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February 21, 2012 at 1:52 am #108439
I love Eventide pedals, so much so that I bought all four Factors. After using them as a home hobbyist for the past year or so, I have complied a list of annoyances that future buyers might consider before buying.
A few small things, a few bigger things…your mileage may vary.
#1 In And Outs. Guitar pedals generally adhere to the rule of “inputs on the right and outputs on the left.” This is the de facto industry standard, so most pedalboards are set up to accommodate right-to-left signal flow. Not so Eventide pedals. Factor inputs are on the back-left, and outputs on the back-right (though to be fair they are adjacent to one another). When running stereo, you end up with four wires crisscrossing on the back. Mostly its just unsightly, not a performance issue. I prefer a tidy pedalboard.
SOLUTION: Live with it. Take OCD medication.
#2 Midi Ports. The midi ports are on the right side of each Eventide pedal, a fact that didn’t register until I tried using them. Another OCD issue for me, I prefer having all the cables coming from the back so I can use as much horizontal space for pedals. But beyond appearances, the midi cables stick out about 1.5” from the right of each pedal, so if you have three or four Factors, you’ll eat up a precious ~6 inches of horizontal space to accommodate midi. If you try right-angle midi cables ($7.99 each), you’ll find that the midi ports are oriented such that the right-angle cables point *straight up* not down.
SOLUTION: You’ll need a wide pedal board to run several Factors (I bought the pedaltrain pro; $149 with soft case) because I assume you’ll not be happy, as I was, seeing right-angle midi cables pointing up like fountains at the Bellagio. If a new board is out of the question, one could also forego using midi.
#3 Midi Program Change. When the UPS man brought me my third Factor I was excited to set up the units in series. Combining Pitch, Mod, and Timefactor in series produces some truly astounding sonic results. With the pedals daisy chained via midi and some midi mapping, I dreamed I could call up patch 36 on the Space, and have patch 5.2 on the Timefactor, and patch 3.1 on the Modfactor instantly active as well. I call this “asynchronous program change” since the patch #s are not identical. Asynchronous program changes with three or more pedals is not possible with the Factors as far as I can tell. You can map asynchronous program change from pedal #1 to pedal #2, but pedal #2 will not pass along an asynchronous command to pedal #3 (even if pedal #2 has the proper midi mapping). To be fair, you can set up the pedals so that when patch #1 on pedal #1 is activated, you’ll get patch #1 on pedals 2 and 3 (I call this “synchronous program change” because all the patch numbers are the same). The absence of native asynchronous program change is a major disappointment to me. I don’t know if this is a problem with midi or with the way Eventide set it up, but I felt absolutely defeated when I ran into this brick wall.
SOLUTION: I am experimenting with a midi breakout box (Midi Solutions Quadra 4-Output Midi Thru Box; $49.95); we’ll see if that works.
#4 Power. Powering a pedalboard is exercise in frustration, especially for us OCD types. Few standards, not a lot of uniformity, cables and wires all over the place. Eventides are no exception to the pattern. The require a great deal of power and come with a large-ish wall wart. A standard power strip is not big enough to accommodate more than two Eventide wall warts. You’ll need at least 2 power strips ($8.31 each on Amazon) or you can try the Powersquid ($16.00) which looks like, well, a squid and can accommodate several wall worts with aplomb.
If you prefer a tidy pedalboard, you might consider an under-the-board power supply like the Eventide Powerfactor ($220). I had heard about this product on the boards, so was all set to purchase one to power my four Factors until I realized that it only provides power for **three** Factor pedals (?!).
SOLUTION. Live with it. Take OCD medication.
#5. Banks & Patches. Calling up a patch is at least a two-tap process, in most cases more. If you are a working musician and use a lot of different patches, prepare to do a lot of tap dancing. You must first select a bank, then a patch. You can navigate up the banks, but not down (?!). This means to go from bank 5 to bank 4, you have to go all the way around (as many as 50 banks!). To be fair, the Space seems to be the first pedal to address the “banks-and-patches” problem: of the 3 buttons on the front, the far right moves up patches (no banks, thank heaven!), the middle button moves down patches, and the far left activates the patch. Still a two-tap process, but an improvement over the other Factors.
SOLUTION: A tiny industry has been built up around Eventide Factors to make up for the inability to move up **and** down the banks. I purchased the Eventide Aux Switcher ($40 each depending on options from This1myne.com) so I can move up and down banks on my TF, MF, and PF. You can also invest in a full on midi switching set up from places like nicerackNYC.com (great gear porn there, guys).
#5-10 What’s Your Annoyance? I assume that Eventide fans out there have a long list of other issues to share. Would love hear about the problems, but more importantly I would like to hear the work arounds. Please share and please no flame wars.
Thanks Eventide for making amazing gear.
February 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm #123148HarParticipant
I really don't have too many gripes myself, though you did touch on some things that I've dealt with, a bit grundgingly. Per your list:
#1 In And Outs: I personally don't have any real issues with the jackfield being on the top, and if anything actually prefer it as it allows for slightly tighter horizontal pedalboard layout, and works nicely with some of my other pedals using the same jacks-to-the-top configuration (i.e. Strymon Lex, TC Nova Delay, Digitech Stereo JamMan).
That said, I definitely do also find the input/out positioning on the top annoying with the inputs to the left and the outputs to the right, as this is reverse of pretty much every other pedal I own, both with jacks-to-the-top and jacks-on-the-sides: flowing from right to left. Running stereo here as well, so am also dealing with the criss-crossing.
