March 17, 2016 (Little Ferry, NJ)—Eventide and legendary producer Tony Visconti have spent the last two years working on a secret, David Bowie-inspired plug-in project that is nearing completion.
The project was conceived after a meeting at Human Studios in NYC with Visconti and Eventide’s Adrienne Humblet, Joe Waltz and Tony Agnello. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Visconti to some of Eventide’s latest products as he was about to embark on the production of Bowie’s 2013 album, The Next Day.
Throughout the meeting, Agnello and Visconti they had much in common. Both Tonys were born and raised within blocks of one another in a Brooklyn Italian-American neighborhood and grew up to have parallel careers respectively building and using Eventide gear. In 1974, Agnello invented the world’s first digital effects box, the H910 Harmonizer, and Visconti in turn obtained the first one in the UK.
At their meeting, Visconti recounted the ways in which he had used various Eventide effects as he recalled how he and Bowie worked together on the album, Heroes. He described how powerful an instrument Bowie’s voice was (what he called “Bowie histrionics”) and how he was able to harness that power by employing various microphone techniques.
That meeting inspired the Eventide trio to create a plug-in that would mimic and build upon the real-world effects that Visconti had created. With Waltz heading up the project and Humblet writing the code, the plug-in began to take form, with Visconti and Agnello guiding it along the way. Now, after two years of collaboration, the plug-in is approaching public release.
Stewart Lerman, the original music producer of Martin Scorsese’s HBO series Vinyl, was part of the plug-in’s beta program and used it on a track for an upcoming episode of the show, making that the first commercial use of this still secret effect.