The folks at AudioThing have created an affordable emulation of the Roland RE 201 Space Echo, an iconic tape echo introduced in 1974. Our resident plugin test-dummy JC Concato has decided to put it through its paces, making it our Plugin of the Week this week. As the original unit, Outer Space features an echo section with three playback heads and a spring reverb tank.
AudioThing have modelled three different tape frequency responses and saturations, along with all the analog imperfections of tape recording/playback. They’ve also modelled the ballistic response of the delay rate which can create eerie pitch shifts, one of the classic tape echo-based sound effects. Used by the likes of King Tubby, The Orb, Bob Marley, Portishead and many more, the Roland RE 201 can be heard on thousands of hit records. It wasn’t just used for straight echo effects, either—by manipulating the tape speed and intensity while signal was present, you could coax a Space Echo into oscillation and pitch shift for some unreal sound effects.
Tune in above to the live stream from 3 pm today as Carly and JC check out AudioThing’s emulation of the classic tape echo.
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