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Eventide PitchFactor Review


Download Example 1
3 clips demonstrating the Pitchflex, Crystals and Synthonizer effects, with no adjustments.
Fender VG Strat>Vox Tonelab LE>Eventide PitchFactor> Digidesign Pro Tools.

Download Example 2
Harmonizing Brian May style: Quadravox effect. Only one guitar pass was recorded – no overdubbing.
Burns Brian May guitar>DigiTech Brian May Red Special pedal>Eventide Pitchfactor>Digidesign Pro Tools
Download Example 3
4 mini-clips showcasing the Harpeggiator effect using various presets
Burns Brian May guitar>DigiTech Brian May Red Special pedal>Eventide Pitchfactor>Digidesign Pro Tools
Download Example 4
MicroPitch effect: 2 mini-clips showcasing the tone-fattening from the MicroPitch effect
Carvin CS6M guitar>Marshall Haze 40 amplifier with Eventide Pitchfactor in effects loop>recorded with a Shure SM81 microphone into Digidesign Pro Tools

I first heard the name Eventide in the ‘80s when guitar heroes like Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai were using their products to make their tones sound incredible. Later when I started doing a lot of studio work, I would always see an Eventide in the racks of major recording studios around town. I always thought of them as very high quality pro-audio rack effects, with a price that was out of reach for many musicians.

Eventide is now offering three stompbox effects that are portable and affordable: The PitchFactor harmonizer, the TimeFactor twin delay, and the ModFactor modulation effects unit. It’s almost too good to be true—a little stompbox that retains many of the sounds and the high quality found in other high-end Eventide products, but with a price you can afford.

The PitchFactor takes ten of Eventide’s signature stereo or mono pitch and delay effects and successfully crams them into a stompbox that you can fit on your pedalboard or in your backpack. It is guitar or bass compatible, features studio quality sound, and has true analog bypass, instant program change and 40 factory presets.

The PitchFactor has up to four voices of diatonic pitch and 1.5 seconds of stereo delay, a built-in tuner, and the software is also upgradeable via USB 2.0. You have real-time control with ten knobs, three metal footswitches and MIDI control via USB or MIDI in, out/thru. The pedal also offers plug-and-play expression pedal control of the wet/dry mix or any combination of parameters. It supports instrument or line level inputs and outputs, with stereo or mono operation.

The Effects
The PitchFactor ten signature Eventide effects are: Diatonic, Pitchflex, Quadravox, Octaver, HarModulator, Crystals, MicroPitch, HarPeggiator, H910/H949, and Synthonizer.

In Diatonic mode, the pitch shifters track the notes that are played and then shift the pitch based on the harmonic interval, key and scale that you’ve selected.

Quadravox is similar to Diatonic, but offers up to four voices that can be pitch-shifted, instead of just two.

The HarModulator takes twin chromatic pitch shifters and combines them with modulation, which results in a wide range of effects, from very subtle to completely outrageous!

MicroPitch is a fine-resolution pitch shifter and delay that can really fatten up your tone.

The H910/H949 mode emulates the classic Eventide H910 and H949 Harmonizer effect units.

Excellent whammy effects can be achieved with the PitchFlex effect, which can be used with an expression pedal or the Flex footswitch.

The Octaver effect not only creates a musical tone that is one octave lower than the original, it also creates another sub-harmonic that is two octaves below.

Crystals is a classic Eventide effect that may be hard to describe, but easy to fall in love with! It has twin reverse pitch changers and reverb, with adjustable delay and feedback.

The HarPeggiator is one of the wilder effects of PitchFactor, which creates dual 16-step arpeggios that combine pitch-shift, rhythm and effect sequencers.

Synthonizer generates a synthesized tone that creates classic analog-style synth sounds as well as organ and Theramin-style tones.

So basically, it’s packed with a bunch of different features and effects that will satisfy any musician and keep them busy experimenting for hours!

Plugging In
I may have been a little over-anxious in wanting to check out the wide palette of sounds right away! I plugged in and powered up and immediately started scrolling through the effects. I was immediately welcomed with fresh sounding tones and wild effects, and found some of the Eventide signature sounds right away.  However, as tempting as it is to quickly plug in and starting exploring, I highly recommend scanning the manual first, or at least the quick reference guide. Not only will you learn how to navigate the parameters, you will also learn exactly what each effect does.

The PitchFactor has 100 presets total—50 banks with two presets in each bank. It ships with the first 20 presets enabled, so if you want to access all 100 presets, you will have to consult the manual and do some knob turning and pushing to enable them all. However, after you do that, you can literally spend a few hours exploring, discovering and experimenting! Once you dial in and adjust a preset to your liking, you can save the preset to an assigned bank, and also back up presets and system settings via MIDI. Also, if you have an expression pedal, you will definitely want to use it with the PitchFactor. All of the presets already have expression pedal assignments, so it’s easy to plug in a pedal and play, to get the most out of each effect.

The effects and sounds are fantastic and I was able to emulate many sounds right away. For example, with the MicroPitch effect you get “Eddie in a box”—very similar to Hagar-era Van Halen tones. The Crystals effect conjures up Steve Vai, especially his Passion & Warfare album, which is pretty much serves as a demo CD for the Eventide Harmonizer!

Quibbles
I only found a few minor issues with the PitchFactor. First, the Diatonic and Quadravox effects weren’t 100% accurate in harmonizing notes. I would play a melody in the key of G Major, for example, and sometimes the PitchFactor wasn’t sure whether to give me a major third or a minor third for the harmony note—and it would sometimes switch halfway.

Also, when I reviewed the pedal, the Tap switch that is the bank selector on the pedal increased the bank number, but didn't decrease it. Eventide has since released a software update correcting this problem. Plus, if you want to use the tuner, you’ll have to push the middle and right buttons simultaneously, which could be challenging as you’re standing up during a live performance.

Finally, guitarists who want to place the PitchFactor in a pedalboard may have a few challenges. First of all, while most pedals’ input jack is on the right, the Pitchfactor has inputs on the left side. Guitarists who like their pedals lined up nicely won’t be able to use shorter cables, and will have to use longer cables that cross over. Again, these are minor issues considering how much bang you get for your buck.

The Final Mojo
You will be hard-pressed to find another stompbox that packs in so many high-quality sounds and features for the price. For those who have dreamed of having those excellent Eventide effects but couldn’t really afford them, the PitchFactor is like an Eventide for the rest of us.

Buy if...
you want an Eventide that’s portable and affordable
Skip if...
you’d rather have a more expensive rack-mount Eventide
Rating...
4.5

Street $499 - Eventide - eventide.com