The Eventide UltraChannel is a streamlined and powerful way to add high quality processing to any mix channel. Its eight modules work together seamlessly to supply a wide range of functions, ranging from subtle compression and gating to more extreme effects processes like pitch shifting and filtered delays. Let’s take a look at the individual modules to see how they can help you to sculpt your sound.
The Input and Output Sections:
These sections reside at the beginning and end of the UltraChannel’s internal processing chain. In the input section, you’re provided with the option of adjusting the gain level to ensure that the incoming signal isn’t coming in too hot prior to processing, as well as an INV PHASE switch to reverse the polarity of the signal if needed. The output section gives you the ability to adjust the final output level after processing, as well as the XFORMER switch that allows you to add subtle saturation to the output signal. It’s a good idea while using any plugin to avoid digital clipping, which is waveform distortion that occurs as a result of being overdriven beyond capacity. If clipping does occur, a red indicator will appear on the UltraChannel’s meter and will need to be reset by clicking on it.
The Gate Section:
The internal gate on the Eventide UltraChannel gives you the means to diminish or completely remove any sound that dynamically falls below the desired threshold level. This is useful when working with signals that may contain undesirable elements apart from the desired signal, such as ambient room noise or microphone bleed. To activate the gate, simply turn it on by activating the IN/OUT switch and then set the threshold level by adjusting the THRSHLD fader. Use the RELEASE knob to adjust the amount of time it will take for the signal to recover from the effect of the gate. The module also has a SIDE CHAIN input switch for triggering from external sources via your DAW’s internal routing settings.
The Dynamics Section:
The Eventide UltraChannel has two compressor modules for flexible dynamics processing. These modules work by limiting the dynamic range of the incoming signal, which can increase presence or smoothness in the mix. The more conventional Compressor unit has a SAT switch, which will add a saturated analog character to the compressed signal. It also features a DE-ESS function which will allow you to pinpoint a specific target frequency to compress via the FREQ knob. This is useful among other things for diminishing or eliminating sibilance, which is often found within a vocal track. The Compressor also features an adjustable KNEE drop-down menu, which is useful for achieving more natural and gradual compression techniques. The O-Pressor is modeled on Eventide’s standalone Omni-Compressor and is more akin to a bus compression unit. It can be used for extreme compression techniques, or to glue disparate elements of a mix together, such as those of a drum kit. It also features a BASS CUT knob, which acts as a high pass filter on the trigger source so as to diminish the effect of low frequencies on the action of the compressor. Both units have SIDE CHAIN activation switches, which allow you to trigger them from external sources via your DAW’s internal routing settings. In both modules, the ATTACK knob determines the amount of time that the compressor will take to activate after crossing the threshold. The RATIO knob determines the strength of the compression the unit will apply after crossing the threshold. The RELEASE knob determines how long the signal will take to recover after the compressors have been activated.
The EQ Section:
The Eventide UltraChannel also features a powerful five-band parametric equalizer to diminish or augment certain frequencies on each channel. Each of the five bands can be singularly activated by using the ON switches to the left. There are several filter types available, which can be assigned using the FILTER TYPE drop-down menus. The FREQUENCY knobs specify the operating frequency of the desired filter. The Q knobs establish the bandwidth of the filter. The lower the Q value is, the wider the bandwidth of the filter will be and thus a broader range of frequencies around the operating frequency will be affected. The higher the Q value is, the narrower the bandwidth of the filter will be and thus a smaller range of frequencies around the operating frequency will be affected. The GAIN knobs specify how much the module will raise or lower the specified frequency, measured in decibels. In general, it’s preferable to cut using narrower notch filters and boost using broader shelves or bells.
The Effects Section:
Located at the bottom of the Eventide UltraChannel is the effects section. This section is comprised of two independent modules, Micro Pitch Shift and Stereo Delays, which are routed in parallel after all other modules except for the output module. These modules offer an effective way of further enhancing your sound’s characteristics.
The Micro Pitch Module:
This module allows you to split the incoming signal in two and create a stereo spreading effect. To activate the module, simply turn on the IN/OUT switch located at the upper left of the GUI. The SIZE knob controls the total amount of pitch drift applied to each voice. The WIDTH knob changes the panning spread from mono to stereo. The DEPTH knob scales the total spread of delay in the signal, with higher values spreading the signal further in time. The MIX knob changes the blend of the wet and dry signal. This is useful for taking a mono signal and fattening it up so that it fills more of the stereo field and harmonic spectrum.
The Stereo Delays Module:
This module is great for designing interesting delays. It treats the left and right signal independently, which can yield interesting results and affords the user a vast amount of precision and control over the result. The IN/OUT switch will activate the unit. The DELAY knob controls the delay time for each channel in milliseconds, but will switch to steps if the TEMPO SYNC or SYS TEMPO switches are activated. The TEMPO SYNC function is defined by the tempo window located at the bottom center of the unit, however if the SYS TEMPO switch is activated the unit will follow the tempo of the currently open project. The LEVEL knob controls the volume of the delayed signal, and the PAN knob determines where the delays are introduced into the stereo field. A unique and useful feature of this module is that you can route the delayed signal through various sections of the UltraChannel prior to the output stage. This is defined by adjusting the FEEDBACK drop-down menu and selecting the desired routing path.
The most powerful feature of the UltraChannel is arguably its ability to quickly and easily adjust routings amongst the various modules. The signal flows from left to right and provides immediate visual feedback. This process is as easy as drag and drop – simply grab one of the handles located at the upper-left corner of each module and move it to the desired location in the signal chain – no patch cables required!
Eventide UltraChannel Presets:
UltraChannel comes standard with a wealth of instantly usable factory presets for use in any audio production project and includes categories for drums, bass, guitar, vocals, synths, and many more. Also included are a host of presets created by producers such as Chris Carter, Richard Devine, Sasha and more.
The Eventide UltraChannel puts the power of eight Eventide plugin modules right at your fingertips and presents them in an intuitive way that can enhance your creativity and workflow. It sounds great and is a powerful addition to any workstation. It comes in AU, VST, and AAX formats in both 32-bit and 64-bit configurations.
The Eventide UltraChannel is currently available for $249. You can download it right here.
June 17, 2014