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NA-501 plug-in from Nembrini Audio

Emulates Roland's classic RE-501 Chorus Echo

Nembrini Audio NA-501 Roland RE-501 Chorus Echo plug-in emulation analogue tape echo bucket brigade chorus sound on sound effect

The latest plug-in from Nembrini Audio offers their take on Roland's sought-after RE-501 Chorus Echo effect. NA-501 is said to precisely capture the sound of an original unit, but also builds on the design, introducing extended parameter ranges and some modern functionality.

The company say that they have meticulously modelled the RE-501, capturing the warmth and character of its tape echo, Bucket Brigade Device-based chorus, spring reverb and SOS (Sound On Sound) sections. Although capable of faithfully emulating the sound of an original unit, the plug-in also extends its functionality by providing a wider control range on selected parameters and offering some features that were not possible on the hardware device. The chorus and delay sections, for example, benefit from an extended range of settings, and the SOS effect benefits from individual left and right timing controls. There’s also a switchable linear preamp option that provides some additional tonal choices, and the ability to sync the plug-in to the host DAW’s tempo.

The GUI has been designed to combine the look and feel of an original hardware unit with the convenience of a modern plug-in, making sure that users are able to access all of its features quickly and easily. The left-hand side provides a set of switches that control settings such as stereo linking, a direct through signal path mode and DAW tempo sync, individual on/off buttons for each effects section and a level meter. A Preamp section follows, with a Volume knob allowing the effects sections to be driven harder and offer a more saturated sound — engaging Linear mode bypasses the control, and offers a cleaner sound with less colouration.

Next up is a Chorus section equipped with Intensity and Wide dials, which adjust the effect’s modulation speed and stereo width, respectively. The plug-in’s Echo and SOS effects are combined in the next section, with Echo offering a choice of six modes and sporting a dedicated Echo Rate control that defines its time intervals, along with an Intensity control that sets the amount of repeats and feedback introduced.

The Sound On Sound effect then allows the plug-in to produced layered, overlapping playback effects, the delays times for which can be set independently for each stereo channel thanks to SOS Rate L and SOS Rate R controls. The section also houses Volume and Wide parameters, which are shared between the Echo and SOS processors and provide an overall level and stereo width control. There’s also a spring reverb effect, which is controlled using a single Volume parameter, and some tonal shaping is provided by Bass and Treble controls placed before the plug-in’s output.

Compatibility

NA-501 is supported on PCs running Windows 7 or higher, and Macs running macOS 10.9 and above. VST2, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available. It is authorised via PACE’s iLok system, although a physical dongle is not required. There is also an iOS/iPadOS version (which each require version 12 or later) for Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices which is available as a standalone App, AUv3 plug-in or Inter-App Audio effect.

Pricing & Availability

NA-501 is available now, and is currently (8 January 2024) priced at $29.99, reduced from its full cost of $99. The iOS/iPadOS version is available via the Apple App Store, priced at $7.99.

https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/501-chorus-echo

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