Strymon Deco

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Product Description

DECO

Tape: The First Effect

Our journey begins with the early recording studios of the ’50s and ’60s. The introduction of reel-to-reel tape machines and the creative engineers that used them brought on some of the fattest sounds imaginable. These early machines really were the first effect pedals—they just wouldn’t have fit on your pedalboard!

From the inherent warmth and luscious tape saturation—to the forgotten art of how these machines were manipulated—they are capable of creating a huge range of beautiful, distinctive, and enveloping sounds.

Mid-Century Maverick.

Deco brings this original inspiration back, giving you these vintage tape effects from the earliest recording studios, right on your pedalboard.

Deco’s Tape Saturation smooths out your sound with familiar and delicious tape compression and saturation, while fattening it with subtle tape-driven transparent overdrive. The Doubletracker provides the power to shift your sound in many ways, easily allowing you to achieve syrupy slapback tape echoes, psychedelic tape flanging, and gorgeous tape chorusing sounds.

Two Effects in One.

Give your sound the smooth and warm qualities of analog tape, along with the enhanced touch sensitivity and playing dynamics that are intrinsic to the inner workings of tape machines. Achieve incredible transparency at low levels, with reduced high frequency spikes and a harmonically rich low end. Turn up the Saturation to increase the amount of tape drive, dynamic compression and distortion.

Tape Saturation knob - Transparent Overdrive

Deco is perfectly suited for a last-in-chain, “always on” sweetening effect. Everything sounds better on tape. Want to push the limits of tape beyond what was originally possible? Use Deco as a tape-style transparent overdrive—crank the Saturation all the way up to “peg the meters” and gently overload the machine’s input.

Go back to the early days of recording studios, where a few creative audio engineers discovered a new world of augmented sound by pushing the limits of studio tape machines. By inventing automatic doubletracking, they introduced echo, flanging, and chorus to the world of recorded music.

Lag Time knob - Tape Flange, Tape Chorus, Slapback, Tape Echo

Intensify and widen your sound with Deco’s Doubletracker controls. Turn the Lag Time to obtain classic slapback tape echo, spacious doubletrack chorusing, and mind-bending tape flanging. Add random modulation with the Wobble control and go from very subtle movement to more extreme undulations—just like having a recording engineer vary the speed of the machine.

Auto-Flage Feature

Auto-Flange

Press and hold the Doubletracker Bypass footswitch to achieve a recording studio-inspired through-zero flange effect. This engages a “virtual audio engineer” manning the faders and tape reels to create a smooth and predictable through-zero flange experience on the fly. After releasing the footswitch, the controls are smoothly returned to their previous settings.

In Depth. Sound designer Pete Celi gives you an in-depth look at Deco.

Specs

  • Detailed recreation of the mechanics and technology of two vintage studio reel-to-reel tape decks and their interactions
  • Nuanced sonic delivery of the classic saturation effects of the tape record/playback process
  • Simple and intuitive Lag Time knob allows for slapback delays, tape echoes, tape flanging, tape chorusing
  • Two Tape Saturation adjustment and tone shaping knobs: Saturation, Level
  • Three Doubletracker adjustment and tone shaping knobs: Lag Time, Blend, Wobble
  • Three Doubletracker blend types to tailor doubletracked sound: Sum, Invert, Bounce
  • Five “hidden” knobs for deep tone tweaking: High Trim, Low Trim, Auto-Flange Time, Wide Stereo Mode, +/- 3dB Boost/Cut
  • Press and hold studio-inspired Auto-Flange effect

Saturation sets the amount of tape drive by adjusting the preamp gain.

At low levels, a subtle harmonic enhancement occurs, increasing to dynamic compression and distortion as the knob is turned up.

Blend sets the relative mix level of the two tape decks.

Turn lower to blend in more of the ‘Reference Deck’, which can serve to tame your doubletracking effect. Turn higher to blend in more of the delayed ‘Lag Deck’. At 12:00, both decks are equally mixed to the output.

Lag Time sets the delay offset between the two tape decks. This delay offset between the ‘Lag Deck’ and the ‘Reference Deck’ creates a full range of doubletracking tape effects.

