8 Step Program For Controlling Eventide Stompboxes

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    • #109665

      The quotes below are from the recent PitchFactor: Fun with Harpeggiator thread.  As the availability of the EH 8 Step program gets closer, I thought that the discussion could use it's own thread.

      My thought is that what you'd want to do for arpeggiation is define a patch where the expression pedal controls the pitch, and the heel and toe positions are set to the lowest and highest pitches you intend to use in your sequence

      I'm personally interested in using it as a way to get square-wave modulation of loop times, producing loops that jump in pitch at intervals unrelated to the loop content.

      The Eventide inputs work on a 0-3VDC range, and I'm not sure what the Electro-Harmonix outputs.  0-5V or 0-10V would be more common, I would think.

      With several factor pedals hooked together with midi it should be possible to control multiple pedals simultaneously as well. It might be interesting to combine pitch and filter effects for example.

      There's no manual available yet. I'm not quite sure how you'd map this to create arpeggio's at specific intervals though for example using h9101 on Pitchfactor.

      Well, there's still no manual that I can find.  I'd like to know a bit more about it before I dropped a buck-and-a-quarter on a preorder (and potentially another $60 US on an encoder, two switches & a 2-digit display.  I put in a little more research time today to see what I could dig up.

      On the bright side, the MIDI In feature would be a brilliant way to connect stompbox system MIDI Clock to sequenced expression pedal events.  Considering that EXP PED assignments can control multiple events, and in turn can be controlled over MIDI as a destination, I can see ways to 'morph' entire presets around.  But it's the 8 Step program output that bothers me:

      Their Next Step Expression Pedal Instructions indicate a 0 – 5V output.  We'll have to assume there is consistency across the entire E-H product line (meaning the 8 Step Program here).  That's not going to hurt the Eventide pedals.  I believe it was Nick that stated up to 10VDC would be 'safe'; not much more (correct me if I'm misquoting here).

      But with a 0-3V expression pedal input range on the stompboxes, a 5V maximum will be wasted resolution.  My thinking is that the 8 Step sliders become ineffective (in relation to the Stompbox parameter ranges) after 60% travel.  The Eventide parameter ranges would be effectively compressed into less than 2/3 of each 8 Step slider.

      So, I started thinking about voltage dividers (converting the full range 0-5V to full range 0-3V).  There are a lot of ways to do it (voltage regulators; a potentiometer).  It would ideally fit inside the 8 Step –> Stompbox cable jack (diodes, simple resistor divider).  A few other design considerations come to mind.  But there may be another way that I hadn't noticed until now:

      Rotary encoder gives you control over glide rate, direction, sequencer length and depth

      This is a straight-up CV device.  What else could 'depth' mean, other than a master 'trim' control over the control voltage output?  I can only hope that it's a 'top-down' trim control over the maximum output voltage.  I did find it discouraging that the Next Step Expression Pedal trim knob leaves 5V as the maximum, and trims up the minimum between 0V and 4.5V.  I could be way off with my assumptions here, but depth could be the answer to a smooth connection between Eventide stompboxes and this E-H device.

      Any comments, ideas, or thoughts are most welcome.  If anyone runs across any additional information that's pertinent to this 8 Step Program discussion, please chime in.  It will save me some burnt brain cells, and quickly relieve me of up to $200.00 on a preorder.

    • #124400

      I was REALLY quite excited when EH announced the 8-step device and had lots of different ideas in my head about how I'd use it. I since played around with the Pitchfactor's Arpeggiator – which I hadn't really used very much before – and tried to imagine how I would use the 8-step to control other algorithms in the Pitchfactor if it was connected, but I have to say I wasn't terribly inspired by the idea. In-fact I kind of concluded that the Arpeggiator and the wave patterns in the Harmodulator probably provide me with enough automated pitch control. Similarly with the Modfactor – there are so many possible waveshapes available especially once you add the second LFO I'm not sure if I'd use the 8-step here either. I must admit though it would be kind of cool to try and create some sort of rhythmic reverb effects with the Space 🙂 Note though that my position here is completely guitar-centric and my views would probably be different if I was using it for other instruments or applications.

      Brock – I don't want to distract from your comments regarding the V output of the 8-step but I'm interested in how you intend to use the 8-step assuming you can get the output range to match?

