Modeled retro dual delay with “freeze” for lo-fi pitch warped loops and delays. Whether you’re looking for a studio delay that’s full of 80s character, or a performance tool that responds to knob tweaking with mind-bending sounds, PrimalTap is a must!
PrimalTap is an emulation and re-imagining of the unique sound and features of the Prime Time delay, a classic digital delay with some powerful performance and sound design capabilities. Like the original hardware, PrimalTap is a hybrid of digital and analog sound—it packs a surprising amount of grit, vibe, and character for a digital delay. In true Soundtoys fashion, we’ve also evolved and enhanced some of the unique features of the original hardware to give you even more control and creative possibilities.
Get vintage digital delay sounds inspired by the quirky Prime Time echo
Create complex delay effects and modulations with 2 independent delay taps
Create insane pitch jumps with the Multiply knob
Create everything from lush chorus to sci-fi warbles with the VCO section
Sample, loop and warp incoming audio using the unique Freeze control
Go beyond the original hardware with expanded memory and creative new features
In PrimalTap, the Multiply control doubles the delay time and halves the sample rate with each turn of the rotary switch. This is an emulation of the old Prime Time units—back in the early 80s the memory needed for the delay circuit was really expensive, so the designers cleverly let you choose longer delay times at the expense of audio quality.
But this limitation turned out to be one of the effect’s greatest creative features. You can dial in gritty lo-fi echoes or, If you’re looking for something more unconventional, try turning or automating the knob while audio is playing and you’ll create some really unusual pitch jumps. Combine that with PrimalTap’s VCO modulation, and you’ve got some really wild sounds on your hands.
Like the original hardware, PrimalTap includes a VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) section that lets you add variation and motion to your echoes. Use it to create lush chorused effects, tape-like flanging, and echoes that drift gently in pitch. It’s perfect for dialing up those great shimmering guitar sounds of the 80s, or for creating more wild and unstable modulations. Unlike the original, PrimalTap’s Rate control lets you take the VCO up into the audio frequency range, so you can even create robotic ring modulation effects.
For more hands-on tweakability, grab the Adjust knob which lets you manually sweep the VCO section for smooth, glitch free warping of the delayed signal. Try tweaking the Rate and Adjust controls and you’ll find yourself creating warbling sci-fi sounds in no time. And, of course, you can record or draw automation in your favorite DAW to capture and fine tune all of these weird modulation effects. PrimalTap really comes alive when you automate it!
Ready to move into even weirder territory? Tap the Freeze button to grab a slice of incoming audio. At its most basic, the Freeze feature lets you loop audio, either synced to tempo or at a length you choose. But the real madness begins when you start to adjust the Time, Freeze and VCO settings—you can quickly warp and modulate a sliver of audio into weird and beautiful soundscapes.
Twist the time knobs to create zippering sweeps. Tweak the VCO controls for ray gun barrages. And dive bomb to a lower octave with the Multiply knob. Freeze is capable of producing some truly otherworldly sounds when you start experimenting with PrimalTap’s other controls.
The original Prime Time unit, initially released in 1978, was a favorite of some highly creative sonic pioneers like Daniel Lanois (who’s still rocking his Prime Time today), Brian Eno, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, and Peter Gabriel. Some creative users even started using it as an instrument, tweaking knobs and pressing buttons while processing live audio.
The unusual lo-fi and pitch-glitching effects were literally one of a kind at the time. It came stock with 128 milliseconds of delay, and could be optionally upgraded to 256 (for a substantial fee). Like many classic pieces of audio gear, over time, the limitations or imperfections are often what create the character that people come to love. In the case of the Prime Time, RAM was expensive, so in an attempt to get the most from the least, the engineers came up with the multiply function to increase delay time at the expense of sonic quality. That limitation is what was exploited to make this a highly sought after sound, and that sound is what drove us to create PrimalTap.
