PLUG-IN CENTERFOLD
SoundToys EchoBoy


The EchoBoy interface is simple and accessible —
but hidden edit screens let you go as deep as you dare.
It’s called EchoBoy, but the latest product from SoundToys is more like the Big Daddy of delay effects. This insanely powerful effect runs as a TDM, RTAS, or AudioSuite plug-in on all current Mac-based Pro Tools systems, supporting sample rates up to 96 kHz.

The EchoBoy interface resembles those of previous SoundToys plug-ins such as the Tremolator tremolo and FilterFreak filter. Like its predecessors, EchoBoy dishes up convincing retro effects, modernistic mutations, and sounds that embrace both extremes. You can dial in basic sounds in seconds, browse the 300 factory presets, or open hidden edit screens to micromanage your tones.

One of EchoBoy’s best instant-gratification features is its pull-down “Style” menu, which provides instant access to stellar replicas of such vintage echo and chorus devices as the Tel-Ray delay, Maestro Echoplex, Binson Echorec, Roland Space Echo, and Boss CE-1. There are also dozens of cool custom sounds, such as shortwave and AM radio simulations and faux-reverb splatter effects. In addition, you can open a secondary edit screen that offers options such as three-band EQ with independently adjustable decay settings, tape-simulating saturation, “wobble” controls, and 17 overdrive profiles. This edit screen may look bewildering, but chances are you can just spin a few knobs and concoct something cool. I certainly did.

EchoBoy is equally impressive when it comes to making delays groove. You can, of course, set delays by absolute time, MIDI clock, and various note values, including dotted and triplet rhythms. In addition, there are “swing/shuffle” and “rushin/draggin” controls to humanize the feel. Finally, it can create syncopated rhythmic delays via a step-sequencer-style interface. It’s deep, man.

For all its complexity, EchoBoy offers a clean, easy-to-tweak display. For example, when you select between single, double, ping-pong, and rhythmic delay types, the main interface changes to display only the relevant parameters. And the controls you need most often — delay time, feedback, saturation, and input and output levels — are always accessible via large front-and-center knobs.

EchoBoy wins my vote for coolest software delay ever — and it only runs on Pro Tools software. You can download a full-featured 15-day demo from www.soundtoys.com.