Five killer stompboxes in
one compact package
It’s been almost four decades since Eventide
began making rackmount Harmonizers, from
the first H910 to the current flagship, the
H8000W. Along the way, the company has
spun off numerous products that harness
Harmonizer technology, most notably the
PitchFactor, ModFactor, TimeFactor, and Space.
|The Eventide H9 stuffs all the processing
power of the PitchFactor, ModFactor,
TimeFactor, and Space into a smaller
package and duplicates their
controls in an app.
Now you can add a fifth stompbox to that
line, the H9 Harmonizer, which offers a new
approach to stereo effects for stage and studio
use. Although it is smaller and lighter than its
predecessors, the H9 does just about everything
those four stompboxes do, and more.
White: The New Black Clad in a rugged
white-and-black steel case, the H9 strips its
front panel down to essentials. It sports a
single rotary encoder knob surrounded by an
LED ring, two footswitches, five illuminated
buttons, six indicator LEDs, and a six-character
LED display—just enough to use when you’re
performing. The back panel has two 1/4-inch
inputs, two 1/4-inch outputs, an expression
pedal input, a mini USB port to connect to your
computer, and a connector for the included 9V
wall wart. Two jacks for MIDI I/O are on the
side, and Bluetooth connects to iOS devices. The
audio jacks are unbalanced, but unlike on other
Eventide stompboxes, the input and
output levels are continuously variable.
Although you can use the H9’s front panel
to select and edit presets (if you have the
patience), a free editor/librarian app for iOS,
Windows, and Mac OS X makes editing much
easier. H9 Control graphically duplicates all the
front-panel controls found on the PitchFactor,
ModFactor, TimeFactor, and Space and includes
a GUI for H9 Harmonizer as well (see Figure 1).
The app has some functions the hardware lacks,
including an onscreen ribbon controller and an
X/Y pad that offer better realtime control than
onscreen knobs. H9 Control also lets you save
and organize presets, purchase new algorithms,
and access help files, among other things.
Effects Aplenty An Eventide algorithm
is a collection of signal-processing elements
and the parameters that control them. Those
elements may be pitch shifters, delays, reverb,
ring modulation, or even step sequencers,
and a single algorithm may combine multiple
elements. A preset is based on a single algorithm
and contains the specific parameter settings that
define the effect it produces.
The H9 comes standard with 99 internal
factory presets based on ten included algorithms.
Thirty-three additional algorithms are available
for purchase, and H9 owners can choose one
for free. If you want more, you can download
them from H9 Control’s Store screen for $19.99
each, either by making an in-app purchase in iOS
or using Amazon Payments on your computer.
Preview any algorithm by loading its presets
into your H9 for five minutes or by listening
to recorded demos.
|Fig. 1. H9 Control reproduces the front panels
of every Eventide stompbox it emulates,
with ten knobs and six switches per screen,
as well as a ribbon controller. On a computer
or iPad, every control appears almost exactly
as it does on the original device. On an iPhone,
the same controls are split into two vertical
screens that you can switch between.
The H9 accurately reproduces all of
Eventide’s stompbox effects except one; an
improved version of TimeFactor’s looping
algorithm should be available soon. Four years
ago, I bought a PitchFactor because its complex
effects are exclusive to Eventide, and I love the
way it sounds. I compared its presets to the same
presets on the H9. Parameter for parameter, they
matched up perfectly and sounded identical,
though the H9 was slightly quieter.
Pedal to the Metal The H9 delivers
tremendous multi-processing power at a
reasonable price. It sounds fantastic, and it
improves on its award-winning predecessors in
so many ways: It’s more compact, convenient,
versatile, expandable, and cost-effective. What’s
not to like?
Former Electronic Musician senior editor
Geary Yelton lives near the top of a mountain
in Asheville, NC.
Strengths Studio-quality effects.
Extremely versatile. Easy to upgrade. Syncs
to MIDI Clock. Terrific iOS integration.
Limitations No power switch. No