Eventide is expanding on the work it first initiated for its Blackhole Otherworldly and Nebulous Reverb Pedal. In fact they seem to be targeting further key Algorithms from the H9000 and H9 Max catalogue. Really in a not dissimilar fashion to what Universal Audio did with their recently announced range - but with much more of a specialist focus.
I personally was a little underwhelmed for the Blackhole Pedal Announcement - as I have all those parameters available to me in my H9 Max pedal. I can totally understand why Eventide is doing this - giving you a selected microcosm of its extensive DSP archive - with proper hands-on tweakable knobs - for on-the-fly action.
I’ve never been particularly happy with the onboard interface of the H9 unit - which is clunky in the extreme. In fact without the Bluetooth App, and the snap-on Barn3 OX9 Frame - I probably wouldn’t be using it at all!
So it kind of makes sense to extract selected Algorithms and Modules and deliver them in a more tweakable dedicated format. These aren’t particularly cheap at $279 each - and instead of producing multiple different types of flavours - these are more like EQD’s recent Astral Destiny - where they give you the maximum range of options for a single algorithm voicing essentially. So for the Blackhole for instance that is very much the one and only singular Reverb type - but it has multiple parameters for getting the very most out of that one type. As far as I gather the MicroPitch and UltraTap are much the same - with multiple permutations of a fairly focused algorithm.
This has been featured in various places already even though it's not officially launched until April 13th. This is in fact another delay (or Multi-Head Tape Style Delay really) - and a hardware extraction of the UltraTap algorithm which is already part of the H9 library.
"UltraTap is a unique multi-tap effect pedal capable of rhythmic delays, glitchy reverbs, huge pad-like volume swells, and extraordinary modulation. It’s the perfect tool for staccato leads, swelling chords, and other evolving effects — everything from reversed reverbs to the sound of ripping it up in the Grand Canyon!
Think of UltraTap as the mother of all Echoplexes and you won’t be too far off. That’s basically how it operates but with the flexibility to add as many ‘tape heads’ as you want and expressively control their positions and levels.
UltraTap's controls make possible new and unexpected effects. The controls that you would expect in a multi-tap delay pedal—Number of Taps, Delay and Feedback—are just the basics. Controls for Spread, Slurm, and Chop open up a new world of possibilities."
Controls : Mix/Tone | Taps/Slurm | Length/Predelay | Alt Button / LED | Feedback/Chop | Spread/Speed/Rise/Relativity | Taper/Out Level | Active Footswitch | Tap-Tempo Footswitch.
KEY FEATURES :
This is the officially latest or current release even - a Dual Pitch-Shifted Delay - which reminds me a little of the Meris Hedra superficially - while each has somewhat different range and parameter controls - so they're not exactly the same thing - but for sure some degree of overlap.
"Savor the secret sauce simmered into countless hit records with the MicroPitch Delay Pedal. By utilizing subtle pitch shifts to create a rich stereo spread, MicroPitch Delay makes anything you cook up sonically delectable. This pedal is the key ingredient for serving up flavorful tone: Instantly harness soaring leads that jump out of the mix, add distinct lushness to a compelling clean passage and get your fill of vibey modulation that’s sure to sweeten any pot with the push of a button. Sample a bite of our newly baked up Positive and Negative Envelope modulation sources and you’ll be sure to come back for seconds; and major and minor thirds. MicroPitch Delay adds unparalleled dimension to any source; it’s not just a guitar pedal—Use it to thicken vocals, keyboards, drums, strings, brass, winds and more."
Controls : Mix/Tone | Pitch A/Delay A | Pitch B/Delay B | Alt Button / LED | Depth/Modulation | Rate/Sensitivity/Feedback | A/B Pitch Mix/Out Level | Active Footswich | Tap-Tempo Footswitch.
KEY FEATURES :
"Escape Earth and create haunting echoes, ethereal landscapes and otherworldly ambiences with Blackhole – a reverb pedal as big and mysterious as the cosmos. Discover what lies beyond mere halls, rooms, plates and springs; let Blackhole transport you to an alternate dimension of ambience. Pick and choose from five otherworldly presets – create supermassive atmospheres with the ethereal reverb of Blackhole, soar through nimbus clouds with the airy delay of Dark Matter, achieve sonic supernovas with the resounding swirl of Nebula, experience an uncharted galaxy of sound with the warmth of Singularity, and achieve a stellar rotation of sonority with Pulsar – or get creative and create presets of your own. Blackhole can load as many as 127 presets via MIDI and they are also accessible in the preset list on the Eventide Device Manager (EDM). Unlock a universe of sound-sculpting capability! With this magnitude of flexibility, Blackhole will take you on a journey from cathedral-esque spaces to a new frontier of aural experimentation."
Controls : Mix | Gravity/Delay | Feedback/Q | Alt Button / LED | Size/Depth | Lo/Rate | Hi/Out Level | Active Footswitch | Freeze Footswitch.
KEY FEATURES :
Part of me here thinks Eventide might have been better off just re-engineering the H9 - with more knobs, tactile controls, and a proper screen - taking on the best elements of the Cooper FX Arcades and Neural DSPs Quad Cortex - and coming up with an H9 Ultra!
I can totally see why they've gone down this avenue - of providing selected algorithm extractions into more tweakable stand-alone units. But all those algorithms are already available for the H9 Max - you could simply update that hardware and make it more hands-on and on-the-fly usable.
I already use the Blackhole algorithm a lot on my H9 unit and it works perfectly on that - so there is no purpose in my acquiring a stand-alone pedal for that. I can understand that experimental players - and keyboard and synth players in particular - with desktop environments are looking for just such pedals - but surely they can deploy the H9 just as well with auxiliary controllers. There are all kinds of devices available for getting more out of the H9.
I also don't see anyone necessarily getting a number of these for their pedalboard - as costs mount up very quickly at $279 per pedal.
I can for sure see use for these for certain segments of players - and particularly those with desktop environments - while I cannot see why you would get a slew of these in place of a single more powerful H9 unit. None of these pedals is particularly for me - I am well satisfied with the Strymon Volante as my Tape Style Delay - so I would take that over the UltraTap, I already have the Meris Hedra which overlaps with the MicroPitch to a degree, and I already use the Blackhole algorithm to its fullest extent on my H9 Max unit - meaning that none of these 3 new Eventide pedals particularly appeals to me.
What about you readers? Are you considering deploying any of these over and above using an H9 unit?