As apparent from our article about the best tape echo pedals on the market, the character imparted by magnetic tape to the sounds recorded on it has been inspiring more than one effect builder, and the Bleak District Electric Tapescape is an interesting new entry in this niche.

The peculiar trait of this pedal is that it can go from subtle and realistic tape degradation to more heavy-handed settings unlikely to be generated by a real tape echo machine.

The Time knob sets the amount of delay, which can go from 30ms up to 1,000ms, with an adjacent Feedback control setting the number of repeats and a Mix knob balancing the dry and wet signals.

The knobs adding the typical, modulation-like tape artifacts are Wow (lo frequency LFO) and Flutter (higher frequency LFO), whose speed can be changed via the Rate knob.

The orange Swell knob sets the intensity of the momentary feedback swell you get when pressing the right footswitch.

Three toggle switches add extra functionality:

  • Type is the most important since it delivers three different types of modulation:
    – Up position: Random 1 (more intense)
    – Up position: Random 2 (less intense)
    – Up position: Sine wave.
  • Dry triggers the dry signal on and off, giving you a 100% wet option at the flick of a switch
  • LPF offers three EQ colors:

The Expression in allows to control the flutter rate or delay time. We added the Tapescape to our comprehensive article about tape-style delay pedals.

Bleak District Electric Tapescape, Builder’s Notes

The attic find you always dreamt of. Dusty, failing, broken. Beautiful.

Embracing the captivating idiosyncrasies and gradual deterioration found in machines teetering on the edge of collapse, Tapescape leans futher than most, into the esoteric. Generate your own, unique, magnetic ambience.

Key Features:-

  • Detailed control of tone and quality of repeats (filtering, wow and flutter/failure)
  • Long maximum delay time of +1100ms
  • Dry kill for worn out tape simulation or super wet ambiences
  • Expression control of flutter rate or delay time
  • Momentary ‘Swell’ footswitch and intensity control for feedback ramping

Tapescape has been designed and built around the concept of character. Not emulating a specific piece of equipment, but more inspired by the way mechanical audio devices deteriorate and eventually break down. If that interests you as much as it does me, you’re in the right place.