Roland RE-201 Space Echo

Roland RE-201 Image

The Roland RE-201 Space Echo is truly a Vintage (1973) piece of music technology with lots of appeal even today. It's not a synth, but a Tape-Echo machine for creating true analog echo effects. The RE-201 is a simple system in which a small loop of tape records an incoming signal and immediately plays the recorded sound back over a couple playback heads before being erased over by new incoming audio. A real analog system with warm, gritty and almost noiseless operation, the Space Echo can provide warm, unpredictable and highly tweakable echo effects.

Roland RE-201 Image

There are twelve settings to adjust various tape loop speeds, number of repeats, levels, intensity, etc... It can even generate some of its own feedback loops for instant sci-fi effects. It features a built in spring reverb for even more classic analog effects. The RE-201 not only has Vintage appeal but is still widely used to get those dubby, slightly unpredictable, musically analog echo effects. It's a definite must for the TripHop and dub genres. It has been used by Portishead, Underworld, Fatboy Slim, Dust Brothers, Jean Michel-Jarre, Mr. Oizo, Bob Marley, Vangelis, Sneaker Pimps, Future Sound of London, The Orb, KISS, Sublime, Luke Vibert, Radiohead, Lauryn Hill and Tomita.

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22 Visitor comments
February 1, 2009 @ 12:17 am
I use this for the wetness to my sounds. Incredible set up with a THD head. Any knowledge on getting parts for the RE 201?
Seems the 12 position switch is on it's way out and it could use a new reverb system. I use this every day and want to keep it in good shape.
January 8, 2009 @ 5:33 pm
I don't remember where I saw the tape cartridge but i am using a swtch pedal that i bought at the local music store. I forget which one it is but i know if you take it in to a music store they can find one that's compatible with the space echo.
Neil Wilkes
January 5, 2009 @ 11:04 am
@ pflosi - you can use this in stereo. It's all on the card stapled to the inner lid of the tape module.

What I would love to know is how to adjust the tensions on the tape transports - the one I just got given (talk about lucky) works, is very clean, but the cart is shot. There is a kink in the tape & it keeps jamming. I'm gonna try cleaning it but I know it needs a new tape cart.

Anyone got any idea where to get a couple? And maybe a footswitch too?
October 9, 2008 @ 4:09 am
well, this machine is simple yet classic. the echo sounds great, even if u distort it. verb is a very nice effect too, mine had been replaced by an accutronics which sounds awesome. i just wish i had 2 of those machines for stereo effects ;)
September 17, 2008 @ 5:18 am
cool, well tidy, this is brilliant
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User Rating

Rated 4.19 (386 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 4 inputs, 1 output, 1 phones
  • Oscillators - None (Continuous Tape Loop)
  • LFO - n/a
  • Filter - n/a
  • VCA - n/a
  • Memory - None
  • Keyboard - n/a
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1973 - 1988
  • Resources & Credits
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