Does Fuse’s Tape Machine Measure Up?

Fuse Audio Labs Flywheel is available; a plugin focused on bringing the analog vibes of reel-to-reel tape machines into digital recording and mixing


26 October 2020

Flywheel takes an alternative approach to tape emulation; rather than focusing only on the specifics of one particular machine, this plugin combines all the typical analog characteristics such as saturation, hysteresis, high frequency loss, and head bump in a single, clearly laid out tone-shaping interface. 

Flywheel’s intention is to make digital tracks sound more organic, cohesive, and diversified — making material sound more interesting as a result. Indeed, it makes adding the typical warmth and presence of tape recordings to mixes and masters an easy and enjoyable process. No credit plan, no service tech, no tape salad — just pure analog awesomeness!

As such, a lot of thought has been put into reducing the parameter set, offering plenty of sonic flexibility while maintaining a straightforward user experience: simply dial in the Record Gain, select Tape Speed and Formula, then tweak the results with the Hyst (hysteresis) and HF EQ settings. 

That said, the magnetic sound experience would not be complete without different tape formulas, adjustable wow and flutter, as well as a tape transport controls, all of which are included in Flywheel’s feature set. Rounded off by optional oversampling for improving overall audio quality and Global Link for controlling all instances of the plugin from a single interface, this tape emulation offers everything needed for applying an authentic reel-to-reel polish to all styles of music.

“I got into the music production game when analog recording technology slowly but surely started to get superseded by digital,” says Fuse Audio Labs CEO Reimund Dratwa. “Now, after more than two decades of evolution in digital perfection, super linear converters, and so on, we seem to understand what exactly it is our ears love about analog, and Flywheel is a homage to exactly that.”



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