A New Direction
While PrimalTap faithfully emulates the original Prime Time, we couldn’t resist bringing this classic unit into the 21st century by adding new features and enhancements:
Host Automation – Capture the mind-altering sounds of PrimalTap knob tweaks by automating with your favorite DAW. Whether you’re recording your frenzied knob moves, or drawing directly into your host, automation really unlocks the creative potential of this effect!
Input Drive – Oh, and, it wouldn’t be Soundtoys if we didn’t give you a way to abuse it so we’ve also added an “IN” amount so you can get the sound of pushing that old hardware too hard. It’s actually a very unique break-up saturation you can use to give sounds a little more or a lot more bite and attitude. Both of which we love.
Sync to Host – By locking to your DAW’s tempo, you can tame the beast. Or, if you want, just let it run wild! Both delay lines can be independently synced to a note value or set to a millisecond value for maximum flexibility.
Upgraded Memory – While the original was limited to 128 milliseconds of delay time (or 256 with a very pricey upgrade!) PrimalTap maxes out at a comparatively massive 2500 milliseconds. Create extra long echos, or sample and loop up to 2.5 seconds of audio with the Freeze feature.
Expanded VCO – The original just had one modulation VCO shape; PrimalTap gives you four different options. We also let you push the VCO rate far beyond the original—you can move it way up into the audio range for ring modulation effects. You can even independently control the VCO depth for each of the two delay taps, and flip the phase of each to have modulation moving in two different directions.
New Feedback Algorithms – PrimalTap’s feedback section offers four new feedback types not found in the original: parallel and series modes, ping pong modes for creative stereo effects, and a special reverb mode that excels at lush washes of echo.
“I’m always looking for quirky gear with unique character and vibe. I had recently been watching YouTube videos of Daniel Lanois live mixing with Black Dub. It was so interesting and inspiring to see the way that he used both the H3000 and the Prime Time in real-time while he was mixing – using the Prime Time’s hold button to capture ambient loops, and the Multiply knob to create octave shifts. That got me going, and I immediately fired up a Prime Time delay from our collection. It instantly put a smile on my face. It was so weird, cool, and musical, that I knew this was the next thing for me to work on. It took months of work to bring that same level of grit, character, and musicality into this plug-in, but I think that it definitely paid off. It’s my favorite Soundtoys plug-in right now.”
Ken Bogdanowicz, CEO and lead designer of Soundtoys
PrimalTap also includes Little PrimalTap, a simpler, single delay-line model. Don’t be fooled, it’s no slouch and can get used to echo, loop, warp, distort and mangle in endless ways.
Plug-in formats (both 32 and 64-bit):
Audio Units (AU)
Supported sample rates:
Minimum: 44.1 kHz
Maximum: 192 kHz
Operating system: Mac OS X 10.8 or later, Windows 7 or later
An internet connection is required at the time of activation.
All version 5 Soundtoys products come with 32-bit and 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX Native plug-in formats.
Here is a list of all of the DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) that we currently support:
Pro Tools 10.3.5 - 2018 (Mac & PC: AAX Native and AudioSuite)*
*Our 32-bit AAX Native plug-ins will only load properly in Pro Tools 10.3.5 or later. If you are using Pro Tools 10.0.0 - 10.3.4 and wish to use Soundtoys 5 on your system, you will need to upgrade to Pro Tools 10.3.5 or later in order to do so. Our Native V4 products include RTAS, which will work in any version of Pro Tools 10.
**Using Live 9.2.1 or earlier can result in a nasty audio glitch when switching sampling rates during playback, or during offline bounce. We recommend using the latest version of Ableton Live.
Click here to view our full list of compatible host applications.
iLok.com account (An iLok USB dongle is not required. Create a free account here)
What's new in v5.3
macOS and PC:
Plug-in activation window now includes support for Activation Codes, which will be distributed to customers who purchase a new product (not an upgrade) from our web store, and will allow those licenses to be activated without an iLok account (optional).
