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Software, Windows
GSi VariSpeed 70s Tape Delay VST VST3 AU WIN OSX [FREE] screenshot
The legendary plugin maker GSi is back with a new release: VariSpeed, a free plugin simulation of the WEM Copicat IC400 “Belt Drive” tape delay unit from the late seventies.

WEM Copicat IC-400 Belt Drive VariSpeed was the first tape echo machine made by WEM with a DC capstan motor capable of changing speed, thus varying the delay time.

GSi VariSpeed replicates the hardware instrument “as is” with all its pros and cons, without any additional feature except the fact that it is digital and MIDI-controllable.

This can be considered as the second chapter of a tribute to the genius of Mr. Charlie Watkins that GSi began back in 2008 with the release of the freeware “WatKat”, which was a simulation of the “Custom Copicat”.

VariSpeed is available in 64-bit plugin formats and standalone for Windows (VST2, VST3) and macOS (VST2, VST3, Audio Unit).

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  Resident 5.12.2012 794 18387
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  Member 5.06.2017 23 3088
SUPPORT for new soundbanks,plugins and more:
  Member 21.06.2018 14 1022
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  Member 18.10.2016 7 169
Another Copicat emulation. Nice!
  Member 28.12.2016 68

The previous carnation/emulation by GSI, WATKAT, a custom version of CopiCat

The most famous Tape-Echo Unit in Britain, and possibly in the World, the Copicat also happens to be the first repeat-echo machine manufactured as one compact unit. It was designed by Charlie Watkins in 1958, apparently after he heard a similar sound effect generated by two linked studio quality tape recorders for the Italian singer Marino Marini. Despite popular belief that the preceding Mk.1 and 2 Valve Copicats were the best performers, the facts are that this first departure from valves, the "CUSTOM COPICAT" was by far the more successful. This was mainly because of its early transistor state of the art design with its greater stability and greater recording bias control. It also had, by this time, developed far superior tape transport components. This model was sold by the 100's of 1000's all around the world. Most of them are still running nowadays. Incredibly reliable, with its superior dynamic range (of great importance when used for voice) and vastly improved erasing circuitry its only offset was the prevailing nostalgia and love of valve circuitry. But as an Echo Unit it outshone everything else the world had to offer. Although new digital technologies have made it possible for the unique and original Copicat sounds to be emulated and actually improved upon - nothing will ever be taken from the original pioneering 1958 Copicat - which climbed the mountain first! (Text from and Don't miss to read the whole Watkins history on the above liked sites!
Plugin description
WatKat is a digital “clone” of a Wem Watkins “Custom” Copicat. It sounds very lo-fi, noisy, irregular. When you turn it off and leave the tape loaded, the tape bends in proximity of the capstan, and this turns into a periodic pitch fall during echo playback; plus, it gets hot and the background hum gets worse in time... you should turn it off every now and then; the tape is never completely erased, and the capstan motor flutters... and it gets worse if you touch it while it's spinning; heads tend to get dirty very soon, in fact you should clean them often. This is true for the actual hardware unit, and for the digital simulation as well!

Panel Controls:
– Swell: adjusts the volume of the repeats;
– Sustain: adjusts the number of repeats; be careful with this knob!
– Gain 1: volume of input 1 (left channel);
– Gain 2: volume of input 2 (right channel);
– Head 1, Head 2, Head 3: use these switches to select the playback head(s); each head gives a different delay time.
Don't touch the capstan! :-)

Additional Features:
– Very easy to use
– Very light on CPU and memory
– Easy MIDI Learn feature
– Free for all, so the world may know how cool is a Watkins tape echo!
  Member 25.04.2014 146
Sweet! Enjoying this plugin
OK. Hmm. Zzz
  Resident 1.04.2015 119
This thing sounds phenomenal.. other developers will be charging good bucks.. donate if you can..
  Member 19.03.2014 253
i think it sound more like the real machine than the other new one a few weeks back
  Member 18.08.2019 124
These were great echo units, there were so many different models made and rebranded for other distributors sometimes with other controls llike Halo which gave it a unique floating type of sound, but very few models had that feature. That was the main reason I purchased mine in the late 60's even though I already had an Echocord unit. Copicats, Echochords and Echolettes were used by every band and group where I lived and there were hundreds of them in those days.

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