New Virtual Instrument, 1970s Summer Camp, Offers ‘The Sound of Early 1970s Educational Films’

SampleScience has introduced 1970s Summer Camp, a virtual instrument that they say is modeled after the sound of early 1970s educational films and esoteric movie soundtracks.

Each of the sounds recreates the lo-fi tone of tape-saturated instruments heard in these vintage movies.

In other words – it’s inspired by the sound of Boards of Canada.


  • 34 lo-fi sounds
  • Multi-LFO
  • Room reverb
  • Lowpass/highpass filter
  • Low-CPU usage
  • Amplitude range controls
  • 3 voice modes: polyphonic, monophonic, and legato

Pricing and Availability

1970s Summer Camp is available now as a VST/VST3/AU plugin for Windows and macOS for $30 USD. It’s also available as a Decent Sampler library for iOS, Linux, and Pro Tools users.

24 thoughts on “New Virtual Instrument, 1970s Summer Camp, Offers ‘The Sound of Early 1970s Educational Films’

  1. I guess I must be missing something. What does Boards of Canada have to do with early 70s soundtracks? Were the members even born then?

    1. Boards of Canada take inspiration from things like ’70s synthesized ‘sound logos’ and the sound of early low-budget soundtracks on VHS tape.

      They create a sort of artificial nostalgia by emphasizing all the things that are seen as flaws in recordings of that era – synths that are a little out of tune, tape noise, distortion, warble, etc.

      1. the name “Boards of Canada” refers to the ‘National Film Board of Canada’ where they sourced a bunch of audio samples

      1. So, I guess they technically “were born” by the early 70s. I just guessed that they were probably younger than that.

        1. Boards of Canada sprang up in the early to mid 90s in the UK on indie electronic labels like Skam and Warp

          The golden age of British electronica: Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada, Plaid, Squarepusher, 2 Lone Swordsmen, LFO, Nightmares on Wax… there are too many to name

          And that barely covers just Warp records alone

          Much as I dislike it, It’s where the term IDM originated also – from a compilation of various artists released by Warp

          1. “The golden age of British electronica:”… Also, not to forget Aphex Twin own record label of the same time Rephlex, with Cylob, Global Goon, Bogdan Raczynski, Mike Paradinas, DMX Krew, Luke Vibert ect.

            1. “The golden age of British electronica:”… Also, not to forget The Prodigy, Propellerheads, Goldie, Les Rythmes Digitales, Fatboy Slim, Hardknox, Bentley Rhythm Ace, The Wiseguys, Portishead, Massive Attack, Roni Size & Reprazent, Underworld, Chemical Brothers, Deadly Avenger,
              Mekon, Monkey Mafia, Olive, and Groove Armada.

              Guess it’s all a bit subjective. All artists mentioned above are thumbs up too; just padding gaps. The 90’s artists, though, are very dear to me.

  2. We used to watch biology films from the 60s and 70s with weird, experimental synthesizer music in school, always loved those.

    1. BOC’s music gives me an eerie nostalgia for those things, public tv themes, and the late night horror schlock we’d watch after our parents went to bed.

  3. Why are we spending thousands of dollars on machines and software to make music sound like crap? Go to a pawn shop and get an early 80s Sony TCM-737 Cassette Recorder. $20 bucks.

    1. Good luck finding one, though. For over a decade I’ve been trying to find a reel-reel deck that will will run at 3.75ips using 1/4″ tape. I have old reel tapes that go back as far as 1965 (my 5th grade class musical) on 1/4″ mono tape at 3.75ips, and a whole slew of stuff from the 70s that I recorded on stereo 1/4 track at 3.75ips. Still looking!

      1. Why not record it to digital at the wrong speed, then pitch it afterwards? If that’s the only way you’re going to get to hear it again.

        1. In order to play back a tape, you need a machine to play it back on. I haven’t had a 1/4″ RtR deck of any kind around since 1987 (Tascam 40-4). I suppose I could look for one of those, but because it is considered “Vintage Pro Audio”, it would probably cost a fortune. In the 70s and even into the early 80s, lots of people had “consumer” 1/4″ decks. Those were 1/4-track 1/4″ machines. and most of them recorded/played at 1.875, 3.75, and 7.5 ips and accepted 5″ or 7″ tape reels (which would be ideal, considering what I made the recordings on). If I was likely to find anything I could afford, it would probably be one of them.

      2. John try to find an old Wollensak tape machine. They’re still cheap used and working and are mono at 3.75 and 7.5 with 1/4 tape. Built like tanks too.

        1. Thanks you for the recommendation. I’ll look around and specify them in my search. I would have rather found stereo 1/4 track because most of the stuff I have was recorded on an old Akai with cross-field heads I purchased in 1971. So, I’d rather give up some noise floor by playing the mono recording with stereo heads than give up the stereo image (mostly binaural recordings) by going the other way.

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