Eventide H9 Harmonizer Multi-Effects Pedal by jimmyklane
The Eventide H9 Harmonizer is more(much more) than a guitar pedal! I've been a recording engineer for over 10 years, and have used the H3000S/E, DSP4000, and Orville rack-mount units in several studios as well as my own(I own an H3000). The only possible downside to the H9 is that you cannot use VSig or DSPFactory to build your own custom algorithms.
The Algorithms that were included with my H9:
TimeFactor: Vintage Delay, Tape Echo
ModFactor: Chorus, TremoloPan
PitchFactor: H910/H949, Crystals
Space: Hall, Shimmer
H9: UltraTap, (and free thru 2013, Resonator)
Included in the price is one free Algorithm of your choosing, and I chose Diatonic from the PitchFactor pedal, as Eventide's legendary pitch-shifting isn't available ANYWHERE else! The great thing is that you can try ANY algorithm for 5 minutes once per day(maybe every 12 hours, shorter than a full 24 for sure)
Here, I'll give my personal and professional opinion on the algorithms I own(from the perspective of a synthesist/keyboard player as well as engineer)
TimeFactor; Vintage Delay- Two individual delay lines, up to 3 seconds long, and the mix between them is completely adjustable. Modulation speed and depth is set for both lines at once and you cannot choose the mod waveform. The bit depth of the delay lines is set from 5-20 bits, with the lower bit depths adding great character to the output. There is a filter that allows a sort of band pass response in the feedback path, and Compared to my ADA S1000 (1980's early digital) this delay is a bit clean, as you absolutely CANNOT overdrive the input to the H9, or you get nasty clipping...my rack mounted ADA clips the analog stages first and therefore sounds great when driven fairly hard. This a a GREAT delay, but since I have rackmount alternatives I tend to save the H9 for something more "flashy" unless I'm playing live
TimeFactor; TapeEcho- Two individual delay lines, up to 3 seconds long, and the mix between them completely adjustable. There is a "saturation" setting for overdriving the virtual tape, as well as WOW(slow variation) and FLUTTER(fast variation) and a Filter parameter to darken the repeats. It took me awhile to come to terms with this one, as at first I didn't care for it...turning saturation up to 10 sounds bad...you know what? Driving a real tape echo at +30dBu sounds really awful too!!! I own a tape unit, but haven't been able to use it for years, as the pinch roller disintegrated...but what I liked to use them for was sound-on-sound ambient washes for intros, breakdowns, etc...the TapeEcho algorithm is excellent for that purpose, but you have to treat it like you would the real deal...keep the settings(except for feedback) reasonable and you'll be rewarded! Speaking of feedback, it goes up to 110% here, driving the tape harder and harder, compressing and saturating while slowly losing the bass and treble response. If you like Tangerine Dream or Pink Floyd type washes of sound... This can help get you there!
ModFactor; Chorus- This is NOT your subtle analog chorus pedal...I own an original Ibanez SC10 analog chorus...that pedal doesn't sound like chorus, it simply takes a mono source and makes it into a stereo source with class...the H9 chorus has 4 modes: Liquid, Organic, Shimmer, and Classic. Classic is the most subtle, with Shimmer being the most extreme. Modulation depth and waveform is selectable, and you can separately modulate mod speed and/or depth for a more "organic" feel. You can even have an expression pedal or you playing dynamics control the chorus parameters!!! This is an unapologetic digital (yet very smooth and beautiful) "LUSH" type of chorus. It almost demands a true stereo setup....I haven't tried my Wurlitzer into my amp in mono yet, as stereo is just too gorgeous, but mono direct input to the interface loses some of the magic for me. (Remember, I'm a synth guy, not a guitarist). Each chorus mode is different enough that you feel like its a new pedal.
ModFactor; TremoloPan- As a synth guy, I've not gotten much use out of this one except as an auto-panner...synths have VCAs built in and you can usually route an LFO to them for the same effect...guitar guys, I'm sorry to cop out on you here... It works well, sounds good, and the depth and/or speed can be controlled by an expression pedal. That IS a lot of fun :-)
PitchFactor; H910/H949- This is why I bought this pedal...yes I could've gotten a PitchFactor for the same price, but in the studio I want to have options, and live the H9 can play backup if another pedal goes down. The Eventide pitch shifting algorithms are the best I've ever heard, and this Algorithm allows all sorts of fun to be had: Up to +12/-24semitones in two completely independent delay lines of up to 2 seconds(tempo sync able), with the shifting in the feedback loop(!!!). That means if you have an 1/8th note delay, one octave shift, that every 1/8th note your sound will shift another octave higher!!! This gets really crazy really fast when you bring in the second delay line for a perfect 5th or an octave down, etc. The quality of the pitch shifting varies depending on the "Type" setting with "H910" being glitchy and stuttered using big shifts. "H949" is a middle ground, with two sub-types "1" being a soft crossfade and "2" being an intelligent, less audible fade. "Modern" is exactly what it says on the tin...a glitch-free experience until you get past 2 octaves or so...simply stunning.
PitchFactor; Crystals- Twin reverse pitch-shifting delays with feedback into an H3000-style "ringy" reverb... Need I say more? This is classic Eventide, and if you want to hear the shadow imitation, try SoundToys "crystallizer" plugin. Much of the time this will simply take up to much space in a mix...but if you're in a solo or slower song, this can add incredible dimension and style to just about any source. I encourage you to download the iOS app or the desktop app just to preview this algorithm, as I can't really describe it all that well.
PitchFactor; Diatonic- (I bought this one with the included coupon). Two voice pitch shifter with two individual delay lines(with independent times and feedback) just shy of 1.5 seconds. Send a vocal into this, and you've got the classic Harmonizer... Get delay and feedback involved, and you can make a simple monophonic synth line into something HUGE with a life of its own....if you haven't heard an Eventide, then you haven't heard pitch shifting done right, period.
Space; Hall- An excellent hall reverb, able to compete with many of my rackmount units. Times from 0.2 seconds up through 20 seconds (plus infinite and "freeze" functions) with the ability to set low and high decay times seperatly, as well as control over pre-delay and modulation, and a post reverb EQ. Very lush, very smooth....better than your plugins for sure!
Space; Shimmer- a pitch shifting reverb! The manual says: "We don't have proof, but were pretty sure this is what guitars sound like in heaven".... Listen in awe as your sound stretches off into the distance and shifts up or down in two selectable intervals surrounded by a huge wash of rich reverb. Yeah, this is that cool.
H9; MultiTap- imagine a tapped delay....now give it up to 64 taps, and minute control over how those taps are spaced, voiced, and timed. You've got MultiTap. Ever listened to a ping pong ball hit the ground...the bounces get quicker and quicker as gravity takes hold. That is a sample of just one of the millions of effects MultiTap gives you...everything from discrete timed repeats to something very close to reverb. Very cool!
H9; Resonator- This is tough to describe... Imagine running your sound through a series of delays...each delay then goes through a sharp band pass filter that you can tune to any note, then you can apply feedback to the entire sound. Turn single notes into beautiful chords... Either with timed sequences or all at once. It's not shifting the sound, it's picking out the harmonics already there and accentuating them rhythmically! This is a lot of fun to play with and had already spawned song ideas for me!
I hope you enjoy your Eventide H9 as much as I am, it's pricey at $500, but it does things that you could only do with a computer and DAW (and usually does them BETTER) in a pedal format!!! Only downside? You'll want another one so you can run more than one algorithm at once!