Eventide H3000 – the legend redefined
The era of the multi-processor truly began in the mid-80s, with popular rackmountable units such as the SPX90 from Yamaha (1986) and Alesis Midiverb II (1987) superseding pedals as the preferred effects format.
The race was on to cram as many effects as possible into a budget-priced box. This was fine for the local blues bar, but studio pros demanded quality over quantity.
In 1986, Eventide (they’d ditched the Clock Works by then) gave them both in the form of the H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer. The 2U unit’s name reflected its ability to perform intelligent diatonic pitchshifting on incoming signals. Yet the name was somewhat misleading, in that harmonisation was only the start of what the H3000 had to offer. In addition to pitchshifting, the original H3000 offered other effects such as doubling, chorus, delay, and reverb. These effects were arranged into 11 different algorithms from which 100 presets were built. Later versions added a function generator, phaser, band delays and even sampling.
During the H3000’s early run, a third-party add-on called Mod Factory was released by Crescent Engineering – which happened to be the brainchild of Ken Bogdanowicz, who helped design the H3000 itself for Eventide, and who later founded Soundtoys. Mod Factory gave the H3000 owners a modular effects platform with which they could design and build their own algorithms. Wildly powerful, it was rolled into the later H3500 and on through the H4000, and into the company’s current high-end processors.
The H3000 was also extremely successful, making the racks of big names like Steve Vai, Richie Sambora and Brian Eno.
Though Eventide have continued to release successors with far more power, the H3000 is still sought after. It’s a classic worth owning – and cloning.
Eventide’s H3000 might be the most revered multieffects processor of all time, and for good reason: it sounds marvellous!