Handsomeaudio Zulu

Thanks for the free commercial

Ill print some examples doing that today!
TB303 loops work? 808 loops? Feel free to upload something youd like me to process.


Send me a dry clip and a processed clip that gets the sound you want. Zulu has hundreds of settings and configurations.

Better yet post those clips and Ill grab em and smack em up!

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Cool, thanks. It’s kind of moot for me at the moment tho, skint and pretty happy with my current options. But keeping an eye on it and maybe grab one next year sometime after user reviews appear. Seems promising tho, great job :slight_smile:

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The phenomenon of the tape heads interacting with the electronics and the tape are an integral part of our design. We use some off the grid techniques with transformers and other passive components to attain very complex harmonic interaction between not only the amplitude of a signal but also the transfer of energy during the process. Harmonics are not generated in a static way, but rather organically because we use very basic methods of handling impedance.
Bufferering can oftentimes minimize the parasitic interaction between interconnected circuits, but in a tape machine these complex interactions are allowed to transpire for the most part undeterred. So our design leaves our discrete circuits directly coupled, allowing them to directly pull on each other, as well as feed back into each other to create our tape emulation

Our input section generates a pre emphasis boost that is laden with harmonics. This signal is then taken directly into the tape process which acts more like a dynamic filter with a tilt circuit than your traditional clipper circuit or a compressor.
The Enhance control blends sweetened dry signal with post tape signal but also changes the behavior of each signal as you blend them in different proportions.

The output section is comprised of our tuned output transformers that integrate with the 4 Calibration settings. These settings manipulate the behavior of the entire unit since they directly feedback into the output transformer’s coils along with the tape process circuit as well. This generates harmonics and dynamic interaction that is extremely sensitive to frequency and dynamic content.

To my knowledge Zulu is unique in its use of passive technology to accomplish these results. And while Ive tried to explain how it works, I can’t fully disclose all the goodies. Trade secrets and all that :slight_smile:



Thanks for the tech info. A lot of its over my head but sounds like youre doing something interesting/new to mimic the tape sound. If you’ve nailed it I’m sure I’ll look at it properly at some point when Im not so broke. Good luck with release :slight_smile:


The main point is you’re not going to achieve the same thing with digital emulations. If this isn’t something you desire enough to pay for is up to you. This is an entirely new way of emulating tape. The Sound Skulptor I used to own (which costed almost twice as much) used an inductor in its attempt to emulate tape. It sounded neat, and somewhat tape-like, but the Zulu is focused on more accurately reproducing the unique compression effects of tape; something a lot of tape emulations fail to do.

I think it’s necessary to be somewhat familiar with what’s going on with the actual physical components of the Zulu before saying things like a Deco will do the same thing. I don’t see how it can.

Eh? If a soft synth like Diva can mimic the behavior of a synth/s to a point where anyone with ears says ‘yeah, that’s damn close, definitely useable in its own right’, then why can’t the sound of a tape deck theoretically be just as accurately mimic’d? If it isnt already… (to my ears it’s approx 95% there on the following…)

Sly-Fi Kaya
U-he satin
Slate virtual tape
Klanghelm sdrr
Fabfilter saturn

Have you even tried these options?

If you cant get a realistic tape vibe by using one/combinations of the above I’d be surprised. And this is coming from someone that is pretty obsessed with tape sounds…

Just cos the guy explained what’s happening under the hood that doesn’t make it proven to be any better than other current modelling methods. All down to how it sounds. Proof is in the pudding. This pudding has new ingredients, people are gonna have to taste it first…

FWIW I hope as much as you do that these dudes have figured a way to fully nail tape and wish them luck. No one is gonna build affordable new machines so it’s a pretty big deal…

idk I can’t really argue with whatever is effective for any given person. I feel compelled to have certain analog synths, hardware digital synths, digital effects, and analog processors. I haven’t found anything digital that’s able to emulate the effect of transformers. I can appreciate the difference between a good hardware SSL comp with 2181X VCA’s as opposed to a plugin. Analog distortion is great in all its wondrous forms; I also like the distortion algorithm on my Nord A1, which doesn’t sound analog to me, but I find really cool. You’ll be able to convince yourself you don’t want a piece of gear, but you won’t be able to convince someone that’s not looking to be convinced.


OK, by that rationale you should go buy a real tape deck…

I’m not trying to convince myself not to buy something. I need TO BE CONVINCED. which is otherwise known as common sense…

I don’t ONLY use plugins/digital, I have analog synths/distortions etc, AK, Dom1, ms20 a couple grand of pedals, an re201, various preamps, guitar amps etc. I don’t cry when I use Diva, sometimes I prefer it. Analog/hardware elitism is increasingly yawn/old thinking… No one outside of gear forums will hear the difference these days. And will cost you a bomb. + for things like tape sims it can potentially mean running a ton of stuff out/back in from a daw mix session if you only have one hardware channel of it. Right now I’m pretty happy to make a basically inaudible compromise here and there and just get on with it with what I have in the tape/distortion area until something comes along that 100% nails it…

No, you can’t come to that rationalization. I have a nice Nakamichi deck, but you have to record audio to get the tape effect with it. The Zulu can be strapped across my A1R to process its audio live, and that’s really appealing to me. All the tone changing options are appealing as well; it seems it would be really handy to have.

Yeah, but that’s really an entirely different discussion not appropriate for this thread.

have you even tried all those plugins I mentioned? You’re often quick to blurt out ‘how can anyone make a comment without having first hand experience’…

I use to use Scream, I’ve used the Deco, heard demos of Slate, and Satin; have owned the Sound Skulptor, heard a lot of demos of the Portico unit, and like using cassette tapes.

So that’s a no…

Check em out. Free to demo. Cheap to buy.

If you like cassette you’re insane not to buy Sly-Fi Kaya. Won’t be any use for shows unless you run through a computer but useful for sure in studio. Beats running 40 tracks separately back out to a cassette and back…

You can’t make judgements on what digital is capable without at least trialling the best of the current bunch for yourself…

Not saying they are better or even equal to this new box coming out, guess we’ll find out. it just bugged me when you said there’s no way digital can do anything like this pedal does because of the components inside it…

If you really like the sound of tape …
and if you don’t want to record it first…
Buy a decent tape-deck with three heads and use the tape monitor function.


We actually simulated that as well in Zulu. There’s an electronics only bypass setting where you can skip the magnetic tape simulation and just get the result of routing signal into the transformers and the equalization circuitry.



That’s not the same thing tho right? 3-head deck using the monitor function gives you the sound back off the tape. Just slightly delayed, from the gap between heads.

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You’re mentioning of Scream from Reason in this conversation kinda says it all. Very dated plugin. Trying to do you a favour saying check out recent stuff like I mentioned first hand. I love Scream but its digital as hell. The best new digital stuff is way more legit sounding… Free to demo, can’t lose…

I was referring to input monitor mode. Not repro mode :grin:
Repro mode for Zulu is going to be the other settings on the Deck control but without the delay from the gap between the heads.