Walk into almost any pro studio and you’ll see an Eventide H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer. When it was first released in the mid-1980s, the H3000 was an absolute game changer, leaving its sonic footprint on countless classic songs from the era. Lucky for us, Eventide has released a plug-in version, the H3000 Factory, so all these classic sounds can now be had without spending an arm and leg on the hardware unit.
The H3000 is essentially a multi-effect unit capable of delays, pitch shifting, modulation effects, filtering and more. This plug-in can get very deep, so I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful to start with a preset to get you in the ballpark before digging in and tweaking to get that perfect sound. In the preset menu, you’ll find tons of great starting points, from subtle to extreme to straight up wacky. After choosing a starting place, the main controls will be assigned to the four soft keys at the top of the GUI. Simply click and drag the numbers above the soft keys or use the jog wheel to the right to adjust the parameters. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can use the patch bay in the lower left of the GUI to adjust the signal routing or to insert modulation points. From there, you can enter the expert panel where you can tweak to your heart’s content.
With such a deep unit capable of so many sounds, it would be impossible to cover everything in one article, so I’ll just go over a few of the presets we used the most on this year’s St John trip.
Our most-used setting on this trip was the Micro Pitch Shift preset. This setting shifts the left side up 9 cents, shifts the right side down 9 cents, and adds a slight delay to the right side. When listening to this effect in solo, it’s essentially a stereo doubler effect. When mixed in with the dry signal, it creates a gentle widening effect, giving vocals or guitars a subtle 3D thickening effect. When used subtly, you barely notice it’s there, but once you mute it, things feel flatter and more two-dimensional. Playing with the left and right pitch settings can give you a more dramatic or more subtle effect as well, so that’s a great way to dial in just the right amount of width for your track.
Another great setting is the Space Echo preset. This setting is a short, slapback style delay with a high frequency roll-off, perfect for giving guitars a lo-fi, old school sound. Also, we found the Lost In Space preset, a high feedback, modulated delay, to be perfect for turning a simple mono synth line into a lush, wide pad in some of our ambient synth-based tracks.
This is only scratching the surface of what this plug-in can do, but these settings will at least get you started. Flip through some presets, try building your own from scratch, and once you get to know the H3000, there’s practically no limit to the creative sounds you can create.
Eventide Audio • www.eventideaudio.com