All the head-spinning sounds from Eventide stompboxes in one powerful package.
Over the last couple of years, Eventide’s stompbox series—the TimeFactor, ModFactor, PitchFactor, and Space—received wide acclaim for putting the company’s legendary studio effects within range of the average guitarist’s budget. And then the New Jersey-based outfit upped the ante again earlier this year with the introduction the H9 Harmonizer, a cutting-edge effects unit two–and–a–half years in the making. The H9 can produce the sounds of all the Eventide stompboxes, as well as unique H9-only sounds such as Ultra Tap and Resonator. It can also interface with iPhones and iPad via Bluetooth, and Mac computers via USB. (The free iOS H9 Control app is available from Eventide’s website.)
Housed in a futuristic white enclosure, the H9 features a sleek looking form factor that may seem eerily stark to analog-minded players. Under the LED display is a row of buttons with intentionally vague, potentially daunting labels: hotknob, x, y, and z (plus presets). Hotknob’s role varies from preset to preset, while x, y, and z address the top three parameters in a given preset. Centered beneath the buttons is a big, multi-function encoder knob used for such tasks as scrolling through presets and manipulating hotknob’s expression settings. A ring of LEDs encircles the encoder, indicating the current value. Rounding out the control panel are two footswitches: active and tap. There’s also a built-in tuner.
It’s possible to manipulate the H9 via its built-in controls, but if you hate scrolling through screens on a typical multi-effect unit, working with the H9’s 6-character display will really test your patience. However, once you pair the H9 with its Control app—which lets you see all the virtual knobs and other interface options—the editing process becomes quite intuitive.
Though my first couple of tries at pairing my iPhone 4 timed out, I succeeded after a couple more. The H9’s accompanying documentation doesn’t list iOS system requirements, but when we mentioned the connection issues to Eventide we determined my problems were because my iOS wasn’t up to date. The H9 is compatible all the way back to the iPhone 3GS, as long as the device is running iOS 5 or greater (it also works via USB with OS X 10.5 or later, and Windows machines running XP or later).
Things got quite fun after connecting my phone. It was pretty sick to be able to tap in a tempo from a remote touch screen, though maneuvering the virtual knobs does take some getting used to. (This remote accessibility could open new doors for techs who manipulate guitar effects from offstage.) I later connected to an iPad, where all the controls were visible on a single screen. While initial setup may take some time, once you’ve got what you need in place, you don’t necessarily need the H9 to be connected to any devices at a gig.
The H9 can store 99 presets, more than you’re likely to need in one setting. Additionally, you can save a practically infinite number of presets to your iOS device and load them as needed, exponentially increasing the H9’s usefulness. For example, you might have groups of presets programmed for different bands, and you could then swap them in and out of the H9 itself as needed.
Algorithms at the App Store
Although the H9 can produce all of the sounds of Eventide’s stompbox line, the purchase price doesn’t include all those sounds. Each of the four stompboxes in the series includes approximately 10 algorithms, and the H9 comes with nine of the 40 or so. Each algorithm includes 10–30 presets. You can buy additional algorithms to upload for $19.99 each, with five minutes to audition each one before you buy. (Note: the TimeFactor’s looper function is currently not available on the H9.)
You can use only one algorithm at a time, but an algorithm can contain multiple effects, so that isn’t as limiting as it might sound. For example, the ModEchoVerb [Modeko] preset contains delay, chorus/flanger, and reverb, all of which can be used simultaneously or individually.
Eventide helped set the gold standard for ambient and time-based effects, so I wasn’t surprised by the H9’s killer sounds. However, the cynic in me worried that the H9 might offer “lite” versions of the individual stompbox effects. Just to be sure, I convinced a friend to lend me his Eventide pedal collection. I couldn’t hear any sonic difference between the algorithms.
Included H9 effects such as Shimmer and the U2-inspired Streets delay are among the H9’s incredibly rich and three-dimensional sounds—you’d be very hard-pressed to find better-sounding reverbs and delays. The H9 is also capable of esoteric outer-space effects. Ultra Tap is a 64-tap delay that allows you to distribute the taps across a roughly four-second time span, with results varying from percussive repeats to ethereal cinematic textures.
