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Eventide H9 Review

YouTuber loopop reviewed the highly enviable Eventide H9, which is controllable via their iOS and Android app.

Video Description:

Multi-effects on multi-channels right here:
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Shown in the clip alongside the H9: Arturia MatrixBrute, SpikeXL stand from Cremacaffe, Apple iPad

0:00 Intro
1:10 Overview
2:30 Explanation of parameters
3:45 The HotKnob A-B parameter range control
4:20 H9 Control Application features
4:30 Using MIDI to control the H9
5:40 Defining HotKnob/Expression ranges
6:45 What are Algorithms?
8:15 TimeFactor preset demos
9:15 How the Looper works
10:05 ModFactor preset demos
12:00 PitchFactor preset demos
15:45 Space preset demos
17:00 The difference between Freeze and Infinity
19:00 Shimmer deep dive
20:15 Dual verb explained
21:30 H9 exclusives algorithms and presets

The H9 is an effects pedal from Eventide that as evolved over the past few years: it contains all the effects previously released in the Eventide Factor series pedals - TimeFactor, PitchFactor, ModFactor and Space, and quite a few more that are exclusive just to it, that don’t exist in any of the Factor pedals. It’s basically all of Eventide’s hardware effects in one box, which is a pretty big deal, especially considering is doesn’t cost much more than one pedal. In the accompanying video I give an overview of the H9's interface, and then explore my top favorite presets for synths. Finally I'll summarize with pros and cons.
Obviously, you can connect any sound source to the H9, whether it’s your voice, a guitar or anything else. Since synths are the focus here, I’ll be using a simple synth voice from the MatrixBrute and I’ll also use it to send MIDI messages to change H9 parameters.

OVERVIEW
There are three versions of the H9 - from a hardware perspective they’re the same, it’s just a matter of which algorithms come bundled vs. what you need to purchase later. In the video I demo H9 Max, which is the version that contains all the available algorithms.

The H9 can store 99 presets, chosen from a variety of dozens of core algorithms with hundreds of presets in total. All of the H9's functions are available using the on board controls, however, if you have a phone, tablet or computer, you can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and enjoy a substantially enhanced controller experience using the companion H9 Control software.
The H9 accepts mono or stereo inputs, and can output either in mono or stereo. There's an assignable expression input external expression pedal and foot-switch control. MIDI in and outs let you use any MIDI controller that can send CC messages to control any one of a number of parameters.

Algorithms and Presets
H9 presets are built on top of Algorithms. An Algorithm is a fancy word for a group of sub-components organized in a certain way - sort of like a mini pedal board within a pedal. This can be a combination of components from any one of Eventides four other stomp boxes, along with new ones unique to the H9 - things like drive, multiple delays, reverbs, distortion, filters, compressors, arpeggiators and pitch shifters in various combinations.
There are over 40 different algorithms and hundreds of presets in total, and you can create and save your own.
Summary:

PROS: This is probably the most comprehensive multi-effect pedal out there. Dozens of algorithms and hundreds of presets will substantially enhance the sonic palette of your synth.

CONS: You need can only use one preset/algorithm at a time. If you want to chain a couple of presets you need another H9 or other effect. The second "con" is, if you like to mess with parameters in real time, which I do, you need to have an iPad or external MIDI controller for quick access to all the parameters.

BOTTOM LINE: I highly recommend the H9 - it will let you do a lot more with your music no matter what your sound source - it adds a dimension you just can’t get with your synth alone.

July 03, 2018  | person_outline Tim Webb
Typo: "...highly enviably..."
July 03, 2018  | person dysamoria
Thanks. Damn it. I have been trying to proof read so hard after the last set of typos.
After seeing this really well-done and compelling review, I wanted to take a deeper look at this box.

It's an intriguing design, and if it is truly durable, quiet, and super-high fidelity, then I'd consider buying one. The fact that it includes an expression pedal input, and MIDI i/o is further value for me.

The big cons for me:
1. the architecture is weird.
2. the core unit is expensive ($400)
3. the expansion algorithms are expensive ($20 each give or take) with no clear price list (that I could find)
4. pitch-shifting still sounds wonky (I get that it is difficult to get right, but for that kind of cake, I'd expect it to wow me in the demos and it did not.)
IMO Loopop is one of the best gear and synth reviewers out there. Extremely clear, concise, and insightful.
For example his Digitone video provides an excellent introduction to FM synthesis. https://youtu.be/x2Ic9upij-U
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