Eventide UltraTap Pedal REVIEW

The control layout of the new Eventide UltraTap pedal is a step up from typical small format delays, with Mix, Taps, Length, Feedback, Spread and Taper adjustments. Each knob is doing double duty, with a well-lit “shift” button that lights up to let you know if it’s the primary or secondary function that’s being tweaked. Tone, Slurm (+1 for Futurama reference), Pre delay, Chop, Output Level, and Speed/Rise/Release dig into the deeper manipulation.

Going into each control’s specific functionality here will read like a manual, but the big takeaways were how the slurm, chop and speed rise and release functions worked together to really change it from a typical delay device. There are 64 delay ‘taps’ available, which means the delay can be subdivided into separate repeats, and those repeats can be manipulated into rhythmic elements or even smeared (or slurmed), creating cool modulation effects. Changing the LFO of the repeats brings in rhythmic aspects, allowing the unit to act like a modulation unit, incorporating tremolo and chorusing. The tremolo type effect is quite intoxicating, and with full control of every aspect, it means not having to deal with an analog unit that can’t sync up to a track’s BPM.

With a mono input, stereo outputs, and expression connections on the back, as well as USB connectivity, Eventide has a device manager application that allows for parameter editing, preset management and overall control of the device. There’s separate bypass and tap tempo switching, with the ‘Tap’ also doing double-duty, allowing the player to scroll through five presets on the pedal.

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For the more analog user, Eventide provided “cheat sheets” that slide over the pedal, and gave setting ideas to kickstart the experience — but we found that Eventide’s Device Manager really helped in understanding how all of the effects worked, and the presets also provided a good guide as to where to start.

It can also be run at instrument level, like a typical stompbox, but selecting it to line level function makes it perfect as an external effects device in a patch bay type setting. If you’re a set it and forget it delay user, move on, this isn’t your daddy’s delay. This is a fully loaded device that can manipulate time like a sci-fi villain, and might just be your new favorite synth accessory, to boot.

Sound-wise, the overall audio quality is perfect, and is what you would expect given Eventide’s history. If the Edge had this pedal in 1978 his head would have popped. The ability to have the bounce of the delay be part of a sound is nothing new, but Eventide makes it feel like it’s more practical to the player. The swells add such a change to a typical guitar sound that it’s like a new instrument.

For the user who really wants a fully functional and controllable delay that’s also pedalboard-friendly — this is it. We can’t recommend it enough.

PROS:

Fully adjustable delays (and more), hyper functionality, excellent audio

CONS:

Could be overwhelming to the casual delay user

STREET PRICE:

$279

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