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January 22, 2020
Gear Review: Eventide Eclipse PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 20:18

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Last month I received my Eventide Eclipse multi effects processor. Now that I have had some quality time to spend with it, I realize what a powerful sonic tool the Eclipse really is. The folks at Eventide really did their homework on this one.


Let’s jump right in. I first started by auditioning the various Factory Presets. These presets are grouped by category, by number, and by name. The groupings made me feel like I knew my way around instantly. Then I wanted to try tweaking some of the presets. Accessing the individual parameters seemed a bit overwhelming at first. However, after reading a few pages in the manual and taking it one step at a time, it all started to make sense. There are various hot keys that allow you to bypass preliminary sub-menus. In other words, with the press of one button you can go straight to the source for instant tweaking. Eventide also employs a numeric keypad for entering in values instead of using the data wheel and/or cursors. That feature is really helpful when comparing presets. The LCD display is very clear from any angle and is visible in just about any room lighting. The rear panel features a vast array of analog and digital inputs and outputs. The Eclipse uses only the highest quality jacks and connectors.

Before I get into the sonic capabilities of the Eclipse, I’d like to spend a moment talking about interfacing the Eclipse with your guitar rig. These days there are obviously tons of guitar amps on the market. Many of them come with effects loops. For clarification, an effects loop is when an amplifier has built-in circuitry to allow you to interface a device like the Eventide Eclipse. An amplifier can have one or more built-in effects loops that function in different fashions. The Eclipse will accommodate any of those nicely.

Okay, let’s get to the sounds. Personally, I like to group effects in various categories: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, EQ, Compression, Preamps, Assorted, and Extreme. I like to think of these groupings from a musician/user standpoint. Let’s get specific.

The Reverbs range from a small room to the largest space you can imagine, and everything else in between. You have absolute control over the timbre and the tails of the Reverbs. The quality of the Reverb is warm and lush without being harsh like it is on many other products on the market.

The Delays are also extremely versatile and very usable. You can select any time setting for just about any situation. In addition, there are various ways for you to utilize Tap Tempo, to dial in your delay to match the tempo of the specific song. You can also set up a Delay loop that can be triggered with an external pedal to layer parts.

The Chorus presets vary from mild to a huge wall of sound. Many of these presets would be wonderful for doubled guitar tracks. I found individual Chorus presets that worked for lead lines and others that seemed best for chordal parts. They usually sound best when blended with reverb and/or delay.

The 8-Band EQ is very flexible. Many guitarists are known for turning knobs till it sounds good, especially when it comes to EQ. I would suggest that you decide on what frequency needs to be tweaked and then go to it. However, I did not find the EQ to be very useful for my needs. I must admit that the EQ on my guitar amp is a better option.

The Compressor is one of the best I’ve worked with from a multi-effects processor. You can tweak it for an insane amount of compression to reduce any hint of dynamics. Or, you can dial in just a touch to where it is barely detectable.

Next, I checked out the on-board Preamps for overdrive, fuzz, and distortion, etc. These really did not work for me. The overdrive and distortion settings from my amp are much more pleasing. However, if you were using this unit as a direct interface, there are various Preamp distortion presets that are somewhat useful.

Assorted would be effects like Phase Shifter, Flanger, Auto Wah, etc. Extreme would be effects like Pitch Shift, and Reverse-type effects. Eventide has always been known for their radical pitch shift and harmonizer effects. There is some serious DSP going on here. However, you really have to know your stuff when it comes to utilizing one of these presets in a proper fashion. It is definitely the most complex part of the Eclipse. A lot of these Assorted and Extreme effects actually stem from the Delay category and are used a bit less frequently by the average player.

The final major area that I worked with was Combo mode. This allows you to blend different effects to make more complex Algorithms. In this section you can devise just about any combination of effects imaginable. You can also arrange the order of the effects to your liking.
Eclipse_2
Before I conclude, I’d like to briefly touch on various applications when using the Eclipse. First, is what we’ve been talking about here today, putting the Eclipse in the loop of your guitar amp. Second, is direct interface. This is where you would plug your instrument into the Eclipse and run the output of the Eclipse to your recorder or DAW. Third, would be hooking up your Eclipse to your analog mixing console to use as an auxiliary effect(s). And lastly, you can interface the Eclipse via the digital I/O with your DAW for adding useful effects to unlimited tracks during mixdown.

In conclusion, I must say that the Eventide Eclipse is an amazing tool. It will do the job for both live and studio applications. Most of the sounds are extremely musical and a lot of fun. I might add that there are many sounds and features that I did not even touch on. The Factory Presets by themselves will keep you busy for months, but if you are a “tweaker” like me that’s where the magic really starts. All in all, the manual is very clear and concise but was lacking a few details in some areas. The unit is dead quiet and built to last, making it well worth the hefty price tag. Even though the Eventide Eclipse has been out for awhile, it is still at the top of its game or should I say, “ No other company has come up with a multi effects processor that has Eclipsed it “

 
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