In a move that makes some of music production’s most sought-after classic audio effects available to a new generation of musicians and engineers, Eventide has jumped into the software plug-in processor market.
Long renowned for its classy and distinctive-sounding outboard effects boxes, notably delays and pitch shifters, Eventide has launched a new line of software emulations of some classic effects, including the H910, Omnipressor®, Instant Phaser™, Instant Flanger™ and H949. Under the Clockworks Legacy label, the Eventide plug-ins will be available for Digidesign’s ProTools HD platform.
Tony Agnello, Eventide chief technology officer, says his company’s decison to port these classic algorithms to the desktop was an idea whose time had finally come.
“We’ve been receiving requests for Eventide plug-ins for some time, but we were concerned that the current crop of desktop platforms wouldn’t be capable of supporting our algorithms and the high quality threshold our hardware has set over the past three decades,” Agnello said at the launch during the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim.
“With the release of ProTools HD, our concerns were vanquished. With the proven quality and reliability of this platform, were confident that it was the best avenue for designing our first plug-ins, Eventide Clockworks Legacy™.”
The new series of five plug-ins brings a heritage of Eventide innovation and quality to the desktop environment. This series features the five key products that were made at the Eventide Clockworks facility on 54th Street in Manhattan during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Omnipressor, which was introduced in 1971 and was available through 1984, was an analog compressor with attitude. It offered simultaneous compression above the threshold point, and expansion below, and made its way onto hundreds of signature recordings of the seventies and eighties. Queen’s Brian May was a very early customer and the Omnipressor quickly became a part of his signature guitar sound.
The Instant Phaser, also introduced in 1971 sold through 1977, was a single-function analog processor with a sweeping filter bank with two outputs that are 180 degrees out of phase from each other. Members of Led Zeppelin were so impressed, they even agreed to endorse it. Take a close listen to “Kashmir,” you will hear the unmistakable sound of the Instant Phaser.
The H910, Eventide’s first Harmonizer® brand effects processor, was immediately recognized by the music world as a milestone product when it was introduced in 1975 and sold through 1984. Tony Visconti was among the early devotees, using it to create the unique snare sound on David Bowie’s “Young Americans,” “Low” and “Lodger.”
The Instant Flanger, an analog flanger, was first released in 1976 and sold though 1984. It replicated the effect of two open reel tape recorders with identical material. When the tape flange was accidentally touched, the sound of a plane taking off roared through the speakers. The Instant Flanger was one of the first hardware products to recreate this effect electronically and was widely used on hit records thoughout the seventies and eighties.
The H949 was the first “deglitched” pitch changer. Introduced in 1977 and sold through 1984, the H949 was the only piece of digital gear Jimmy Page allowed in his rig. It became a staple in most successful studios of the time and is considered by many leading producers and artists to have immeasurably influenced that era’s music.
The process of porting over the algorithms has been executed with meticulous dedication to quality, according to Agnello. “The value in the Clockworks Legacy plug-ins is that they replicate the quality, versatility and functionality of our orignal dedicated processors,” he explains. “We recognize that any departure from those sounds would be fatal.”
Agnello also stresses that Eventide will continue to design and manfacture dedicated hardware processors.
“Though ProTools HD has become the platform of choice in many high-end music and post production faclilties, we believe there is still a compelling case for making hardware products. Hardware products can be integral to the process of performance and composition and are increasingly used in tracking because the real time feedback between the performer and the effects changes their approach. It is a critical interactive process that is often forgotten.”
“Our core knowledge consists of well over a thousand preset algorithms, made up of over two hundred effects modules which can be arranged in virtually any configuration using our unique ‘Anything-to-Anything’ routing capabilities. This will be cross-developed for future plug-ins, as well as offered as software upgrades for our hardware. It makes good sense that people producting their release using Eventide plug-ins would want to use the same effects in a hardware box when they go on the road” states Agnello.
“Developing plug-ins was not a move we made lightly,” Agnello concludes, “but we’re extremely pleased with the results and I’m confident that the universe of ProTools users will agree. We are moving full force into the plug-in arena with a strong foundation of success among the most discerning professionals. The stakes are high, but we are confident that we bring a lot to the table.”
The Eventide Clockworks Legacy series of plug-ins offer full automation, MIDI Control, and Pro Control integration to take advantage of the ProTools feature set.