The Strymon Deco is less of your standard effects pedal and
more of a tape simulation machine in a box. It has two modes in one with
Tape Saturation on one side looking to add in that compressed saturated
sound that you could only achieve from real tape before this pedal. The
other side of this pedal features what they call the Doubletracker
which looks to simulate all of the effects that originated from
doubletracking tape such as slapback delay, flanging and chorus though
this pedal can do a lot more than that.
From Slapback to Spacey
The doubletracker side of this pedal can take your from slapback
short delays to mid length tape echo effects via the Lag Time control.
These effects were used heavily during the 50's and 60's when people
started to work out what you could really do with a tape machine. The
effect is still used heavily to this day but not very often with the
same tape tone and feel. The Deco takes us back to those original tape
delay sounds and when you start to add in the tape saturation it makes
it hard to tell the difference between the Deco and the real thing.
You don't just get great sounding effects through you also get an
incredible amount of control over how you want the effect to sound. On
the front you have Lag Time (Delay), Wobble (Modulation), 3 Way Type
switch that control Phase and Blend which can change the volumes of the
virtual tape machines. you also have hidden controls for high trim, low
trim, wide stereo mode, auto-flange time and +/- 3dB boost/cut
controls. So no matter the sound you are after this pedal can deliver
your vintage tape tones.
From Flange to Chorus
When you turn the Lat Time control down you start to go into chorus
and flange effects. These choruses and flange effects are emulating what
it sounds like to run a doubletracked guitar on tape and having one run
slightly ahead or behind of the other creating a phasing effect that we
now call flange or chorus.
These effects are controlled by the Wobble, Blend, Type and Time
controls taking you from glassy and slow effects to deeper sounds that
work great with lower frequency sounds.
From Compression to Overdriven
The Tape Saturation side of the pedal delivers the classic saturation
and compression that you get from running to loud of a signal into a
tape machine. This is a sound that is highly desirable across a wide
range of sounds and genres including blues, rock, country and pop. With
the tape saturater you can either turn it on to add a different feel to
certain parts of your songs or you can leave it on all the time and get
great sounding emulated tape drive.
Like real tape this pedal goes between near transparent compression
when only light pushed (saturation knob low) but when pushed hard can
turn into a mild overdrive with lots of saturation.
Here's what Strymon say about the Deco Pedal
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.
Deco brings this original inspiration back, giving you these vintage
tape effects from the earliest recording studios, right on your
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.