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Anderton

Eventide Anthology X Effects Plug-In Suite

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Here's a heads-up: The UltraChannel is currently on sale for $80 off. From a promotional email Eventide sent out today:

 

"Last month we offered H3000 Band Delays for 50% off. Well now we’re upping the ante this time by offering UltraChannel at a ridiculous 80% off. Why would we do this? Remember our “Free UltraChannel” promotion from a few years back? You either own the plugin, are mad you missed it, or have friends that envy you. Pass the word along that for only $49 this is a must-have tool for mixing and mastering.

 

And, yum, there’s icing on this cake! If you own UltraChannel (even if you got it for free) you qualify for special upgrade pricing to Anthology X."

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The Omnipressor

 

This is the most twisted, aggressive, nasty, and yes, seductively versatile dynamics control device I've used, whether we're talking about the original hardware (which was made from 1971 to 1984) or the software re-creation we're putting under the microscope in this Pro Review. It's mono-in, mono-out, which is somewhat of a bummer...but that's how the original version worked. So if necessary, I split a stereo track into two mono tracks, and carry on from there. You can't link the controls, but there aren't so many that you can't duplicate the settings—however the good news is that some of the coolest Omnipressor sounds I've found resulted from slight control mismatches.

 

 

usrMpl9.png

 

 

Incidentally, for those who are fanatics about vintage gear, the software version models the 2830, which had a black meter; the 2826 had a white meter. As far as I know the only difference between them was in fact the meter color.

 

Despite the name, the Omnipressor is not just a compressor, it's a dynamics processor in the truest send of the word. When it thinks it's a limiter, you can pump 30 dB over the threshold into the input, and have only a 6 dB increase at the output. There's also a mode Eventide calls “Infinite Compressor,” which is basically an auto-level sustainer. And there's gating, expansion, and an Omnipressor exclusive—dynamic reversal. This is like a compressor turned upside-down: an input level 10 dB above the threshold produces an output 10 dB below the threshold, and an input level 10 dB below the threshold produces an output 10 dB above the threshold. These modes are all selected by a continuously-variable (not stepped) variable Function knob. To help you figure out what's going on, a green LED lights when gain is being reduced, and a red LED when the gain is being increased.

 

For a refreshing taste of normality, there are controls for Threshold, Attack Time, and Release Time. Also, the meter can show input level, gain reduction, or output level.

 

Some of the other controls won't be familiar unless you worked with the Omnipressor before. Three attenuator Input Cal switches let you drop the input level 10, 20, or 30 dB. Similarly, three Output Cal switches can boost gain by 10, 20, or 30 dB. The Bass Cut switch is way cool for kick drum fans, as it attenuates bass frequencies going to the compression control circuit so the bass isn't as compressed (or stepped, squashed, or mutilated, depending on how you're using the Omnipressor at that moment).

 

The Atten Limit control places a “governor” on how much attenuation occurs when compressing (from 1 dB to 30 dB), and a related Gain Limit control does the same thing for expansion by limiting gain from 1 to 30 dB. Because I'm running this on Windows, there's no sidechain functionality. I keep hoping there will be an Anthology version X.I that includes sidechaining capabilities with Windows...

 

But no words will suffice to describe what the Omnipressor does, so without further ado, here are two videos with representative examples from the factory presets—and thanks to the miracle of picture-in-picture, you can see the preset names as they change.

 

The first video covers compression and limiting, the second shows expansion and gating. Note how clicking the little + sign can advance through the presets; the last preset in each video is something I came up with, so it's not included with the stock factory presets.

 

 

[video=youtube;FmhQVyxyMMc]

[video=youtube;Vlug5J2a73Q]

Edited by Anderton

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I know it's not part of the Anthology X bundle, but some readers may be interested to know that Eventide's Blackhole reverb is also on sale (for only $49 - normally it's $199!) until the end of this month.

 

What's even better is that Anthology X owners qualify for an even better deal - you can pick it up for only $19 if you act fast and get it by the end of the month.

