Sam Bell reviews the Eventide Ultra Tap Delay, a unique multi-tap effect pedal capable of rhythmic delays, glitchy reverbs, huge pad-like volume swells, and extraordinary modulation. It's the perfect tool for staccato leads, swelling chords, and other evolving effects — everything from reversed reverbs to the sound of ripping it up in the Grand Canyon! Eventide bill it as "the mother of all Echoplexes," but just how good is it? Let's find out more.
Eventide has been pushing the boat out recently with the release of some of their most ground-breaking effects in pedal format. The Blackhole Reverb pedal arrived in late 2020, allowing guitarists to have access to some truly gravity-defying Reverb sounds. Now Eventide has followed up with a few more of their mind-bending effects with the release of the Mirco Pitch Delay and Ultra Tap Delay.
In this review, I'm going to take a look at the Ultra Tap Delay. This is truly a wild stereo delay pedal, it's definitely a sibling of the Blackhole Reverb in terms of the potential for gravity-defying ambient sounds. If you're looking for a crazy delay pedal, this is worth checking out.
The basic concept behind the Ultra Tap is the focus on being able to really dive into the sonic shape of the 'Taps' (Delay Repeats) We can do standard Delay things, such as change the length/sub-division of the Repeats, the Feedback/Rate, Mix and Tone. However, the Ultra Tap brings in some other really cool features to help further shape our 'Taps'.
We can change the way the repeats interact with each other. We can have them speed up and slow down, or we can have them change volume etc, using the Spread & Taper controls. We can have them modulate to a specific waveform using the 'Chop' control.
Another cool feature is being able to dial in 'Pre-Delay', where we can offset the start of the delay signal by a specific subdivision or time. With the 'Taps' control, we can create modulation or reverb like sounds by bringing in more repeats at different rates. We can even 'Slurm' them together using the Slurm control to create a washy texture.
The options are truly endless with this pedal, and the range of sounds and textures we can get from it are versatile. It's safe to say, however, the style of sounds are quite specialised towards specific uses within certain creative contexts (made by the user) This isn't a standard Delay Pedal; this is something from out of space!
The pedal itself is a very small footprint. It does require a bit of time to get used to how controls interact with each other. But once you get the gist, it's easy to navigate and there are tons of sounds to be found. The chrome finish does make it a bit tricky to see the controls; I'd imagine in a low light scenario that this pedal would be tricky to get around. However, I think the intended use of this pedal is to 'set and forget. Make your pre-sets, save them and then head to the stage or the studio!
Talking of pre-sets, you can switch between 5 of them on the pedal itself. It also has full MIDI capability if you want to grab some more pre-set places. And not to forget, you can also plug this pedal into your computer and use the Eventide Device Manager Editor software to further get into the mechanics of the pedal and the sounds.
This is definitely a high-end unit, tons of features, crazy delay/modulation/sound shaping options. If you're looking for something truly unique in the world of ambient/delay pedals, the Ultra Tap is certainly worth looking at!
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