SampleScience Releases FREE VHS Noise Generator Lo-Fi Plugin


SampleScience released VHS Noise Generator, a freeware lo-fi plugin that recreates the noise of old video tape recorders.

It’s a good time for lo-fi lovers; we’ve recently had quite a versatile selection of lo-fi-related freebies appear on the scene.

We’ve had the delightfully wild MAIM by Wildergarden Audio and, of course, our very own BPB Dirty VHS plugin.

This time, we’re sticking with the VHS theme thanks to the VHS Noise Generator from SampleScience.

SampleScience has already given us many awesome freebies, with 1960s Piano and Retro Cazio among my favorites.

VHS Noise Generator may differ slightly from previous releases but is still instantly recognizable as a SampleScience release.

The multi-LFO VHS Noise Generator features 26 unique background noises that recreate the golden age of videotape.

The developer captured these sounds using an old VCR and various tapes. The 26 noises represent the sound you’d hear right after inserting a tape and pressing play: the momentary silent (but not quite silent) period before the pictures begin.

Each noise offers a variation of VHS’s defining characteristics/imperfections – like hiss, clicks, pops, and glitches.

Curiosity got the better of me, and after some serious research (one Google search), it seems A History of Violence (2005-2006) was the last major release on VHS. I’m sure you’ll all sleep better knowing that!

The last movie I recall buying on VHS was Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; I’d have been pretty young, but I remember wishing the tape had gotten chewed up before the introduction of Jar Jar Binks.

If you’ve used anything from SampleScience before, the VHS Noise Generator interface should look very familiar.

The top row of controls includes Amplitude ADSR, Sound (Preamp, Glide), Modulation, Amp Range, Filter (highpass/lowpass), and Main(Tune, Volume) sections.

Moving to the lower row, you’ll find some built-in effects, including Distortion, Delay, Chorus, and Reverb. The built-in effects and corresponding adjustable parameters allow you to take one of the 26 featured noise profiles and create something that fits your project perfectly.

VHS Noise Generator is available in 64-bit AU, VST, and VST3 formats for macOS (10.14 upwards) and Windows (8.1/10/11).

VHS Noise Generator is free to download, but you can pay whatever you feel it’s worth, and SampleScience does some great work.

Download: VHS Noise Generator (FREE / Name your price)


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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.


  1. Strictly the noise itself from old VCRS- not melodic or “musical” in the strict sense but it’s pretty cool for lo-fi sound design stuff, whether it be music film etc. especially in tandem with a killer freebie like BPB Dirty VHS

    My only nitpick is that each preset is simply one sound mapped to every key which seems sort of redundant to me- I would really like it if SampleScience made an update with a preset where all 26 different sounds are mapped so they can be accessed simultaneously

    SampleScience is great though, they make fantastic stuff and have many great free plugins

    • I think it’s been done that way to minimize RAM usage. The Maize romplers are loading all the samples in memory, it’s not direct-to-disk.
      Now I guess adding a bonus preset with all the noises available at once wouldn’t be a terrible idea, to test them quickly or for some use-cases.

      • I’m just picturing a situation where maybe I’d like to alternate between the different recordings randomly or select them with the keys in real time- I feel like it would be a nice option; most recording-centric computers shouldn’t have a problem with it

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