Whether you’re looking for a studio delay that’s full of 80s character, or a performance tool that responds to knob tweaking with mind-bending sounds, PrimalTap is a must!

PrimalTap is an emulation and re-imagining of the unique sound and features of the Prime Time delay, a classic digital delay with some powerful performance and sound design capabilities. Like the original hardware, PrimalTap is a hybrid of digital and analog sound—it packs a surprising amount of grit, vibe, and character for a digital delay. In true Soundtoys fashion, we’ve also evolved and enhanced some of the unique features of the original hardware to give you even more control and creative possibilities.

PrimalTap
PrimalTap

Multiply

In PrimalTap, the Multiply control doubles the delay time and halves the sample rate with each turn of the rotary switch. This is an emulation of the old Prime Time units—back in the early 80s the memory needed for the delay circuit was really expensive, so the designers cleverly let you choose longer delay times at the expense of audio quality.

But this limitation turned out to be one of the effect’s greatest creative features. You can dial in gritty lo-fi echoes or, If you’re looking for something more unconventional, try turning or automating the knob while audio is playing and you’ll create some really unusual pitch jumps. Combine that with PrimalTap’s VCO modulation, and you’ve got some really wild sounds on your hands.

Modulate

Like the original hardware, PrimalTap includes a VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) section that lets you add variation and motion to your echoes. Use it to create lush chorused effects, tape-like flanging, and echoes that drift gently in pitch. It’s perfect for dialing up those great shimmering guitar sounds of the 80s, or for creating more wild and unstable modulations. Unlike the original, PrimalTap’s Rate control lets you take the VCO up into the audio frequency range, so you can even create robotic ring modulation effects.

For more hands-on tweakability, grab the Adjust knob which lets you manually sweep the VCO section for smooth, glitch free warping of the delayed signal. Try tweaking the Rate and Adjust controls and you’ll find yourself creating warbling sci-fi sounds in no time. And, of course, you can record or draw automation in your favorite DAW to capture and fine tune all of these weird modulation effects. PrimalTap really comes alive when you automate it!

PrimalTap
PrimalTap

Freeze

Ready to move into even weirder territory? Tap the Freeze button to grab a slice of incoming audio. At its most basic, the Freeze feature lets you loop audio, either synced to tempo or at a length you choose. But the real madness begins when you start to adjust the Time, Freeze and VCO settings—you can quickly warp and modulate a sliver of audio into weird and beautiful soundscapes.

Twist the time knobs to create zippering sweeps. Tweak the VCO controls for ray gun barrages. And dive bomb to a lower octave with the Multiply knob. Freeze is capable of producing some truly otherworldly sounds when you start experimenting with PrimalTap’s other controls.

History

The original Prime Time unit, initially released in 1978, was a favorite of some highly creative sonic pioneers like Daniel Lanois (who’s still rocking his Prime Time today), Brian Eno, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, and Peter Gabriel. Some creative users even started using it as an instrument, tweaking knobs and pressing buttons while processing live audio.

primetime - circuit - angled

The unusual lo-fi and pitch-glitching effects were literally one of a kind at the time. It came stock with 128 milliseconds of delay, and could be optionally upgraded to 256 (for a substantial fee). Like many classic pieces of audio gear, over time, the limitations or imperfections are often what create the character that people come to love. In the case of the Prime Time, RAM was expensive, so in an attempt to get the most from the least, the engineers came up with the multiply function to increase delay time at the expense of sonic quality. That limitation is what was exploited to make this a highly sought after sound, and that sound is what drove us to create PrimalTap.

PrimalTap

A New Direction

While PrimalTap faithfully emulates the original Prime Time, we couldn’t resist bringing this classic unit into the 21st century by adding new features and enhancements:

PrimalTap

Ken’s Spin

“I’m always looking for quirky gear with unique character and vibe. I had recently been watching YouTube videos of Daniel Lanois live mixing with Black Dub. It was so interesting and inspiring to see the way that he used both the H3000 and the Prime Time in real-time while he was mixing – using the Prime Time’s hold button to capture ambient loops, and the Multiply knob to create octave shifts. That got me going, and I immediately fired up a Prime Time delay from our collection. It instantly put a smile on my face. It was so weird, cool, and musical, that I knew this was the next thing for me to work on. It took months of work to bring that same level of grit, character, and musicality into this plug-in, but I think that it definitely paid off. It’s my favorite Soundtoys plug-in right now.”

