ALTER EGO Dual-Channel Tape Delay


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Alter Ego is LiberaToe’s re-creation of a warm vintage Tape Echo delay, although with more transparency and less coloration. This analog pedal is both a stand-alone that anyone can buy and use, but also, it’s a module for the LiberaToe pedalboard/switcher system or platform. Since it has a dual channel, you can set both short and long delays with different delay times, repeats and mix amounts. I find this useful as I prefer a short delay with rhythm and a longer delay (or something a more intricate delay) with lead soloing.

The general sound is very warm and with a modest modulated decay, melding into the background without being too obtrusive, and while maintaining it’s organic nature. Consequently, this is not a bright or attacking delay, as one would find with digital counterparts; Alter Ego becomes one with the instrument’s mix, rather than being a separate sound. There is a ‘tap tempo’ insert (requires a footswitch) that controls long delays (when the pedal’s Platform Tap toggle is in the up position), but you also can attach a separate switcher that controls the LiberaToe platform and which has a tap tempo function.

As stated, tape delays are more subtle than other types, and they serve to provide additional space and breadth without being ostentatious. To create a bigger sound without necessarily hearing a lot of repeats, I keep the mix at least half-way (up to 2-o’clock), but with repeats around 12-noon. Of course, the tempo (Time) has a bearing on this and how tight you make the space between note and delayed repeat, but with a brief enough time you don’t hear much of the repeats, but you do hear a broader and fatter tone. I used that method for the lead section on the introductory composition of the demo video, whereas I exaggerated the time/repeats for clean and crunch tracks.

Besides the dual channel feature, Alter Ego handles delay with some unique toggle features, such as mixing in parallel or serial, with both short and long repeats. A parallel mix provides a greater sense of space, behaving similar to a stereo delay on a single amp, thus making this a great feature for Prog and Ambient music. Here is another toggle example: The top toggle (Platform Tap) has two positions, and when flipped up, it provides short delays on the Green channel (or tails for the Red channel) and long delays if on the Red channel. With that toggle flipped to the bottom position (and on the Green channel), it acts as a bypass, and to hear delay you have to switch to the Red channel. I won’t describe every setting option, as I explore them, and will make more sense, in the video demo accompanying this review. What should be noted is that when on the Green channel and hearing short delays, those tails continue if you switch to the Red channel; conversely, if on the Red channel with longer tails, there is no spillover if switching to the Green channel.

Alter Ego has its role, and I find it most suitable for someone looking for a simple delay effect that sounds warm and natural, but also with some features that optimize what a modern tape delay should be and can be. From its dual channel, to mixing of short and long repeats, Alter Ego is a great analog option for six-stringers and bassists; and I’m confident singers, keyboardists and other instrumentalists would find good use with this high-flexible delay pedal. Overall, great sound quality and build.