New Plugin, ‘Wires’, Emulates Cold War Era Soviet Wire Recorder

AudioThing, in collaboration with German synthesist Hainbach, has introduced Wires, a new audio effect that emulates a 70’s Soviet wire recorder.

“Made originally for military and secret service use across the Iron Curtain, in the hands of a few avant garde musicians it became a magical lofi-tool and ghostly echo machine. Now this rare and rather finicky to operate piece of hardware is available for the first time as a faithful yet modern plugin. Transform your audio to the world of numbers stations and secret operations, dub out to very unusual echoes or make the most lofi beats to study too.

We took great care to get all the idiosyncratic behavior exactly right – it reacts dynamically to the input and does stuff to audio that is a completely different texture to magnetic tape. There is a special tone to the hair-thin wire and the vacuum tube output stage of this machine, unheard of anywhere else. The standard way to make a unit such as this music is to put it on an aux channel of a mixer, to turn it into a fixed tempo echo. We offer all the variable time features you want, as well as the option to switch off the rather high noise floor of this machine without sacrificing the rather alive sound.”


  • Magnetic Wire Emulation
  • Echo Section
  • Original Speaker and Mic Emulation
  • Start and Stop effects
  • Hiss and Motor noise with Envelope
  • Resizable Window
  • Preset system with randomizer

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability:

Wires is available now for Mac & Windows, with an intro price of 39 Euro (normally 49 Euro).

5 thoughts on “New Plugin, ‘Wires’, Emulates Cold War Era Soviet Wire Recorder

  1. There were wire recorders in the US as well. They were mostly used to record things like speeches (music sounded bad on them). Any idea how Russian ones differed?

    1. The US-made ones sounded pretty good and had lower noise levels than tape. Even Sears sold them. Wire can’t reasonably be made stereo or multitrack. Wire’s advantage is much longer recording times and/or extremely smaller device sizes. Wire spools can fit in something quite tiny, so it’s great for espionage. Why the Soviet ones had such interesting distortion characteristics isn’t clear.

    2. This plugin looks like it’s based on the VILMA MN-61 wire recorder that was used by the KGB and military for recording voice communications (radio, phone). Not a household device and definitely not hi-fi.

  2. Perfect marriage – the gentle genius of Hainbach with the stellar technical prowess & keen pricing of Audio Thing. Despite tight finances an immediate buy. Really delivers, thank you.

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