will find endless inspiration in the longer designs of this collection, those 1 to 2 minute evolving, dynamic silhouettes that beg artistic or commercial limelight. Expanding further, each of the 12 sessions include 5 other sonically esthetic iterations: hi and normal speed versions of high pitch, normal pitch, and low pitch settings on the 4 track for a total of 24 loops per session.
This is the first set of four Sans Fin collections, each slightly varied in disposition and unique in character. In addition to digital download, this collection is offered granular-ready on microSD and download for Morphagene. We’re also releasing a limited run on cassette for our tape-loving fans to add their own multichannel finesse and saturated expression, making these unique sessions absolutely incomparable.
Sans Fin - for Portatron
- Compatible with Robotic Bean’s Portatron
- Consists of 48+ loops arranged onto 12 Cassettes
- Long evolving atmospheres, epic leads, melodic and static drones
- Wide variety of keys
I understand you consider these San Fin collections among your best work. What initially inspired you to pursue this project?
I was fascinated with what experimental musicians like Alessandro Cortini were doing with 4 track Portastudios. The way Cortini creates soundscapes to run through the 4 track and plays it like an instrument is really interesting. You end up with a very cool backtrack that you can put a melody or riff on top of and the whole thing just sounds so full.
My thought was to create a variety of fresh tracks and convert them to a digital format. I mean, not a lot of people are going to go out and get a 4 track recorder, and this would be accessible to producers and composers right out of the box. You’ve got tons of lofi palettes to work with without having to mix it on your own.
Seems like you have a certain audience you’re hoping will pick up on this?
Sans Fin is like other SonalSystem collections in that it really works for every imaginable genre. I always love to hear from users who tell me how they utilize our different packages in ways I would never have thought of.
Of course, I had musicians in mind when creating Sans Fin!, these sessions and sounds are going to sound awesome for bands or solo artists who want to introduce lo-fi textures and elements into their productions.
I expect movie makers will find the most to work with in this collection though. These loops just beg to be put in a cinematic soundtrack, and I think composers will use them with their thematic melodies to build powerful scenes. Because they are not time based, these sessions do as well behind a chase scene as they do a soliloquy.
What do you mean Sans Fin isn’t time based?
Right, actually one of the coolest things about this collection is that the loops are not time stretched and they are not bound to any tempo. There’s no BPM time signature embedded, so they roll along in a way that you could put a 65 BPM melody on top of the session or a 140 BPM synth arpeggio and both would sound great. It’s not like the track has a start or stop though--every track is a never ending seamless loop exactly as a tape loop.
How exactly did you achieve the sounds of Sans Fin?
It was really important to keep a pure signal flow during the recording process. I started with analog synths and ran those sounds through some great effects pedals I have here. I ended up with some stellar tones, and put it all through a pair of Neve preamps and vintage LA-2A compressors. That’s how I ended up with the track I call the “source file.”
Then I recorded the source files to a tape loop on the 4 track. After having them on tape I re-recorded them at 24bit/96kHz 6 different ways, based on different settings on the 4 track (Normal Speed - pitch up, pitch normal, pitch down / High Speed - pitch up, pitch normal, pitch down). There’s so much to tweak, I couldn’t decide on just one setting, but all of the different iterations have this nice lo-fi tape sound that comes from the sound on sound recording. I’m partial to the normal speed files...I want to live in that slowed down gritty sound.
The tape saturation and grittines comes from the multiple overdubs from the cassette player aka sound on sound recording. I used specially spliced tapes that I let record over themselves, each time getting a thicker and sometimes noisier sound. First, I worked with 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 second cassettes. I also had some 1 and 2 minute tapes, which let the session evolve a little more before repeating. When each source file loop gets overdubbed, you can hear the sound quality change. I purposely left in the clicks and pops, as they give the loop a lot of character.
So this is just the first of 2 Sans Fin collections?
Yes! I’m working on new sessions for the second volume right now and am excited about the direction these are taking. Producers who love this first volume can look forward to equally inspiring sounds in the coming collections. This is the most fun I’ve had in sound design in a long time, and I know people are really going to do amazing things with this.