#2 Midi Ports: agree that their position on the side can get in the way and eats up precious horizontal space between pedals. But on the other hand: I can also understand that had Eventide mounted it on the top with the other jacks, it would've likely required an increase to the pedal's width to allow for the jack diameter itself (and negating any horizontal space advantage gained by moving the MIDI jack to the top) , or an increase to the pedal's height.
I'm using a right-angle MIDI cable between my Space and PF, but it being that the cable's plugs are revered on each end, I have to make one of the two pedals raise up on a small pair of wooden blocks to allow the right-angle connection on one of the two pedals to go downward (my main pedalboard isn't an open design like a PedalTrain that could possibly allow for that). Annoying, but something I can deal with.
If I had a wishlist item in regards to the MIDI jacks, it would've been that they been rotated 45 degrees to allow the right-angle plugs to aim towards either the bottom or top of the pedal, instead of downwards or "pointing up like fountains at the Bellagio" (good description, fjurden! )
#4 Power: I guess I seem to be one of the minority out there who doesn't have any real issues with using the wall-warts a pedal might come with (heck, I actually appreciate it being provided at all! ), so I have no problems with using the two that Eventide supplies with my Space and PF. To free up space on power-strip, I just use those cheap "mini-extension-cords" that are maybe 6" in length, so the wall-warts aren't blocking up space on the power-strip itself but lays next to it. Yeah, it's butt-ugly…but that doesn't really bug me personally, and I tend to play in darkened studios or stages anyway…
February 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm #123150wedelichModeratorEventide Staff
To address #3 Midi Program Change: It is possible to have "asynchronous program change." You just have to set up the XMT and RCV MAPS accordingly, and you have to make sure your MIDI OUTPUT is on THRU (not XMT) for all the devices that are slaves in the chain. So, if you want the PF to be the master MIDI controller, you set up your XMT MAP how you like and set the OUTPUT to XMT. For all the other devices in the chain, set up the RCV MAPs however you like, based on the XMT MAP of the master, and set all their OUTPUTS to THRU.
February 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm #123151
Awesome – thanks for the tip. I will give it a try tonight and let you know. Fingers crossed!
February 22, 2012 at 12:12 am #134263
February 22, 2012 at 12:55 am #123152ImerkatParticipant
#4 Power- I use the Furman Pluglock; fits all the walwart no prov. i got it for 30-40 bucks on ebay (can't remember exactly but cheap!)
it left me with one plug for the OneSpot to power the rest of my pedals but it was noisy so i got a coiks product for them. I can't justify paying for the Powerfactor when this works so well for the high power pedals with no hum.
July 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm #123630mozzriotMember
First off I really dug the video that you made on the factor pedals, went a long way to convincing me to get them.
Im using them with a musicom lab efx 2. What I wanted to know is whether I can trigger what is referred to in this post as asynchronous synching can be achieved when the initial pc message is sent from the efx? I haven't been able to get it to work so far. It hasn't put me off the pedals, far from as I know the issues are with me not them as the amount of thought and work that has gone into them is something else.
I should also add I have had the musicom for less than two days and that this is my first foray into the world of midi, so forgive me if this is something Pretty rudimentary.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
July 9, 2012 at 12:17 am #134665
your midi foot pedal should be able to work, based on my limited understanding. you need to set up a program change command from the foot pedal and then map each PC message to the preset you wish.
for example you can hit button 1 on your controller and it will send program change 1 to evenitde. you can use midi map on eventide to respond to PC 1 with present 15 (on the space) or 3.1 on the timefactor etc. the mapping is the critical (and most awesome) feature.
hope that helps.
July 9, 2012 at 11:26 am #134666mozzriotMember
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply, I managed to get it working and well, wow! These things are just incredible am over the moon with them. Am sure I will have more questions re midi soon enough, thanks again.
July 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm #123634MarcoRParticipant
Still plan on cleaning up the wiring a bit when I fill the empty space with more pedals but I think I have the factors set up pretty clean; even for the OCD types.
August 15, 2012 at 2:50 am #123735
Hey Marcor thanks for posting and sharing the pics of your pedalboard which gave me a pleasant surprise especially the MIDI cable connectors on the Eventides. I've been trying to find a solution for right angled midi connectors. Could you advice me what cable/connectors are those please. Thanks.
August 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm #134774
August 17, 2012 at 12:51 am #134778garbagetruckdriverParticipant
Regarding the Power Supply issue… You need to check out TheGigRig (www.thegigrig.com)
As you may already know, the issue with these units is the start up current draw – it's particularly high since it has to run a diagnostic which temporarily flashes the entire LCD display – there's your culprit… operating current is much lower.
I have all four eventide stomps, plus four Roland expression pedals mounted on a PT-2 with all the power supply mounted underneath.
Just ONE GigRig Generator is needed, then a distributor (which is just a punchdown block to distribute the wiring), and each Eventide stomp needs an Even-Flo adaptor. I have just one IEC cable coming out to my board, very tidy…
August 17, 2012 at 12:59 am #134779garbagetruckdriverParticipant
I also found some cheap Hosa right angle midi cables online at Sweetwater. They do the job. Just get some small black cable ties to strap down the excess cable.
August 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm #134780
Cheers man thanks! 🙂
August 18, 2012 at 10:37 am #123751
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