GSi Releases VariSpeed – Free Copicat IC400 Tape Delay Plugin

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GSi has released VariSpeed, a freeware emulation of the WEM Copicat IC400 tape delay unit in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats for 64-bit DAW software on PC and Mac.

VariSpeed emulates the Watkins (WEM) Copicat IC400 tape delay, one of the most sought-after vintage tape delay units. The IC400 was WEM’s first echo machine. The unit is known for its variable-speed belt drive motor, which, as the moniker “VariSpeed” implies, allows the IC400 to change the delay time.

The original Copicat IC400 is unusually flexible for a vintage tape delay unit. It can pull off short slapback delays and groovy off-beat delays with ease. IC400’s secret sauce, though, are those never-ending swirly echo swells that can take a life of their own.

Sometimes I think it would make more sense to describe a tape delay as an instrument rather than an effect. Seriously, the range of sound effects one can build using a single sound source and a capable tape delay unit can often rival the flexibility of a basic subtractive synthesizer.

VariSpeed’s interface design is heavily inspired by the original Copicat IC400. It even shows an animated tape loop that moves slower or faster, depending on the Varispeed knob setting.

The user can adjust the input signal for the left and right audio channels, the motor speed (delay time), repeat rate (delay length), swell (delay level), and the tone. The green, white, and red buttons toggle the three delay pickup heads. An on/off switch is also included as a quick and easy bypass method.

GSi VariSpeed features a help overlay which describes each control.

GSi VariSpeed features a help overlay which describes each control.

It is also worth noting that the GUI is freely scalable from 100% to 130% of its original size. The developers also provided a handy help overlay (pictured above), which describes each control parameter’s functionality.

If you’re a fan of vintage tape delays, don’t waste your time and download GSi VariSpeed right away. It’s one of the best freeware delay plugins in a long while. While you’re at it, why not check out Wavesfactory’s discounted Echo Cat (currently on a 50% OFF sale at Plugin Boutique, partner link) tape delay plugin, too?

VariSpeed is available for direct free download from GSi’s website; no signup is required. The downloaded ZIP archive contains an EXE installer that extracts the plugin files to the correct hard drive location. Optional, users can submit a donation to support the developer’s work.

You can use VariSpeed in all 64-bit VST, VST3, and AU plugin hosts on PC and Mac. A standalone version of the effect is also available.

More info: GSi VariSpeed (6.39 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer, and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

15 Comments

  1. We probably don’t need another echo chamber, but I welcome all quirky delays.
    Fantastic stuff, beautiful tone. Automatable, and by that I mean no zipper noise when playing around with knobs. I just wish you could tone down or even get rid of the tape noise so you can use it on one instance, turning it down on others when using it on more than one track. Other than that, purrfect.

  2. Cool, always room for another wonky delay.

    Didn’t GSi release a Watkins delay copy before…? May have been the one you could click on to emulate touching the tape etc.

    Whatever, always appreciated.

    • yes, they have the wat cat tape delay. but it is 32bit. I’m so glad that they release this new version! I always loved the wat cat plugin (and the swell function). btw, love bpb too :)

  3. HA… Gsi… I have used their Rhodes MKII simulation for ages… I loved the sound, and so small because no samples! Too bad they did not want to port it to 64bits, so I decided to check other Rhodes, but never really found the exact same sound I loved so much.

    Will try this delay for sure, as I remember also having used the wat cat thing :)

  4. According to a user at KVR…
    https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7940925#p7940925

    “The plugin requires an internet connection to phone home, it won’t work without one. If it can’t connect to the home server, it attempts to check other websites (google, amazon, etc.) to see if you are blocking GSI specifically. If the GSI server is not available for whatever reason, this will not function.”

    So this is Potential Unwanted Application and or addware/spyware depending on your view. Either way it I would suggest reading the FAQ’s
    https://www.genuinesoundware.com/?a=support&q=98#Q98

    “Some other titles (currently only VariSpeed) collect some details about the hardware running the software and store it on our server. Data is collected only every once in a long while, not at every session, and at the same time a promo screen is shown reporting offers or news about other GSi products.

    The data collected includes exclusively the following items:
    1. OS name and platform (x86 or x64)
    2. Computer name
    3. CPU vendor & model, number of cores, speed
    4. Memory size
    5. User name
    6. Language and region
    7. Screen resolution

    …..”

    … it’s very bad behaviour to not being upfront with shit like this, and to the developer NO not all applications does this…. you can try to justify as best you can but it’s still a shitty behaviour and not necessary.

    • Came here now to throw a warning up about this. Some folks may be cool about these kinds of things but others, not so much. Kind of questionable to bury that at the end of the user agreement, while first posting a less intrusive version of those terms at the start. Hard pass on that plug from me

    • “we can’t collect personal information” just after listing computer and user name as data collected… nice contradiction there. *tsk*

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