The dTape Delay on the Strymon Timeline is one of my favorite delays available, and the most unique sounding.
Based off of the old analog tape delays, its adds a nice warmth to your delays.
On top of that it adds other interesting characteristics to your tone reminiscent
of these old delay machines.
One other interesting thing
about this delay option it that the bottom row of external controls is changed from its standard controls to new parameters.
From left to right these are:
4. Wow and Flutter
The tape age affects the
simulated age of the physical tape used in tape delays. As the machine would
get older the tape would wear out. This parameter simulates this effect. As you
increase the tape age you will get darker and more distorted repeats.
Tape Bias controls the
headroom as well as the dynamic range of your delays. The higher the bias is,
the more distorted your repeats will become. The volume of your echoes will
also decrease so you can adjust your mix to make up for that. For the cleanest
tones, Strymon claims to set the bias to around Nine O’Clock.
The parameter adds in imperfections
to your delays repeats. This simulates actual crinkles and imperfections on the
actual tape used to create your delays. This adds a nice subtle texture to your
delays, and keeps your repeats unique and fresh. Turn this all the way up to
get a more dramatically aged delay sound.
This parameter replaces the
depth knob and simulated the actual age of the machine itself. Just like the
tape changes as it gets older these machines would introduce physical
mechanical sounds into your repeats. Turn the knob up to add in more modulation
as well as mechanically related sounds.
There is one other parameter that
you can use on this setting that you can reach by pressing the value encoder.
Once you open that menu you will see “Tape Speed”, and will be given the option
of fast or slow. The fast setting favors a more Hi-Fi feel while normal gives
you sounds closer to an original tape delay. The Tape Crinkle and the Wow &
Flutter are especially dependent on the Tape Speed.
I really like the dTape delay and it is one of the most popular settings using by other guitar players. It is
especially prevalent in the Praise and Worship camps. You will hear this delay
on all of the Bethel and Jesus Culture albums. It has so many options and the
best way to get to know this setting is to spend some time experimenting on
your own. This delay is well suited for all sounds you may need whether is is a
short rhythmic delay, or long washed out repeats. In any situation this delay
will get you where you need to go.