 

Here's the press release with all the info:

 

9gneNPx.jpg

 

Eventide Blackhole: Hollywood's Secret Weapon for Reverb

Plug-in on sale for 75% off until 3/31/2016

 

 

March 1, 2016, Little Ferry, NJ —Today Eventide announced a limited-time discount on the purchase of its Blackhole reverb plug-in. While most reverbs are constrained by the physics of the real world, Eventide’s Blackhole reverb creates virtual spaces that could never exist in our reality. At large sizes, its soft attack and lingering, harmonic tails allow it to really shine on guitars, strings and pads. At small sizes those very same qualities can help add an angelic sheen to vocals or turn a simple drum track into an otherworldly rhythm section.

 

Blackhole is destined to be one of the tools that musicians, engineers and producers turn to time and again when reality just isn’t enough.

 

Blackhole Features:

 

• Incredibly easy to use with over 50 presets, including some by artists such as Richard Devine, Flood & Alan Moulder, Vernon Reid, Jonsi & Alex from Sigur Rós and John Agnello.

• Useful for highlighting key instruments or painting a backdrop for a mix

• Supernatural settings for abstract spatial effects and drones

• Subtle settings for ambient washes and track highlighting

• Unique “Gravity” control reverses the arrow of time by inverting the decay

• Kill Switch mutes the input so only the reverb is heard

• Innovative Ribbon and HotSwitch controls allow for changing any combination of parameters simultaneously

• Mix Lock allows for scrolling through presets while keeping the wet/dry mix constant

• Fully flexible mono and stereo options. Bring new realms of stereo imaging to mono instruments

 

Blackhole is on sale for $49 until March 31, 2016 (MSRP $199). Owners of Anthology X qualify for the crossgrade price of $19. A fully-functional, 30-day demo is available at any time. Visit eventideaudio.com for more information.

 

 

Specifications: Mac OSX 10.7+, Windows 7+; AAX, AU, VST; no iLok dongle required.

 

Links:

 

Blackhole Promo: http://bit.ly/blackhole-sale

 

Blackhole Product Page: https://www.eventideaudio.com/blackhole

 

Eventide website: https://www.eventideaudio.com Videos: https://goo.gl/CxxuTL

 

 

Edited by Anderton

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Of all the Anthology X effects, this one surprised me the most because I was simply expecting a high-quality digital reverb. Ever since the advent of digital reverb, I don’t really use it that much because it just doesn’t sound like the real acoustic spaces in big studios back in the day. To be fair I do have some excellent digital reverbs, but I treat them not so much as emulations of acoustic spaces, but for their ability to provide the unique effects available with digital reverb. When I need realism I go for convolution reverb. Even though there’s not that much you can do with them outside of certain proscribed limits, what they can do within their limits is impressive.

 

KltIvWO.png

 

However, the Eventide UltraReverb gives an extremely “acoustic” sound, and because it synthesizes the reverb sound rather than using convolution, you have a lot of control. There are nine reverb algorithms: Hall 1, Hall 2, Chamber 1, Chamber 2, Room 1, Room 2, Plate 1, Plate 2, and Ambience. The controls are visible in the screen shot, but if you want the complete details, the UltraVerb documentation tells all.

 

But Eventide takes the concept of control further by including stereo delay with tempo sync that can go pre- or post-reverb, four Eqs (for the reverb itself, pre-effect, post-effect, and for the delay), a “bitcrusher”-type lo-fi parameter for the reverb, modulation depth and rate parameters à la Lexicon, and a compressor that can be pre- or post-reverb. What these “extras” mean is you can do all kinds of weird and unusual reverb effects, which perhaps explains why there are so many “designer” presets from luminaries like Richard Devine, Sasha, Andrew Scheps, Chris Carter, and others. Also note that the EQs themselves are interesting: high and low shelf (cut only) for the reverb; standard high shelf, low shelf, and mid parametric for the other three; and the Delay EQ is in the delay’s feedback path, so each echo can have a different timbral character.

 

zLOsY6m.png

 

You want presets? You got 'em

 

That’s all well and good, but I can get weird sounds out of just about anything if I try hard enough...it’s the airiness, lack of periodicity, and transparent character that lift this reverb out of the ordinary. I’m seriously tempted to redo some vocals I’d cut that had significant amounts of reverb, because this just sounds so much more natural. The only issue that keeps the UltraVerb from perfection is on some of the algorithms, you can hear a slight graininess toward the end of the tail. This was least apparent in the halls, and most apparent (at least to my ears) with the ambience algorithms.