    • #124401
      there are so many possible waveshapes available especially once you add the second LFO I'm not sure if I'd use the 8-step here either.

      I do see your point there.  Some of my main targets in the PitchFactor are the parameters that don't have an LFO.  Maybe a shallow vibrato added to the H910/949.  The filters in the Octaver.  Feedback in any algorithm with delay, or delay times (especially Diatonic, where the longest delay determines the feedback length).

      To me, the best part about designing your own 'LFOs' is the discrete steps feature (or not, with glide capability).  The ability to 'jump' from one value to the next without the intervening positions.  For example, hammer-on or pulloff trills a fifth apart.  You may be able to do that in the Harmodulator, but not tapping alternately between unison and fourths, fifths, & octaves.

      Expand that to step flanging, pitch mixing between two harmony intervals, or user-programmable MURF-type filter cutoffs and resonance.  It appears that – using the Play and Reset buttons – it'd be possible for one-shot operation of the sequence.  Think chromatic up / down 'bends', or a burst of gliding diatonic intervals; available at the touch of a footswitch.

      …  I'm interested in how you intend to use the 8-step assuming you can get the output range to match?

      In addition to the comments above, I've always been interested in ways to customize my own 'Harpeggiator' patterns using other algorithms.  I don't use that algo a whole lot as designed, but I embrace the concept when I can  'roll my own'.  It may be as simple as an octave up every sixteenth step, or as complex as a programmed repeating riff to match the guitar phrasing.

      With a sequencer pointing at – say, the Harmodulator – you're not limted to the 26 sequences, 16 steps per-pattern, sequence rhythm, or the intervals that make up a custom sequence.

      One other main interest is in automating key & scale changes in the Diatonic / Quadravox modes.  I do that now with MIDI footswitching, but automation takes the fancy footwork out of the equation.  Admittedly, this is territory for a full-featured MIDI sequencer, with changes spread out in terms of measures and verse/chorus.

      I'd like to see what could be accomplished within the pedalboard, though, with a relatively small footprint.  That way, it may be possible to synchronize effects with some of the other MIDI-challenged pedals living alongside the PitchFactor.

    • #135325

      OK, I ran a rough simulation of the 8 Step Program (as I understand it) using the sequencer section of an AKAI MAX 49 keyboard controller only; plugged directly into the PitchFactor MIDI IN.

      – Sequencer length constrained to 8 steps or less.

      – Tempo divisions used: 1/4T – 1/8 – 1/8T – 1/16 (1/8* unavailable).

      – CC sequence output tied to PitchFactor (MIDI) PDL destination only.

      – No glide parameter available.  Stepped output only.

      – No attempt to simulate the 8 Step Program's Expression Pedal Input capability.




      – Eight step maximum can be limiting.

      (With some target parameters, and LFO simulation, it can be enough. With others, 16-32 steps would've been much better.)


      – Five tempo divisions may not be 'slow' enough for normal song tempo ranges.

      (Workaround:  Sacrifice 2-4 consecutive steps with identical values to get down to 1/4 and 1/2 note changes.  But now you're down to a four- or two-step sequencer.)


      – Expression pedal control is more exacting on PF parameters with 'coarser' values.

      (EXP PED range of 0-100.  Some pitch and delay time parameters have 100's of possible values.  Other parameters have 5, 13, or 30 values.  Less (than 100) is more (accurate).


      – Difficult to align multiple expression pedal assignments with any precision at each 'step'.

      (For much the same reason as the point above.  Each parameter has a different range & 'curve' of values.  Aligning two parameters at any given point for a desired effect takes some pre-planning.  And luck.)


      – Simulating 'Harpeggiator' patterns with only 8 pitched steps can be disappointing.

      (No available variations & no additional processing can lead to monotony.  Input pitch variations can help, and there's hope if the 8 Step's 100 potential presets can be brought in smoothly, and without any hiccups.)


       – Automated control over PitchFlex is much better with direct CC control over Flex.

      (The sequenced PDL destination works, but you lose out on the shape curves and time delays.  With CC control, values over 63 can trigger & 'bounce' the pitchshifts, and even create some WILD vibratos with alternating low & high CC values.)





