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.
|Eventide’s dual-identity Space is equally at home on stage or in the studio.|
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,
SUMMARYSTRENGTHS: 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
LIMITATIONS: Delay when
switching between presets.