Eventide, Inc. (also known earlier as Eventide Clock Works Inc.) is an audio, broadcast and communications company in the United States whose audio division manufactures digital audio processors, DSP software, and guitar effects. Eventide was one of the first companies to manufacture digital audio processors, and its products are used in the finest studios around the world.
Eventide’s first audio processor of note was the Eventide H910 Harmonizer®. The Eventide H910 Harmonizer was first demonstrated to positive reactions at the AES show in late 1974. It was designed by Eventide’s first engineer, Tony Agnello. The first H910 customer was New York City’s Channel 5, utilizing it to downward pitch shift I Love Lucy reruns that were sped up to create room to run more advertisements. Speeding up the reruns had increased the pitch of the audio, and the H910 was able to shift that pitch back to where it originally had been.
Frank Zappa added it to his guitar processing rig. Producer Tony Visconti used the H910 to create the snare sound on David Bowie’s album Low (1977), as did Tony Platt on AC/DC’s song “Back in Black” (1980). Chuck Hammer in 1979 used it as an integral part of his Guitar Synth rig on tour with Lou Reed and in 1980 with David Bowie. Another popular application was to use two H910s slightly detuned with a small delay.
Notable users of this twin Harmonizer effect included Eddie Van Halen, who used it for his trademark guitar sound, and Tom Lord-Alge, who used it for the vocals on the hit Steve Winwood song “Back in the High Life Again” (1986). Recognizing the popularity of this application, Eventide later recreated it as the “Dual 910” program in the Eventide H3000 UltraHarmonizer released in the late 1980s.
It is the Eventide H3000 that is so revered by guitarists and studios around the world. The Eventide H3000 cemented it’s place in history by being the perfect blend of technology and for want of a better word, mojo. The Eventide H3000 does not sound as good sonically as their later models, but it is that less than perfect sound quality that is so loved.
Over the years, Eventide have continued to develop their line of Harmonizer products, right through to their latest model, the Eventide H9000, which is a truly extraordinary bit of digital technology for music making. With the exception of the Yamaha SPX2000 which has been in production since 2003, Eventide are the only company still developing and manufacturing a hardware multi-effect processor.