US effect company Strymon recently ran a teaser on social media for a new product. Speculation had been swirling that the firm was going to announce some sort of Helix-like monster FX machine, or an update to its Flint or Timeline products. Instead we’re being offered an additional delay pedal product, the Volante Magnetic Echo Machine.
After that week-long build-up, it turns out that the new offering is yet another echo effect. This one seems to be all about the atmospheres and textures of old vintage delay tones. There are three engines powering the effects here are Drum Echo, Tape Echo and Studio Delay. The first mimics old magnetic drum echo effects, the second your traditional tape-based echoes while the third is another tape emulation, this time of old reel-to-reel machines providing cleaner delays with less degradation.
Eight buttons in the centre of the unit control the feedback/playback of each virtual play head. The main controls are labelled Rec Level, Mechanics (the amount of mechanical speed fluctuations and irregularities), Repeats, Echo Level, Low Cut, Wear, Spacing and Spring. You can also control the speed and playable feedback of the unit, or even adjust it until it feeds back infinitely. It also has MIDI control and you can attach an external footswitch, so you have plenty of control options with this echo unit. You can adjust the Volante’s virtual tape heads by setting the head’s playback level separately to full, half or off – independently of its feedback level.
Sound On Sound
With Hold and Sound On Sound options available as well, it certainly looks as though it has all your favourite ‘tape echo’ tricks up its sleeve. My advice would be to check out the full-length video tour by sound designer Pete Celi below, as it gives a great overview of the features available.
RRP – USD 399 pre-order