Retro Delay With Freeze
Modeled retro dual delay with “freeze” for lo-fi pitch warped loops and delays.
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Whether you’re looking for a studio delay that’s full of 80s character, or a performance tool that responds to knob tweaking with mind-bending sounds, PrimalTap is a must!
PrimalTap is an emulation and re-imagining of the unique sound and features of the Prime Time delay, a classic digital delay with some powerful performance and sound design capabilities. Like the original hardware, PrimalTap is a hybrid of digital and analog sound—it packs a surprising amount of grit, vibe, and character for a digital delay. In true Soundtoys fashion, we’ve also evolved and enhanced some of the unique features of the original hardware to give you even more control and creative possibilities.
In PrimalTap, the Multiply control doubles the delay time and halves the sample rate with each turn of the rotary switch. This is an emulation of the old Prime Time units—back in the early 80s the memory needed for the delay circuit was really expensive, so the designers cleverly let you choose longer delay times at the expense of audio quality.
But this limitation turned out to be one of the effect’s greatest creative features. You can dial in gritty lo-fi echoes or, If you’re looking for something more unconventional, try turning or automating the knob while audio is playing and you’ll create some really unusual pitch jumps. Combine that with PrimalTap’s VCO modulation, and you’ve got some really wild sounds on your hands.
For more hands-on tweakability, grab the Adjust knob which lets you manually sweep the VCO section for smooth, glitch free warping of the delayed signal. Try tweaking the Rate and Adjust controls and you’ll find yourself creating warbling sci-fi sounds in no time. And, of course, you can record or draw automation in your favorite DAW to capture and fine tune all of these weird modulation effects. PrimalTap really comes alive when you automate it!
Ready to move into even weirder territory? Tap the Freeze button to grab a slice of incoming audio. At its most basic, the Freeze feature lets you loop audio, either synced to tempo or at a length you choose. But the real madness begins when you start to adjust the Time, Freeze and VCO settings—you can quickly warp and modulate a sliver of audio into weird and beautiful soundscapes.
Twist the time knobs to create zippering sweeps. Tweak the VCO controls for ray gun barrages. And dive bomb to a lower octave with the Multiply knob. Freeze is capable of producing some truly otherworldly sounds when you start experimenting with PrimalTap’s other controls.
The original Prime Time unit, initially released in 1978, was a favorite of some highly creative sonic pioneers like Daniel Lanois (who’s still rocking his Prime Time today), Brian Eno, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, and Peter Gabriel. Some creative users even started using it as an instrument, tweaking knobs and pressing buttons while processing live audio.
A New Direction
Sync to Host By locking to your DAW’s tempo, you can tame the beast. Or, if you want, just let it run wild! Both delay lines can be independently synced to a note value or set to a millisecond value for maximum flexibility.
Host Automation Capture the mind-altering sounds of PrimalTap knob tweaks by automating with your favorite DAW. Whether you’re recording your frenzied knob moves, or drawing directly into your host, automation really unlocks the creative potential of this effect!
Upgraded Memory While the original was limited to 128 milliseconds of delay time (or 256 with a very pricey upgrade!) PrimalTap maxes out at a comparatively massive 2500 milliseconds. Create extra long echos, or sample and loop up to 2.5 seconds of audio with the Freeze feature.
Expanded VCO The original just had one modulation VCO shape; PrimalTap gives you four different options. We also let you push the VCO rate far beyond the original—you can move it way up into the audio range for ring modulation effects. You can even independently control the VCO depth for each of the two delay taps, and flip the phase of each to have modulation moving in two different directions.
Input Drive Oh, and, it wouldn’t be Soundtoys if we didn’t give you a way to abuse it so we’ve also added an “IN” amount so you can get the sound of pushing that old hardware too hard. It’s actually a very unique break-up saturation you can use to give sounds a little more or a lot more bite and attitude. Both of which we love.
“I’m always looking for quirky gear with unique character and vibe. I had recently been watching YouTube videos of Daniel Lanois live mixing with Black Dub. It was so interesting and inspiring to see the way that he used both the H3000 and the Prime Time in real-time while he was mixing – using the Prime Time’s hold button to capture ambient loops, and the Multiply knob to create octave shifts. That got me going, and I immediately fired up a Prime Time delay from our collection. It instantly put a smile on my face. It was so weird, cool, and musical, that I knew this was the next thing for me to work on. It took months of work to bring that same level of grit, character, and musicality into this plug-in, but I think that it definitely paid off. It’s my favorite Soundtoys plug-in right now.”
Ken Bogdanowicz, CEO and lead designer of Soundtoys
PrimalTap also includes Little PrimalTap, a simpler, single delay-line model. Don’t be fooled, it’s no slouch and can get used to echo, loop, warp, distort and mangle in endless ways. If you already own Little PrimalTap, check your account for upgrades to PrimalTap.
Get vintage digital delay sounds inspired by the quirky Prime Time echo
Create complex delay effects and modulations with 2 independent delay taps
Create insane pitch jumps with the Multiply knob
Create everything from lush chorus to sci-fi warbles with the VCO section
Sample, loop and warp incoming audio using the unique Freeze control
Go beyond the original hardware with expanded memory and creative new features
“The full version of PrimalTap is an absolute beast of a plugin! PrimalTap has an attitude that I just love and haven’t heard before from a plugin.” – Michael Costa, Chief Engineer at StreamAV and Soundtoys Beta Tester
AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, VST, and Audio Units (AU)
An internet connection is required at the time of activation.
Pro Tools (10.3.5 or later), Live, Cubase, Nuendo, Sonar, Logic, Digital Performer
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Soundtoys, Little PrimalTap, PrimalTap and their respective logos are all trademarks of Soundtoys, Inc.
*All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Soundtoys. These trademarks are used only for historical reference or to identify products whose sounds or tone were studied in the development of PrimalTap.