- Delay TAPE-201
- Audio Unit, AAX, VST2 or VST3 plugin (64-bit only)
- macOS 10.10 or later
Delay TAPE-201 by Arturia is a VST (Virtual Studio Technology) Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS. Arturia Delay TAPE-201 runs as a VST Plugin, an AU (Audio Units) Plugin, an VST2 plugin, an VST3 plugin and an AAX Plugin. Arturia Delay TAPE-201 plugin can be used with all major digital audio workstations (DAW) including Live, Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools and others.
Unlike an effect hardware, you’ll load as many instances of Tape-201 as you discover useful. Arturia Delay TAPE-201 has two other big advantages over hardware:
- You’ll automate many of Tape-201 parameters using your DAW’s automation system.
- Your settings and current plug-in state will become recorded in your project, and you’ll devour exactly where you left off subsequent time you open it.
Arturia Delay TAPE-201 is modelled after an iconic and highly sought-after hardware unit Space Echo from the 1970s. Space Echo unit employed a closed loop of tape with several sequential playheads to create lush rhythmic echo effects. More than just a static effect, the hardware could be played like an instrument and would go on to play a central role in music genres like dub and experimental. Arturia’s Tape-201 builds on this legacy by providing you with a realistic recreation of the original hardware Space Echo, while adding new features that modern producers and musicians will appreciate. We are confident that Tape-201 will give you many hours of playing and producing pleasure.
History of tape looping
The use of looping sections of music was originally pioneered in the 1940s by music concrete artist Pierre Schaefer, who used a closed groove phonograph disc to create repeating segments of sound. As magnetic audio tape technology became available, this technique could be replicated by cutting a section of recorded audio tape and splicing the ends to create a continuous loop of tape. This section of looped tape would then be played back to create a looping sound, whose pitch and periodicity could be controlled by changing the speed of the playback machine. Tape looping became more widely used in the 1950s and 1960s by contemporary composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich and Terry Riley, who would often play multiple tape loops of different lengths simultaneously to create patterns and rhythms. By the 1960s, the use of tape loops had also begun to permeate popular music. The effect was heavily used by Jamaican dub music artists, such as King Tubby and Sylvan Morris, and became a distinguishing characteristic of the genre. Tape looping was also used by popular artists, such as the Beatles, who used the technique on some of their later works, like “Revolution 9”, which is heavily based on tape loops.
What is a tape echo?
Before the advent of modern analog and digital delays, this type of effect would be achieved by routing an audio signal to an auxiliary tape machine, then feeding the signal from that machine’s playback head back into the mix. The time it took for the signal to be recorded onto the tape then played back into the mix from the playback head would introduce a delay to the original signal. Engineers could adjust the delay time by slowing down or speeding up the tape mechanism, or would feed the playback signal back into the machine to achieve multiple echoes. The effect gained so much popularity that hardware manufacturers took note and began producing specialized tape devices to handle this task.
How does the original hardware Space Echo work?
The original hardware Space Echo combines the techniques of tape looping and echo into a single unit. The unit features a tape chamber which houses a pre-made loop of standard 1/4” audio tape. This design does not use reels, but instead the tape lays loose inside the chamber and is fed through by a capstan drive. There is a record head that imprints input audio onto the tape, followed by 3 consecutive playback heads which reproduce the recorded signal at various delay intervals, based on their distance from the record head.
On the front panel, a big Mode Selector knob controls which playback heads are active and a Rate control determines the speed of the tape mechanism. Two EQ controls adjust the Bass and Treble of the processed echoes. An Intensity knob adjusts the amount of signal that is fed back into the unit, which at high settings is capable of sending the unit into selfoscillation even without any input signal. When using high Intensity settings in conjunction with the Rate, Mode, and EQ controls, users can create evolving, otherworldly tones and perform the hardware echo as if it were an instrument itself.
While some models of the original hardware Space Echo only include the echo section, the more advanced series also features a spring reverb tank which provides the user with the ability to add reverberation to the input signal.
What does Arturia Delay TAPE-201 add to the original Space Echo?
The original hardware Space Echo can be rare to find, expensive to purchase, and hardware devices have become increasingly difficult to incorporate into modern workflows. Transporting bulky equipment can be inconvenient and hardware devices are often prone to breakdown. Hardware can also present certain workflow limitations, since devices can only serve one function at a time. At Arturia we pride ourselves on offering the best of both worlds – the uncompromising quality and character of hardware devices, delivered in a convenient software package that is adapted to a modern workflow. Arturia’s Tape-201 is a faithful recreation of the original hardware Space Echo, capturing all of its nuances and sonic character with utmost detail. In addition to this, we have expanded on the original design with new features and capability not found on the original unit, including:
- Input EQ for shaping the input signal before processing
- 3 different Delay Types – M/S, L/R, ping-pong
- Processes audio in stereo, instead of mono
- Run multiple instances with different settings
- Automate effect settings from your DAW
- LFO for automated modulation of effect parameters
- Easy storage and recall of effect settings