Those sound processing genius at Eventide just announced a new reverb pedal, Blackhole – in their words “as big and mysterious as the cosmos.”
If you’re familiar with Eventide’s signature sound, you probably already know the Blackhole algorithm, introduced in Eventide’s DSP4000 Ultra-Harmonizer® hardware processor (and then featured in their Space and H9 stompboxes). Having used this algorithm for years now, I can say it’s a sound designer’s dream and I’m excited to see it released in a new, compact form with this pedal (which, by the way, makes it a perfect match for their Rose – see our Eventide Rose review).
It might not be so appealing for Space and H9 users, but for all those who are looking for a hands-on, compact top-notch reverb, the Blackhole is a fantastic option.
Let’s see what the company has to say about it:
With Blackhole, users can pick and choose from five otherworldly presets to create supermassive atmospheres with the ethereal reverb of Blackhole, soar through nimbus clouds with the airy delay of Dark Matter, achieve sonic supernovas with the resounding swirl of Nebula, experience an uncharted galaxy of sound with the warmth of Singularity, and achieve a stellar rotation of sonority with Pulsar – or get creative and create presets on their own.
Blackhole can load as many as 127 presets via MIDI, which are also accessible in the preset list on the Eventide Device Manager (EDM – a PC or Mac application for software updates, system settings and creating/saving presets). Five presets can be loaded at a player’s feet for access from a latching/momentary Dual-action Active Footswitch. The rear-panel Guitar/Line Level switch allows impedance matching with guitars, synths, FX loops or DAW interfaces. A single Aux switch can be deployed to Tap Tempo, or a triple Aux switch can be used for easy preset changing (up/down/load). Blackhole offers multiple Bypass options: Buffered, Relay, DSP+FX or Kill dry. MIDI capability is available over TRS (for use with a MIDI to TRS cable or converter box) or USB. With this degree of flexibility, Blackhole provides a journey from cathedral-esque spaces to a new frontier of aural experimentation, unlocking a universe of sound-sculpting capability. Blackhole opens boundaries with two types of infinite reverb. “Infinite mode” continuously layers new sound on top of a suspended reverb while “Freeze mode” holds the effect in stasis, allowing musicians to play over the reverb tail. The Freeze Footswitch allows instant access to this feature.
Here’s Blackhole presets in use with synth sounds:
Unlike other reverbs which may offer pre or post modulation, Blackhole features modulation built into the very reverb structure itself; this modulation can be used to smooth out the rough edges of the most extreme settings and offers unique tone-shaping ability.
Reverb size can range from a cartoonishly small room to a limitless universe, while PreDelay can offset the onset of the reverb. Any combination of parameters can be mapped to an expression pedal. Blackhole’s Catch-up mode helps dial in a sound when toggling between presets/parameters, while tone can be fine-tuned with Lo, Hi and Q (resonance) controls. Blackhole’s tone controls can be used to add airiness or tame the low end. Movement can be added to the EQ controls via an expression pedal. The unique Gravity control can custom-tailor the reverb tail in two realms – normal or inverse decay – to create interesting swells or suck the dry signal back into the reverb tail. At longer decay times, Blackhole allows the articulation to shine through without competing with the reverb tail.