Eventide H3000 Band Delays by joe_04_04
- Plugin: H3000 Band Delays
- Developer: Eventide
- Formats: AU/VST/AAX Mac/Win
- Price: 199 USD
- DRM: iLok License
- Websites: Eventide
The Scope: Eventide releases the H3000 Band Delay plugin, a highly creative delay tool used to delay specific frequency bands of audio in your tracks.
Sound Quality - 5/5: As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that I’ve not had much experience with Eventide products in the past, so prior to checking out and investigating Band Delays (to be referred to as “BD” from here on out), I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with the product. I wasn’t sure if the product was going to be something I could integrate into my personal workflow or not. As it turns out, it’s a super creative and fun-to-use delay that can do much more than just create simple delays. BD can be used to create everything from simple standard delays, to soundscapes, to ambient effects, and much more. This really seems like it is a sound designer's dream tool. While flipping through the presets to get a better grasp on what sort of sounds this device was capable of, I was quite surprised to hear just how creative and unique this product could really be. With contemporary productions going into more convoluted mixing territories with dense usage of extreme and unique effects, BD seems like it can be entirely useful in this sense, but also in a more traditional mixing sense because you can strip the filters from the voices and use it as clean delay plugin. It is hard to label BD with a specific sound because of the massive amount of controls you are given; due to this, the plugin’s tones can vary greatly from extremely clean and flat delays to super aggressive and extreme delays.
Ease of Use - 4/5: BD is fairly easy to navigate, as the plugin has a pretty well-structured layout. The delay section itself is presented in a classical tap delay plugin fashion, with each delay being represented as an “X” marker on a grid. To change delays, simply drag the X marker to which beat/division you want. Selecting each one of the “tap” delays presents you with its own set of parameters that can be tweaked per band. If you find that you’d rather be looking at a window showing all the parameter of all bands at once, you can select the “Expert” panel. This can be a huge time saver when you want to activate/deactivate a handful of bands, or do any amount of tweaks across multiple bands, without having to manually click on each tap/voice to access its on/off button while in “Program” mode. In the Expert panel, you’ll have instant access to all bands parameters. You also lose the visual graph that exists in the bottom right hand corner when you enter Expert mode, so you can tweak frequencies and such by ear. One of the cool features of BD is that you can assign the soft keys to parameters and use the big black knob as a control, reminiscing back to Eventides heritage in hardware, but it is not something that you must do in order to move parameters. In fact, you can tweak the entire plugin without assigning any parameter to a soft key, a decision I’m personally happy Eventide went with as it allows the interface to be much more accessible and easy to use while in plugin format. I’m greatly appreciative of Eventide’s choice to include session BPM syncing with not only the delay time, but the Function Generator’s speed (more on FG later), as there are still some companies putting out delays without this imperative feature. My only complaint with the Ease of Use aspect in BD is the “tinyness” of some buttons/text on the graphical user interface. Some of the buttons and text is fairly small, making it a bit difficult to see and click on at times. I assume the issue spawned from them having a ton of features they wanted to keep in the plugin design while simultaneously trying to create a GUI size that was appropriate for all screen sizes. At any rate, this is the only complaint I have with the entire plugin, but it is not a deal breaker in any way. It only took a very short period of time to grow accustomed to the user interface, about 30 minutes, which is quite impressive for the amount of features it has.
Features - 5/5: I believe BD has an ample amount of features. I’m not familiar with the hardware unit (H300) in any way, so the amount of features it actually possess is pretty daunting, but in a good way. All the delay voices are highly “tweakable,” each of them having a delay setting, a frequency setting (with the option to tune by pitch), a bandwidth (Q value) setting, the choice to either have no filter or a filter (with lots of filter types), a phase inversion option, and the choice to pan. I enjoy the fact that the plugin can be used as a standard 8 voice tap delay, the value of the plugin increases when you realize it can be used for conventional delay styles. You can remove the filtering options from all bands and just create pattern-specific delays. The unit also sports some more advanced functions that are equally as interesting. In the “Function” tab, you can assign parameters to the soft keys, in order to change them using the big black knob. You can also assign the “Function Generator,” a low frequency oscillator, to various parameters. Using the Function Generator allows you to make complex presets that are dynamically changing. You can also adjust the type of wave and the speed of the wave in the Function Generator. This allows you to modulate various parameters. If you want to modulate the pitch on a low-pass filtered band to create sweeping effects on the delayed signal in an electronic track, if you want to modulate the panning of a specific band of audio to keep it moving, or if you want to modulate the feedback of a band to create intricate feedback patterns, the Function Generator in the Function tab is the place to go. I would have to say that the Function Generator is the “heart” of the plugin, as it is what allows the user to create patches that are lively. The stock presets that come with BD also do a great job of really showcasing just how creative the tool can get. Overall, BD packs a ton of features, nothing seems to be missing at all to me.
Bang for Buck - 5/5: With the amount of features, BD price of 199 USD seems fairly appropriate to me. When you consider the fact that it can be used for both conventional delays and extreme effects delays, the value becomes even more apparent. If one spends plenty of time really digging into the features and functionality of BD (which doesn’t take long at all), they will begin to realize that it can effectively replace multiple delays in a mixer’s arsenal. Use it for standard delays by using just one voice and the feedback parameter, or create very complex rhythms with multiple voices and the delay parameter. Add filters to the voices and add in the Function Generator to further complicate things. All of these variables add up to a very well-featured product that is worth the price of admission.
Verdict: BD is a very cool and innovative tool. Due to its versatility, I think it can easily integrate into pretty much all genres of music, everything from classical/orchestral music, to rock and roll, to electronic. Additionally, with it being very simple and easy to navigate, it is very easy to adopt it into one’s workflow. I would recommend that both those who enjoy the heritage of Eventide’s classical hardware units and those who enjoy special effects plugins venture out and give BD a demo. It’s well worth the time invested.