what's the best roland tape echo emulation?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
KVRian
579 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:51 pm

Bumping this old thread since Softube dropped Tape Echoes today. Feels like lots have been released since 2017. Whats the current favourite?

KVRAF
9105 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:14 pm

Audiothing Outerspace and VDelay. Can't imagine wanting anything else.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

KVRAF
22308 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:52 am

donno what the competition is, but the GS-201 sounds right to me
prob'ly learned about the x64 OSX version from this thread. noting the original dates :)

KVRAF
6630 posts since 28 Apr, 2004 from france

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:16 pm

Audiothing Outerspace is very good indeed.
I also like Surreal Machines Modnetic (the GUI is tiny, but a resizeable version is supposed to be released at some point).
I also like the D16 Repeater, but it's not really a Roland Tape Echo clone.
Image

KVRian
1046 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from Netherlands

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:03 pm

SHall1000 wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:51 pm
Bumping this old thread since Softube dropped Tape Echoes today. Feels like lots have been released since 2017. Whats the current favourite?
Tape Echoes isn't a Space Echo, but there are similarities (3 heads, spring reverb).

AudioThing Outer Space and IK Multimedia Space Delay cover my Space Echo needs.

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KVRian
809 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:20 pm

Lotuz2019 wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:03 pm
SHall1000 wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:51 pm
Bumping this old thread since Softube dropped Tape Echoes today. Feels like lots have been released since 2017. Whats the current favourite?
Tape Echoes isn't a Space Echo, but there are similarities (3 heads, spring reverb).
It's a different flavour for sure, but it's right up there with the UAD RE-201 in terms of sound quality.

It's interface is really great too - very fun playable.

KVRian
1046 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from Netherlands

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:31 pm

_leras wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:20 pm
Lotuz2019 wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:03 pm
Tape Echoes isn't a Space Echo, but there are similarities (3 heads, spring reverb).
It's a different flavour for sure, but it's right up there with the UAD RE-201 in terms of sound quality.

It's interface is really great too - very fun playable.
But what also is characteristic about the Space Echo, is the Mode Selector (see image for the head configurations). There doesn't seem to be a way to change the head configuration of Tape Echoes. Am I right that you can only make these combinations?

H1
H1 + H2
H1 + H2 + H3

And what is great about Outer Space, is that it allows you to adjust the delay time of each head. Afaik with Tape Echoes you can only adjust the delay time of head 1 and the delay times of the other two heads are fixed. If you put the delay time at 80 ms, then what are the delay times of the other two heads? Similar to these times?

Outer Space: 80/155/233
Space Delay: 80/158/220

Or are they more like the LEM?

LEM: 80/210/330
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KVRian
809 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:52 pm

Well tape echoes slides smoothly between the 1-3 taps on the dial. I don't know exactly, but it seemed to maybe vary a bit as you turn the taps dial.

It was pretty musical, but also not totally perfect fixed timing. I couldn't see a manual on their website to check this. Maybe a manual downloads with the install.

Ive never found all the different modes on the space echo to be useful and musical though. Some are great, but some seem a bit too random to me.

Overall it's a different flavour. Re 201 has a very very distinctive sound, but tape echoes whilst also having a sound is less distinctive.

KVRian
1046 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from Netherlands

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:51 pm

_leras wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:52 pm
It was pretty musical, but also not totally perfect fixed timing.
When I was watching the YouTube videos, I thought I noticed that even when synced to tempo the timing was slightly off. So that's by design? When synced to tempo I want my delays to be spot on. Sometimes I do like it to be slightly off and then I choose ms. ​
_leras wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:52 pm
Ive never found all the different modes on the space echo to be useful and musical though. Some are great, but some seem a bit too random to me.
The positions of the heads (the delay times) on the original delay units were probably not randomly picked. Those delay times were probably well suited for the music styles and tempos at those times. And could it be that guitar players like different delay times than other musicians? :shrug:

Anyway that's why I like Outer Space so much, because it gives you many possibilities to adjust it to your liking.

Still I find Tape Echoes very attractive, but I can't find enough reasons to justify buying it right now. :wink:

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KVRian
809 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:42 am

Lotuz2019 wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:51 pm
When I was watching the YouTube videos, I thought I noticed that even when synced to tempo the timing was slightly off. So that's by design? When synced to tempo I want my delays to be spot on. Sometimes I do like it to be slightly off and then I choose ms. ​

The positions of the heads (the delay times) on the original delay units were probably not randomly picked. Those delay times were probably well suited for the music styles and tempos at those times. And could it be that guitar players like different delay times than other musicians? :shrug:

Anyway that's why I like Outer Space so much, because it gives you many possibilities to adjust it to your liking.

Still I find Tape Echoes very attractive, but I can't find enough reasons to justify buying it right now. :wink:
ok ... so https://www.softube.com/manuals/tape-echoes
  • It can be fixed tempo
  • The taps dial just gradually fades from 1-3 taps
  • The delay slider lends itself to being moved slightly off the beat (you can click the note lengths to get it exactly lined up)
  • The dirt has wow and flutter that I think would make it sound looser - but this can be dialed back so you should be able to get it clean
So, yes, maybe not as out there as RE 201 in terms of tap patterns - but - it sounds really really good. The tape feedback is phenomenal imo - just not to be overused.

I couldn't get the demo to download/install so just bought it to try it out... but I'm a bit of a sucker for different delays and this one will get a lot of use I think. It's different to other delays I have.

I haven't tried outer space. Just listened to their demos - sounds lovely - like a modern take on a space echo. Not as grungy as the UAD one - but really nice!

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KVRist
86 posts since 25 Jun, 2014

Post Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:45 am

I like the one in NI's Guitar Rig

KVRAF
5103 posts since 28 Dec, 2015 from Hanover, Germany

Post Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:07 am

Recourt wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:45 am
I like the one in NI's Guitar Rig
Oops, completely overlooked this... :tu:

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KVRAF
32541 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:08 am

Isn't there also one from IK? (oh and also a Reason one)

Not sure how either of those match up

KVRian
1046 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from Netherlands

Post Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:22 am

aMUSEd wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:08 am
Isn't there also one from IK? (oh and also a Reason one)

Not sure how either of those match up
The IK Multimedia Space Delay is a nice one. It has a different character than Outer Space. I mainly use Space Delay if I want it to sound a bit dirtier than Outer Space, because of the Tape Age feature and also because the pre-amp saturation is rather prominent. It doesn't have an output volume controle, so if you want to reduce the saturation by turning down the input, you need to compensate the volume outside Space Delay. It isn't a big deal, but it still annoys me. If the real Space Echo has an output volume control (H M L), then why didn't IK add this to their plugin?

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KVRAF
32541 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:38 am

Space Delay does have a tape age feature too (and you can turn off oversampling and HQ mode) - so despite those the IK one is dirtier?

I"m liking the different preamps with the Arturia one a lot

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