For those Pro Tools users searching for the ultimate echo-based effects, your dreams may have come true. Soundtoys Echoboy is a Mac-based plug-in running RTAS, AudioSuite and TDM (HD and Accel only) on OSX systems. Currently, its 48K only but 96K support is reportedly around the corner.

Admittedly, I used to think of echo as a simple thing. But with this plug-in, the options extend beyond expectations, which is always a good thing. The first place to begin is with any of the 300 presets organized into a collection of folders: Bass, Chorus, Classics, Drums, Effects, Extreme, Feedbackers, Guitar, Reverbs, Rhythmic, Solo, Style Tour, Vocal and Vocal FX. Choosing a preset will then set the plug-in into one of four modes: Dual Echo, Ping Pong, Single Echo, or Rhythm Echo. Accordingly, the GUI will change to reflect this choice.

Various knobs such as Feedback, Mix, and Rhythm are presented along with small drop menus, many offering additional submenus of options. For example, “Pattern” offers bars, notes, dotted, triplet, and some cool presets as well. For ease of use, just click on the MIDI lever to lock the plug-in to your song’s tempo (you can also set whatever tempo you want), grab a preset, and start tweaking. Experiment with the Groove knob, which flows between Shuffle and Swing feels, and the Feel knob, which offers Rushin or Draggin tempos.

The STYLE submenu offers 32 options, such as Studio Tape, Echoplex, and Analog Chorus. By selecting one, the Parameters in the Style Edit page change “underneath” the main GUI. To access this submenu, simply click on the Style Edit Button and a GUI within GUI appears. Now you can control EQ Low, Mid and High, Decay, and Gain for each band – along with a Mid Res knob for some cool resonant sounds. Next to this section sits Diffusion, Wobble, Decay Sat, Size, Rate, Sync, and Output Sat knobs. There are FB, OUT, and Loop/Post switches and several additional submenus for such things as Square and Dirt – each with its own group of settings. Also, by pressing either the TWEAK or STYLE EDIT BUTTONS, additional small drop menus appear, allowing for extra parameter choices. As you can tell, there is NO shortage of options on this plug-in.

So far, I’ve used it on drum loops, percussion grooves, a vintage fender Rhodes, an Oberheim OB-8, and vocals, and it truly shined on electric guitar parts. All parameters are automate-able except for the sub menus – which supposedly will be available in the near future. Overall, it’s become my first reach echo/delay.

The only negative is that it uses up a full chip per stereo instance. However, I use this plug-in so much now that it’s unquestionably worth the power requirements. It’s so diverse in its applications, that sometimes I’ve got three or four in a session — in a session — in a session — in a session. Echoboy rocks, plain and simple. (