PRESS RELEASE – Oakhurst, California – Cherry Audio is proud to announce Stardust 201 Tape Echo, their first stand-alone effects processor. Stardust 201 Tape Echo is a vintage tape delay, chorus, and reverb plugin effect that lovingly replicates the classic Roland “Space Echo” tape echo effects of the 70s and 80s, and expands upon the integrated effects featured in their smash hit Mercury-4 virtual synthesizer.
Echoes Of The Past
First introduced in 1973, the Space Echo represented a step forward in reliability compared to earlier tape echo devices. With its solidly built tape transport mechanism, and with the inclusion of a spring reverb and chorus effects in some models, it was capable of a multitude of new sound colors. Prior to the advent of solid-state devices, echo effects were created with tape machines by recording an incoming signal, then playing it back slightly later via a playback head situated after the record head. The length of the delay time was determined by the distance between the record and play heads and the speed of the tape transport. Additional echo repeats were achieved by mixing (or feeding back) a portion of the delayed signal back into the signal input. This may sound like a crude affair, but it (somewhat accidentally) sounded fantastic for a number of reasons: the limited fidelity of audio tape provided a natural roll-off of bass and treble frequencies, and a “warm” tonality, and the inherent instability of the mechanical tape transport created minor speed variances (aka “wow and flutter”), lending an organic chorusing effect to repeats. Adding large amounts of feedback would overload the circuit and tape itself, resulting in wild, distorted “runaway” feedback effects.
Cherry Audio’s Stardust 201 Tape Echo includes features from the original RE-201 and RE-301 Space Echo units, plus some new ideas for expanded creativity and ease of use. The tape echo section perfectly recreates the warm tonality and subtle speed variations of the original, and includes all the features that make the original Space Echo units so desirable, including all seven head modes for all manner of creative, rhythmic repeats. They also expanded on the original with a tape speed mod section, for effects ranging from subtle vibratos to wild ray gun effects; a wow and flutter control for realistic tape transport speed variances; and motor on/off “kill” switch for creative tape-stop effects. Stardust 201 also includes a sync switch for easy rhythmic synchronization with DAW project tempos, and a “wide” mode that quadruples the maximum delay time.
The renowned BBD chorus effect seen in later Space Echo models has been beautifully recreated. In addition to speed and depth controls not found on the original Space Echo units, this BBD chorus operates in true stereo mode for lush stereo soundscapes. The input section allows up to 1,000% input gain for nasty-but-warm overdriven effects. Also included are a realistically-modeled spring reverb section, bass/treble tone controls, and four different graphic “themes” that make Stardust look as cool as it sounds.
Dom Morley, Grammy Award-winning producer, mixer, and engineer for artists including Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Sting:
My only issue is I’m using it on too many things! It sounds absolutely wonderful – three effects in one and all of them nailed. All of a sudden my mixes are swimming in beautiful reverb and delay. They’ve done an amazing job.
There’s never been a tape delay plug-in that sounded so fantastic at such an unfathomably affordable price. Stardust 201 is the ideal tape echo effect – it never breaks down and never needs demagnetizing, and it costs less than the price of a Space Echo replacement audio tape loop!
Cherry Audio’s Stardust 201 Tape Echo effect plugin is available now for $29, with an intro low price of only $19. Owners of the Mercury-4 Compuphonic Synthesizer can purchase Stardust 201 Tape Echo for only $10. It requires macOS 10.9 or later, including macOS Monterey, and an AU, VST, or AAX plugin host. The plugin is both Intel and Apple Silicon (M1) native.