Transition from tape flange on the first half of the knob, to tape chorus, slapback, and then tape echo with a maximum 500mS delay.

Volume controls the output volume of the reel-to-reel decks.

Blend sets the relative mix level of the two tape decks.

Turn lower to blend in more of the ‘Reference Deck’, which can serve to tame your doubletracking effect.Turn higher to blend in more of the delayed ‘Lag Deck’. At 12:00, both decks are equally mixed to the output.

Wobble adds a random speed-modulation element to the delayed ‘Lag Deck’.

At lower settings, the variations are mild, covering the speed changes that a recording engineer might use to create time-varying flange effects. At higher settings the variations become more extreme while maintaining a tasteful musicality.

Blend Type tailors your doubletracked sound by adjusting internal phase and routing to attain subtle differences in tonality and low-end response.

Sum – Decks are in phase.
Invert – ‘Lag Deck’ is phase-inverted.
Bounce – Right channel of the ‘Lag Deck’ is phase-inverted and bounced to the left channel input creating a ping-pong-like stereo effect, or a double-repeat effect when using a mono output.

The Tape Saturation footswitch engages and bypasses Deco’s tape saturation effect.

The Doubletracker footswitch engages and bypasses Deco’s doubletracking effect. Press-and-hold to engage the instant Auto-Flange feature.

High Trim controls a shelving filter for subtle high frequency tailoring. Full bandwidth at minimum setting.

Doubletracker Boost/Cutboosts or cuts the Doubletracker effect by up to 3dB to allow for precise level matching. Full boost at Max, unity gain at 12:00.

Auto-Flange Time sets the sweep time for the press-and-hold Auto-Flange feature. Low settings are faster, and higher settings are slower.

Low Trim controls a high pass filter for subtle low frequency tailoring. Full bandwidth at minimum setting.

Doubletracker Boost/Cutboosts or cuts the Doubletracker effect by up to 3dB to allow for precise level matching. Full boost at Max, unity gain at 12:00.

Wide Stereo Mode generates a wide stereo image. Turn past 12:00 to send Deck 1 to the Left Out and Deck 2 to the Right Out. Disable by turning to left of 12:00. Automatically disabled with mono output.

Press and hold both footswitches simultaneously while turning the knob to access the secondary functions.

Press and hold both footswitches simultaneously while turning the knob to access the secondary functions.

Input – Plug your instrument in here. Default configuration is mono input. Can be used as TRS stereo input by flipping internal jumper switch.

Expression Pedal Input – Connect an expression pedal and control any one knob with your foot. Or use an external tap switch to tap in your Lag Time. Or plug in a Favorite switch to save and recall a favorite preset.

Left Output – Connect to your amp, mixing board, other pedals, etc. Acts as a mono output when only one channel is being used.

Right Output – Connect to your amp, mixing board, other pedals, etc.

Power – Maximum 9 volts DC center negative, with a minimum of 250mA current.

Reviews.

Deco isn’t just a nice emulation—it sounds like a frickin’ tape machine!

Joe Gore Premier Guitar Magazine

…provides a journey through classic studio sounds of yesteryear, with Sun Studio-style slapback echo straight from rockabilly heaven and warm flange effects that channel the spirit of Abbey Road in 1967 real highlights for retro pop fans.

Chris Vinnecombe Total Guitar Magazine

…easy to dial in the classic Sun Studio slapback, longer tape delays, warm saturated flange, and artificial doubletracking chorus-style effects… the creative potential doesn’t stop there. If you’re the type of musician that likes to experiment in the studio, there’s nothing to stop you using the Deco to process drums, bass, vocals, and, of course, guitars.

Guitarist Magazine

Although it takes the emulation of old sounds as its starting point, the Deco offers a huge amount of range for the creatively minded player seeking inspiration – we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Chris Vinnecombe Total Guitar

…provides the most convincing tape sounds I’ve encountered in a stompbox.

Joe Gore Premier Guitar

…pure tape goodness, like being transported back in time.

SonicState.com

Awards.

 

Designed and Built in the USA   

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