Amidst the hubbub and hustle of Midtown Manhattan, through the endless shuffle of those in Halloween costume (and those that just looked like it), this year’s 139th AES Conference came and went like the colors of Autumn. For some it was an opportunity to showcase new pro-audio products. For others, it was a chance to catch up with old friends and meet some new. For Eventide, it was a little bit of both.
This year we’re celebrating the release of Anthology X, our flagship plug-in bundle, and the legendary hardware from the 70s and 80s upon which it was built. We had a custom rack, courtesy of JamRacks, full of the black-faced iron that pumped sound into countless hit records over the past 40+ years. On display were an H910, H949, Omnipressor, Instant Flanger, Instant Phaser and an H3000 D/SE with lights a-flashing and pitch ratio displays jitterbugging somewhere around 1.00. It was quite a sight and drew steady crowds for the three days of the show.
In addition to our booth, we also had a separate suite where we invited folks who have used our classic gear to share their stories on video (in exchange for snacks and t-shirts, of course). It was a parade of the who’s who of audio engineering and production and the stories they told were both amazing and humbling. The tales ranged from tricks and techniques that helped create the signature sounds of many of the world’s most popular artists to amazing feats of audio engineering and troubleshooting that we could never have imagined when we created the gear. We hope to share some of those stories soon, so stay tuned.
Since the show was so close to our offices in New Jersey, we were able to have many of our engineers on hand to explain and demonstrate their work—including Dan Gillespie, lead engineer for the Anthology X project. The demos of plug-ins like H949 and Instant Phaser amazed the jaded ears of some hardcore professionals who were impressed that we were able to create such faithful emulations of the hardware they had been using in their studios for so long. Many were relieved that they could switch to running our plug-ins “in-the-box” rather than continuing to keep the 40 year old hardware so crucial to their sound on life support. We heard some great stories of the lengths to which some have gone to keep their classic gear running and operating. We also spoke with others excited to get those iconic sounds back after having sold or retired their older Eventide gear.
We also talked to dozens of students and younger engineers who had seen these older units in dusty racks or stuffed into closets and had wondered what they were. Or those that watched the eyes of their professors glaze over when they spoke about their past experiences with our gear. It was great to introduce these future pro-audio rock stars to the sounds and gear that shaped the classics and that will hopefully inspire them to find the iconic sounds of a whole new generation.
Thanks to AES and the hundreds of attendees who stopped by to share their Eventide stories. We look forward to seeing you all next year. In the meantime, we’ll get back to working on the next 40 years of pro-audio magic. In the meantime, check out some of these highlights from the show.