Roland brings the legendary RE-201 Space Echo as an FX plugin to the Cloud

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Roland has just released the iconic RE-201 Space Echo with an extended feature set as an FX plugin in the Roland Cloud. 

Software companies often emulate vintage Roland gear, especially synths. The SH-101, Juno-106, or Jupiter-8 are three classics available from dozens of companies.

In the effects area, I’m pretty sure the legendary RE-201 Space Echo is among the most emulated processors. Many different versions are available: AudioThing, Arturia, Black Rooster Audio, Cherry Audio, Universal Audio, … and now also from Roland, the original developer. 

Roland RE-201 Cloud

Roland RE-201 Space Echo Cloud

The RE-201 Space Echo has arrived as an FX plugin in the Roland Cloud. It took a long time, but now there is an official emulation of the legendary vintage tape unit from 1974.

The developers have modeled the vintage unit from top to bottom. Like the original, it offers the iconic tape delay and echo part with multiple head combinations and the spring reverb. 

Roland made the interface high-resolution and resizable. It’s precisely like the original hardware, so you can immediately identify with it. There is the classic mode selector in the middle. On the left, you can set various volume settings (mic, from P.A., instrument), and on the right, the bass, treble, reverb vol, repeat rate, intensity, and echo volume.

Extended Features

But it didn’t stop at soft replicating the original. Roland took the opportunity to add more features to its iconic processor. By clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the plugin, a second part of the RE-201 Space Echo opens.

First, you have a diagram in which you can configure the individual blocks in the signal path, giving you more flexibility. Tempo sync , two stereo operation modes (single and dual), and the ability to fine-tune the echo’s repeat rate range (slow, normal, fast) are further new features, taking it to the modern age.

In addition, the emulation has a built-in tape speed LFO with six available waveshapes with rate and depth control.

Roland RE-201 Cloud

The new RE-201 Space Echo plugin can sound modern with a vintage touch but also a dirty character. This is made possible by the condition knob, which adjusts the physical condition of the unit. The more you lower the age, the more noisy and characterful it becomes.

Do you want more vintage flair? No problem. Tape wow and flutter, as well as an option to adjust the motor’s torque, are also onboard. An EQ with low cut and high cut gives you additional shaping options.

First Impression

At the time of writing, I cannot say exactly how it sounds because Roland did not offer a test option. There is also no video with sound demos. So, I am curious to see how authentic it sounds. But it is good that Roland has now released an official Space Echo emulation. 

Roland RE-201 Space Echo is available now as part of the Roland Cloud membership. It runs as a VST3, AU, and AAX plugin on macOS (native Apple Silicon + Intel) and Windows.

Ultimate membership subscribers have early access to the plugin. On August 13th, you can purchase it with a Lifetime key, either directly from Roland or retail partners.

More information here: Roland Cloud 

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