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This article was originally published in issue #41
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The H9 pedal has been a resounding success for Eventide since its release a few years ago. For those not in the know, the H9 was designed as a highly powerful effects unit in a small stomp box form factor that contained all of the effects from the company’s Modfactor, Timefactor and Space pedals, plus some other unique effects. You can find our review of the H9 Max version in Issue 34.
The pedal offers Eventide’s supreme quality Reverbs, Delays, Modulation and pitch shifting effects and comes in three variants - the H9 Core, H9 Standard and H9 Max. The Core and Standard H9 come loaded with a smaller selection of effect algorithms, the remainder of which can be purchased for use as the user requires via the H9 app on any compatible Bluetooth enabled device. The H9 Max, as reviewed by us, contains all of the algorithms unlocked from the offset but at a higher price. This policy allows users to choose the price and feature set that works best for them and then buy extra effects later, if they need them.
Eventide has been very good at releasing new algorithms over the lifespan of the H9 and the latest addition is called ‘SpaceTime’. It's pretty unique amongst the other algorithms on offer since it combines three effects at the same time that can interact with one another in multiple ways - Reverb, Twin Delays and Modulation. Whilst other algorithms contain multiple effects, their routing was always fixed and none have contained these three specific effects in combination. Eventide refers to this new idea as a ‘modular’ algorithm and it hints at an exciting potential future for further modular algorithms. As the only real criticism aimed at the H9 was that you could only use one algorithm at a time and whilst this is still the case, SpaceTime is the first instance where you can change how the effects in an algorithm interact and behave together, offering much greater creative possibilities from a single pedal.
To accommodate this more complex operation, Eventide has created a new interface for the H9 app, unique to the SpaceTime algorithm called ‘Pedal View’ that allows the user to see the virtual cable routing and choose which order to run the effects and whether you want to run the twin delays in series or parallel with the reverb. All of this can be saved as a preset of course and recalled via the app, the pedal itself or via midi program change messages.
The controls for each of the three effects are extensive with individual Time (tempo synchronised with subdivisions or millisecond values), Level and Feedback controls for the twin delays, Modulation Rate and Amount, and Level, Decay and Colour for the Reverb. Combined with the various routing options this gives the user an endless number of potential settings that would be worth the entry price of the H9 alone, given the quality of effects on offer here.
For H9 Max users the algorithm is free as part of their existing purchase, and for H9 Standard and Core users there is a small charge (around the price of a few packs of strings) for the algorithm that represents amazing value. As with all H9 algorithms Tap Tempo, Hotswitch mapping and overall mix values are available too.
Eventide gives you a number of patches to get started with, offering an impression of what can be achieved with SpaceTime. The delays are crystal clear and sound lush in combination with the modulation and the reverb can be anywhere from a bright plate-like space to huge cavernous washes. Utilising the Delays in parallel with the reverbs means that you can keep your delays pristine whilst still having massive reverb washes behind them. It’s all very impressive and very useful for those with a single H9 who don’t want to purchase a second pedal in order to combine reverbs and delays in this way.
For existing H9 Max users this is a freebie anyway and as freebies go it’s a fantastic one. For Core and Standard users it could be argued that this is the most useful algorithm so far for the H9 and will free up room on your pedal board as you won’t need separate reverb, delay and modulation pedals since any of the three effects can be used together or individually per preset. In that regard it’s a no brainer purchase especially at the small price tag. For those looking into the H9 in general this may well be the algorithm that tips you over the edge and convinces you to buy this superb effects unit. Essential stuff!