Eventide Space

September 19, 2011

ANYONE WHO IS FAMILIAR WITH Eventide signal processors in general— and the three previously released Eventide stompboxes in particular—won’t be surprised to learn that the new Space reverb pedal ($579 retail/$499 street) sounds, um, stellar. Like the TimeFactor, ModFactor, and PitchFactor before it, Space is chockablock with features and studio-quality effects drawn directly from the company’s high-end H8000FW and Eclipse V4 rack processors. Highlights include true stereo I/O (switchable between instrument and line level), true analog bypass, a USB MIDI interface and MIDI In and Out/Thru connectors, and tap-tempo and MIDI clock sync capabilities.

Space also brings some new features to the party, including the ability to name presets (earlier Eventide stompboxes also gain this capability when upgraded to software V3), and revised footswitch functionality. Previous pedals operated in either Play or Bank mode, and in the latter, the footswitches only allowed you to select Bank Up and not Bank Down (though each bank contained two presets that you could switch between), meaning you had to cycle through all active banks to go from, say, Bank 2 to Bank 1. With the new arrangement there are no Banks, just individual presets, and when in Preset mode, the center (down) and right (up) footswitches step through the presets sequentially.

Another new feature is the HotSwitch. While in Play mode, pressing the center footswitch—or HotSwitch—changes one or more parameters to new values, effectively creating a second preset within the first, and allowing you to toggle between them in either latching or momentary operation. (In Play mode the left or Active footswitch bypasses/engages the preset, and the right footswitch is dedicated to tap tempo.)

Space sports 100 memory slots, the first 12 of which contain the 12 basic effects algorithms: Hall, Room, Plate, Spring, DualVerb, Reverse, ModEchoVerb, Blackhole, Mangled- Verb, TremoloVerb, DynaVerb, and Shimmer. These basic building blocks may be used as is, or to create new presets. Slots 13-35 contain factory presets based on those algorithms (e.g., the “DarkMatter,” “Nebula,” and “Pulsar” presets are all based on the Blackhole algorithm). Memory slots 36-100 contain Artist Presets from various musicians and producers, including 17 fairly wild ones programmed by Vernon Reid. To create user presets, you’ll have to overwrite some of the stock presets, but that’s not a major issue given that you can back up any and all Factory and Artist presets to a MIDI editor and recover them later if you like. (The free Mac/ PC MIDI librarian program FactorLib may be downloaded by registered users in the Support section at eventide.com.)

It pretty much goes without saying that the effects algorithms sound fantastic. You can confi gure Hall, Room, Plate, and Spring to create nearly every imaginable flavor of those classic reverb types. The simpler combination algorithms such as DualVerb, TremoloVerb, DynaVerb, and Reverse are also relatively straightforward, sounding great when used conventionally but offering lots of tweakable parameters should you want to warp them out. The remaining algorithms, however, open up vast regions of largely uncharted psychoacoustic territory. For example, Shimmer combines reverb, delay, and two pitch-shifters to create an organlike effect—but by experimenting with the parameters such as Reverb Size and (postreverb, pre-pitch-shift) Delay you can conjure up textural worlds where truly no pedal has gone before. Similarly, MangledVerb introduces two types of distortion into the equation, producing sounds ranging from slightly fritzy to outright Reznor-esque. When it comes to BlackHole, well, just use your imagination.

And speaking of imagination, besides being loaded with astonishingly good effects algorithms, what really sets Space and the other Eventide Stompboxes apart is the amount of control available. There are ten control knobs on the surface of the pedal— including the powerful Xnob, Ynob, and Contour controls—that you can grab and tweak at any time while performing or recording, all of which control key parameters within each algorithm. You can also connect an optional expression pedal, and assign it to nearly any parameter or combination of parameters. And an optional three-button footswitch may be connected to the Aux jack and combined with the onboard footswitches for a total of six functions (e.g., all standard functions in both Play and Preset modes), or configured to toggle between one or multiple parameter values.

Of course, in addition to the above control options, Space has a very robust MIDI implementation, enabling you to do anything with MIDI that you can do with the physical controls, expression pedal, or footswitches—and more. For example, if you have a MIDI foot controller with two expression pedals, both may be assigned to parameters within Space using MIDI Continuous Control messages. Or, if you are using Space with a sequencer, you can program it to change presets or parameter values at certain points within a song. The mind reels at the possibilities.

Space’s effects algorithms and presets don’t just sound really good—they are truly inspiring, and make you want to play and to craft new sounds of your own. Those sounds, coupled with Space’s unparalleled control capabilities, make it one of the most amazing effects pedals ever created, which is why it receives an Editors’ Pick Award.

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