H969 Harmonizer - Eventide Audio

The H969 Harmonizer®, released in 1984, was third in the Harmonizer line. Designed by Eventide engineer Jeff Sasmor (whose other designs include the JJ193 DDL and the BD980 Broadcast Delay), the H969 used advanced technology to further improve de-glitching, pitch change, and more of the Harmonizer’s staple features and effects. The H969 “ProPitch” Harmonizer, as it was known, offered the cleanest, most precise pitch change quality yet. The pitch change was a full octave wider with dual coarse/fine controls for even more accuracy and fine-tuning. Full bandwidth delay was expanded to 1.5 seconds, and 3 seconds at half-bandwidth. A true multi-effects unit, the H969 also added a new Doppler effect, as well as extended Flange, Repeat, and Reverse capabilities.

One of the most interesting features of the H969 was new delay and pitch preset buttons. In a time before presets were commonplace, this made the H969 one of the first pro audio products to employ user presets. The Delay section featured five buttons for users to set their own easy-to-access delay values, and the pitch preset section featured 12 fixed pitch change buttons at musical intervals, which could each be selected as sharp or flat.

Internally, the H969 used a custom 2901 bit-slice processor engine, de-glitching using autocorrelation to determine the best splice points, and two DACs to improve performance at low frequencies. A microcontroller was used to interpret the front panel switches and drive the multicolor display, and it used 16 bit linear PCM coding for the first time. While not quite as successful a device as its predecessors (it came out years after the H949, and shortly after DSP chips were becoming available and usable), the H969 was successful in making pitch change more accurate than ever and was a stepping stone toward the later DSP-based H3000 UltraHarmonizer.

H969 Harmonizer Images

H969 Feature in Recording Magazine 1985
H969 Datasheet

Want More?

Interested in more H969 Harmonizer® history? Check out our Flashback blog.

Flashback #8: The H969 Harmonizer®