I use the Eventide H9 hardware pedal for a variety of tasks, from super lush delays and choruses to epic reverbs and cool rotary and/or tremolo sounds. Add in the fact that I can control the settings via Bluetooth from my iPhone or iPad (which I do!), or via the desktop H9 Control software, and it just completes the package. Now Eventide has taken it a step further, jumping into the world of distortion with its latest release, called CrushStation.
On Rich Tozzoli’s desk as he composes for his various TV clients: Eventide’s H9 with CrushStation, Soundtoys Little PrimalTap plug-in and Teegarden Audio’s FatBoy Tube DI. Inspired by a visit by Vernon Reid to Eventide, CrushStation is collection of 10 presets for the H9 with names that match—Fra Diavlo (spicy metal), Bisque (smooth and creamy), Sag Harbor (heavy sag), Bottom Feeder (chunky with low octave), Jumbo Shrimp (little big sound), Scuttle Butter (thick blues), Punk Rock Lobster, Steamed in Beer (wicked saturation), Craw Daddy and Decapods Muff (like a Muff fuzz).
It offers the standard settings that one might expect, such as Drive, Sustain, Sag, Grit, multiband EQs and so on, but also a useful Mix control, so you can have a little or a lot of the distortion goodness. The Octaves control is my personal favorite, as it turns the H9 into a thick, nasty tone monster (start with the Bottom Feeder patch). And don’t forget, if you hook it up as such, you’re in stereo.
It’s not just all heavy sounds, as you can also dial into a lighter blues/rock tone as well. You actually learn how to ‘play’ it, meaning the sensitivity (to me) is not like an amp. I feel it responds best to more aggressive playing, and it delivers some really useful sounds. I like a lot of different guitar distortions in my work, and this to me is simply another tool to achieve the end result of distortion. It’s not a modeler, or a traditional amp or stomp pedal; its processing based overdrive/distortion/fuzz saturation tool with its own flavor.