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Hands On - Eventide H3500 (part 7)

Why do old analogue foot-operated phasers give a better sound than high quality digital effects units? An interesting conundrum, but Eventide have obviously taken a lesson and produced a phaser which sounds good...



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Equipping Your Home Recording Studio b>Phaser

Why do old analogue foot-operated phasers give a better sound than high quality digital effects units? An interesting conundrum, but Eventide have obviously taken a lesson and produced a phaser which sounds good and lacks the old vices of noise and too-obvious ‘swooshing’.

Studio Sampler

Not a replacement for your S1000 (or S3000 even) but a convenient way of taking 11.8 seconds of stereo material from your multitrack master and playing it in further down the line. If you buy the dfx/e version of the H3500 (yet another upgrade) you get 47.5 seconds of stereo which should be enough for - almost - anyone.

Mod Factory 1 and 2

This is where it all goes crazy. The Mod Factories offer a wide variety of tools, techniques and tricks, and it’s up to you do do something with them. I could take a couple of pages describing these alone but you really have to see the unit in the flesh to appreciate what they can do. Here are the building blocks which can be patched together in almost any way, just think of what you can do with them… two sweepable delays, two state variable filters, two low frequency oscillators, two envelope detectors and two amplitude modulators. And in Mod Factory 2, two each of sweepable filtered delays, detuning pitch shifters, amplitude modulators, one low frequency oscillator and one envelope detector.

Buy it or Hire it?

You could buy several average effects units for the cost of one Eventide H3500, but do you want to have just average effects on your work? This unit really is the dog’s naughty bits and you owe it to yourself to try it out, or perhaps one of the other H3000 variants. If you can’t afford to buy but are serious about your recording, then check out the hire companies (most of which, unfortunately for 85% of the population, are centred in London) who will let you have one for a day for a sum which should fit in with your budget a little more comfortably. I can assure you that you are going to like this unit a lot.

H3500 Factory Presets

100-123 Basic Effect Algorithms

These are the basic algorithms, building blocks upon which the rest of the factory programs are based. Note that Algorithm 113 - TimeSqueeze - is not included in the standard H3500.

425-493 Percussion and Other Presets

These are written specially for drums, guitar and bass. Includes distortion effects.

500-534 Chorus/Flange/Thickeners

This group of effects contains choruses, flanges, micro-pitch shifts and other very useful thickening types of effects.

535-554 Delay Effects

Echoes, recirculating delay lines, multi-tap delays and other delay based effects.

555-589 Large Reverbs

Large halls and other immense spaces are found here.

590-604 Alternative Reverbs

This group contains reverb-like effects including gated and reverse reverbs.

605-629 Pitch Shift Effects

The more extreme pitch shift effects are found here, including the diatonic pitch shifters.

630-674 Unique/Filter Effects

Many dramatic filtering effects are found here, in addition to other ‘indescribable things’ (Eventide’s words!).

675-689 Tone Generators

This group of effects generates sounds. Look here for a tuning tone, or for MIDI triggered sound synthesis.

690-699 MIDI Controlled Effects

In this group the programs are specifically designed to be used with MIDI.

750-786 Custom Presets

Special presets for recording, post production and music written by Eventide’s friends in the music industry.

800-899 Mod Factory

These presets provide delay ducking, BPM delays, sweeps, compression, manual flanging and more.

MIDI Control

Many of the parameters of the H3500’s programs can be controlled by various types of MIDI event. Not just velocity or aftertouch but all these…

  • Mod wheel
  • Pitch wheel
  • Pitch wheel (positive direction only)
  • First note played and pitch wheel
  • Last note played and pitch wheel
  • Highest note and pitch wheel
  • Lowest note and pitch wheel
  • Note offset and pitch wheel
  • Quantity of notes down
  • First note velocity
  • Last note velocity
  • Highest note velocity
  • Lowest note velocity
  • Velocity of a specific key
  • First note pressure
  • Last note pressure
  • Highest note pressure
  • Lowest note pressure
  • Pressure of a specific key
  • Global pressure
  • Last note released
  • Release velocity of a specific key
  • Velocity and release
  • Breath controller
  • Foot controller
  • Expression controller
  • Other controllers
  • Damper pedal
  • Portamento pedal
  • Notes down threshold
  • Last note velocity threshold
  • Global pressure threshold
  • MIDI clock frequency
  • MIDI clock period

Believe it or not this is only a selection. I wouldn’t expect anyone to understand what each one can do without a full description and the machine hooked up and ready to go, but I’m sure you must be tempted by the possibilities.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004