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not going to say I hate it – not at all. In fact I think it is really a beautiful machine. My only complaint is that for now it is only a H8000 on steroids and better interfacing options. I owned every Eventide Harmonizer except for the 4k at some point in time in the last 15 years. My last unit was a H8000 with an EVE/Net controller which I sold off when I heard rumours about the H9k
After being on the fence for 2 years I decided to pull the trigger on the H9000 two weeks ago and after a brief testing I decided to return it.
If you complain about the Emote plugin I cannot add something to it because honestly I felt comfortable with the front panel UI very quickly. To me it felt quite intuitive and it took me 4 days to finally consider to at least test the plugin once. Software is going to change and will be improved over time, so whatever lag etc you are experiencing is either a problem with your setup or is going to be fixed with upcoming releases.
If you ask me why I did return the H9k it were simple but fundamental things. First of all I thought I could deal with the fact that there is no analog stage to deal with your input signal levels. In reality, although my sources were line level, I did not manage to get the input gain up to the right level and I am not going to spend money on a MixingLink as I consider this to be sort of mandatory for a 7k USD unit.
Next, I think Eventide needs to think about the mix levels concept. I think there are too many different points in the signal chain where you would need to adjust that level (Fx chain, preset).To be honest, I would have appreciated to have a signal flow diagram in the manual. At least for my guitar rig setup I need to adjust the fx chain mix level, the preset mix level plus gain on the preset level, too. While it is in a sense great to have all these options I do not have the time to work over every preset just in order to make it right for that specific instrument or use case, i.e. as I use synths, too. The concept should be streamlined especially when I think about 16 algos running in parallel and the need to administrate them.
Same for the concept of the preset. To me it is outdated and doesn’t fit the complexity of the setups possible. IMHO as a building block is too much of a black box to the global control level of the machine. What I mean is that there are too many things I need to set right on the preset level (mix, gain, output level) which should be handled by the fx chain control, such that whatever preset you chose it should adjust itself to the parameters passed by the control level of the chain. The lack of a modern concept to me manifests itself by the fact that you cannot lock the mix level of a preset via the chain such that you have to readjust it each time you change the preset in the chain. Secondly, that many algos have such a different gain structure that sitting in front of my ripping tube amp I found myself more than once desperately looking out for a panic button on the machine…
Maybe the biggest disappointment for now is that algorithm and preset wise this unit is stuck on the level of a H8000. I was really hoping that we would already have a glimpse by now of what the new architecture is able to deliver and I really hope Eventide has something in the making. Apart from a better interfacing and shear power there is little added value compared to the H8k on the FX side.
I feel that with the advance of the hardware and the available power the limitations of the software concepts now start to show, while before you would feel that the hardware stood in the way of what the software could pull off. In essence this is why I returned the unit. Nevertheless, I hope that Eventide will come up with something in the mid term which will unlock the true potential of the unit. Once this is happening I am back in.