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So you also got the Eventide Insider Sweet 16 email a few days ago, and couldn't find the "official" spot to describe your favorite Eventide effect? This thread works for me.
The Stompbox ads proclaim STEP ON IT. There should be a PitchFactor spinoff saying IT'S AN INSTRUMENT. I've lusted after an Eclipse or better. I've demo'ed the other 'Factors quite a bit; even Space. All cool effects; all with very unique aspects.
While all of the 'Factor pedals are multi-effects to varying degrees, the PitchFactor truly exemplifies this concept. I'm hard-pressed to think of another single stompbox in this form factor that I would call "my favorite effect" – Eventide or otherwise.
I winced at the $500.00 price tag ("for a stompbox?"). I researched it for months. From the first day that I had it hooked up, I knew this was something special, and different. That was more than 2-1/2 years ago, and I'm still finding new twists and inspiration in this box. It's become an indispensable component in my rig, and that's within a routing with at least 3 other options to shift pitch.
This is true of all of the Factors, but there's a layered approach to the PitchFactor that reminds me of the better software synthesizers. At one level, study the presets, use the logical default settings, and settle on what you like. Use it for your Whammy effects, fat detuning, parallel intervals, intelligent harmonies, guitar army – whatever. Bass emulation, synth bass, arpeggiating effects, and crazy portamento leads.
On the next level, it's dead-simple to play around with the ten algorithms, modify presets, and really learn what makes this box work. In the process, you'll find combinations and "new" effects that you never considered when the shipping carton was first opened. This is a customizable effect – multiplied by 10.
At this point, you may realize that if it sounds good on a guitar … Supersaw synths; even from notoriously thin synthesizers. Basses take on a new dimension. The PitchFactor does a respectable job with vocals, as long as perfect formanting isn't your prime target. If you run some drum mix through it, you're guaranteed to come up with some hits and FX that sound like no one else.
At the next levels, that deeper-than-deep MIDI implementation (plus expression pedal & aux switch support) rips it wide open. The PDL assignment alone: It effectively "morphs" through multiple parameter settings; each with its own direction and high/low limits. By controlling this over MIDI, specific CC values can create dozens of presets-within-a-preset.
MIDI pitch bend in a stompbox? Makes logical sense in the PitchFactor, but what other stompboxes support this? And what other *anything* will produce even finer pitch resolution with 12-bit / 14-bit pitchbend messages? When you start throwing more sophisticated MIDI controllers at this box [LFO's; sequences, EG's], the sky is the limit. At this point, you have the ability to customize the PitchFactor's feature set itself.
Toss in durability (OK. There's the power supply design.), regular firmware updates, good online support, exceptional email / phone availability (what little I've needed it) … If I'd have known what the PitchFactor was going to bring to the table, I'd have never hesitated (or had to spend all of that time researching).