We’re checking out some of the best Space Echo Alternatives for recreating Roland’s classic tape echo effect in studio and on stage.
Loved for its unique sound, the Roland RE-201 Space Echo is one of the most famous effects units ever created. Introduced in 1974, it provided a tape echo stable enough to take on the road and the flexibility of 3 tape heads with a variable repeat rate.
The Space Echo also has a spring reverb that you can blend with the echo signal or use exclusively. Although it may have been originally intended for use as a guitar effect, the Space Echo has been used on vocals, drums, synths, and keyboards.
The RE-201 and the other models in the series (RE-150, RE-301, and the RE-501) have become synonymous with Reggae, Dub, Shoegaze, Psychedelic Rock, Post-punk, Trip-Hop, and many different styles of electronic music.
Space Echo Alternatives
There are many options available in each category we looked at, so we made sure our choices included some of the latest and most innovative recreations of the Space Echo, as well as those that offer live usability and all-round value.
UA Galaxy Tape Echo
When you’re looking for a straightforward software recreation of the classic Space Echo, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Tape Echo from Universal Audio.
Of course it mimics the sound and interface of the original and its echo/reverb settings, but you also have some additional creative features that add to the overall versatility of the plug-in.
You have the ability to offset the delay time of each of the 3 tape heads and use tempo sync if you wish. What’s more, you can splice the tape loop and adjust its level of degradation as well as pan the echo and reverb signal separately.
- More from Universal Audio
If you want something slightly more involved as an echo effect, while still remaining in the vintage dimension, look no further than the Soundtoys EchoBoy.
Rather than simply being a recreation of the Space Echo, the EchoBoy plugin is modelled on a collection of 30 different types of echo effects and pedals, including the Echoplex, Space Echo, EHX Memory Man, DM-2, and many more.
From the tonal aspects to the rhythmic component, the EchoBoy has all the features to build your own unique echo effects and gives you room for creative mistakes.
- More from Soundtoys
UAFX Orion Tape Echo
The Orion Tape Echo is a compact effects pedal that provides 3 tape echo modes with different sonic characteristics and levels of degradation.
The Orion isn’t actually modelled on the Space Echo, but rather the iconic Maestro Echoplex EP-III used by guitar heroes like Eddie Van Halen, and Brian May.
Its controls are simple enough to tweak live, and you certainly won’t mind adding it to your rig for your next live show.
More from Universal Audio
With a subtle rebrand, the RE-202 brings the Space Echo into pedal format in fine style. Besides the ability to save patches, the fact that the RE-202 is stereo adds another degree of dimensionality to this classic effect.
There are also additional controls for adding Saturation as well as Wow & Flutter and you can add expressive flourishes to your sounds with the footswitches and external pedal inputs.
In addition, you have the option of MIDI I/O for parameter control or program changes during live performances.
- More from Boss
Echo Fix EF-X2
The Echo Fix EF-X2 captures all the authenticity of the Space Echo, with the added utility and durability of a modern instrument. The expanded range of features includes tape echo, spring reverb, digital reverb, and chorus, as well as an FET EP Guitar Preamp and a Modern FET Line Input Preamp.
Additions like balanced XLR I/O are also welcome, and you can also control the effect via CV I/O and hook it up to your modular synth rig, which sounds fun.
Before Echo Fix designed units like the EF-X2, the company actually repaired and modified Space Echo units. So you can rest assured that all of the shortcomings and impracticalities of the RE-201’s design have been improved.
- More from Echo Fix
More about Space Echo Alternatives:
*Note: This article contains advertising links and widgets that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price for you always stays the same! If you purchase something through these links, we receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
- UA Galaxy Tape Echo: Universal Audio
- The EchoBoy vintage echo plugin from Soundtoys.: Soundtoys
- Universal_Audio_UAFX_Orion_Echo: Universal Audio
- Boss RE-202: BOSS
- Echo Fix EF-X2: Echo Fix