First Impression: Eventide Stompboxes PitchFactor

June 8, 2009


The PitchFactor brings to pitch shifting what the TimeFactor and ModFactor pedals brought to delay and modulation. I’m a huge fan of the Eventide TimeFactor and ModFactor pedals, so I was excited when the new PitchFactor arrived for review. I’ve spent the last two weeks working with it, and while I’m now familiar with much of what the pedal can do, I’m still discovering entirely new things every time I plug it in. The HarPeggiator and HarModulator algorithms are particularly deep, especially when using an expression pedal.

Here are short excerpts from a draft of my upcoming review that deal specifically with theDiatonic, HarPeggiator, and HarModulator effects algorithms:

The Diatonic algorithm tracks the note you play and intelligently adds either one or two harmony notes. Dial in a key, a scale (Major, Minor, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, or Locrian), and the interval or intervals you want to hear (from two octaves below to two octaves above)—and out come harmony notes diatonic to your chosen key and scale. Want to change keys but keep the same intervals and scale? Press and hold the middle footswitch to activate the Learn function, play the root note of the key you want to change to, and a moment later voila! Each of the two harmony voices also has its own delay and feedback controls, facilitating everything from fattening the sound by offsetting the notes slightly, to using longer delay times to create rhythmic patterns. For example, setting the delays to 500ms and 1000ms, with one interval set very high and the other very low, produces cascading countermelodies above and below whatever notes you are playing. And they can be synced to the rhythm of the song using Tap Tempo.

The HarPeggiator creates 16-step arpeggios by combining one of 27 pitch sequences with one of 21 rhythm/groove sequences and one of 25 effect sequences (involving filters, fuzzes, glitches, etc.), resulting in complex patterns that may be further tweaked for tempo and dynamic response. I spent hours exploring this mind-blowing algorithm, and just barely scratched the surface.

The dual pitch-shifters in the HarModulator algorithm are chromatic rather than diatonic, covering an extended range from three octaves below to three octaves above—and their pitch can be modulated over four octaves at rates from very fast to very slow, kind of like a super vibrato. Modulation waveforms include Sine, Triangle, Square, Ramp-Up, Ramp-Down, and Envelope (playing dynamics), and independent delays expand the possibilities exponentially.

Look for the full review in the September 2009 issue of Guitar Player.

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