The “Space Echo” is a portable sound processing device used to create echo and reverb effects on audio tracks.
How it looks
1 On/Off switch
2 VU meter
A VU (volume unit) meter indicates the power level of audio signals. The reading is an average of the highs and lows within a short duration.
3 The peak level indicator
The peak level indicator indicates the maximum input of audio signals (above what the VU meter can measure). It indicates an instantaneous level rather than the average.
4 Mic volume/instrument volume
Controls the input and recording levels.
5 Mode selector
The mode selector changes the combination of three playback heads and the spring reverb unit, achieving 12 different echo variations. It includes a “reverb only” mode.
6 Repeat rate
The repeat rate controls how quickly the echo repeats by varying the tape speed. The slower the tape speed, the longer the delay between the original sound and the echo.
The intensity controls how many times the echo repeats. High intensity levels allow for the echo to self-oscillate (repeat indefinitely).
8 Echo volume
This controls the level of the echo effect.
9 Reverb volume
The reverb volume controls the level of reverb at mode selections between “5” and “11” and “reverb only.”
Equalizers control the treble and bass parts of the sound.
11 Echo/normal changeover switch
The echo/normal changeover switch controls instrument input alteration. At “normal,” the instrument input is unaltered. At “echo,” the instrument input is echoed 100%.
12 Output level changeover switch
The output level changeover switch controls the output level (High, Medium, and Low).
The connections include a PA input, which connects to a mixer; two mic inputs; an instrument input; an output, which connects to an amplifier; and a foot switch jack, which allows foot control of the echo and reverb.
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Inside the Space Echo
Under the hinged lid is the tape transport system, while the cavity of the “Space Echo” contains the electrical system.
1 Variable speed motor
A variable speed motor powers the capstan.
The capstan contacts and smoothly moves the tape through the Space Echo.
3 Circuit boards
4 Spring reverb unit
The spring reverb unit adds a reverb effect to modes 5 through 11 and “reverb only.”
5 Tape loop & chamber
The tape loop constantly cycles through the tape chamber in a freely moving cluster. This design cuts down on tape wear and playback speed irregularities. The tape chamber has a detachable plastic cover to protect the tape and allow easy access for tape replacement.
6 Pinch rollers & tension arms
The rubber-coated pinch rollers and the tension arms maintain tension on the tape and facilitate smooth tape movement.
7 Erase head
The erase head erases any previous audio on the tape.
8 Record head
The record head imprints the tape with the new, incoming audio.
9 Replay/playback heads
The 3 replay/playback heads read the imprint and play back the corresponding audio.
The transformer reduces the voltage of incoming power to make it compatible with the Space Echo.
How it sounds
Though there many different effects that the RE-201 can create, here are examples of no effect, echo, and reverb.
1 No effect
For no effect, the echo/normal changeover switch is set to “normal,” and the sound passes through unchanged.
With the echo/normal changeover switch set to “echo,” the mode selector set to “3,” and the repeat rate and intensity left in their default positions, a standard echo is added to the instrument sound.
For a sound with just reverb, the echo/normal changeover switch stays on “echo,” while the mode selector changes to “reverb only.”
Thanks to Rudy Moni and Moni Multimedia for helping us with sound recordings. http://www.moni-multimedia.com/
- (2016). Retrieved 20 October 2016, from http://dl.lojinx.com/analoghell/RolandRE201_OwnersManual.pdf
- RE-201/ 101 Service Notes. (1978) (2nd ed.). Retrieved from http://manuals.fdiskc.com/flat/Roland%20RE-101%20&%20RE-201%20Service%20Manual.pdf
- Roland RE-201. (2016). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_RE-201
- Roland Space Echo - RE - 201. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppTMD7UK7LY&list=RDppTMD7UK7LY
- Tape transport. (2016). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape_transport#Capstan
- UK, R. (2016). The Roland RE-201 Space Echo Story - Classic Gear | Roland UK. Roland.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from http://www.roland.co.uk/blog/the-roland-re-201-space-echo-story/