Vintage Digital

Other Digital Effects

Digital Effects Processors are everything that is great about digital signal processing, and provide multiple effects in a single box. Everything from digital reverb, digital delay and modulation effects are included. The ability to combine these effects takes everything to another level altogether. Eventide was one of the very first companies to head down this path with the Eventide H910 Harmonizer. The H910 was the world’s first commercially available digital audio effects processor. The H910 combined pitch effects with delay and feedback to create a very unique device for the time. The success Eventide enjoyed with this first product spawned many products over the years, and Eventide deservedly own the multi-effects processor market  to this day. Their latest product the Eventide H9000 is an extraordinary bit of technology that will take them through the next decade.

A number of companies over the years have tried to take on Eventide, some with great success, some not so much. One such company that did succeed was Yamaha with their range of SPX signal processors. Yamaha introduced their SPX90 processor in 1985 and it offered everything from reverb to delay, chorusing and a multitude of other effects in a single rack space. The SPX90 was a massive hit for Yamaha who followed it with a string of even better processors. Companies like Alesis, Ensoniq, Korg, Kurzweil, Lexicon, Roland, Sony and TC Electronic all got into the multi-effects processor market with varying degrees of success. There are however some real standout products for those looking to buy hardware based multi-effects processors besides the Eventide and Yamaha offerings, and that includes the Ensoniq DP/4 and DP/4+ processors, as well as the Sony DPS-V77.

There are few if any plugins that can compete with a hardware based multi-effects processor like the Eventide products, however there is one: The SoundToys 5 collection is an amazing set of plugins that work together to do much of what an Eventide processor can do, and there is good reason for that. The guys who design SoundToys plugins are the same guys who designed the algorithms in the Eventide processors. So if you can’t afford a classic old Eventide H3000, then take a look at the SoundToys 5 collection, it is worth every cent!

The Eventide Model H910 Harmonizer was developed by Eventide in 1974. It was the world’s very first digital effects processor. It combined ‘de-glitched’ pitch change with delay and feedback. It could be controlled by a keyboard remote control to instantly shift pitch in half steps.
The MXR Model 129 Pitch Transposer is a classic piece of audio equipment that was released in the late 1970s. The unit was designed to allow musicians and audio engineers to transpose the pitch of audio signals up or down by a fixed amount, ranging from one octave below to one octave above the original pitch.
The Eventide Model H949 Harmonizer is a combination digital delay line, pitch changer, and all-round special effects unit. The TIME REVERSAL feature is entirely new. When used with a variable-speed tape recorder, the Harmonizer is capable of shortening or lengthening a piece of program material to fit a given time slot, without altering the pitch.
The Lexicon PCM 70 has become something of a legend of late, with good examples selling for the same money or more, than what they sold for back in the day. It is ironic really…when the Lexicon PCM 70 was released everyone said it was not a ‘real’ Lexicon. While it may not be a 224X, released the same year, it does offer a taste of the Lexicon sound.
Eventide’s newest Harmonizer in 1985 was the Eventide Model H969, which expanded on Eventide’s already capable Eventide Model H949 Harmonizer. The Evenride Model H969’s new ProPitch digital electronic-splicing algorithm gives you the cleanest, most glitch-free pitch change ever. Deglitching is active over a wider bandwidth, too – a full octave wider.
There is perhaps no more revered effects box in history, as the Eventide H3000. To many it has never been bettered, and never will. More than thirty years since it was first introduced, the Eventide H3000 is still used in studios around the globe and on stage by musicians everywhere.
The Yamaha SPX 90 II was essentially the original SPX 90 with more memory added to improve delay times, and they gave it a new look with green button surrounds. Regardless of the fact that the SPX 90 II is the exact same effect processor as the SPX 90 only with increased memory for longer delay times, it sells for much less. Bargain hunters rejoice!
Roland proudly introduced a new standard in signal processors the Roland DEP-5 Digital Effects Processor. The Roland DEP-5 incorporates Roland’s most advanced digital technology for great sound and easy programming. Roland digital effects devices are the choice of musicians and engineers the world over. Onstage and in studios, the remarkable SRV series digital reverb units and SDE series digital delays play a vital role in today’s music.
The Korg DRV-3000 is designed and constructed to professional specifications, and incorporates sophisticated state-of-the-art LSI technology to create a wide variety of superb effects.  The Korg DRV-3000 can be used in virtually any music situation where high-performance sound processing is required, and is particularly suited to MIDI applications.
Yamaha was on a roll with the great success of their SPX90 and SPX90 II multi-effects processors, and expanded the line up with the SPX50D. The Yamaha SPX50D added distortion to the list of effects, clearly aiming the processor towards guitarists and perhaps trying to compete with the success Eventide were enjoying with their processors.
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