Every once in a while a guitar pedal comes across our desks that is an absolute game changer. This is the case with the new Eventide H9 Effects Processor. It will come to no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I loved this pedal. I am a huge fan of Eventide and the Eventide Space and Eventide Pitch Factor have become staples on my effects board. My crowded effects board is one of the reasons I fell so hard for this pedal. Let me explain.
I play a very eclectic variety of music. I currently run two boards, a Pedaltrain Pro that is pack to the gills with 13 pedals, 8 of them being on the larger side. I also have a RoadRunner Pedalboard All-In-1 Gig Bag that will carry a few chosen pedals to a gig. The small footprint of the Eventide H9 Effects Processor allows me to easily bring along my favorite Eventide PitchFactor and Space setting to a gig or jam in one small unit. The additional algorithms for ModFactor, TimeFactor and H9 allow me to strip countless other pedals from the board.
I have gone from Mr. Gadget to gigging and jamming with just the Eventide H9 Effects Processor and an overdrive pedal or in a lot of cases I use my amps distortion and have just one pedal on the floor. In some cases depending on the gig I might also bring along an expression pedal to get some cool Whammy or Leslie effects. In a perfect world I can see using the Eventide H9 Effects Processor through my effects loop with a midi controller, one cable, one board and the ultimate control of my tone. The Eventide H9 Effects Processor also has a “Kill Dry Audio” feature for you folks with parallel effects loops.
Enough about my recent applications of the Eventide H9 Effects Processor let’s talk about the pedal itself. The Eventide H9 Effects Processor is housed in an ultra-light but tough plastic housing with a huge digital display and large black control knob in the middle. The geek in me wants to say it reminds me of a Stormtrooper. The user interface is very basic but powerful. There are three buttons (X, Y, and Z) above the black dial that will allow you to select the most commonly adjusted parameters. The assignment of these buttons will change depending on the selected preset. For example with a delay setting a button might control time whereas with a harmonizer setting it might control pitch. If there is a desire to control the settings beyond the basic parameters the Eventide H9 can be interfaced with a computer, tablet or smartphone but we will delve into that functionality a bit later.
The operation of the Eventide H9 Effects Processor is extremely quiet in the active or bypass state. I am not going to go into the algorithms of the Space and Pitchfactor settings to much today. My Eventide Pitchfactor review can be found here, the Eventide Space review can also be found on TMRZoo.com. The reason I am not going to deep dive into these settings is I was able to give the Eventide H9 Effects Processor an A/B comparison with its counterparts. The algorithms are the same and just as brilliant. The Eventide H9 Effects Processor is just as powerful and functional as the aforementioned effects. What was totally new to me were the Modfactor, H9 and Timefactor algorithms.
The ModFactor is akin to having multiple stompboxes on your board. There are a host of choruses, rotary effects, flangers, vibrato and even lush rotary effects at your fingertips. The Eventide H9 Effects Processor comes preloaded with a generous pallet of these algorithms, the beauty is you can download additional algorithms very inexpensively via the Eventide H9 computer or tablet interface. For example I downloaded the Ring Modulator algorithm for a mere $19. Where else could you find a studio quality Ring Modulator for under 20 bucks? The same can be said for the Rotary algorithm. A decent rotary pedal will run at least $150, the more desirable rotary effects are in the $250- $300 with some of them ranging in the thousands. Once again for just $19 the algorithm is downloaded to the Eventide H9 Effects Processor and nice thing is you can preview all of the effects algorithms before purchasing them. Making it easier the effects can all be purchased using your Amazon.com account. That being said do not fear, the Eventide H9 ships with more than enough fantastic factory loaded algorithms.
The Eventide H9 computer/tablet interface is slick. You can connect to the Eventide H9 via USB cable for any computer or Bluetooth for your OS X devices. The interface is very intuitive and easy to navigate. The application allows you to manage every parameter of your effects settings with a very analog felling interface. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) mimics the Factor pedals with movable knobs and working switches. This makes it very easy and natural to dial in your settings. You also have the ability to import and export presets and preset lists making it easy to share your settings with other H9 users.
This pedal is full of win. It is like having the power of Steve Via, Eddie VanHalen, Jimmy Page and Vernon Reid in the palm of your hand. Speaking of VanHalen there are some great Eddie inspired presets that come factory loaded in the Eventide H9 like “Panama” and “Women in Love”. The PitchFactor setting are a fast track to getting you that fat full Eddie sound from the VanHager days. The only limitation I can see with this pedal are the user’s imagination and desire for the ultimate tone. The Eventide H9 has a street price of $499 for the H9 or $399 for the H9 Core which is the same unit shipping only with the PitchFactor algorithm, additional algorithms can be downloaded as previously stated. For more information on the Eventide H9 Effects Processor check out Eventide.com