The VST module we present is a result of about 6 years experience in analyzing, developing and creating patches for various echo gear. From an engineering point of view, the objective was to emphasise on the already available vintage measurement libraries and applying the do-act-improve cycle to the design at hand as to maximise the possible performance possible.
The final approach taken is a dual approach. In many cases the guitar player is not interested in fine-tuning an echo device but would just like to select a recommended setting and play along with it. For this type of player the preset manager is loaded with a extensive set of pre-programmed patches ready to be used. In other cases where the guitar player requires matching the exact echo with the echo that was used to record the track from his/her favourite artist. The eTAP Engineer VST module is the assigned module that fits this requirement as it allows customizing the various filter and timing characteristics in minute details.
The emphasis for eTAP is geared towards the vintage echo’s used by H.B. Marvin during the 1960-1965 era. We believe “from the man himself” that the early recording are made without the Meazzi gear but with some sound-engineering tricks.
The mentioned vintage echo gear allowed the Shadows to sound like the recording while performing life. Our approach would allow also for a fine tuning towards the “studio delivered” echoes. The VST module presented here allows for those two mentioned approaches as it will act as a normal vintage device emulator or can be fine-tuned to your specific needs.
The Preset manager is pre-loaded with a complete set of JPatches to allow “playing like the Shadows”. The JPatches are based on the following vintage Meazzi echo equipment:
● Echomatic -I
● Meazzi PA304
● VOX LongTOM
● Roland RE301
● Binson Echorec Baby
● BPM (Special mode)
The tape artefact’s, also part of the DESO objects can be controlled through the knobs on the right panel of the engineer module or at the top in the forthcoming eTAP Standard model. Care is to be taken not to overdo the activity.
Halo: Halo is the leakage effect of all playback heads in the Echomatic-II configuration. It is believed that it’s only around 0-1%. The range provided is extended so it can be investigated/utilized to the fullest
W&F: Wow and Flutter are artefact’s belonging to the way pulley and capstan but also other mechanical wear (like capstan dents in a rubber wheel) are affecting the tape/head interaction. Our W&F is based on a measured tape mechanism as no information is available on discs behaviour.
Saturation: Saturation is mimicking the tape’s saturation behaviour as it really compresses the signal. Our saturation fits a typical 15IPS tape.
In addition, extra 12ax7 valve characteristics are added to the audio chain including a signal/noise/distortion relationship that’s comparable with vintage echo machines.
The BPM mode (Beats per Minute) allows for a head timing mode that fits exactly the beads per minute. By using this mode the user can create an unique set of timings and the related amplifications of the heads including a wet filter characteristic to emulate other devices.
No longer available