Line 6 originally developed its Amp Farm plug-in for Pro Tools to simulate popular guitar amps and speakers. The company’s next move was to use software to model the various stomp boxes, pedals and other effects units popular with guitar players everywhere – many of which are no longer in production. Now this software is also available as a Pro Tools TDM plug-in – called Echo Farm.
The interface is simple to use, with several controls common to each effect, while others change when you select a different effect. At the bottom-left of the window, a pop-up menu lists all the available effects, including classics such as the Maestro EP3 Echoplex, the Roland RE101 Space Echo, the TC2290, the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man and the Boss DM-2 Analogue Echo.
At the top left of the window there is a Delay Time knob, with a display in milliseconds next to this. To the right there is a BPM display that you can use to set the delay by entering the tempo in BPM if you prefer. The associated Note Value buttons let you select a note value for this, and a Tap Button is provided for you to tap the tempo if you favour this method. Next to this is a button marked Time Ramp. This lets you choose how Echo Farm will respond when you change the delay time. With a tape-based delay, for example, changes in delay time are effected by moving the tape head, or by varying the speed of the tape. The delay time does not change instantaneously to the new value with these machines, so you can distinctly hear it ramp up or down to the new value – while software can switch delay times virtually instantaneously. With this button on, the software mimics the way a tape-based system would change the delay time.
The rest of the controls that appear on-screen represent the similarly labelled knobs and switches on the original effects that are being modelled. Just as on the original, controls are provided for echo Repeats and Mix between original and effect, and the software adds Bass and Treble controls.
If you play guitar, and you have a Pro Tools TDM MIX system, then you will want this plug-in. And you can get great results using Echo Farm on vocals, keyboards and many other instruments. These effects work brilliantly, and Line 6 has chosen the selection wisely.