Anyone ever get unwanted digital artifacts when using Softube Tape?

I’ve been using Softube Tape for a long time but haven’t encountered this issue before. Whenever it’s active in my signal chain, it introduces digital artifacts in the high frequencies that sound like bit or sample rate reduction. They start at about 3.7 kHz.

Here’s a recording of a filtered synth arp that begins with Tape active, then I deactivate it, then activate it again.

Here’s me doing another on/off comparison but with the artifacts isolated.

Definitely not normal. Any ideas?

Are you running your session at 88.2k or higher?

Human hearing caps out at 20khz. Impossible to hear anything at 37 khz.

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lol oops, typo

I wasn’t before, but now I’ve tested it at 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96. The issue persists in all cases.

3.7 makes more sense :slight_smile:

I haven’t used this particular Softube plug but I have their Modular vst and a few other things by them. Haven’t had any issues really.

Are you experiencing any other audio dropouts? Are these heavy sessions on your CPU? Or is this happening on sessions with just a single track too?

What OS / DAW are you using?

I’m in Ableton 11 on Mac OS High Sierra. As far as I can tell it happens regardless of what else is going on in the project. The recordings I made and the testing I’ve done have been in projects set up for that purpose, with just an instance of Ableton’s Analog synth as a test sound source and then Tape and Pro-Q 3.

Have you tried it in Ableton 10? I’ve had a lot of issues in 11 with things that work smoothly in 10.

I don’t have 10 but I just tested in 9 and had the same issue. Very strange. I’ve opened a support ticket with Softube, hopefully they’ll have answers.

I have also noticed that the artifact changes as I adjust the speed stability setting in Tape. This is the only setting in Tape that seems to affect the issue, so I figure it’s related to that feature somehow.

The representative I’ve been speaking to at Softube claims to not hear a difference or an issue in my A/B test recordings, which I’m not sure I buy. The bitcrusher-style ringing in this file and this file I sent them is pretty clear and obvious to me, and not something the plugin should be doing.

I’ve set up this Live set with a test tone coming from Operator that isolates the artifact and shows how it changes when Tape’s speed stability parameter is modulated. If anyone has a moment of time and uses Live and Tape (or is willing to install Tape’s free trial), I’d greatly appreciate it if you could record this test for me to get a comparison with another instance of it running on another machine. Thank you!