Help me out here Brock. (Keep in mind, everything I know about “code” came from Jurassic Park.) When you say “latest code improvements” are you referring to improvements in the actual “coding language” or the level of specificity Eventide uses when writing these new algorithms?
“Code is the language used to make things do stuff.”
Now, this quote may seem…simple…but it is a useful tool. The “things” refer the physical hardware of the H9 and “stuff” is pitch shifting. Since the hardware has not changed, the only way the pitch shifting can be improved is if the language used to communicate with the hardware has either been improved or, remained the same but used in new and clever ways to get the desired result? …
That’s exactly how I see it. I haven’t done much software programming since the Stone Age, so I’ll defer to the code jockeys with more recent experience here. Modern digital devices perform everything in DSP: inputs and outputs, all processing & routing, etc. A bare minimum of analog circuitry to share any of that load.
One (comparatively) powerful processor. One mega-algorithm that covers all of the signal processing nuances, plus all possible FX and control signals. How those resources are distributed will be determined by that (sub-) algorithm’s coding. There are always more efficient ways to go about that, & new approaches to take. As much art as science; reflective of the current programmer’s past experience & personality (I would think).
So the hardware remains fixed, but how you instruct it to act can be continuously variable. Cycles saved in, say, a delay component, can be repurposed for improved pitch processing. Largely speculative, but from what I’ve seen (and heard), the H9 algorithms are in a constant state of refinement. It makes sense to me that the current crop of programmers build on the foundation they have from the original coder, or even improve on their own. Look at how PitchFuzz shares a lineage with CrushStation & Sculpt. Or how SpaceTime borrows from Plate and Diatonic delay feedback routings.
All that said … the pitch shifting algos come in many different flavors. None would be my first choice for a pristine, clean “capo”. I use them for the options that they give me. Learn its faults & weaknesses, and apply those creatively. One example: the glitchy, freaky Whammy4 pitch shifting. Drop it down an octave, then pitch shift it back to unison with an H9 algo. In theory, it’s back at the original input pitch, but it’s now thick with doubled processing FX and unique artifacts.