The Eventide H3000 hardware unit was light years ahead of its time. The world’s first intelligent diatonic pitch shifter changed the way people think about the possibilities of sound. It manipulated pitch, delay, modulation and filtering in new and exciting ways, offered countless sonic possibilities that helped shape classic recordings by some of the greatest and most innovative artists of all time.
Today the H3000 Factory plug-in is set to impact home recording in the same way the original H3000 revolutionized the world-class recording studios in the 80’s and 90’s.
Keep reading, and learn how the H3000 Factory can give you the sound you’ve been looking for, and help you make the mix you’ve been hearing in your head a reality.
The History of Eventide
Before we explore the many possibilities of the H3000 Factory, let’s first get a little handle on how Eventide started this sound revolution. Eventide originally released the H3000 hardware unit in 1986. But up until that point, the company already had 16 years of innovation under its belt, and pioneered many industry-changing tools used in audio, broadcast, and even aviation.
Starting in the basement of Sound Exchange, a Manhattan-based recording studio in 1970, as Eventide Clockworks Inc., they developed the first digital delay.
Then in 1975, they followed that up with the first digital harmonizer, the now-famous 910. This unit allowed for engineers to create thicker, fatter sounds than were ever thought possible.
And, as always, the most groundbreaking artists were the first to experiment with it. Many different applications of the classic 910 can be heard on records by John Lennon, David Bowie, Patty Smith, Tom Petty, etc.
Listen to the snare drums on early U2 records, or the much sought-after snare drum sound on AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to get an idea of what the 910 can do when applied creatively…
H3000 Factory: Concepts & Layouts
The H3000 Factory is based on many of the programs featured in the original hardware processor, but its operation is different. And though it may seem more complicated on the surface, it actually allows the user total control over signal processing.
To truly master a plug-in this powerful and versatile, you’ll have to read the manual.
But there are a ton of presets from real world applications, each with 16 variances, easily available from which to start.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Program Page
Your first step is getting to know the Program Page where you can, via virtual patch chords, use Effect Blocks to craft your sound.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Expert Page
And the best way to see all the parameters associated with the Effect Blocks is to view them on the Expert Page.
From here you can quickly adjust parameters or each block.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Preset Bar
Another easy way is to start off by using some of the factory presets found in the Presets Bar near the top of the plugin, and learn how these blocks can work to sculpt your sound.
In a matter of no time, you’ll be creating your very own effects from scratch.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Function Page
Function Page allows you to assign even more Mod Sources to individual Effects Blocks than are available with the patch cords on the Program Page.
This is where you can really get creative, as we have now entered the “holy temple” of additional sonic tweaking.
As with many highly versatile and customizable plug-ins, no single article can explain and highlight all the creative options that are possible.
So take your time reading the User Guide, and really soak in everything that the H3000 Factory has to offer.
The more you learn, the more creative and experimental you can be with your compositions, and the more you will stand out from the crowd.
Using the H3000 Factory
Although renown for its amazing time-based effects, perhaps the best feature that truly shows off the H3000’s sound sculpting capabilities is Pitch shifting, or “harmonizing”. It is a big part of many of the programs offered. So let’s start by taking a look at some more popular and commonly used programs.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Program 217 – Dual 910’s
Like the name infers, this program recreates the practice of using 2 separate 910s on a single sound source.
Often one 910 would be set to .99 (-1%) while the other would be set to 1.01 (+1%).
This produces a nice thickening effect which can help add excitement to your track.
This works particularly well with vocals, where extra density is often desired. It also can help make a guitar track sound beefier and much more harmonically interesting.
Of course, you can also feel free to stretch out and add any harmonic interval you feel.
There ARE some subtle differences between the program and simply using two 910s, in that the delay Effect Block is modulated, which provides the user with a wider palette to work than just the original programming of the 910.
Users will find that they can choose between Pitch Shifting and Detuning in this program. Detuning will allow you the flexibility of setting the range of notes, and provide a little more contour to the sound.
Pro Tip 1: You can automate the Mod wheel assigned to the pitch “Soft Key”, and write in pitch changes in real time. For an example of this idea, listen to David Bowie’s “Fame.”
Pro tip 2: Although there are controls for wet vs dry, using a send/return setup, with the plugin inserted on Aux channel, will save you some resources.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Program 231 – Micropitchshift
This program is similar in concept to Dual 910s, but offers a smoother, more refined sound.
While there is no delay Effect Block, there is a short delay that can be found in the Pitch Shifter block.
This works great on vocals, and was a big part of many records shortly after the release of the original H3000 unit.
But if you really wanna get wild, try jumping under the hood and thoroughly exploring the Program Page.
Pro Tip 3: On the Program Page you can assign the Function Generator to pitch. The result is a bubbly effect reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden.”
Starting off using presets in a given direction is a great way to get the creative ball rolling, but don’t be afraid to add your own twists to the sound in order to create something truly unique.
Eventide H3000 Factory: Program 521 – Micropitchshift/Slap Delay
Although this program is similar in nature to the other programs mentioned above, it’s more delay-centric. It centers around creating depth and width.
PRO TIP 4: When locked into your session’s tempo, it can quickly help you create that thick harmonized sound, delayed and repeated in tempo with the track. And for really interesting spacial effects, try spreading the delays out.
So there you have it, a few tips and programs to get you started. Once you become familiar with the H3000 Factory, you will undoubtedly be able to create your own personalized programs to add to the already-extensive list of presets loaded into your plugin.
So feel free to explore, experiment and create to your heart’s content, because with the incredible versatility and flexibility of the H3000 Factory, your only limit is your own imagination.