A tape stop effect is an effect which emulates the slowing down and pitching down of the audio when a tape machines playback is stopped. When tape machines stop playback the tape is not sudden frozen in its current position. The motors gradually slow down to a full stop thus the audio on the tape is slowed down gradually to a halt. This gradual slowing down creates a pitching down effect as the playback speed is slowed down. Check out the audio clip below to hear the effect at the end of the clip.

In this tutorial we will be working in Pro Tools and using an eight-bar loop and adding a tape stop effect on the last two bars to end the track. Here is the track before processing.

How to Make The Tape Stop Effect in Pro Tools

Step 1 Firstly split the clip to create a section which you would like the tape stop effect to begin. We will only be processing this portion of the track. In this example we are splitting the last two bars of the track.

Step 2 Select the clip to be processed and select Vari-Fi from the AudioSuite menu. The Vari-Fi audiosuite is listed under Pitch Shift. AudioSuites are offline effects that process an audio clip and creates a new audio file for use in the session.

Step 3 Set Vari-Fi to the settings in the image below. This will be used for creating an effect of a tape machine stopping. If you would like to create an effect of the tape machine spinning up you can set Change to Speed Up and process the beginning of your track instead. You have now created your tape stop effect.

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