- Eventide Audio

Home Forums Products Stompboxes Sculpt is out now! Reply To: Sculpt is out now!

Eventide Staff
peterfrequency wrote:
Hi there, I recently bought two H9s, one of them a Max, inspired in part by the possibility of using Sculpt on the first H9 + a reverb or delay algorithm on the second, mainly running a Nord Drum through it. Would it be possible to add a true stereo mode to Sculpt? Everything I send through it seems to gets summed to mono then divided into the two frequency bands. That would be great if I was a guitarist with two amps, but I'm not, and I'm sure there a lot of other H9 users out who would appreciate another true high quality stereo distortion. I love that CrushStation is stereo, but I for my purposes I much prefer the soundshaping capabilities of Sculpt. Or maybe it's possible and I'm missing something basic? There are some great possibilities for this algorithm used with low mix settings for adding lovely subtle harmonics to complex stereo signals (a la the Elektron Analog Heat). Or maybe it's there and I'm somehow missing it? This would be an amazing feature if you decided to add it. 🙂 It works well with CrushStation, but I prefer the sound shaping possibilities of Sculpt.

Hi peterfrequency,

Unfortunately in this case I have to give a definitive "no, not possible" answer.  I wish the case were different, but the DSP chip in the H9 doesn't have enough juice to do a full strereo multiband distortion without significantly reducing the quality of the distortion.  Believe me (I designed Sculpt), I tried and tried to squeeze every last drop of CPU out of that thing to go full stereo, and this was the best compromise for a stereo effect I could come up with that maintains the powerful soundscaping possibilities of Sculpt. Basically, it came down to a choice: you get stereo, or you get multiband soundscaping.  Since we already had the stereo CrushStation, I opted for something new.  

Now, a little technical explanation: Good sounding high gain distortion in the digital domain always comes at a high CPU price b/c we need to upsample the signal, running distortion math/modelling at at least 4 times the sample rate of the box.  If we don't do this we get nasty aliasing distortion.  The H9 can only do 2 of these distortions (maybe 3 depending on all the other processing in the algorithm, filters, pitchshifters, etc) before we bring the chip to its knees.  That's why CrushStation is stereo, each channel has its own distortion. Sculpt uses the 2 distortions up on the mulitband approach.  No matter what I strip out, 4 good sounding distortions is an impossibility with the current hardware, therefore no stereo Sculpt.  

Now, if we were to ever port this algorithm to more powerful platforms, or update our stompbox hardware in the future, we might be having a different conversation 🙂  So thanks for digging in, and sorry I couldn't be more obliging this time around.