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Review: Eventide Anthology X Bundle

Anthology X is the same bundle from the Pro Tools HD platform, but with new additions and greatly expanded Native compatibility.

Considering how we upgrade our software and computers so often, sometimes certain plug-ins get left out for a cycle or two. We go about productions and then one day realize, “where is that piece I used to turn to?” Such is the case with Eventide’s Anthology X; I now understand how much I missed it.

Anthology X is the same bundle from the Pro Tools HD platform, but with new additions and greatly expanded Native compatibility. It contains 17 plug-ins with over 1,000 presets and now runs 64-bit AAX Native, VST, and AU, operating on Pro Tools 10+, Cubase 7+, Nuendo, Wavelab, Logic 8+, Ableton Live 7+, SONAR, Reaper, GarageBand, Digital Performer and Studio One. The bundle features Eventide’s H910, H910 Dual, H949, H949 Dual, UltraChannel, UltraReverb, Octavox, Quadravox, H3000 Factory, H3000 Band Delays, Instant Phaser, Instant Flanger, Omnipressor, EChannel, EQ45, EQ65 and Precision Time Align processors. Licenses can be activated via PACE’s iLok License Manager but it do not require the USB iLok dongle. The license can also be activated in two separate locations, either on the computer or iLok.

This cool collection features re-creations of classic Eventide hardware pieces along with modern takes on things like UltraReverb, EChannel and UltraChannel. Getting some plug-ins back that I haven’t used in a while is like hanging out with an old friend. I first called up the H3000 Factory—I used to have the hardware version—and used it to tune a kick drum with the SubKick preset. Upon selecting, the Tuning soft key is already engaged; I just turned the big rotary dial on the right to find the right frequency. It took no more than a minute, using one knob, but it added a lot of cool sub information to increase the weight of each kick impact.

Next I called up a classic, the Model FL201 Instant Flanger; hardware production dates ran from 1976 to 1984. Adding it to a distorted electric guitar part, it’s classic flanging bliss that simulates true tape flange. Once again, I didn’t have to go crazy tweaking to get what I wanted; I simply turned up the Feedback, which adds output audio back into the input. What it does to my ears is increase the apparent width and depth of the flange effect. I then turned the Oscillator Rate up to slow (20 seconds, 0.05 Hz), which makes the overall effect of the flange slow and subtle.

Then I called up my latest favorite in this package, the Dual H949 Harmonizer. Available in single and double, the latter recreates running two 949s in parallel for some seriously cool doubling effects. On top of the plug-in are three buttons: “Mono” where the output from a single unit feeds back into the unit; “Stereo” where the output from the top unit feeds into the bottom; and “Both” where the output feeds into itself and the other unit.

The other interesting buttons on the top are for Stereo Link, where ��Mono” allows you to set all the controls independently; “Link” which changing one correspondingly changes the other; and “Reverse Link” where changing the Pitch Ratio on one unit causes the other unit’s Pitch Ratio to move in the opposite direction—great doubling effects! What I do is set the Pitch Ratio to 1.000 in Mono mode, then click it into REVLNK and turn the Manual knob. The smallest movement immediately creates this lush stereo width effect. Simply leaving it in Mono and tuning each Pitch Ratio independently works, too. Either way, it’s like having two 949 hardware units feeding into the stereo signal.

The other piece that I like to use a lot in this bundle is the H910 and the H910 Dual Harmonizer. The H910 was actually the first harmonizer and one of the first commercially available digital audio products. Who would think, many years later, we could have it all on a software desktop, which didn’t even exist at the time these units were first released. Like the H949 mentioned above, the Dual H910 simulates using two units in parallel. The controls for Stereo Feedback and Stereo Link also work the same as the 949, but the 910 has a Stereo Width Slider for 0 to 100 percent and a Mix slider on the bottom for 0 to 100 percent Wet/Dry control.

All of the plug-ins in this collection have excellent presets. The one I use the most on the 910 is the MicroPitch Shift setting, which offers a dropdown menu from 01 to 50 percent (yes, 50 settings!). Even with something as simple as 6 percent on a stereo drum loop or keyboard patch offers up a nice widening/doubling effect. Then I drop down and use the Mix slider to control Wet/Dry, dialing it in to fit the track.

No matter how you slice it, Anthology X’s 17 plug-ins offer up a huge variety of classic and modern sounds that can push virtually any production over the top. There is a free 30-day demo license available from their website to check it for yourself, which I highly recommend.