This software adaptation of Erica’s desktop delay unit boasts plenty of substance, flexibility and attitude.
Released back in 2019, Erica Synths’ Zen Delay hardware was a great example of the Latvian Eurorack veterans’ ability to seemingly diversify at will. A collaboration with venerable electronic‑leaning record label Ninja Tune (home to the likes of Bonobo, Thundercat and Young Fathers), the desktop ‘black box’ was touted as “the first‑ever hardware effects unit produced in collaboration with an electronic music label,” and that’s not as strange a boast as it might at first sound. Many hardware‑favouring electronic artists mount guitar pedals on the table to cater for effects like delay, of course, but, with their heavy‑duty footswitches and interfaces designed for viewing at leg’s length, stompboxes can prove incommodious. The Zen Delay, on the other hand, was purpose‑designed for tabletop operation. MIDI and CV compatible, with neat little bypass and tap‑tempo buttons, and a detailed panel replete with versatile and tweakable parameters, it features a multi‑mode filter and an array of delay models and, to cap it all off, flush in the middle of its panel there’s a real vacuum tube, for that extra dose of ‘analogue kick’ in what’s otherwise a digital domain.
The Zen Delay Virtual’s panel presents an exact replica of the hardware unit — a simple, intuitive layout that doesn’t leave you wanting.