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Jon Hassell Hits the Road with an H8000FW

Hassell and bass player Peter Freeman both employ H8000FWs to enhance their sound live on tour

Peter Freeman has been an Eventide user since 1994. Beginning with the DSP4000 that he used extensively as the bass player on Seal's 1994 tour, Freeman has been experimenting with and utilizing different Eventide products ever since. On the most recent European tour with the legendary trumpeter, Jon Hassell, Freeman is using the H8000FW processor in his bass rig.

"When I first started familiarizing myself with the algorithm creation aspect of the DSP4000, I began to do more of my own program creation from scratch," explained Freeman. "This helped me quite a bit with all of the projects that I was working on so that by the time I did the 'Vertical Collection' CD project with Jon, I was able to really take advantage of that box's architecture."

Through the years Freeman upgraded to an Eventide Orville and, ultimately, to Eventide's H8000FW, which is the processor that he currently owns and primarily uses. For Hassell's recent European concerts, Freeman reflects that he has been relying heavily on the H8000FW. "The amount of power that the H8000FW offers is really significant and it sounds amazing. I use it for everything from ordinary delays and reverbs to exotic combinations of effects, distortion, and filtering. It handles all of the functions brilliantly."

"I also like the fact that there is such a vast and evolved preset library," Freeman continued. "I often find that whenever I have an idea for a particular program, there's usually a preset that's similar which I can use as a starting point, which is very helpful. I also really value the ADAT and word clock functionality, since the H8000FW is integrated into my Pro Tools HD rig in my home studio."

During production on Jon Hassell's last CD, 'Maarifa Street: Magic Realism 2,' Freeman made extensive use of the Orville. Freeman has also used the Orville in his own rig for Hassell concerts since 2002. "Anyone who knows Jon's music knows how important the Eventide Harmonizer pitch processing has been for him in the past, so, needless to say, we had to have top-notch pitch shift and effects capabilities."

"On this most recent tour, Jon bought an H8000FW as his primary effects processor after he heard it and saw how powerful it is. When I first met him years ago, Jon had this elaborate, rather Byzantine, setup that involved an H3000 and an AMS DMX under MIDI control to achieve some very specific effects. I was able to go way beyond that original rig using only one engine of the H8000FW, and we've found some great new possibilities using both processors doing different types of Harmonizer pitch processing. It's truly staggering."

Using the H8000FW, Freeman has been able to streamline Hassell's live setup considerably. In fact, with only a single H8000FW, Freeman was able to eliminate all of Hassell's other outboard processing gear needed for the live shows. "It works perfectly," says Freeman. "We are able to achieve all the effects we wanted onstage with world-class sonics and, of course, full MIDI control. I'll be watching the continuing evolution of the box with great interest."

Hassell concurs: "If I said 'unlimited possibilities,' your eyes would probably glaze over with the cliché. But I really think the phrase works here. The H8000FW is almost like a video game in which expertise at one level opens up to another level and so on ad infinitum. This is an amazing piece of audio architecture that has arisen from the collective history of all the past Eventide products. All computer-domain people should take note: there are things which plug-ins simply don't do."

Jon Hassell and Maarifa Street is Jon Hassell-trumpet, Peter Freeman-bass / laptop (Shankar / Seal), Hugh Marsh-electric violin (Michael Brecker / Don Byron), and Steve Shehan-Percussion / Laptop (Paul Simon / Hadouk). Upcoming shows include Leipzig, Belgrade, Umea, Milan, Bari, Berlin and Rome (solo).

News Details

Date:  October 04, 2006
Type:  Artist Profiles
Products:  H8000FW