Eventide DDL 1745 Digital Delay Line Studio Processor
Eventide, Inc. (also known earlier as Eventide Clock Works Inc.) is an American audio, broadcast and communications company whose audio division manufactures digital audio processors,
digital signal processor (DSP) software, and guitar effects. Eventide was one of the first companies to manufacture digital audio processors, and its products are mainstays in
sound recording and reproduction,
post production, and
Eventide Instant Phaser
Eventide was founded by recording engineer Stephen Katz, inventor Richard Factor, and businessman/patent attorney Orville Greene. The business was founded in the basement of the Sound Exchange, a recording studio located at 265 West 54th Street in New York City and owned by Greene. When Katz needed to rewind the analog tape back to a specific point on their Ampex MM1000 multitrack recorder, but limited space in the studio did not allow for a
tape op (a person who would operate the tape recorder on behalf of the sound engineer), Katz asked Factor to build a gadget that would do the job, and the resulting device turned into an
original equipment manufacturer (OEM) success for
Ampex. Other early products included a two-second delay for telephone research and an
electrostatic deflector for dispensing nanoliter quantities of chemical reagents.
Eventide's original product line consisted of two products: the Instant
Phaser (the result of an
Audio Engineering Society Show appearance and Eventide's first answer to tape-based
flanging), and what would become the 1745 Digital Delay Line (the result of a significant order from Maryland Public Broadcasting and the world's first digital pro audio device).
Eventide Instant Flanger
Beginning with the 1745M, Eventide began widely using
random-access memory (RAM) chips in many of their products. After purchasing a
Hewlett-Packard computer for researching
reverb algorithms and needing to upgrade the memory in order for the computer to handle the necessary complex computations, Eventide designers realized that they could manufacture computer memory expansion far more affordably than the current market price. Therefore, Eventide began to manufacture and sell HP-compatible RAM expansion boards and did so from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.
In 2017, Richard Factor was interviewed about Eventide's history on the Gear Club podcast in episodes 6 and 7.
Shortly after Eventide moved its offices from
Manhattan to New Jersey, its President earned a private airplane pilot's license. Surprised that moving map displays were not available for small airplanes, he had Eventide develop Argus, the first moving map system, and one of the first
multi-function displays designed for
general aviation use.
Digital voice logging and recording
NexLog DX-Series Recorder
In the early 1990s, Eventide developed digital voice logging recorders that enabled broadcasters, police, 911 centers and utilities to begin archiving digitally with improved audio quality and far greater storage capabilities than they previously had been working with. Eventide’s early recorder models (VR240, VR320, DiR-911T, VR615, VR725 and VR778) were installed worldwide.
In 2012, Eventide introduced its “NexLog” Communications Recorders for P25, NG911, public safety, utilities, and air traffic control facilities. These mission-critical recording systems capture, store, protect, reproduce, and manage important multimedia interactions and critical data.
In 2020, Eventide introduced its “NexLog DX-Series” Communications Recording Solutions, which added support for virtualization, increased the maximum channel capacity to 540 per unit, and added full HTML5-based monitoring and replay of voice, PC screens, imagery, video and data.
The Eventide H910
Harmonizer was first demonstrated to universally positive reactions at the AES show in late 1974. It was designed by Eventide's first engineer, Tony Agnello (who went on to become the president of Eventide's audio division). The pre-production prototype was a hand-wired box topped with a music keyboard controller (which was developed into the HK 941).
Jon Anderson of the band
Yes was among those impressed and became a tester for the first prototype. The production H910 was released in 1975, offering
pitch shifting (±1 octave),
delay (up to 112.5 ms),
feedback regeneration and other features in an easy-to-use box that sold for $1,600. The H910 model number refers to the
Beatles song "
One After 909".
The first H910 customer was New York City's
Channel 5, utilizing it to downward pitch shift I Love Lucy reruns that were sped up to create room to run more advertisements. Speeding up the reruns had increased the pitch of the audio, and the H910 was able to shift that pitch back to where it originally had been.
Frank Zappa and
Jimmy Page added it to their guitar processing rigs. Producer
Tony Visconti used the H910 to create the snare sound on
David Bowie's album Low (1977), as did
Tony Platt on
AC/DC's song "
Back in Black" (1980).