 

Rather than play loops or program material that would obscure the reverb’s clarity, the audio/video demo will play a snare+kick hit together. Pay attention to the tail’s sound quality, and you’ll hear (hopefully despite YouTube’s barbaric compression algorithm) why this reverb has impressed me so much.

 

[video=youtube;AKPt6CNIbGs]

 

 

Edited by Anderton

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I wonder how similar the UltraReverb in Anthology X is to the Reverb plugin in the Anthology II bundle.

 

Can the folks at Eventide please tell me about how the two compare?

 

FWIW, I use the Reverb from Anthology II all the time (and love it!), and if the Anthology X version is the same or similar, I may need to get it so I can use it in Sonar and (later versions of PT after PT10) too.

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Also, it looks like Eventide has a new, unannounced plugin that they're currently keeping secret, but that we will hopefully hear more about soon... based on the Visconti connection, I'm guessing it's going to be a pitch shifter of some kind.

 

 

 

____________________

Secret Effect Used on HBO's Vinyl

 

 

March 11, 2016, Little Ferry, NJ — For the last two years, Eventide has been working with renowned producer Tony Visconti on an innovative plugin inspired by some of his most iconic work. The project was conceived after a meeting at Human Studios in NYC with Visconti and Eventide’s Adrienne Humblet, Joe Waltz and Tony Agnello. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Visconti to some of Eventide’s latest products as he was about to embark on the production of David Bowie’s Next Day.

 

Throughout the meeting Agnello and Visconti discovered the many ways their lives and careers had intersected. Both Tonys were born and raised within blocks of one another in a Brooklyn Italian-American neighborhood and grew up to have parallel careers respectively building and using Eventide gear. In 1974 Agnello invented the world’s first digital effects box, the H910 Harmonizer®, and Visconti had obtained the first one in the UK. At their meeting, Visconti recounted the ways in which he had used various Eventide effects to create some of his signature sounds. In fact, Visconti was the very first to discover some of the unique possibilities of the groundbreaking Harmonizer - effects which had other producers scratching their heads wondering how he was able to do what he did.

 

The Eventide team listened as Visconti explained how he and Bowie worked together on the album Heroes. He described how powerful an instrument Bowie’s voice was (what he called “Bowie histrionics”) and how he was able to harness that power by employing various microphone techniques. That meeting inspired the Eventide trio to create a plugin that would mimic and build upon the real world effects that Visconti had created. With Waltz heading up the project and Humblet writing the code, the plugin began to take form with Visconti and Agnello guiding it along the way. Now, after two years of collaboration, the plugin is approaching public release.

 

Stewart Lerman, the Original Music Producer of Martin Scorsese’s HBO series Vinyl, was part of the beta program and quickly found that the plugin was capable of creating new and unique soundscapes. He immediately used it on a track for an upcoming episode of Vinyl - the first commercial use of this still secret effect. Stay tuned for more…

 

 

About Eventide

 

For over 40 years, Eventide has remained at the forefront of recording technology. In 1975 they revolutionized the audio industry by creating the world’s first commercially available digital audio effects unit. Since then their legendary studio processors have been heard on countless hit records.

 

Eventide and Harmonizer are registered trademarks of Eventide Inc. ® 2016 Eventide Inc.

 

 

____________________

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EQ45 and EQ65 EQs

 

Let’s take a look at the two Anthology X equalizers.

 

The EQ45 has 12 dB/octave low cut (5 Hz – 1 kHz) and high cut (400 Hz – 20 kHz) filters, separate parametric EQs for low band (20 Hz – 500 Hz), mid band (180 Hz – 3.6 kHz), and high band (80 Hz – 16 kHz), and a parametric “multiband” stage which despite the exotic name, simple means that its range spans from 12 Hz to 20 kHz. The four parametric stages have +/-15 dB gain controls, and Width (Q) controls. These cover from 1/4 octave to 2 octaves but aren’t calibrated, nor are there “tooltips” to let you know the amount. There’s also an overload indicator.

