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This article was originally published in issue #50
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Both of these algorithms are a fantastic addition to the already highly impressive H9 line up. For Core users they are a very attractive price and for H9 Max owners you can download them for free with the latest version of H9 Control.
Fantastic creative and unique effects
Easy to use after a short time
High quality analogue feel for both fuzz and distortion sounds
Exciting and inspiring presets included
Free for H9 Max owners!
None (except you have to own an H9 already!)
We think Eventide's H9 is one of the most important and usable FX units on the market and offer no apologies for reviewing the regular update algorithms which the company issues to H9 users. Tom Quayle checks out the latest two and explains why the H9 is such a big deal.
Here at Guitar Interactive we're big fans of Eventide’s H9 pedal. One of the things that we love about it is the slew of new algorithms that Eventide has released since the pedal was originally brought to market a few years ago. Previously, we have checked out the ‘SpaceTime’ algorithm, combining Delay, Reverb and Modulation into a single effect block, but this time we will be looking at two algorithms combining drive sounds with other effects for unique and highly interesting results.
The latest updates for the H9 are the Sculpt and PitchFuzz algorithms. Sculpt is a very unique multi-band distortion effect that would normally require at least three separate pedals to produce. Sculpt splits your signal into two bands, high and low, and allows different amounts of gain and filtering to be applied to each. Compression and filtering can be applied before or after the distortion for some very interesting effects and Eventide has even included an envelope control for the filter stage, allowing for some truly unique wah-style (and way beyond) effects based on your pick attack.
As with all of the H9’s algorithms, you are best editing sounds from the H9 Control software on a PC, Mac or iOS device. This gives you a complete overview of the controls with Mix, Bandmix, Crossover, Low-Drive, High-Drive, Compressor (pre or post distortion), Low Boost (pre or post distortion), Filter-Pre, Filter-Post and Env-Filter on offer. This is pretty overwhelming at first, but selecting the included presets gives you a good idea of what Sculpt can do and how it achieves its unique sounds.
The Crossover control allows you to select the range of frequencies that each band will contain, whilst the Bandmix allows you to control the level of each band in the mix. Low Drive and High drive control the amount of distortion for each band whilst the compressor acts as you’d expect, but can be placed before or after the drive for different feels and sounds. Low boost allows you to add low end before the drive or to smooth it out after the drive whilst the filter section allows you to cut or boost frequencies before or after the cut-off of each band. This allows for highly some unique tone shaping that can be effected by the envelope filter for some seriously cool funky sounds.
These controls can be mapped to an expression pedal for realtime control of drive amount, filter frequencies, crossover or drive mix for example. The possibilities are truly endless and the sounds on offer are incredibly good for getting creative with and inspiring you to write new riffs around a particular effect.
The drives are digital, but have a distinctly analogue feel, reacting very well to pick attack and volume changes in a very natural manner. You can even send the signal out in stereo with the low and high frequency bands going to separate amps if you want. A switchable noise gate keeps things under control when you’re not playing and Eventide have even included an EQ curve view within H9 Control so that you can really see what the effect is doing and edit sounds in a more graphical manner.
Sculpt is a completely unique algorithm and at the asking price is well worth checking out. You can even demo it first and check out the presets to see if it’s for you.
The second algorithm is called PitchFuzz and is the newest kid on the block – based around a core Fuzz effect, combined with up to three pitch shifters and a pair of delay blocks that can be used purely as delay or to create arpeggiated effects when combined with the pitch blocks. You get controls for Fuzz amount, Fuzz Tone, Pitch Amount (up to three voices), Pitch A, B and C (up to +/-2 octaves or micro pitch shifting +/-25c), Delay Level, Delay 1 and 2 times and Feedback for the delays.
The pure Fuzz tone is fantastic without even engaging the other effects. It has a distinctly analogue feel without any digital aliasing or fake sounding note releases. The tone control allows you to dial in anything from a thin, raspy fuzz to a fat, woolly distortion that is worth the asking price alone. Adding in the delays you find some highly inspiring lead and rhythm sounds that can be tempo mapped or dialled in with the tap tempo button as required.
Bringing in the pitch effects is where things get very interesting and unique. Each of the voices can be mixed in using the Pitch Amount dial, so you could have a little of pitch one and then mix in pitch one and a little of pitch two for example, all the way up to all three voices at 100%. In the standard delay mode, all the pitches happen together. But in the arpeggio mode voices B and C are mapped to Delay 1 and 2 respectively, allowing you to create some amazing arpeggio effects that can sound lush or menacing from just a single note. The pitch effects are polyphonic and track incredibly well, even with very fast playing and of course all parameters can be mapped to an expression pedal for even more creative possibilities.
Both of these algorithms are a fantastic addition to the already highly impressive H9 line up. For Core users they are a very attractive price and for H9 Max owners you can download them for free with the latest version of H9 Control. Fantastic stuff!