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Review: TC Electronic Flashback Delay Pedal

TC Electronic Flashback Delay PedalOverview
The TC Electronic Flashback is a digital delay pedal with 9 distinct delay styles; a looping function; and Tone Print, an extra mode that can be loaded with downloadable artist preset. The pedal has stereo in/out, buffered or true-bypass and controls for FX level, Decay, feedback and mode plus a 3 way toggle to divide the timing.
The pedal is powered by 9V battery or standard DC pedal power. The bottom of the pedal is removable with one screw revealing the battery compartment and a pair of DIP switches. The first switch activates the buffer circuit which helps keep the signal strength consistent in a large pedal board. The second switch mutes the dry signal for use in a parallel signal chain.

Delay time can be set in two ways. First by using the delay knob, the time range is from 20 ms up to 7 seconds, except in slap mode which goes up to 300ms. Having this very long delay time available takes some getting used to, coming from analog pedals. Basically anything past 12 O’clock will be too long for anything but special effects.
The other way to set tempo is with the unique audio-tap function. Push and hold the bypass button, strum the guitar, lift your foot and the delay is in time. This is a very fast and intuitive way of setting tempo.
The toggle switch takes your delay time from 1/4 notes, to dotted 1/8th notes or 1/4″ + dotted 1/8th. When the pedal is used with dual outputs, most of the modes will have a mono output unless this third toggle position is selected.


Review: T-RackS Black 76 and White 2A

Earlier this month I reviewed T-RackS 3 Deluxe. This review is for the two newest (already a year old) additions to T-RackS. The Black 76 and White 2A are modelled on classic hardware units that have been around for decades and are some of the most used mixing tools used in professional audio production.

There’s still some time left for the T-Racks Double Deal group-buy, the deals has even been sweetened with a freebie at 1000 users and 2000.

Black 76
The T-RackS Black 76 is an analog modelled recreation of the classic Urei 1176 Peak Limiter. Introduced in 1968, it was the first true peak limiter with all solid-state circuitry. The 1176 is not often used for mastering but is an essential tool for modern pop and rock production, that works on just about any source. It’s a timeless piece of audio hardware with a distinctive sound, especially when pushed hard.

Hardware 1176’s are not cheap, especially vintage ones in good condition. Luckily there are half a dozen software versions that do the 1176 mojo very well, plus you can use as many as you want, use them in stereo and without any noise.

The attack time ranges from about 20microseconds to 800 microseconds, significantly faster than most dynamics processors, even modern designs. Release time is adjustable from 50 to 1,100 ms. Ratios are selectable on buttons for 4, 8, 12, and 20:1. An ALL mode is also available which is the same as pushing all the ratio buttons in on the hardware, resulting in a ratio between 12 and 20 with much more aggressive slope and overdriven sound.

There were 8 revisions of the 1176 design, the current Universal Audio Re-Issue hardware is based on the D and E models, T-RackS Black 76 is modelled on revision E.

T-RackS Black 76
T-RackS Black 76

Compared to the Waves CLA-76, overall I like the T-RackS Black 76 more, both for sonics and features. When I compared Waves to the two Universal Audio UAD versions, I preferred Waves by far. This is just my opinion, both the CLA76 and Black76 (and UAD versions) are great tools but the T-RackS does something I like a little more, and is really something else when used in MS.