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Reply To: H9000 and Instrument Level

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#161864
AdamIEcho
Participant

Hi everyone.

There is a saying, “From one thing, learn 10,000 things”.
-By observing General Principles, you will be able to parse out solutions across multiple strata.

Things to consider:

  • The greater the voltage hitting the DSP, the more material it has to sculpt and effect.
    -Think of it like a gate that opens once the signal level exceeds a certain amount, allowing greater detail to bloom the further you push it (short of distortion of course.)
  • In order to provide enough voltage at the input, it is good practice to pre-amplify the signal up to Line-Level with a quality device.
  • The Orville/H8000 family that preceded the H9000 had an analog preamp section capable of providing up to +30dBu of boost.
    -Since this hardware is not provided in the H9000, it is advisable to use an external mixer to experience the full detail of what it’s processors have to offer.
  • Running racks at instrument level allows them to perform like glorified guitar pedals.
    -Running them at line-level allows them to perform like the professional studio tools they are designed to be.

About the Switchblade GL:

I used to run (3) of these in my studio, but had to lower the outputs of my racks significantly to avoid over-driving it.
-As it turns out, the GL clips beyond +6dBu, only 2dBu beyond nominal professional output.

The “Studio Switchblade” (long out of production), clipped beyond +19dBu-
-A unit <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>much</span> more fitting for these applications.

I never got an official answer from Ken, but it is my suspicion that, “GL” stands for ,”Guitar Level”.
This would stand to reason, as the machine performs just fine when running it as a pedal/instrument level router.

-A single Eventide rack running it’s full open glory however, will cause the GL to melt-down instantly without mercy. –

You can do what you like, but if you want to hear the H9000 optimally and on a budget, try the following:

  1. Get a Tascam LM-8ST Stereo Line mixer (max input = +24dBu)
  2. Boost your guitar to line-level using that, and use the Balanced Aux Output to feed the H9000’s inputs
    -Make sure the H9000 is set to accept +4dBu Nominal, NOT, “-10”
  3. Return the outputs of the H9000 (unattenuated) to however many channels you need on the LM-8ST.
  4. Set your blend and run the LM-8ST’s Balanced XLR Stereo Outputs to your monitors and have a listen.

If you’d like to run it into an amp, or run the 1/4″ secondary outs, and make sure to be careful with level there-
-Turn it up slow…

Come back and share your experience with us.

Beyond that-

If your studio requires a router, check the specs before you wind up with something that serves as a crippling bottleneck for your audio.
I was there… I know.

I sold all 3 Switchblades, and wound up working with a product that never made it to market called X-Bay 64.
-It can handle up to +30dBu, so there is no headroom issue whatsoever, as anything downstream in my studio can only handle a maximum of +24dBu.

Some options on the secondhand market are as follows:

  1. CM-Labs Sixty Four (Maximum Input = +29.9 dBu)
  2. 360 Systems AM-16/B (Maximum Input = +27dBu)
  3. Soundsculpture <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Studio</span> Switchblade (Maximum Input = +19dBu)

There is also the Flock Audio, “Patch” product line, but the availability of Phantom Power on all channels concerns me in case of an OS fault.
They are also not as transparent as others with specifications.

I have been working with Eventides for years, and am currently testing the H9000 heavily.
You can see my studio here: AdamIEchoStudio.com

I hope you can use this information, and it leads to huge revelations for you personally and as an artist.

Stay well.

-Adam.