Ken Bogdanowicz, CEO and lead designer of Soundtoys

PrimalTap also includes Little PrimalTap, a simpler, single delay-line model. Don’t be fooled, it’s no slouch and can get used to echo, loop, warp, distort and mangle in endless ways. If you already own Little PrimalTap, check your account for upgrades to PrimalTap.

Little PrimalTap - fullsize

Highlights

Get vintage digital delay sounds inspired by the quirky Prime Time echo

Create complex delay effects and modulations with 2 independent delay taps

Create insane pitch jumps with the Multiply knob

Create everything from lush chorus to sci-fi warbles with the VCO section

Sample, loop and warp incoming audio using the unique Freeze control

Go beyond the original hardware with expanded memory and creative new features

Quotes

“The full version of PrimalTap is an absolute beast of a plugin! PrimalTap has an attitude that I just love and haven’t heard before from a plugin.” – Michael Costa, Chief Engineer at StreamAV and Soundtoys Beta Tester

Specs

Current Version: 5.2.0

Plug-in Formats (both 32 and 64-bit):

  • AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, VST, and Audio Units (AU)

Supported Sample Rates:

  • Minimum: 44.1 kHz, Maximum: 192 kHz

System Requirements:

  • Operating systems: Mac OS X 10.8 or later; Windows 7 or later
  • An internet connection is required at the time of activation.

Supported Hosts:

  • Pro Tools (10.3.5 or later), Live, Cubase, Nuendo, Sonar, Logic, Digital Performer
  • Click here to view our full list of compatible host applications.

Other Requirements:

  • Free iLok.com account. Create a free account here

Download Manual

Soundtoys, Little PrimalTap, PrimalTap and their respective logos are all trademarks of Soundtoys, Inc.

*All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Soundtoys. These trademarks are used only for historical reference or to identify products whose sounds or tone were studied in the development of PrimalTap.

Included In

Soundtoys 5
Soundtoys 5

The Ultimate Effects Solution. All 20 Soundtoys plug-ins including the new Effect Rack, PrimalTap, Little AlterBoy and the brand new Sie-Q. No iLok dongle required. Learn More.

$499

Soundtoys 5 Academic

More Products

EchoBoy
EchoBoy

Decades of echo devices in a single plug-in. The pro standard for vocal echo. Learn More.

$199

Decapitator
Decapitator

Subtle to extreme hardware-modelled saturation. The secret weapon of top mix engineers. Learn More.

$199

FilterFreak
FilterFreak

Fat analog sweeps, pounding filter rhythms, big hardware sound – with a dual version for double the analog attitude. Learn More.

$149

NEW! Little Plate
EchoBoy Jr.
EchoBoy Jr.

Seven iconic analog echo emulations in one easy-to-use plug-in. Get the same warm studio tape sound for vocals, gritty vintage hardware echo models, and new classics straight from EchoBoy. Learn More.

$99

Sie-Q
Sie-Q

Sie-Q features spacious highs, smooth lows, and great tones fast, bringing a whole new modeled color to your EQ palette. Learn More.

reg $129now $99

Little AlterBoy
MicroShift
MicroShift

The classic studio trick for super wide vocals – with a powerful new twist. Learn More.

$129

Crystallizer
Devil-Loc Deluxe
PhaseMistress
PanMan
PanMan

Rhythmic auto-panning with cool classic features, new tricks, and analog color. Learn More.

$129

Radiator
Radiator

Vintage vibe, drive, and the magic tone of the 1567a tube mixer. A beast on bass and drums. Learn More.

$129

Tremolator
Tremolator

Analog guitar tremolo effects and beyond with beat-synced rhythmic chopping. Learn More.

$129

Little MicroShift
Little PrimalTap
Little Radiator
Devil-Loc