SoundFonts.it has released WatKat, a VST effect plug-in that pays tribute to Charlie Watkins, inventor of the tape echo.
WatKat is a digital “clone” of a Wem Watkins “Custom” Copicat. It sounds very lo-fi, noisy, irregular. When you turn it off and leave the tape loaded, the tape bends in proximity of the capstan, and this turns into a periodic pitch fall during echo playback; plus, it gets hot and the background hum gets worse in time… you should turn it off every now and then; the tape is never completely erased, and the capstan motor flutters… and it gets worse if you touch it while it’s spinning; heads tend to get dirty very soon, infact you should clean them often. This is true for the actual hardware unit, and for the digital simulation as well!
- Panel Controls:
- Swell: adjusts the volume of the repeats;
- Sustain: adjusts the number of repeats; be careful with this knob!
- Gain 1: volume of input 1 (left channel);
- Gain 2: volume of input 2 (right channel);
- Head 1, Head 2, Head 3: use these switches to select the playback head(s); each head gives a different delay time.
- Don’t touch the capstan! :-)
- Additional Features:
- Very easy to use
- Very light on CPU and memory
- Easy MIDI Learn feature
- Free for all, so the world may know how cool is a Watkins tape echo!