Plugin Review: Massey VST Tapehead


TapeHead VSTIf you’re a regular subscriber to Cobalt Audio, you will know that we love doing Massey plugin reviews simply because their plugins sound great and are so useable. So you can understand how excited we are to announce that they are releasing a range of VST plugins!

Up until now Massey have exclusively written RTAS plugins for Pro Tools, but they will be rolling out vst versions throughout the year. That means that if your DAW can run VST plugins, you need to go and try Tapehead out!


The first plugin to be released as a VST is the Tapehead Saturator.

Tapehead is right in line with Massey’s track record. It’s dead simple to use, it sounds great and as always it’s free to demo for as long as you like!


There are only three controls on the plugin interface; Drive, Trim and a three-stage Normal / Bright switch, all of which do exactly what they say.

The trial version of Tapehead will only work as a mono plugin, but if you upgrade to the full licensed version then it will be available in stereo too.


Tapehead works best when you want to use just a bit of it. For example on vocals, it’s really easy to add just enough grit without it sounding clipped or distorted, which is surprisingly rare in saturation plugins. But as good as tapehead sounds on vocals, it comes into its own on drums.
Again, you don’t need to do much with it, put it across a drum mix and set it to Bright. With just a little drive, you will notice the drum sound as a whole get chunkier and will sound more present in your mix without the overall tone changing all that much.

I strongly suggest you give it a go, and if you like it as much as we do then consider getting the full version which will add a few extra features like stereo support, automation and save+recall functionality.

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