Eventide's newest rackmount H9000 showcase at AES 2017
Hello! My name is Jack Impink. I am an electronic musician by trade, working with both gear and software. I like to use older equipment alongside programs like Max/MSP to see what kind of odd sounds will be produced. I’ve been working in the Eventide Labs beta testing the H9000, and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been finding so far.
First and foremost, the big news: Eventide will be unveiling the H9000 at the 143rd AES Convention on October 18th, 2017! You may have seen some footage of the unit from a certain promotional video already, but in this blog we’ll be going a little deeper. Tune in to see what features we’re working on and any hidden gems that I discover along the way.
The Interface Let me begin by saying: I love simple interfaces. I’ve used gear and software before that requires me to pore over the entire manual at least twice before I can even get sound out of it. One would think upon hearing about the extent of the H9000’s abilities (e.g. FX chains, network audio, remote app) that it would be a menu-diving nightmare to get it to spit out a hall reverb, but I managed to get it up and running with full functionality in a mere twenty minutes without the use of a manual. How? The entire interface is laid out right in front of your eyes. I was able to fly through the menus by using the main buttons (Parameters, Algorithms, etc.) in conjunction with the unlabeled side menu buttons that correspond to each menu shift. Placing a reverb algorithm in an effects chain is as easy as:
ALGORITHMS [main button] → ENTER [Check button] → TAGS [side button] → REVERB and pick your favorite. Done!
So Many Presets! 2017 presets, to be exact. There’s nothing wrong with just picking something and going with it, however. It’s hard to mess things up when there are so many presets in the factory memory to choose from. Some of these presets are holdouts from the H8000, DSP4000, and H3000, and some are hot off the press from the H9 Harmonizer®.
Presets are a good way to get started, but the H9000 has a new “randomize parameters” function - an option in an effects unit that I’ve daydreamed about for years now. If you want some new spice for your favorite preset, just mix it up and see what happens.
Made to Connect The H9000 does not mess around in terms of connectivity, either. The unit is intended to be fully modular with as many connections as you would like to add.
8-Channel Analog In/8-Channel Analog Out (2) XLR Analog In / (2) XLR Analog Out MIDI In, Out, and Thru 4 Female Type 2.0 USB ports 1 USB Type B port, allowing 16 channels of USB audio in & out 1 Ethernet port (2) ¼" Expression Pedal jack (2) ¼" Relay jacks MIDI In, Out, and Thru Word Clock In/Out Optical In/Out S/PDIF In/Out AES/EBU In/Out (3) Expansion I/O slots (For optional DANTE, MADI, and AVB) There is, of course, no single use for the H9000, but the unit is intended to be used as a soundcard/Swiss Army knife for a DAW – hence, the option to plug an 8-In analog snake from your mic preamps or other gear directly into the H9000. You can then process audio using the unit, sync it perfectly with any other outboard gear you may be using, and bounce it down all within the computer without breaking a sweat. I’m very used to having to use delay compensation and many exhausting workarounds to get my effects units to sing in time with my computer, but the H9000 is everything you could possibly need contained inside one unit.
You can also easily use it as a classic rackmount effects processor à la 1990’s outboard rack gear – the menus make it easy to find the best sound and dial in the right effects to the right outputs. A computer is a mere nicety with such a powerful box running the show. It really redefines what a workstation can be; there is no need for any other digital effects processor, or even any plugins for that matter, should you have the H9000 in your studio.