Echo machines...

This is the place to find out or share tips!

Moderators: dave robinson, David Martin, Iain Purdon, George Geddes

Echo machines...

Postby David Martin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:19 pm

This is jumping right into the maelstrom! If there's one topic which has been guaranteed to get people arguing - and bitching - furiously, it's this. So be warned... disagree with pleasure, but no nasties please.

Basics? You need one if you are to get close to "that sound"... or at least, your version of it. You can actually get away with the basic tap tempo echoes included in the Vox VT series if you are not concerned with authenticity. Problem is that, as heard on the records, the echoes - in addition to having a "tone" of their own - are unevenly spaced. Check this...

Apache.jpg
Apache.jpg (24.37 KiB) Viewed 21112 times


This pic and lots of other echo related stuff from the excellent Echotapper site (http://www.echotapper.nl/)

And if you check the other recorded tracks you'll hear differently spaced echoes. So you need something which will allow you to space the echoes unevenly (or better still, buy something with the work already done?) The best budget buy at the moment is definitely the Yamaha Magic Stomp which (I think) is discontinued, but there are still quite a few floating about, and if you want the job done for you Charlie Hall (good name for an echo guru... it sort of reverberates) can be contacted here http://charliehall.proboards.com/index.cgi and he will sell you a file to give you all the Shads echoes in one fell swoop. (He also programs Quardraverb Q2 and Q20 under the name of Echoes from The Past as used by Hank on Shads tours and recent recordings)

"Ah but you mentioned tone earlier?" And that's really why other current modern machines don't get a look in. They'll conceivably give you the echo, but they can't give you the degraded and wobbly sounds of an old vintage echo unit which is what we're looking for, but the Q series and MagicStomp can... with one exception. I'm currently experimenting with a Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeller which allows infinitely variable echo spacings with up to 7 heads (with a bit of fiddling) and the ability to emulate tape wobble etc... and you can add studio reverb as per KonTiki and Midnight too if you so choose... first results are encouraging... and, of course, you get all the other effects too...

And, of course, there are the excellent TVS echoes from Australia... http://www.tvsspecialtyproducts.com/ only hampered by their cost when imported into Europe... In effect more expensive than the vintage units they emulate... solid state.

And in the UK ESE Echomatic http://www.echomatic.co.uk/... valves and real wobble!

So why not buy a vintage Meazzi, Vox, Binson etc? Well you can, from about £600 for a Binson, through to £2000 for a Meazzi, but, unless they've been faithfully reconditioned they can be very unreliable...

Now you'll find people very inflexible as to what they recommend in this area, and each will swear blind that all the others are talking nonesense, but, based on my own experience and ears, here's my recommendation...

Unless you're playing for discerning Shads nuts, the basic Vox VT tap echo will do just fine. I defy anyone to prove to me that average club/theatre audience can tell the difference.

I've heard excellent results from the Yamaha MagicStomp and you can edit the parameters on your computer to your heart's content adding wobble etc ad infinitum.

I've owned and used an EFTP Q2 for many years and find it to be excellent - still around second hand but some now suffer from duff batteries and displays as a result of age. Have the advantage (or disadvantage if you're a twiddler) of being able to switch straight to a whole range of preset Shads echoes with no knobs to worry about.

I currently also use an ESE at home and find that excellent too... (and I'm told that there is virtually no difference between its circuitry and that of a vintage Meazzi)... lots of knobs to twiddle...

I still have an old Binson tucked away (currently for sale in our Marketplace) and I used to have Roberto Pistolesi's Meazzi...

Now, I'm ducking already, there are those who will tell you that the only way to get "that sound" and in particular, those echoes is to use the old kit. But my own experience and listening to others using it just doesn't confirm that position... :geek:
David M
User avatar
David Martin
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: Lincoln
Full Real Name: David Martin

Re: Echo machines...

Postby Bojan » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:07 pm

David, I would just like to add that even though the topic of your thread is "Echo Machines," I think that the superior processing power of personal computers and their increasing portability are ushering in a whole new echo category -- VST plugins (psp608, ATAP2, etc.), which already now, with a laptop, can be used in real time, thus effectively also becoming "echo machines" . . . After all, the TVS, the Q series, the Atlantis, Stompbox, Zoom, and most of the other modern "outboard" echo machines all rely on processors and software.
User avatar
Bojan
 
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:25 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Full Real Name: Bojan Drndic

Re: Echo machines...

Postby ernie1958 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:29 pm

8-) You know something Bojan...I think it would be the best if some manufacturer could make a quality re-make of the old
Meazzi Echomatic 1...the echo machine it all started out with in the first place.Then all quests for getting "that sound" would abruptly come
to an end imho.You'd then have exactly the machine you hear on lots of the Shads recordings as Hank started out with... ;)

Cheers,
Ernie
User avatar
ernie1958
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: The Netherlands
Full Real Name: Ernie Hombergen

Re: Echo machines...

