The Zen Delay, made by Erica Synths in collaboration with Ninja Tune is a bpm-synced stereo delay line with multi-mode filter and tube drive, custom dub delay effects unit.
Inspired by a trip to Berlin’s trailblazing music hardware trade show Superbooth, Coldcut’s Matt Black and longtime friend Dr Walker (Liquid Sky artist collective / Air Liquide) envisaged the exciting possibilities of a custom hardware effects unit. The result is the creation of the Zen Delay — the first-ever hardware effects unit produced in collaboration with an electronic music label.
Bringing together the best of the digital and analogue worlds, the Zen Delay is a BPM-synced stereo delay line, combining extreme feedback ranges for dub and experimental lo-fi effects with a multi-mode 24 dB synth filter and valve overdrive.
Created and manufactured by Erica Synths, the unit is housed in a metal case with Erica Synths’ signature bakelite knobs and a valve circuit for extra analogue warmth. While sonically versatile, it is incredibly easy to use — each function has a physical knob that you can play around with without diving into manuals or scrolling through menus on a tiny screen.
Crafted in close collaboration with DJs and producers, the Zen Delay was uniquely developed with both live and studio use in mind and is suitable for many different performance situations, musical styles and instruments. While most delay devices are designed as ‘stomp boxes’ for guitarists, the device is equally powerful in the hands of electronic music producers, artists and DJs, adding a unique, warm and powerful sonic character to drum machines, loops, vocals, synths, samples or any other source. Even full tracks or a live stereo mix can be enhanced by the combination of analogue and digital circuitry, breathing new life into iPad performances and giving traditional digital synths and drum machines a huge kick.
Controls - delay time, feedback, delay mod (5 presets), tap button, dry/wet, bypass switch, filter cutoff, resonance, drive, input level, filter mode
Inputs - Stereo In: 2x standard jack , MIDI In: standard MIDI socket, CV In: standard jack
Outputs - Stereo Out: 2 x standard jack
Delay times - 1-5000ms with 1/8...x8 of clock/tap rate in beat mode
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