Space Echo Spring Reverb

February 18, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Just a short video with the spring reverb from the Roland Space Echo series.
This particular reverb comes from the RE-301, but as far as I know, the RE-201, 301 and 501 has the same reverb.
I removed the spring reverb when I had to fix one of my units. I’ve placed it in the box again, don’t worry.

The sequence was programmed on a Korg Mono/Poly

I love the text on the reverb tank. “Manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton, Wis. under controlled atmosphere conditions.”

More background information on the topic:

The Roland RE-201, commonly known as the Space Echo, is an audio analog delay effects unit produced by the Roland Corporation.

A tape echo device records incoming audio to a loop of magnetic tape, then replays the audio over a series of several playback heads before it is erased again by new incoming audio. The tape used in the RE-201 is the standard 1/4″ tape of the open-reel variety, but made as one, continuous loop. In the Roland ‘RE’ range there are no reels of any kind, the tape is transported via a capstan drive. The tape loop is contained in a loose, constantly moving jumble in the tape chamber (also known as the tape tank) under a plastic panel which protects the tape and keeps it from getting tangled. The replacement tapes were known as Roland RT-1L replacement tape loops and sold by Roland.

There are several control dials on the device that alter such aspects as tape speed, repeat pattern (an 11-position rotary switch), one instrument and two microphone inputs, a single analog backlit VU meter for all three inputs, wet/dry mix for both echo and reverb, and intensity (number of repeats, in a sense; it actually reduces how much the erase/record head erases the tape), that can be adjusted to a user’s liking; and bass/treble controls to EQ the sound of the repeats (not the dry signal), as well as dry and effected “Echo” output jacks with a switch for output setting (-10, -20, -35db levels.)

Used as a delay/echo, the Roland RE-201 is said to produce an unpredictable delay that is warm and gritty sounding. It is also capable of producing a large variety of its own sound effects, even without an input signal (by turning the intensity control to maximum and allowing the unit to self-regenerate, or self-oscillate, while manipulating the tape speed and other controls).

Despite its age, the Roland RE-201 is widely sought after, and still used by many bands to this day, notably in the experimental work of Radiohead, and the rockabilly stylings of Brian Setzer, the latter using one recently to get the slapback sound sought after for rockabilly and such styles of music. The Roland RE-201 is also extensively used in modern electronic music

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