We fired up the brand new Korneff Audio Echoleffe Tape Delay only to find it’s selling itself short. It’s a Tube Tape Delay with a bunch more features than meets the eye.
It’s hard to get excited about a new plugin these days. However, sometimes a graphically exciting and killer sounding plugin inspires you so much that you need to get back to work! Work being, tell you all about this new plugin from Korneff Audio: The Echoleffe Tape Delay.
The Echoleffe Tape Delay is an emulation of a stunning and obscure German-made tube tape delay from the early 1960’s called the Klemt Echolette NG51S Tape Delay. Thank goodness the good team at Korneff Audio made an emulation of this, as I could only find one on Reverb.com fetching a thousand dollars and NOT working/for sale for parts.
Korneff Audio is a relatively new plugin company founded by Producer/Mixer/Engineer Dan Korneff (My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Breaking Benjamin), who only has five plugins currently on offer. Don’t judge too quickly, mix heavyweights like Michael Brauer use Korneff Audio plugins on every mix.
To me, the Echoleffe Tape Delay was instantly inspiring as its well-laid-out GUI, including German labels, had me tweaking with my ears rather than my eyes from the outset.
There’s a lot to this emulation being an all-tube tape delay. Firstly, its sad to call it just a tape delay as you can turn off the delays and use it as a Tape Saturator just as I did to make those drums nice and crunchy with some wow and flutter.
Secondly, you can set it on Tube Preamp mode only, just as I tried out on a synth and added a tonne of grit to what was a soft, placid tonal colour.
Lastly, it’s that tube thing that gets me with the Echoleffe Tape Delay. It’s in here that sets this plugin apart from its peers. Even in the specs, it has Tube emulations of 3x ECC83, 1x ECC82 tubes.
I know I’m NOT banging on about the tape delay section, but the Tape Saturation section — especially when you open the hood by clicking on the Korneff Logo — has a world of variation. It’s got Ramp Speed, Rate and Depth for both Wow and Flutter, Generation Loss, Head Bump, Tape Age and two formulas of 456 and 499.
The Echoleffe Tape Delay works of three Tape Heads, and if you pop the hood again, Each head has Host or Time Syncs (1/1 to 1/64T or 0 to 4000ms), a Pan knob, Bias Adjust Knob, a Low Frequency (20 to 700Hz) and High Frequency (2kHz to 20kHz) cut.
The Input section has an ‘Electric Eye’ display (this shows the input) which is quite cool, Tone and Volume Controls and a parameter Link Switch. You could unlink these and make your stereo instrument even wider as I did with a synth.
Just to add a little bit of confusion, whilst staying true to the original unit, the front panel has Reverb Control and Reverb Duration knobs and a Reverb Density switch. This isn’t reverb, Control = Delay Dry/Wet, Duration = Delay Feedback and Switching the Density switch to the right doubles the echoes.
You can also feed up to 24dB or cut 100dB into the Echoleffe Tape Delay and same on the output. If you are feeling adventurous and don’t want to use the huge present menu, there’s a ‘Randomise All Controls’ button on the bottom left that I found quite satisfying.
Enough work for me, I’m going back to playing with this plugin. The Echoleffe Tape Delay comes in at $199 USD but is currently on an introductory special price for $99 USD.
For more information head over to Korneffaudio.com