Space is a reverb and effects processing pedal with 12 signature Eventide algorithms and 100 presets. These sounds were taken directly from the H8000 and Eclipse hardware units, so there’s a strong family resemblance to begin with.
Space is not just reverb. It’s “beyond” that; it also includes delays, tremolo, distortion, reverse effects, flange, chorus, and more. However, the foundations of these sounds are built upon the 12 basic Eventide algorithms of Hall, Room, Plate, Spring, DualVerb, Reverse, ModEchoVerb, BlackHole, MangledVerb, TremoloVerb, DynaVerb and Shimmer. These algorithms are available as the first 12 presets, whereas the following (13 to 100) presets are from Eventide and various artists and producers.
The algorithms (slots 1-12) are different from the presets and cannot be overwritten. Presets 13-100 can be altered and saved and are selected using the front Preset knob. They are tweaked with the control knobs: Mix, Decay, Size, Delay, Low (EQ), High (EQ), Xnob, Ynob, FxMix and Contour. The very large ‘billboard’ displays the characters of each setting. Also on the front are three foot switches: Active, HotSwitch and Tap. They are multi-purpose depending on the mode selected-Play, Preset or System. You toggle between Play and Preset modes by pressing and holding the right foot switch for a few seconds. For System Mode, you hold down the Encoder Button and Right foot switch.
In Preset Mode, the middle and right foot switch steps through the presets and the Active switch toggles between active and bypass. In Play mode, the HotSwitch lets you change the parameters of the currently loaded preset, then immediately switch back to the original sound. For example, if you have a short Plate, you can step on the HotSwitch (the LED above it will start flashing) and add some extra pre-delay, increase the size, turn up the lows, etc. Then you can quickly alternate between the two sounds with a quick “stomp” – great for different rhythm and lead sounds. The Tap foot switch is used to tap tempo for the effects. The updated tempo value is displayed in the billboard as BPMs, and the LED will flash at that current tempo.
Wisely, Eventide built this unit to be equally at home on-stage or in the studio. The rear of the pedal features 9VDC in, a USB 2.0 jack (perfect for software updates), and quarter-inch jacks for both an expression pedal (to control the parameters) and an aux switch. There are also stereo Input and Outputs (quarter-inch unbalanced), but the unit will automatically detect what jacks have cables in them and route the audio I/O accordingly. A small Out Level toggle switch lets you choose between Amp and Line level, and the In Level toggle switch allows you to select either Guitar or Line level input. For example, you can plug your quarter-inch guitar cable into the mono (1) input, select the guitar toggle switch, and connect the pedal to 2 amps at once for huge stereo sound. Or in the studio, you can switch to Line Level and run the outputs into two channels of a preamp, or insert them as true L/R stereo on both the Input and Output as a send/return setup in a mixer. Flexibility is the key here, and Space provides just that.
As soon as I plugged Space into my Pro Tools rig (mono guitar in, stereo quarterinch out), I became lost in the sounds. Within a half hour, I had composed seven short TV cues for a haunted-type show and uploaded them to the producer via FTP. Now that’s an inspirational tool!
I used presets based upon Blackhole (when you first dial in a preset, the algorithm it is built upon is briefly displayed), which is a sweet, long-trailing lush reverb type of effect. I thought to myself, “Imagine what Gilmour and Lifeson could do in arenas with this thing.”
But I also got some great sounds with the Shimmer and ModEchoVerb presets. After a good hour, I finally got around to listening to the more “standard” effects, such as the plates, rooms, etc. I was impressed by the clarity, depth of sound, richness and overall emotional feel that Space delivers upon. I know I’ll never use some of the presets, but that happens when there are a hundred of them; there’s still plenty in there for me.
The next day, I took it to a session at drummer/composer Vincent Miraglia’s studio for a test run through amps. Plugging mono in/stereo out into a vintage Fender Twin and Magnatone M10A with some of the Echo/ Delay/Blackhole presets, it was simply killer. When we dialed it in, it was so cool sounding that we went wild and daisy chained four different amps together through a small mixer. Recording it in a small semi-circle with a pair of L/R Earthworks SRO microphones and a large diaphragm room mic through a Focusrite ISA 428, it was pure sonic inspiration. We jammed for a while on the different sounds and the guitar rig sounded huge. Then we tracked some sweet sounding ambient TV cues. Overall, we agreed the pedal sounded good in this setup.
One of the nice things about Space is it can be as simple as a stomp box, or as deep as a fully programmable, rack-mounted effects unit. If you want a nice room sound on your guitar, just select something lik preset 2, adjust your Size setting, and jam on. Then you can dig into the EQ, Delay times, Decays, etc. Taking it even further, there are settings including various Bypass types (DSP Bypass, Relay Bypass or DSP + FX Bypass), Killdry (eliminating all dry signal to the outputs for effects/send return setups), Global Mix levels and Output levels (0.5 dB increments from -10dB to +6 dB and in 1 dB increments from -20 dB to -10 dB). It’s nice to know it’s all there when you need it.
From tight plates to epic soundscapes and beyond, Space is a superb product for $499 street. It’s like having a high-quality studio reverb at your feet, or at your fingertips if you patch it into a console. Space is more than just reverb; it clearly transcends the boundaries of a traditional guitar pedal. It is a powerful creative tool and I look forward to hearing what studio pros and players alike will do with it.