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1. Us­ing Au­dioThing Outer Space to em­u­late the Roland Space Echo

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1 To­day, the Roland Space Echo tape de­lays are among the most prized. Pro­duced un­til the 80s, they were well built and still sound fan­tas­tic. Au­dioThing’s Outer Space is a an ex­cel­lent im­i­ta­tion. Here, we’ve got a sim­ple eight­note se­quence driv­ing a synth in Rea­son, but you can use what­ever you like.

2 Let’s have a lis­ten to our se­quence. It’s not what one would de­scribe as thrilling, yet th­ese sorts of se­quences can be quite lively with a bit of echo added. Let’s see what a bit of vin­tage de­lay might do for the sound – we open up an in­stance of Outer Space on the synth chan­nel.

3 Even Outer Space’s de­fault set­tings add an in­stant retro vibe, with a short de­lay and a touch of me­chan­i­cal re­verb. Let’s fo­cus on the de­lay for now. We’ll find the Re­verb Vol­ume knob in the up­per­right and turn it all the way down. The sig­nal is now less spa­cious, but still cool.

4 As was the case with the orig­i­nal hard­ware, Outer Space’s in­put can be cranked for an awe­some over­driven sound. Crank up In­put Vol­ume un­til the

Peak Level light hits red. We’ll want to be care­ful about our mon­i­tor lev­els, though – we don’t want to dam­age speak­ers or ears!

5 Let’s com­pen­sate for that in­put gain by di­alling back the Out­put Vol­ume a lit­tle. Note that the in­crease in level causes our echoes to be­come more pro­nounced, with more feed­back – just like the real deal! Next, let’s find the Noise knob at the bot­tom and turn it up to 22%.

6 Outer Space is a model of a three-head echo ma­chine. On such a ma­chine, the heads are spaced apart, so you can cre­ate in­ter­est­ing multi-echo rhythms. Cur­rently, only the mid­dle head is ac­tive. We can choose which heads are in play with the big Mode Se­lec­tor knob. Se­lect Mode 11.

7 Now we’ve got some re­ally cool in­ter­play be­tween echoes, though they’re not in time with the se­quence. We’re not go­ing to en­gage host sync, though, as an orig­i­nal ma­chine was in­ca­pable of such per­fec­tion. In­stead, we’re go­ing to ad­just the Re­peat Rate knob un­til it sounds right.

8 There’s a switch in the lower-right for se­lect­ing the type of tape used in the ma­chine. We’re go­ing to flick that switch all the way to the right, to the Old po­si­tion. Let’s also age the ma­chine it­self by crank­ing up the Wow/Flut­ter dial. Fi­nally, we’ll go back to the Re­verb Vol­ume knob and dial some ’verb back in.

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