Erica Synths Ninja Tune Zen Delay Effects Unit
Ninja Tune - an English independent record label based in London and Erica Synths have teamed up to create a custom dub delay effects unit - the Zen Delay.
- Controls: delay time, feedback, delay mod (5 presets), tap button, dry/wet, bypass switch, filter cutoff, resonance, drive, input level, filter mode
- 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
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.
It's a dangerous little tool. Fun to play with, nice feel. Really versatile and great sound. – Helena Hauff
This is the kind of modern update I was looking for, and it's instantly replaced my older circuit boxes. It’s a black box and it sounds incredible. – Actress
On the hardware side of things, Erica Synths are clearly highly experienced in the worlds of effects, delays, filters and valve circuits. The benefits of the brand’s extensive design and manufacturing expertise are obvious as soon as you remove the Zen Delay from its packaging: it’s a beautifully built unit, with a real sense of quality before you’ve even plugged it in. The world of synth-friendly delays is in a healthy state right now. The Zen Delay feels like one of the most fully realised offerings of the lot. It’s a brilliantly inspiring effect that brings your music to life in creative new ways.- Juno
What could have been a simple branding exercise has resulted in one of the best hardware effects of recent years. MusicRadar verdict: It’s not cheap, but the Zen Delay is musical, powerful and could become your secret weapon in the studio or the DJ booth.
Zen Delay has quickly become one of Ricky Tinez most used FX units - ''Whether i'm making house, hip-hop, techno, whatever type of music the Zen Delay is practically always on it.'' - Ricky Tinez
I'm thrilled by the sound of the Zen Delay: its connectivity, the way the parameters are tuned to each other, that you can use all three effects independently of each other and add them to the signal according to your taste. The Zen Delay's experimental factor should make the heart of any ambitious electronics engineer beat faster. The delay times are simply amazing and leave me with a big grin on my face. - Amazona.de
The Zen Delay is a product of our expertise on vacuum tube designs, our powerful, custom DSP platform and the great sound of our filter ICs made and developed in Latvia. It by far exceeded expectations in terms of how it sounds and feels when played. - Ģirts Ozoliņš
The Zen Delay is the analogue delay unit I've been waiting for. Stereo warmth, tone and texture. Perfect for live abusage, and studio madness… love it - The Bug
The Zen excels at the sort of extreme dub possibilities Coldcut love. Feed it back! - Matt Black
For years I have dreamed of a state-of-the-art stereo valve dub delay for my MPC that perfectly masters all sound aesthetics from "badass" to "psychedelic hypnotically trashed" — and now, have a look! There it is... the Zen Delay! - Dr Walker
- Power: 12v (power supply for worldwide use is included)
- In/Out levels: 3.2v peak to peak
- DAC: 114 dB dynamic range, -100dB THD+N
- ADC: 108 dB dynamic range, -98 dB THD+N
- Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 5 cm
- Weight: 870g