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Eventide Space

April 19, 2012
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Eventide’s dual-identity Space is equally at home on stage or in the studio.
LET'S FACE it: Reverb is a compromise in a lot of multi-effects and software plug-ins. It takes not only a huge amount of CPU power to emulate the sound of a zillion sound waves bouncing around in a room, but considerable “algorithm savvy” from the designers. Generally the choice is between realistic (but relatively inflexible) convolution reverbs, or algorithmic reverbs that try to shoehorn a concert hall into a microchip.

If I told you that Eventide made great algorithmic reverbs, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. While the big deal with Space is that Eventide managed to condense their “rack sound” into a floor pedal, to me an even bigger deal is that you can also take it into the studio and have top-of-the-line reverb and many other innovative “space” effects without the compromises inherent in many plug-ins. In today’s still-struggling economy, the dual stage/studio identity is welcome.

Sound Garden Space is based on 12 algorithms, and ships with 100 useable (not just “impress the guy at Guitar Center”) presets you can overwrite with your own; presets can also be saved via SysEx. The user interface is outstanding— yes, it’s easy to navigate, but there’s quite a bit of flexibility with nine parameter control knobs in addition to dry/wet mix and preset select. Even the display is bright, readable, and informative. The three footswitches have two modes—one for preset selection, the other for live performance (bypass, tap tempo, and a third switch whose function depends on the preset). There’s a noticeable delay when loading a preset, but that’s unavoidable when you have to flush, then load, so much data.

Space works in mono, stereo, or mono in/ stereo out, with selectable instrument/line input and amp/line output. It offers jacks for an expression pedal and aux switch jack, 5-pin DIN MIDI in and out, and USB port for class-compliant MIDI or updating.

Attention to Detail Sound isn’t the only thing that separates Space from the pack. As just one example, it has three bypass modes: relay-based true bypass, DSP bypass (bypasses effects), and DSP+FX, where delay “tails” continue after bypassing. For send/return applications in the studio, you can disable the dry path altogether.

Why Be Normal? Sure, you have hall, plate, spring (outstanding), room, and above-average reverse algorithms. But there’s more. DualVerb can morph between two reverb sounds, while ModEchoVerb is . . . well . . . reverb meets freeze meets modulation meets echo, and it’s brilliant and versatile. The remaining five reverbs range from industrial to celestial, with stops along the way for dynamics, tremolo, and other variations. These are exceptionally creative effects; I’ve heard some of them before in Very Expensive Eventide rack processors. They blew me away then, and they blow me away even more when packaged in a stomp box.

The expression pedal implementation is superb. It can control up to ten parameters; set them as desired in the toe position, set them as desired in the heel position, and voilà—you’ve set your expression pedal limits. Even the MIDI implementation is deep, and allows control via external CC messages.

The sounds are winners, every algorithm oozes quality, the fidelity is smooth and transparent, and the options extend way beyond a “reverb pedal.” You can just dial up presets, or get deep into customization; and don’t overlook what this can do in the studio. Granted, all of the Eventide Factor pedals are excellent, so this doesn’t come as a surprise—especially if you’re familiar with Eventide rack gear. But the fact that you can equate Space to Eventide rack gear tells you something right there, doesn’t it?

 
SUMMARY
STRENGTHS: Class act, from sound quality to construction. Versatile I/O. Lots of extras for tweakers. Deep MIDI implementation. Very helpful documentation. Truly an Eventide “rack in a box.” Considerable realtime performance control.

LIMITATIONS: Delay when switching between presets.

$579 MSRP
eventide.com

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