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Hands On - Eventide H3500 (part 1)

Eventide’s top-of-the-range H3500 is to normal effects what Gareth Blackstock’s salmon mousse is to fish paste...

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Other than a digital reverb, have you ever seen, experienced or used anything that you would call an effects unit? You have? I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you, that is, unless you have used an Eventide H3000 or H3500. Anything else, no matter what proud title it gives itself, is not an effects unit. Eventide’s top-of-the-range H3500 is to normal effects what Gareth Blackstock’s salmon mousse is to fish paste. If you believe what I say, two questions you are probably asking right now are, “How much does it cost?” and, “Why haven’t I heard of it before”. If you are indeed asking the first question then I’m afraid you probably can’t afford it. The H3500 is only for those who can afford not to count the cost (or sensible people prepared to hire it as and when necessary). The answer to the second question is just a little more complex.

Some time ago in Sound on Sound I reviewed the Eventide H3000 when it was fresh out of the laboratory. At the time, Eventide were most famous for their pitch changers. Indeed, the word ‘Harmonizer’ is their trade mark. The H3000 made its mark as a very good pitch changer, with a couple of reverb programs thrown in for good measure. But most of us don’t really need a very good pitch changer, we need something that does the job to an adequate standard, and many multi-effects units make a good enough attempt at pitch changing for anything else, particularly at the H3000’s price, to be overkill. Over the years however, a quiet revolution has been going on. Eventide have been adding to the factory programs supplied with the H3000, in its various versions (which include the H3500) and they have made the unit into probably the most wonderful effects unit on Earth. Where the H3000 had a very basic range of factory programs on its introduction, the H3500 now has a total of four hundred and four, developed from twenty-three basic algorithms.

The Eventide H3000 comes in a variety of versions. You may be excused for thinking that the H3000, H3000S, H3000B, H3000SE and H3500 are different models. In fact they all have the same mainframe and one can be upgraded to another by the addition of extra factory presets in ROM and/or add-on hardware. Let me give you a quick run-down:

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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