Postby Martyn » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:11 am

ernie1958 wrote:8-) You know something Bojan...I think it would be the best if some manufacturer could make a quality re-make of the old
Meazzi Echomatic 1...the echo machine it all started out with in the first place.Then all quests for getting "that sound" would abruptly come
to an end imho.You'd then have exactly the machine you hear on lots of the Shads recordings as Hank started out with... ;)

Cheers,
Ernie

I believe the original machines are prone to the odd mechanical problem or two, being rather old technology now. Having looked at the interior of one with its mass of wiring, rather crusty looking pots, valves (?) and other electrical gubbins (my electrical knowledge is almost nil) and a tape mechanism that looks quite ancient - could a modern digital design emulate all of its features, including its occasional wobbly tape and other such characteristics? Echotappers are doing a lot of work in simulating specific effects and it would be great if these could be packaged into a small, marketable box of tricks that wouldn't burn a hole in most folks' wallets.
Would it be very expensive to reproduce the unit as originally designed but perhaps with modern components that won't require so many digital complexities to copy?
I'm sure a lot of us would happily pay up for a device such as Ernie suggests, provided it didn't cost a fortune - and maybe that's the stumbling block for any small business that's trying to cater for a very small niche market. :|
User avatar
Martyn
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:14 pm
Full Real Name: Martyn Welch

Re: Echo machines...

Postby dave robinson » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:20 am

The Yamaha Magicstomp has most of those options built into the programming and I have tinkered with some of the EFTP patches and got them 'singing' more like a Meazzi by experimental 'tweaking'.

Also, after a couple of 'teething problems' the new Copicat Gold is on it's way at around £600.00 and according to my friend Alan Jackson is giving some scary results if you've forked out a fortune on a Meazzi or one of the other modern devices. I should have one here for demo next week . . . . :lol:
Dave Robinson
User avatar
dave robinson
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:34 pm
Location: Sheffield
Full Real Name: David Robinson

Re: Echo machines...

Postby Bojan » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:41 am

dave robinson wrote:The Yamaha Magicstomp has most of those options built into the programming and I have tinkered with some of the EFTP patches and got them 'singing' more like a Meazzi by experimental 'tweaking'.

Also, after a couple of 'teething problems' the new Copicat Gold is on it's way at around £600.00 and according to my friend Alan Jackson is giving some scary results if you've forked out a fortune on a Meazzi or one of the other modern devices. I should have one here for demo next week . . . . :lol:

Looking forward to that Dave.
User avatar
Bojan
 
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:25 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Full Real Name: Bojan Drndic

Re: Echo machines...

Postby Brian Leary » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:36 pm

I am totally with Bojan on this. The eTap Engineer & PSP608 are the only echoes to have on your computer. I'm tutoring a guy at the moment to run duplicate lead tracks. Track one has a certain eTap preset and the track is then muted where the palmed strings come in the 2nd track having the echo timings to a tee, we then return to track one. That's where you can hear the quality & veratility of PC VST multitap gear.

This didn't cost me a dime. http://www.4shared.com/file/136998937/7bf26033/Meazzi_Echomatic_2.html

Sling the other stuff in the bin or some mug on E Bay to buy.
Brian Leary
 

Re: Echo machines...

Postby Bojan » Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:27 pm

I'm glad we agree Toby. This technology will only improve over the years . . .

Bojan

By the way, great sound!! :thumbup:
User avatar
Bojan
 
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:25 pm
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Full Real Name: Bojan Drndic

Re: Echo machines...

Postby scotocaster » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:51 pm

dave robinson wrote:The Yamaha Magicstomp has most of those options built into the programming and I have tinkered with some of the EFTP patches and got them 'singing' more like a Meazzi by experimental 'tweaking'.

Also, after a couple of 'teething problems' the new Copicat Gold is on it's way at around £600.00 and according to my friend Alan Jackson is giving some scary results if you've forked out a fortune on a Meazzi or one of the other modern devices. I should have one here for demo next week . . . . :lol:


Hi Dave, looking forward to your demo testing, and could you PLEASE post if the unit has dual power possibilites 115v/240v or if not.... wonder if Charlie is going to make one availible for the U.S. and Canada market like my old Guild Custom Copicat ?. Have a great day. Scott
User avatar
scotocaster
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:27 am
Location: Canada
Full Real Name: Scott Smith

Re: Echo machines...

Postby dave robinson » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:28 pm

Scott, the Copicat Gold has an external PSU, so I expect it should work abroad.
Dave Robinson
User avatar
dave robinson
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:34 pm
Location: Sheffield
Full Real Name: David Robinson

Next

Return to How To Get "That Sound"

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Ads by Google
These advertisements are selected and placed by Google to assist with the cost of site maintenance.
ShadowMusic is not responsible for the content of external advertisements.