The dTape Delay
In this post we will be looking at the Strymon Timeline dTape delay. This is one of the most interesting sounding delays and can be used to cover a variety of needs. It is based off of the sounds of old tape delays and is similar to the Strymon El Capistan. It is a warm and lush delay that adds interesting textures and artifacts into your delay trails.
This Delay machine takes a little more time to get to know, because the external controls are different from most of the other delay machines.
Filter > Tape age
In the dTape machine your filter becomes a tape age control. In these old delays the tape would age over time and begin to wear out, in effect changing the delay tones. This knob simulates the effect. as you turn up the tape age the repeats will begin to get darker.
Grit > Tape Bias
Tape Bias replaces the Grit knob. The headroom and dynamic range of your repeats are determined by the tape bias. As you turn up the tape bias you will see your delays become more distorted and less volume in your echoes. According to Strymon setting the knob around 9 o’clock will sound like a well biased tape delay.
Speed > Tape Crinkle
The Speed knob becomes Tape Crinkle in this setting. This recreates the sound of creases and imperfections that happen to tape overtime. This effect can add some nice motion to your echoes. If you continue to turn it up the effect will become more pronounced.
Depth > Wow & Flutter
The depth knob is now your Wow & Flutter control. This is similar to the tape crinkle effect, but instead of the tape this simulates the mechanical characteristics of the tape delay. This brings in some of the modulation created by the original tap delays. Leave the knob around 9 o’clock for a new machine, and turn it all the way clockwise for an older unserviced tape delay.
There is one more option that controls the whole feel of this delay. Press the value encoder to access the Tape Speed parameter. Strymon gives us the option of fast and normal. Normal is as it sounds and reflects your typical tape delay. Fast creates a more High Fidelity experience. This effect really interacts with the tape crinkle and the wow & flutter.
This is a great delay that can cover a wide variety of situations. It is well suited for rhythmic delays and is just as useful for a slap-back effect, or long washy swells. This delay machine can be a little intimidating at first, but it is well worth putting the time in to find some great sounds.