Unless you've been recording only straight bluegrass, someone has probably brought in a big, green Line 6 Delay Modeler stompbox to use on a session. The thing sounds great, and frees up musicians from locating vintage echo boxes, replacing tape in an Echoplex, and all that. The Echo Pro has been out for a while, but I kept putting off buying one until Guitar Center put them on sale for $299. It's a rack mount version of the stomp box, and with more display functions, is quite a bit easier to use and set than the stomp version. In fact, I never got a manual (mine was the demo unit), but I started a mix session within an hour after purchase. This box is all about digital simulations of echo/delay, featuring tape, analog, digital, plate and other simulations. They sound good too. Up against my Roland Space Echo and Ibanez AD 202 it held its own, and without all the background noise that those systems create. There are some delay settings that I'm not sold on, like Sweep Echo - but overall this device has enriched my mixes and even found itself printed to tape during tracking. I even got a second one! (www.line6.com)

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

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