The Eventide H9 produces glorious sounds that, until recently, required bulky processors costing thousands of dollars. Considering this, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that this diminutive wonder also offers such seemingly infinite possibilities that it can easily become overwhelming. This review only scratches the surface of what the H9 can do. You could twiddle its knobs for years and still find groundbreaking discoveries to take your music to the next dimension.
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Flare is a dual-function pedal with a tube-like booster and a 1970s-style ring modulator effect that can be played separately or together.
Flare’s ring modulator is based on the iconic tone of the original Dan Armstrong Green Ringer. This vintage classic was made famous by Frank Zappa who loved the unusual modulations created by generating a harmonic octave over notes. Messiah’s version offers two control knobs: a “Sparkle” tone attenuator and output Level control. Its taupe-gold body, purple and green knobs and stick-figure rock ’n’ roller holding up a flame convey an appropriately rockin’70s vibe.
In a unique twist, Messiah’s Flare pairs the ringer with a warm tube-style boost instead of a fuzz. Flare feeds the booster into the ringer for an extra punch, while preserving the Green Ringerspirit. The ringer side also turns any fuzz into an octafuzz, and it has the ability to quiet signal background noise fed through it.
The booster side features a single Boost knob to control the MOSFET circuit, making it very tube-amp-friendly with a warm, organic boost and gain of up to 32dB.
The pedal is a distinct improvement over the 1970s pedal that inspired it. “Most ringer pedals don’t track well,” Tom Hejda, owner of Messiah Guitars. “The player can’t rely on repeating the same effect even with the most consistently played notes. We carefully matched the components, so our ringer follows your every move, producing that slightly dirty octave you expect on demand.”
Messiah developed this vintage octave pedal with flexible features so that people who love that messy, dirty Zappa-esque sound can get there with ease but there’s also something for those who have not fallen in love with fuzz or the Green Ringer alone. Flare offers an array of sonic options while retaining simplicity in the controls.
Each Flair Pedal Includes:
- 3 control knobs: Boost, Sparkle, and Level
- Two effects – Ring Modulator and Boost – can be used together or separately
- Space-saving top side jacks
- Durable, cast aluminum alloy 125B enclosure with fun artwork
- Easy to see, illuminated True-bypass foot switch
- Standard 9V pedal power input
Flare Pedal Demo
Messiah Guitars pedals are designed with an explorative player in mind. Like their custom guitars and amplifiers, Messiah’s pedals are hand-crafted in Los Angeles for a long life with guaranteed quality.
Flare retails for $199.00 and can be purchased directly at Messiah Guitars or you can hear it in person at Impulse Music Co. in Canyon Country, CA.
For more information, please visit messiahguitars.com.
This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal.
If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and QUACKS like a duck, then it must be a duck. That's how we came up with the name for our new envelope filter. This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal. Trevor explains how this is possible in the launch video, as well as gives a demo on Le Canard’s operation.
The attack control determines how quickly the filter responds to the envelope, and the decay sets how quickly the filter releases afterward. The range controls which frequency spectrum the filter does its magic on. Add to this relay-based full-bypass switching with failsafe, and you've got one crazy little quacky beast. It is so expressive that you'll want to give up on your rocker-wah forever.
The MayFly Le Canard envelope filter features:
- Super fast responding envelope follower. Touch it and it jumps!
- Range control to dial in the character of the filter
- Attack control to control how fast the filter moves on that first touch
- Release control to control how slowly the filter slides back to baseline
- Full bypass using relays with Fail SafeTM (automatically switches to bypass if the pedal loses power)
- Cast aluminum enclosure with groovy artwork
- MSRP $149 USD ($199 CAD)
Introducing the MayFly Le Canard Envelope Filter
All MayFly pedals are hand-made in Canada.
For more information, please visit mayflyaudio.com.
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more.
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.