Chuck Hammer in 1979 used it as an integral part of his Guitar Synth rig on tour with
Lou Reed and in 1980 with David Bowie. Another popular application was to use two H910s slightly detuned with a small delay. Notable users of this twin Harmonizer effect included
Eddie Van Halen, who used it for his trademark guitar sound, and
Tom Lord-Alge, who used it for the vocals on the hit
Steve Winwood song "
Back in the High Life Again" (1986). Recognizing the popularity of this application, Eventide later recreated it as the "Dual 910" program in the H3000 UltraHarmonizer released in the late 1980s. The H910 was also one of Eventide's first devices to enter the world of film, and was used on the voice of
R2-D2 in Star Wars.
The H910 Harmonizer was recognized by the AES with a
TECnology Hall of Fame award in 2007. On November 10, 1976, Eventide filed a trademark registration for "Harmonizer" and continues to maintain its rights to the Harmonizer trademark today.
Timeline of noteworthy products
Eventide H9000 Harmonizer Effects Processor
Eventide Space Reverb & Beyond Stompbox
PS 101 Instant Phaser (1971) - The first studio phaser, and pro audio's first rack mount effects unit. Used on classic songs such as
Led Zeppelin's "
Kashmir." Used analog all-pass filters to phase shift.
1745 Digital Delay Line (1971) - First digital pro audio device. Two channels of independent delay from a single input, with the delays ranging from 0 to 200 milliseconds. First used at the 1973
Summer Jam at Watkins Glen. Inducted into the TECnology Hall of Fame in 2018.
DDL 1745A (1973) - Modification of 1745 DDL with easier with more user-friendly shift registers
Omnipressor (1974) - First dynamics effects processor with a wide range of functions beyond compression and limiting as they were known. Innovated dynamic reversal and infinite compression, and was the first device to implement
DDL 1745M (1975) - Another variant of the original 1745, replacing shift registers with Random Access Memory (RAM) which allowed for finer resolution delay. This version was one of the first uses of RAM in an audio product, and also had an optional pitch change module, one of the first products of this kind with a frequency response suitable for music.
Instant Flanger (1975) - One of the first pro audio flanger devices to authentically simulate tape flanging. Used
bucket brigade chips to achieve the short delays necessary for flanging.
H910 Harmonizer(1975) - First commercially available pitch changer and first digital multi-effects processor.
BD955 (1977) - "Obscenity Delay" allowed broadcasters sufficient delay to delete any objectionable content (like from a live telephone caller on a radio show) with no apparent interruption to the program. It was the successor to a custom 1 1/4 second delay built for WPLJ NY 95.5 which was the first electronic delay for broadcast. Later ABC also commissioned a five-minute custom delay used to delay the radio network news.
H949 Harmonizer (1979) - Harmonizer with finely controllable pitch change capability. Used for "doubling" vocals and had "de-glitch" option for greatly reducing objectionable artifacts in harmonized audio.
SP2016 (1982) - Early Digital Reverb processor utilizing DSP and first effects device to publish its SDK so that 3rd party developers could develop "plug-in" algorithms.
H3000 (1986) - First intelligent/diatonic pitch shifting. Used the 16-bit TMS320 DSP chip.
DSP4000 (1994) - User-programmable algorithms with a large toolkit of DSP functions
DSP4000B, DSP4000B+ - Series of processors with algorithms written for broadcast and film production, by sound designer Jay Rose.
DSP4500 (1998) - Similar to DSP4000 with the addition of sampling
DSP7000 (2001) - Pitch shifter / effects processor with four times more processing power than the DSP4000 series
DSP7500 (2001) - Similar to DSP7000 with the addition of sampling
Orville (2001) - Pitch shifter / effects processor with twice the processing power of the DSP7000 / DSP7500 processors and up to 8 channels
Eclipse (2002) - First Eventide effects processor to come in single rackspace unit
Clockworks Legacy (2003) - Software plug-in versions of classic Eventide effects and DSP
BD500 (2004) - 40-second version of Eventide's fourth-generation broadcast profanity delay