by Manny Sanchez
Eventide has been at the forefront of studio effects processing for nearly 30 years. My first experience with the company was with the Eventide 2016, a multi-effects processor that had a sound unique unto itself with many practical applications in a mixing situation. The company then built a much more complex effects unit in the H3000, with hundreds of effects and several ways to edit and manipulate them. The H3000 had several incarnations but always remained more geared towards an engineers mind than the performer. Eventide is attempting to break that mold by introducing two new effects pedals, the TimeFactor and ModFactor.
The TimeFactor and ModFactor ($399 each) are fairly simple units at the surface, something I would have never said about the H series. They both weigh in at just over two pounds and are 4.8-inches x 7.5-inches x 2.12-inches in size. The pedals are flexible in that they support both instrument and line-level inputs and outputs, with rear panel toggle switches that allow for independent selection of input and output levels. Audio inputs and outputs accept standard mono (unbalanced) 1/4-inch phone plugs. The pedal also has additional 1/4-inch inputs for an expression pedal.
and an auxiliary switch as well as MIDI capability for maximum control and USB connectivity for software updates.
The TimeFactor has nine delay effects as well as a 12-second looper, and the ModFactor has 10 modulation effects. Only one effect can be used at a time and there are 10 control knobs on the pedal surface for parameter manipulation.
The nine delay effects in TimeFactor are as follows: Digital Delay, Vintage Delay, Tape Echo, Mod Delay, Ducked Delay, Band Delay, Filter Pong, Multi Tap, and Reverse. There are two independent delay times labeled as A and B. The TimeFactor parameters are as follows: Delay Mix (Between A and B), Delay time A, Delay time B, Feedback A, Feedback B, Xnob, Depth, Speed, and Filter. The final four parameters are effect dependant and provide for several functions.
The 10 modulation effects on the ModFactor are as follows: Chorus, Phaser, Q-Wah, Flanger, Mod Filter, Rotary, Tremolo Pan, Undulator, and Ring Mod. The ModFactor uses two low frequency oscillators to create its sound. The primary LFO is controlled by the parameters Depth, Speed, and Shape. While the secondary LFO is controlled by the parameters D-Mod, S-Mod, Mod Rate and Mod Source. There are additional parameter controls for Intensity, Type, and Xnob. Xnob is program dependant and provides several functions.
There are three footswitches on the pedals that are used in different ways dependent upon whether the pedal is in "Play Mode" or "Bank Mode." In "Play Mode," the footswitches control certain aspects of the effects (tap-tempo, infinite repeat, slow/fast, brake), while in "Bank Mode" they are used to recall saved versions of the effects. TimeFactor has 10 banks that allow for 20 presets and ModFactor has 20 banks that allow for 40 presets.
Both pedals have DSP Bypass and True Bypass, and the TimeFactor has a third bypass mode that is called DSP+DLY Bypass. The DSP Bypass mode is default and does provide a low impedance output (500 ohm) capable of driving any device input or cable length, while True Bypass removes all the pedal's electronics from the signal path. The DSP+DLY Bypass mode for TimeFactor acts like the DSP mode in all aspects except it allows for the bypass of the input to an effect without cutting the output signal of a delay with feedback.
The expression pedal can be programmed to control any combination of the parameters of both pedals, whereas the auxiliary switch input allows for three independent switches using tip, ring, and tip plus ring. The three switches on the auxiliary input can be used for parameters as well as functions like a dedicated tap-tempo and an instant switch between Bank and Play Modes.
In the studio, I am a guitar pedal freak. I love the pure sound of a tube amplifier as much as the next guy, but when I get a chance to manipulate that sound, I start to get excited. I just helped design a 50W head for Revolt Amps — the I.V. Classic Fifty — and I thought I'd start out with the simple setup of American Telecaster through ModFactor to amp.
I began my career working for Billy Corgan — who has more modulation pedals than anyone else I know — so I've had plenty of exposure to a myriad of classic effects. The Eventide effects were lush and pronounced, with little of the unpleasant digital edge of newer effects pedals. I shot it out with the Line 6 modulation pedal and preferred the effect detail of the Eventide. The ability to shape the effect is unmatched by any pedal I have seen and the sheer number of organic sounds that the pedal can make sets it apart from other multi-effects pedals.
On a mix session, I decided to hook up the TimeFactor in line input mode to my API 1608. I love using delays that are just barely perceived and not really heard as delays, but as an extension of the music. The quality of the delay sound was very good, but I did miss the ability to automate nearly every parameter as with some of my software delays. This isn't to diminish the pedal's effectiveness; it just shows how dependant I have become on some of the creature comforts of software. I settled on using the delay to simulate a tape slap on my lead vocal and was very happy with the result.
Fast Facts Applications
Studio, project studio, live
Supports both instrument and line-level I/O via standard mono (unbalanced) 1/4" phone plugs; additional 1/4" for an expression pedal; auxiliary switch; MIDI capability; USB connectivity for software updates; 10 control knobs; (TimeFactor) nine delay effects and 12-second looper with 10 banks for 20 presets; (ModFactor) 10 modulation effects with 20 banks for 40 presents.
Eventide | 201-641-1200 | www.eventide.com I then decided to take the TimeFactor on the road for a short tour, as I also spend some of my time each year away from the studio as a front-of-house engineer. I loved using this pedal at FOH. I was on a small club tour with a band from Chicago called Bound Stems, and it was the perfect compliment to their sound. I have never really been a fan of the standard delay boxes at most clubs (like the TC Electronic D-Two) because they sound boring. The Eventide was great because I could easily dial up different sounds for each song, change tempo and note value without going in to a bunch of confusing edit menus. The ease of use of this box on the fly would also make it a great choice for any guitar player in a live situation.
Eventide has a long history of great effects processing for the studio, and with the TimeFactor and ModFactor it has made a giant leap into the worlds of performing musicians. These pedals sound wonderful and aren't complicated to use, yet have the programmability that would make any tech-savvy person satisfied. Most multi-effects pedals forego quality for quantity, but Eventide has not made this mistake. I would recommend these pedals to guitar players and engineers alike, as they have practical applications in both the fields of performance and recording.
Manny Sanchez is a professional studio and live engineer and owner of Chicago's I.V. Lab Studio.