 

The EQ45 is the most “plain vanilla” Anthology X plug-in, and one reason why I’m covering the EQs now is because next up is the H3000, which is the opposite of plain vanilla…seemed like a good contrast. Unlike the UltraReverb (see post #28) which surprised me with its diaphanous sound quality, there’s nothing particularly special about the EQ45, and you probably have something that already comes close to it in your DAW. You can type in specific frequencies, but I noticed when sweeping the frequencies via automation, you can hear that the sweep is quantized into small increments. So really, the main use is as a precision equalizer, especially because not only can you type in values, but holding down the Ctrl key provides extremely fine resolution for the frequency controls.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31709290[/ATTACH]

 

The EQ65 is another precision EQ that takes a novel approach not seen in most EQs. It has a low cut filter (5 Hz – 1 kHz, 18 dB/octave) and high cut filter (400 Hz – 20 kHz, 18 dB/octave), but the main attraction is two notch/peak filters. (Note: the documentation refers to the high cut filter as a “high pass filter” and the low cut filter as a “low pass filter,” but I’m pretty sure this is technically incorrect—e.g., a lowpass filter passes frequencies lower than the cutoff frequency, not higher.)

 

The notch/peak filter range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with a switch-selectable width of 5%, 10%, or 15%. Oddly, there’s no way to adjust the amount of boost when using the peak mode, however there is a Depth control for notches that goes from no attenuation to maximum attenuation. And they’re not kidding when they say maximum—you can dial in a sine wave and remove it completely. This is where the Fine Frequency control comes into play; as with the EQ45, the frequency controls are quantized into small increments so if the frequency doesn’t land exactly on the frequency you want to cut, you can tweak the Fine Frequency control.

 

There’s not much point with including an audio demo because if you’re reading this, you probably already know what EQ is. However I do take requests, so if you want to hear the EQ65 make a sine wave disappear, or hear the subtle control quantization with white noise, this can be arranged.

 

Overall, the EQ65 is the more interesting of the two EQ, but having EQ included isn’t the reason why you’d buy Anthology X. Granted, some people are “EQ connoisseurs” and will discuss all day why one EQ has a “pert, yet unassuming timbre, with a hint of oak” and there may be some aspect to these EQs that I’m missing, like emulation of particular analog qualities, but overall these strike me as another set of EQ to add to your collection.

Edited by Anderton

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H3000 Factory

 

​We've already covered a variant of the H3000's talents with the section on the H3000 Band Delays, but the full-blown H3000 Factory is the crowning touch of the Anthology X plug-in Suite. Because it's the most complex and versatile effect in the suite, I've been spending some time getting to know it before posting more to this thread so I could be a bit more concise in mapping out a strategy of how to cover it. This is a complex and somewhat quirky processor that tons o' fun, but also labor-intensive when it comes to creating sounds.

 

MZQV986.jpg

 

The most important aspect is that this is a modular processor, with virtual patch cords that connect modules arranged as 18 blocks. Serial, parallel, and serial+parallel connections are possible. The modularity applies to both audio processing and "control voltage"-type modulation sources and processors. Although you can move the blocks around, this is more for making sense out of a program than anything else; you can't, for example, have four filter blocks instead of two. However if you wanted to have a parallel patch, you could place one filter above the other, while for a series patch, you could have one follow the other. Ultimately, though, it's the patch cords that determine the flow, not the positioning.

 

In addition to these "movable" blocks, there are also additional "input" sections. These are left and right audio inputs, a noise source, a "full scale" control voltage (i.e., fully positive or negative) which you can then scale with subsequent modules, a side chain input which unfortunately works only with AU and AAX plug-ins, a Modulation Knob (more on this later), and a Function Generator that provides a considerable amount of modulation horsepower.

 

The eight audio processors are two Delays, two Pitch Shifters, two "VCAs" (called Ampmod), and two Filters. Modulation sources in addition to the input sections mentioned above consist of two LFOs and two envelope followers, however, you can also use MIDI modulation as well as do real-time control using the big H3000 knob--this is actually a whole other area which we'll cover later on.

 

Furthermore, there are two "scalers" and four 2-in, 1-out mixers which are suitable for controlling audio or control signals. Finally, there are two output blocks for the left and right channels.

 

How you combine all these raw materials together is another matter altogether, and I must say that the documentation is sketchy at best. I was able to figure out most of this, but only because I'm pretty familiar with both signal processors and modular synths. Also, there are some rough spots with parameter control; for example when trying to set frequencies, I found it very difficult to do fine adjustments, and often just gave up and typed in a value. Of course that works perfectly well, but sometimes you want to be able to scroll through values smoothly to hear what you like.