Little Plate is now included in the 5.3 license group for new Soundtoys 5 customers.
macOS Mojave is now officially supported.
Graphics issue that was causing several components of the Soundtoys graphical user interfaces to display incorrectly on macOS Mojave has been resolved.
What's New in v5.2.3
All Soundtoys Plugins updated June 4, 2018 (Maintenance Update 126.96.36.19919 (Mac) and 188.8.131.5236 (PC))
Little Plate now included in the Soundtoys 5 installer
Fixed rare audio dropout/glitches under certain circumstances
Fixed crash that could happen sometimes on session recall
Fixed sluggish animation of tweak drawers on high DPI monitors on Mac
Fixed rhythm editor to allow for creation of multi-bar rhythms
Fixed “update nesting too deep” alert
Added support for MIDI triggering to AAX versions of FilterFreak and PrimalTap
Fixed CPU spiking in certain instances
Fixed AudioSuite support for different stem formats (mono-mono, mono-stereo, stereo-stereo) for Tremolator, Decapitator, Devil-Loc Deluxe, FilterFreak 1 & 2, Little Radiator, Radiator, and Sie-Q
Fixed occasional crash when rendering in Reaper on Windows
Fixed preset sorting in macOS High Sierra
Audio Units plug-ins will now scan correctly without requiring a restart in macOS High Sierra
Locked knob titles will remain red when GUI is closed and reopened
Fixed Pro Tools automation hotkey support for Effect Rack, as well as compound parameters like Delay Notes/Time in EchoBoy
Fixed Pro Tools automation hotkey support for all plug-ins on Windows
Fixed session recall in AU Lab
Fixed balance offset in in PanMan Random & Triggered modes
Updated VST plug-in names to make them consistent with AU and AAX versions when displayed in DAWs. *This included Little Plate, Little AlterBoy, Little Radiator, Little PrimalTap, Little MicroShift, EchoBoy Jr., and Sie-Q.
What's new in 5.2:
EchoBoy Jr. is now available in Soundtoys 5 and Effect Rack
EchoBoy Jr. is now included with individual EchoBoy 5 licenses and installers
Some Effect Rack presets now include EchoBoy Jr.
Fixed an issue where certain AAX plug-ins did not support multi-mono operation
The LFO rate parameter can now be automated in PhaseMistress and FilterFreak 1 & 2
What's new in 5.1
Sie-Q was added to the lineup.
What's new in 5.02
Plug-ins with the Analog Mode option now have a new “Op Amp” style to replace the Version 4 “Digital” style that was removed. In the previous version 5 release sessions using “Digital” defaulted to “Clean”. They now default to “Op Amp”. This will address the sound differences that some customers heard when recalling old sessions.
PrimalTap has a new Auto Gain switch added to the Tweak menu. When enabled, the output will automatically be lowered proportionally as the input gain is raised. This is the new default behavior for PrimalTap. Old sessions and user presets will open with Auto Gain set to “Off.”
Preset names, when edited, now display in italics to indicate an edited state
Preset names are now displayed correctly when sessions that were last saved with V4 are recalled (instead of reading “Default”).
Fixed an issue in PrimalTap where the Rolloff feature was not filtering the feedback loop as intended. (Note: this update will change the sound of some presets and sessions but is the correct and intended sound and behavior of PrimalTap).
Fixed an issue where Devil-Loc and Devil-Loc Deluxe knobs could jump to minimum or maximum when clicked in a certain area.
Fixed a problem where the delayed signal in EchoBoy might drop out under certain conditions.
PhaseMistress default settings will now sound identical to the default preset.
Preset names are now pre-populated when using the Save As… option.
Resolved a Windows problem where alerts could be hidden behind other windows.
Fixed issues that would cause the compare light to come on unnecessarily with certain plugins and presets.
New in Soundtoys 5:
Effect Rack, PrimalTap, and Little AlterBoy plug-ins
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