Review: Eventide UltraTap – a Versatile and Esoteric Delay Plugin

“Eventide Delay. Digital Delay.” – Jon Anderson, Olympia

Yeah, I know I used that Jon Anderson quote the last time we reviewed an Eventide product. Jon – bless the wee elf – permanently connected those synapses in my brain years ago, so expect to see the same quote again in the future.

UltraTap is a versatile plugin capable of everything from freaky rhythmic delays to reverberated volume swells. It’s easy to use, with an intuitive interface and great sound. If you need a multi-tap delay in your studio setup, this is a plugin that belongs on your shortlist.

Eventide UltraTap Features 

  • Cool Tempo Synced Delays and Volume Swells
  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Ribbon Control for Real-Time Effect Morphing
  • Loads of Tweakable Presets
  • Available in Most Popular Plugin Formats
  • Street Price of $79

A Straightforward Delay Plugin Interface

Expect UltraTap’s easy to navigate interface to play well within your DAW of choice. A menu bar at the top serves to handle preset management as well as a few other useful functions, like Compare and Mix Lock. The latter helps maintain a static mix level when paired with other effects on an effect return track.

ultratap screen shot

Eventide UltraTap in action. Photo by author.

The main interface itself sports a host of virtual knobs familiar to anyone who’s used a multi-tap delay effect. There are also two sliders on either side of the plugin to control the input and output signal levels. The Mix, Length, Taps, Tone, and Pre-Delay knobs all perform as expected.

The Width knob is useful when using UltraTap as a stereo effect. Spread and Taper work together to build interesting rhythmic delays. Taper behaves in a similar manner as the Feedback parameter found on other delay effects.

UltraTap’s true freak gets applied using the Slurm knob. From the manual: “Slurm combines slowly varying (random) multi-voice detuning (micro-pitching) modulation AND smearing/slurring via a very small-reverb-like diffusion. The end effect is that the taps get increasingly smeared (lose their attacks and definition) and more chorused as Slurm increases.” Obviously, Slurm tweaking lends itself to real-time experimentation.

Chop serves as a tremolo, gate, or volume swell effect depending on its setting; the neighboring Chop Speed knob becoming active based on the value of Chop. Many cool LFO modulation effects are possible. Tempo and the ribbon controller (see below) also come into play, so experiment at will to generate interesting results.

Use the Tempo Sync slider to sync UltraTap to tempo in either a manual or automatic fashion; the latter setting uses the DAW’s tempo. The Tap button sets the tempo manually when Tempo Sync is turned off.

UltraTap also features a cool ribbon controller which lets you morph between two different effect settings by dragging a slider along the ribbon. The Hotswitch button works in the same manner, but gets toggled instantaneously, instead of based on the ribbon position.

UltraTap rewards Experimentation

While Eventide’s Fission plugin focuses more on useful utility functions, UltraTap is simply a fun for sonic experimentation. I spent an evening creating interesting polyrhythmic effects while beatmaking. The effect is capable of cool volume swell effects as well.

Check out the host of factory preset effects to get an idea of what UltraTap can do, but it is also easy to build your own presets from scratch. Eventide’s effects pedal interface style adds to its intuitiveness. The sound quality is also top notch.

If you love delay effects, UltraTap belongs in your plugin library. At a street price of $79, it’s an easy recommendation.


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