 

The true power of the H3000 factory comes into play when you understand the relationship between the Program. Effect, and Function tabs, which we'll get into next.

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More Factory Fun: Let's Make an Effect

 

 

Well since this is a factory, let’s make something…how about a delay with a bandpass filter in the feedback loop to give that 50s “crickets going insane” effect if you turn the feedback way up?

 

This is a mono-to stereo-preset, and you can see the routing in the Program tab.

 

fetch?filedataid=117518

 

The input goes to Mixer 1, then Delay 1, then Filter 2 (why not Filter 1? I thought I was going to need it elsewhere, but didn’t). The reason for Mixer 1 is it mixes the filter output back into the input to create echo feedback.

 

The Filter 2 output goes into Mixer 2’s Input B, while the original input goes into Input A so we can do a Wet/Dry Mix. This shows the power of the Softkey and modulation options. Referring to the Mixer 2 parameters on the right of the screen shot, Softkey 2 controls the levels of the A and B input oppositely—when B is at its minimum value, A is at its maximum value and vice-versa. Clicking on Softkey 2 ties the parameter to the big knob, so moving the knob controls the dry/wet mix.

 

Note that in the Mixer 2 section, the Level parameters are shown in red. This means they’re being controlled by something else (in this case, Softkey 2) so the usual parameter adjustment isn’t available.

 

Taking a look at the other modules, the Delay is fairly straightforward. SONAR’s host tempo is 120 BPM, so the quarter-note delay uses a Delay Amount of 500 ms. Nothing is being modulated here, it’s just a standard delay.

 

fetch?filedataid=117519

 

 

The Filter gets more interesting. Here the filter frequency and Q are being controlled by Softkeys. This makes it easy to tweak the settings the big knob. Mixer 1 has a single modulated parameter, the input level for the filter output that provides the feedback. It’s associated with Softkey 1, which controls the number of repeats.

 

Note that this factory is not “audio OSHA-compliant”—you can create out of control feedback loops, feed insane amounts of level, use white noise to modulate things, and more. H3000 Factory doesn’t try to protect you from yourself, which of course, is one of the reasons I like it. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Make Another Effect: Through-Zero Tape Flanging

 

Not a lot of flangers really make the sound of tape flanging…sorry, they just don’t. But you can make a very convincing one with the H3000 factory. Here’s the basic program.

 

fetch?filedataid=117526

 

It’s really quite simple. The signal splits into two delays. Delay 1 has a constant 10 ms delay, while Delay 2 varies randomly (thanks to the Function Generator) from 0 to 20 ms. Every now and then, it hits 10 ms of delay so that produces “through-zero” delay with Delay 1. Of course this means you have a fixed 10 ms delay, so it’s something you wouldn’t want to use while tracking. However, if necessary you can get most of the effect by setting the fixed delay to 5 ms and varying Delay 2 between 0 and 10 ms.

 

Mixer 1 combines the signals from the two delays, while Mixer 4 provides feedback by taking the output of Mixer 1 and feeding it back to the input of the variable delay. Note that Delay 2 also has a Delay Feedback parameter within the module itself, but you can’t control this with a Softkey. The Softkeys vary (from left to right) the Function Generator rate, the Feedback phase and amount, and the Mix phase and amount.

 

Let’s also look at other ways to view the preset. The Expert tab eschews the graphical interface, and zooms out to show all the parameter values at a glance.

 

fetch?filedataid=117527

 

The Function tab shows what’s going on with the various modulation sources. Both of these supplementary views are very helpful for doing final tweaks, but also can refresh your memory with an overview when you haven’t played with the preset in a while.

 

fetch?filedataid=117528

 

By the way, here’s a quick tip. I couldn’t find any “initialize” preset, but when you insert the H3000 Factory, it opens in a default initialized state. You can just save that as a preset so if you’ve playing with the H3000 Factory and become hopelessly lost, you can just start over without having to remove that plug-in and insert a new instance.

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Great stuff Craig. I'd love to see a review of Eventide's T-Verb which is the latest addition to this great bundle. Maybe as an extension of this review here?

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Great stuff Craig. I'd love to see a review of Eventide's T-Verb which is the latest addition to this great bundle. Maybe as an extension of this review here?

 

If Craig doesn't have time to add it in, maybe I can arrange to do a separate Expert Review of it. I'll discuss it with him soon and let you know. :wave:

 

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