A couple of months ago u/pad0 on r/ZOIA asked a question about the Eventide Ultratap. The conversation took a turn in another direction, but it got me to thinking: how many taps could I put in a patch.
The answer is probably more than 8, but 8 is what I settled on because as I started patching, I had this idea of 8 stereo taps, with an on/off control over each tap on each side, so you could quickly program in different rhythms via pushbutton. From the Ultratap, I took a spread control, allowing you to give the impression of the taps speeding up or slowing down. I threw some filtering and diffusion in the feedback path, because why not and… viola, Tap-a-tap-a-tap.
Although the original intention was a sort of rhythmic delay, I’ve found that I really like some of the effects that this patch can achieve at really fast delay times. Unfortunately, those times are faster than I can tap, and a clock divider is a sometimes tricky thing to work into a UI, so instead, I decided to make the patch accept tap or, via a pushbutton, set the time manually. Doing this expands the patch to encompass more than just multi-tap delays but also weird echo/delay/reverb almalgamations, multi-tap flangers and choruses, modulated faux reverbs, and a host of other strange and beautiful sounds.
The patch is stereo throughout.
Left — tap tempo
Across the top are controls for all the delays.
Time can be controlled either by tap tempo or, when the ‘manual time’ pushbutton is activated, via the time control.
Feedback can be taken from the first tap or from the multi-tap output (this can get a bit hectic and, in certain circumstances, produce oscillation… and not cool oscillation; this patch remains defiantly digital in its sonic palette). To enable the latter, press the ‘multi-tap fdbk’ button.
The mod LFO is exposed on this page. Part of the reason I did that, as shown in the video, is that if you set the modulation to a sawtooth or ramp, you can get ascending and descending pitches, as the delay lines spend more time shortening or elongating respectively. But a normal sine or triangle will produce a pleasing modulation, too, and by default it is set to sine.
There are low- and high-cut filters (high-pass and low-pass filters) placed in the regeneration loop. Adjusting these may result in momentary crackles as the CPU clips. Their effect can be subtle, but they help the repeats settle in behind the taps.
The spread control is bipolar: negative values will give the impression of the taps slowing down, while positive values will give the impression of them speeding up as the taps are offset against the time.
“SlurmsMackenzie” (hi Mike) is a smear/diffusion control. And a reminder to never stop partying.
Then there are two rows of eight buttons. Each button represents an on/off for each tap. You can set them up in any number of configurations.
Finally, on the bottom row are wet and dry level controls.