Former Eventide coder/engineer Dan Gillespie, who runs Newfangled Audio (distributed by Eventide), has developed some pretty wild plug-ins. We've reviewed the fantastic virtual synth, Generate [Tape Op #140], and the Elevate mastering suite [#133] before, and now he takes on a tour of what he thinks an echo unit can be with Recirculate. In the digital mixing realm, I always find myself prepping signals sent to time-based effects so that I can get the results I need. De-essing, EQ filters, compression, and transient shaping are common on the way in – then more compression, gating, and EQ are typical on the way out. In Recirculate, a lot of tone shaping is already going on "inside” the plug-in, and the many interesting presets will get you up and running quickly. However, understanding all the controls will give you the options needed to work this special delay into your mixes with better results.

A Grid screen in the middle of Recirculate's GUI shows us (via BPM Notes, Milliseconds, or sequencer Steps) where the First Echo lands for left and right, then where the Repeats form. Here, we can grab First Echoes or Repeats on the left or right, then set them to touch down wherever we want. Oh, way cool! The Tempo control above allows for Sync or free BPMs to be set. I really wish there was a tap tempo button right here, and after asking, it looks like that may be included in a future update. A Behavior panel has settings for Standard, Pitch Warp, Granular, or Ping Pong. The Filter section sets up top and bottom EQ within the feedback loop, which is super handy for controlling how the repeating echoes sound. The Dynamics section allows us to control echo signals by removing transients or tails, compressing the signal, and handy Ducking. I'll use Transient shaping to keep an echo from being too spikey and popping out of a mix – this works for that purpose quite well; Imagine a vocal where we only want the tone to echo without any distinct words being audible. A Gate control allows us to halt signal below a certain threshold from entering the effect – good for creating interest through a mix or keeping background sounds out. The Character section features Drive and Noise sculpting, and opens up options for distorting, bit smashing, and more, with a ratio control for how much of the processed signal is Noise. The Soundstage section offers a Spread width via L/R time offsets and crossfeed, plus a Reverb for more diffusion; adding this helped make super crunchy delay tones fit in the mix. The center controls in Soundstage change based on which Behavior is selected (Mod, Chorus, Spray), but I wish these "changing" controls were somehow visually noted so I could stop hunting for parameters that didn't exist depending on Behavior settings (sounds like I need counseling).

Even more controls are available on this expansive and resizable GUI, but I urge anyone who is curious to dive right in and make some echoey noise. Scrolling through the presets, as noted above, will demonstrate the possibilities within Recirculate. I found an immense amount of drum effects possibilities here, synced and not synced, and on vocals every preset did something exciting or fun. Understanding the power available with this plug-in to change the echo tones as desired proved important, and I was glad to have read the PDF manual.

Anyone who has watched me in the studio knows that I'll reach for Soundtoys' EchoBoy at least a dozen times during mix. Recirculate is likely to become equally as key to my effecting process, with deeper controls and wilder sounds available when I need them. I'm definitely impressed!

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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