Erica Synths x Ninja Tune have turned its characterful, wild Zen Delay effects pedal into a plugin with internal modulation.
A new trend can be seen in the music tech world. Companies previously known for their hardware product love started releasing plugins as well. Is it due to the lack of components or the lucrative software business, who knows? Among other things, Strymon recently published a plugin version of its almost legendary BigSky reverb processor. It came out of nowhere.
Now another well-known company is going this hybrid way. Erica Synths and Ninja Tune have turned their unique flavored Zen Delay effects pedal into a plugin for macOS and Windows.
Zen Delay Plugin
The Zen Delay pedal is a fascinating delay pedal that lends character to any signal, whether synth, drum machine… it’s one of those delays that invites musicians to experiment with its straightforward interface. The developers have now transferred this beautiful workflow to the software world with a virtual version.
Zen Delay plugin is not a simple digital replica. Yes, it transfers the features, character, and behavior of the hardware into the software world and, of course, your DAW. However, it is more and a bit less. As side info: it is developed by Raphaël Hoffmann (Hora Music), which is familiar to some from the VCV Rack world.
Let’s start with the core. Like the hardware version, it’s a characterful playful delay effect consisting of different modes ( tape, tape ping-pong, digital ping-pong, digital, vintage) and a built-in resonant filter.
The effect can be adjusted with a good selection of hands-on parameters: delay time, feedback, delay mode, VCF cutoff, resonance, drive, and VCF mode. The drive is a neat feature in the filter. So you can infuse a lot of character in the entire signal path.
Realizing effects as plugins often enables deeper functions than hardware. Erica Synths x Ninja Tunes has taken advantage of this and enhanced the virtual version with clever additions. Zen Delay plugin comes with a new LFO page that breathes creative rhythmic animation into the engine.
FM/AM and SignalPatch Modifications
Filters and delay can be modulated with it and thus bring new life into it. Then, there’s also FM and AM control, taking the plugin into whole new wild realms It also ships with new groove timings of the various triplets and dotted delay times.
Another great addition is the possibility to modify the routing between the delay and filter stages. So you can easily customize the character of the pedal or even insert the filter within the feedback loop for deep sound design tasks.
Furthermore, you can benefit from patch storage, allowing you to recall your favorite effect settings from the plugin’s preset manager. It comes with professionally-designed patches from Mijk van Dijk, Nerk from Toktok, Dr. Walker of Air Liquide, and others.
What the software lacks, okay, every software, is haptic that you have with the hardware.
A very nice release. The Zen Delay is a very popular delay pedal. Now, even more people can benefit from its charm and sound.
The new Zen Delay plugin by Erica Synths x Ninja Tune is available now for an introductory price of 99€ instead 149€ + VAT for the next three months. It runs as a VST, VST3, and AU plugin on macOS (Intel + native Apple Silicon) and Windows. For registration, it requires a software iLok (or dongle), and a demo version is also available.
It should also be mentioned that for every license sold, one five-year-old oak tree is planted in the reforestation project by the Liquid Sky artist collective in southern Portugal and will be cared for until the tree can survive by itself.
More information here: Erica Synths
This is wonderful news. As the owner and big time user of a hardware ZD, I can attest to its brilliance. Much of which comes from the IRL knobs that let you PLAY the delay. Will appreciate all the new features via the virtual version, but the tactile IRL intuitive hands on control of the hardware will be missed. In any case, I’m ordering the plug it, right now!
oh yeah, this is the real deal, and mapping controls to incoming MIDI CC numbers is a breeze for real time hands on control. Brilliant. I’ve been thinking of buying a second HW ZD for some time, this virtual version is perfectly timed !! Excellent new extended features and functions… many hours will be lost playing with this!!
The cheap software version has all the extras that hardware users have dreamed of. Interesting psychology involved here.
you can’t really compare the zen delay software and hardware. different sound. different aesthetics. different field of application. different way to perform with it.
the zen delay software cannot and is not supposed to replace hardware.
exactly, very different beasts. Good to have both. Plug in would NEVER replace the amazing tactile feel of the hardware… those knobs are delicious, so precisely calibrated to just feel and work perfectly.