      These are some of the sequencer destinations that I found to be most inspiring.  Some of the results were out-and-out astounding.  Sequenced pitches were also respectable, but that was expected (on my part).  The following parameters had sequenced effects that it'd be tough to duplicate with many other 'boxes.  (By the way, the PitchFactor took this beating without as much as a whimper).


      – Filters of any kind.

      – Harpeggiator FX sections.

      – Addtive / Subtractive synth parameters.

      – Delay time and feedback level.

      – Pitch mixing between harmonies / intervals / any other effect.

      – Modulation speed and modulation depth.

      – Diatonic glissandos.

      Most Pleasant Surprise:


      – Diatonic / Quadravox harmonies.  One static pitch shifter harmony (e.g. +3rd).  An automated second harmony playing in & out of the melody with sequenced intervals (unison, thirds, fifths, octaves, etc.; all perfectly tracking my input).

      Most Pleasant Surprise (runner-up):


      – Sequenced cents/depth variations on micropitch parameters.

      Beautiful beyond description.

    • #135330

      One potential trick with the Harpeggiator: set the sequencer to control the program number, and the sequencer step size to something larger than the beat size of the Pitchfactor, so that the changes in program do not always correspond to the same position of the beat.

    • #135336

      Verified by an EHX Staff member.

      Other Random Updates:



      – Dimensions of the 8 Step Program are 5.75 x 4.75 x 2.5 (in.)  146 x 121 x 64 (mm).


      – Release date has been bumped to mid-April.  Auxiliary footswitch still says 'late March'.


      – My simulation (above) should've used the MAX49's CV Out with voltage dividing as the most accurate test bed.  That test will be next, but I'm having too much fun exploring the original simulation.


      – I've since included footswitch control over the sequence's Play and Stop functions.  It's very promising for one-shot LFO's, and bursts of parameter sequences that don't necessarily loop (for example, chromatic and diatonic 'bends').  It's similar to Aux switch control over a parameter, but with up to 8 discrete programmable steps, and not locked globally.

      set the sequencer to control the program number, and the sequencer step size to something larger than the beat size of the Pitchfactor, so that the changes in program do not always correspond to the same position of the beat.

      Good point.  We've been discussing the 8 Step and ET Stompboxes in total lockstep.  The potential for isorhythms / polyrhythms opens up a whole world of variations.  I think this is a possible routing, but I see it happening in reverse order.

      The 8 Step program has no MIDI Out; only CV / expression out.  So it's 'limited' to what can be programmed as an expression pedal destination.  But it does have MIDI In.  At the very least, that means MIDI Clock input.  And with 100 potential presets, it could match up nicely with the 100 preset configuration in the Stompboxes.  If it will receive Program Changes, the Stompbox (or MIDI controller) sends them, the 8 Step receives them, and each sequence could have a varying number of steps.

      Your comment also brings up another good point:  A single Eventide stompbox could control the 8 Step Program in a 'loop'; effectively 'bootstrapping' its own expression pedal control.  The ET box transmits MIDI Clock, the 8 Step syncs to it, then returns synchronized sequences back to the ET box.  It would act like a single effect box; an extension of its own programming capabilities.

    • #135353

      The 8 Step Program manual is now online. [357K .pdf]

      I can't think of a question that hasn't been answered after reading that.

      Nice surprises are everywhere in that document.  Loop, One Shot, and Step-Thru modes.  A Preset Cue function.  100 presets resident in-the-box (optional foot controller acts as a remote).  And one of the most extensive MIDI implementations that I've ever seen in a similar device, and at this price point.  See pp. 20-23 in the link above.

      Every available function (except current MIDI Clock and MIDI Channel) can be addressed with Program Changes or MIDI CC messages.  Any slider position.  Encoder.  Preset save/load.  Increment/decrement.  Tempo division.  Sequence length, glide, direction, or depth percentage (even proportionally raising the depth of sliders under maximum depth).  All on-the-fly.

      Certainly worth a look to anyone with some form of a MIDI controller.  Using MIDI control over the individual sliders, even someone having a single Eventide stompbox could use it as the 'programmer'.  Then use the 8 Step to play back ET parameter positions in sequences.  Plus, there's a 1:1 relationship between presets in each device. 

      The sheer depth of this MIDI implementation may have tipped the scales for me.

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