Art science and part artwork, the system of making high-overall performance algorithmic multi-effects processing calls for each of those technical and innovative disciplines operating harmoniously in counterpoint. For additional than forty years, Anthony Agnello has, in his phrases, “stumbled via this delicate dance” together with his work and craftsmanship at his pioneering company, Eventide Audio. Following his layout of the H910 and H949 Harmonizers in the mid-’70s, Anthony set out to make groundbreaking space design outcomes commercially available for the primary time. Developed between 1978–1981, the Eventide Signal Processor Model SP 2016 turned into seasoned audio’s first programmable outcomes field—and it brought the concept of the plugin to the track manufacturing and audio engineering groups with its interchangeable ROM plugin chips.
“I started getting to know reverb in earnest in 1978. Once I found out the processing energy and structure had to code a resounding simulation of a room, I made the selection to construct an array processor that could be programmed to do other outcomes that I become interested in as nicely,” Agnello says.
In 2012, Eventide released the 2016 Stereo Room VST/AU plugin—a famous virtual version of the original hardware’s stereo room reverb. But until these days, with the release of the SP2016 Reverb plugin, all the reverb algorithms of Agnello’s hardware processor have never been protected in a digital format.
To have fun with the release, we are looking again at the records of the outcomes processor and taking a examination all of what is viable with this new plugin.
Unlimited Processing Potential
Released in 1982, the SP2016 changed into a 3U rackmount multi-results processor that could be custom designed, programmed, and even had enough memory to save user presets and immediately recollect them.
The scope of the processing abilities of the SP2016 became constantly expandable—thanks to its pioneering use of ROM chips that provided new impact algorithms. When loaded up, extraordinary chips might allow for distinctive functions. The gadget’s main buttons, like Execute, Command, and Softkey, could manipulate a sure thing of one effect’s present, however absolutely otherwise parameters for another, depending on which ROM chip changed into employed.
The SP2016 become able to a massive form of results processing: delays reverbs (opposite, gated, endless), digital filtering, EQ, advantage manipulate, chorusing, flanging, as well as introducing new results like vocoding, looping, band delays, time scramble, and various styles of synthesis. It additionally supplied signal analysis and self-diagnostic testing.
People had hassle information about what it becomes and what it may do. Digital reverbs, just like the EMT, Lexicon, and Sony, have been trendy products, and we pressured several folks that just wanted an excellent reverb. We could have been higher off if we had restricted the box to just reverb,” Agnello says.
Algorithmically modular by way of layout, the ongoing development of those ever-increasing ROM chips—featuring even extra subtle algorithms—ended in a collection of effects that added such iconic reverb programs as “Room Reverb” “Hi-Density Plate,” and “Stereo Room.”
Revered for its signature rich lushness, the SP2016 can be heard on many iconic statistics from Talking Heads and Madonna to Mariah Carey, Eminem, and extra. Predominantly used by incredible engineers and manufacturers, including Dave Pensado, George Massenburg, Alan Sides, Roy Hendrickson, Jack Douglas, and Mick Guzauski, the SP2016 has been a secret visitor superstar on limitless hits seeing that its launch inside the early 1980s.
“The SP2016 had, I’d argue, more convincing reverbs and a wider variety of reverbs than maximum another product to be had. However, the box burdened the hell out of people. For example, it had a button categorized Softkey and, at alternate suggests, people could inquire from me what it did, and I’d say, ‘It depends on the set of rules,’ and they would glaze over,” Agnello says.
With the initial layout thought and ongoing ROM chip modularity enhancements, Eventide opened up the capacity for every person who desired to develop algorithms for the SP2016, imparting a whole improvement gadget—an open-source schematic—presenting software-defined controls including switches, buttons, and direction, the Softkey manipulate. The additional functions of MIDI integration and far-off management made the SP2016 the maximum current results processor of its era.
But soon, the ones technological improvements gave manner to some other.
“By the mid-’80s, chip carriers like TI added DSP chips, capable of processing full bandwidth audio, rendering the array processor era at the coronary heart of the SP2016 obsolete,” Agnello says.
The Second Convergence
The subsequent incarnation of the original SP2016 arrived in the form of the Eventide Reverb 2016 with the aid of Princeton Digital—a business enterprise based in 2002 with the assistance of Anthony. The Princeton Digital unit indeed simulates each component of the sound of a natural enclosure, inclusive of the clean Gaussian decay of the reverb tail.
Agnello fashioned Princeton Digital to use the latest DSP technology advances to duplicate incredible, present-day variations of some of the one’s earlier Eventide results. The Reverb 2016 featured more complicated early reflections, higher density, and tremendous, specific parametric controls, including 24-bit fixed factor digital signal processing, 24-bit analog I/O, digital I/O, and a MIDI interface.
Built-in particular for reverb and no longer multi-outcomes processing, the Princeton Digital reverb unit represented the evolution in DSP technological developments—such as an appreciably multiplied bandwidth—allowing the processing of previously not possible computations before, inside the barriers of the SP2016’s array generation.
Future Forward Focus
Originally released as a TDM model in 2008, the Stereo Room plugin changed into Eventide’s first step closer to a software program version of the authentic SP2016. It featured Stereo Room, Room, and Plate algorithms from the unique unit. In 2012, they ported this TDM version as a VST/AU formated plugin, capturing a larger target market with the Eventide 2016 Stereo Room Reverb.
This easy yet effective reverb processor changed into crafted to simulate a tremendous sounding “room.” Focusing on simply this one well-known reverb algorithm from the unique SP2016, the 2016 Stereo Room became one of a kind with its complicated early reflections, smooth decay tail, and EQ block, in addition to the manor woman-changing diffusion and decay controls.
For the primary time ever, this conventional reverb algorithm was made in a processor format that could permit multiple times jogging simultaneously. Piquing the hobby of vintage faculty lovers of the original SP2016 unit room sound, this intuitive plugin got the preset remedy from Joe Chiccarelli, George Massenburg, and Dave Pensado—with all of them crafting settings that vary from quiet spaces to the feature lush room sounds and the whole thing in among.
A Plugin of the World’s First Plugin
Fast forward to today; Eventide Audio has subsequently released the long-awaited plugin version of the world’s first plugin with the Eventide SP2016 Reverb.
Building upon the vintage and the brand new, the Eventide SP2016 Reverb plugin capabilities all the lush and herbal-sounding elements determined within each iteration of this critical multi-effects processor, and extra.
Combining the previous sonic familiarities and spatial differences, this new addition to the Eventide product line capabilities even extra capability than ever, such as the ability to run many instances immediately at the equal channel—as is implicit with track software program plugins—or multiple processing busses in tandem.