El Capistan now includes a selectable TRS stereo input as well as non-click footswitches. Read more here.
Read the dTape™ technology white paper and learn how we studied and captured every tape echo nuance in El Capistan.
“One of the most ambitious and clever applications of DSP we’ve seen in a stompbox.”
– Premier Guitar
Dirty multi head. Multi Head, Mode B. Running into an amp with a touch of drive. Tape Age and Tape Crinkle set to 75%. A hint of Spring Reverb is added as well.
When we decided to develop an effects pedal that delivers the sound and feel of our favorite tape echo machines, we knew we must relentlessly study and faithfully recreate every last nuance. We spent months in the Strymon sound design labs with an intense focus on capturing the warm, saturated, distinctive qualities of tape echo machines. The result is our hand crafted dTape™ technology. Utilizing a ridiculously powerful SHARC DSP, every drop of processing power is harnessed.
El Capistan provides three different tape machine types in one, each with three unique modes. With ten parameters to tweak, you get extensive control over tape quality, machine health and tone shaping. Go from the sound of a pristine, studio-quality tape machine to the heavily fluctuating sound of a machine in need of service. Get the full bodied sound of fresh tape all the way to the gnarled qualities of worn out tape. Because it’s DSP driven, you get a range of tape experiences unattainable with a traditional tape machine. All of this without the headaches of tape machine maintenance and repair!
Tape Machines and Modes
El Capistan has three distinct tape machine types, each with three separate modes.
|Time knob varies the tape speed while the playback head is fixed in position.
A – short delay with 1/16th note tap tempo
B – medium delay with dotted 1/8th tap tempo
C – long delay with 1/4 note tap tempo
|2 of 3 playback heads are selected at once. Time knob varies tape speed.
A – Heads 1 & 2 selected.
B – Heads 2 & 3 selected.
C – Heads 1 & 3 selected.
Tape speed is fixed while the Time knob varies the position of a sliding record head.
|A – Tape motor at double speed. Higher fidelity with shorter delay times.
B – Tape motor at normal speed. Lower fidelity with longer delay times.
C – Sound on Sound mode with instant tape splice, bulk erase, and two tape speeds. A tape-style looper!
Features and Specs
- Hand crafted dTape algorithms deliver meticulous and nuanced recreations of tape echo systems.
- Three tape machines in one: Fixed (one fixed playback head), Multi (multiple playback heads), and Single (sliding record head)
- Each tape machine has three modes for extremely flexible echo options
- Five tape adjustment and tone shaping knobs: Time, Mix, Tape Age, Repeats, Wow & Flutter
- Five “hidden” knobs for extensive tone tweaking: Tape Crinkle, Tape Bias, Low End Contour, Spring Reverb, +/- 3dB Boost/Cut
- Sound on Sound mode with instant tape splice and bulk erase. A built-in tape-style looper!
- Stereo output
- High impedance mono input (internal jumper enables selectable TRS stereo input) Pleaseread this FAQ for more info on the TRS input.
- Expression pedal input with selectable control over any knob parameter
- Connect our optional Favorite switch to save a favorite preset
- Tap Tempo and Bypass footswitches
- Ultra low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters
- 115dB typical signal to noise
- Analog dry path for a zero latency dry signal that is never converted to digital
- Premium analog front end and output section
- Super high performance DSP in a compact form factor
True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching)
- Selectable “trails” mode with high quality Analog Buffered Bypass
- Press and hold Tap for instant infinite repeats
- Powered with a standard 9V center negative DC supply. 250mA minimum
- Strong and lightweight gunmetal gray anodized aluminum chassis
- Crafted with love in the USA
Sound on Sound
Just like one of our favorite moving head tape echo machines, El Capistan gives you a Sound on Sound mode, but with some cool new features. When you enter the mode (Single Tape Head, Mode C), the machine is already recording, just like a traditional tape echo machine. We go several steps further by giving you instant tape splice and bulk erase functions. It’s like having a built-in tape-style looper!
To set the length of your tape, press Tap once to set your splice ‘in’ point, and press Tap again to set your splice ‘out’ point. All of the tone shaping knobs are active and affect your loop as it plays back and re-records. Press Tap a third time to completely erase the tape. You get 20 seconds of tape in slow speed, 10 seconds in fast speed. Check out our video demo below.