Strymon Deco - Download
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TAPE - THE FIRST EFFECT
While modern recording engineers and producers are used to the huge variety of effects options available these days, tape machines were the first devices used in the recording studio as effect processors. From echo and flanging to the warmth and saturation of the actual tape itself, the entire early history of music would sound completely different if these recording decks weren’t employed in this way.
The new Deco plugin doesn’t just give you the hyper-real sonic signature of these classic tape machines, it’s also unique in that it revives the forgotten art on how these decks were manipulated as a workflow in the studio.
Even though there are currently a number of plugins that emulate entire tape machines down to the smallest degree, the Deco plugin stands alone as the only piece of software that accurately recreates the studio workflow of two tape decks working in tandem. It is the timed/speed relationship between these two decks that creates the phasing, true tape flanging, chorus, echo and double tracking effects that the Sun Studios and Abbey Roads of the world relied on for all of those famous early tracks, and it’s now available in an easy-to-use and utterly convincing plugin.
There are two sides to Deco:
The Tape Saturation side smooths out the response of your tracks with familiar tape compression and saturation, while fattening things up with subtle (or NOT subtle!) tape-driven transparent overdrive.
The Doubletracker side controls the two interactive tape decks and has the power to shift your sound in many different ways, easily achieving psychedelic tape flanging, gorgeous tape chorusing, syrupy slapback tape echoes and anything in between, all by varying the timing relationship between the Reference and Lag decks. If that’s not “old school” we’re not sure what is!
Give your tracks the smooth and warm qualities of analog tape, along with the dynamics that are intrinsic to the response and behavior of tape machines. The Deco plugin can achieve incredible transparency at low levels, with reduced high frequency spikes and a harmonically rich low end.
Engineers used to say that “everything sounds better on tape”. Want to push the limits of tape beyond what was originally possible? Use the Deco plugin as a tape-style transparent overdrive—crank the Saturation all the way up to “peg the meters” and overload the machine’s input.
Tape Sat controls
Deco’s Tape Saturation side features controls for dialing in everything from light and transparent saturation all the way to smooth and overdriven tape distortion. The Saturation control allows for a wide range of tones that go from subtle saturation and compression at lower levels to transparent tape overdrive at its upper limits.
An adjustable Volume control for the Saturation side lets you balance the final output once you’ve dialed in the right amount of drive, and a dedicated Tone knob lets you adjust the frequency response from darker to brighter.
The Saturation side also features a Voice switch with two settings:
Classic: produces the response and saturation characteristics of professional 2-track mastering reel-to-reel tape machines.
Cassette: employs an auto level control (ALC) process common to many high-end cassette tape recorders in the ’70s, resulting in a fat and musically compressed tone.
Double Or Nothing
In the early days of recording studios, a few creative audio engineers discovered a new world of sonic augmentation by pushing the limits of studio tape machines. By inventing automatic doubletracking, they introduced echo, flanging and chorus to the world of recorded music.
Intensify and widen your tracks with Deco’s Doubletracker controls. Turn the Lag Time to obtain mind-bending tape flanging, spacious doubletrack chorusing and classic slapback tape echo. Add random modulation with the Wobble control and go from very subtle movement to more extreme undulations—just like having a recording engineer manually vary the speed of the machine while the music plays.
In addition to Lag Time, the Deco plugin’s Doubletracker side features additional controls to help you achieve a wide variety of tape-based effects.
The Blend control sets the mix level between Deco’s Reference and Lag Decks. Lower the control to hear more of the Reference Deck for less doubletracking, or raise it if you want to hear more of the doubletracking effect.
The Wobble knob adds random tape speed-based modulations to the Lag Deck. It’s easy to go from very subtle movement to more extreme undulations — just like having a recording engineer vary the speed of the machine by hand. Wobble is super handy to increase the depth of the modulation effect you hear when Lag Time is set to act as a tape flanger/chorus, or it can be used to add modulation to the Lag Deck when set as a slapback or tape echo.
Adjusts phase and internal routing to customize tone and low-end response:
Sum: the two decks are summed together in phase
Invert: the Lag Deck is phase inverted, and then the two decks are summed together
Bounce: the output of the right Lag Deck is bounced to the left channel for stereo ping-pong or mono double-echo
You can unlock a whole variety of organic tape-based modulation and delay effects simply by turning Deco’s Lag Time control.
The Lag Time control adjusts the delay offset between Deco’s Reference Deck and the Lag Deck, achieving everything from tape flanging (-.3 to 3ms), lush tape chorusing (3 to 50ms), snappy slapback delay (50 to 150ms), or fully spaced-out tape echoes (150 to 500ms) when the control is maxed out.
The Deco plugin gives you the option for extremely wide stereo imaging to broaden and intensify the impact of your tracks in the stereo field.
Wide Stereo Mode sends the mono input (summed if using a stereo input) to the Left channel through the Reference Deck, and to the right channel via the delayed Lag Deck to create an adjustable stereo spread.
The Blend control acts like a pan control by adjusting the relative levels of the two tape decks.
Click the Doubletracker On button in the UI to achieve a recording studio-inspired through-zero flange effect.
This engages a “virtual audio engineer” manning the faders and tape reels to create a smooth and predictable through-zero flange experience on the fly.
Gives an additional 10db of headroom for use in a DAW. This is the default setting.