ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, January 18, 2007 — Greg Burnell runs the Jellyjam Studios in Runcorn, England — that’s 35 minutes from Manchester and 20 minutes from Liverpool if you’ve never had the chance to visit. To date, the studio has enjoyed more than seven years of successful recording with artists such as Echo and the Bunnymen, Ralph Santolla, and Cryptic Vision. The studio’s two primary engineers, Pete Coleman and Al Unsworth, have worked with a countless number of bands over the years and know the ins and outs of the most classic gear available.
The Jellyjam Studio’s philosophy — Analog Sound, Digital Freedom — is backed by an impressive list of gear that the studio now employs and has since the beginning of 2005. One of the standout components on that list is the Eventide H8000, of which the studio now has four. Burnell recounts, “The studio has had two H8000s for just over a year now, and about six months ago we added another two. Primarily, we use the processors for rock and roll projects because the engineers we use are experts in that end of the market.
“We’re using Eventide all the time now,” continued Burnell. “In the current arrangement, we have them set up as stereo machines, so it’s like having eight stereo engines running at once. One unit is typically dedicated to reverb and the rest of the units are then used, to varying degrees, for delays and pitch shifting.
“Our engineers find the plate reverbs to be superior and we agree with that assessment. One of our engineers, Pete Coleman, who has worked in the past with bands like AC/DC, and Black Sabbath, among others, was able to create his own plate algorithm using the H8000. It was something he did when he couldn’t quite recreate a specific sound he wanted. He ended up using the EMT Plate reverb preset on a snare drum to recreate the plate sound of another hardware box that they have at the Great Linford Manor studio. He uses the H8000 pretty regularly now on snares, but he also uses it for some delays and for some bands we’ve had in which like to use the reverse shifters for certain intros and solo breaks.
“But nothing compares to the sound that Eventide has pioneered. We’ve used a lot of the presets available in the H8000 box: VOX Channel Strip is pretty amazing, AMS emulations for recreating the sound of a lot of vintage gear that you just can’t find any more, and we use the Dimension D preset to get the Roland sound that until now was unique to the lucky few people with the original unit.
“We also used the Eventide H8000 on guitars in the mixing stage. We sent the track from the computer into the H8000, then through the studio wall and into a VHT power amplifier, mic’ed up two Bogner 4x12 cabinets, and re-recorded the sound. The results have to be heard to be believed.
“In another session we used the H8000’s Guitar Rig preset a lot when we were recording and mixing a Boston tribute album for Escape Records. Some of the guitarists we were working with wanted that classic Vox AC30 overdriven sound, but we didn’t have any Vox amps. Using the Eventide though, we were able to recreate that sound and it was just mind-boggling to know that you could plug a DI guitar into a computer and then just have those sounds at your fingertips. In that case, we just used the Eventide as a pre-amp and fed our VHT on 10! You would have bet money that we had borrowed 25 AC30’s from Brian May.”
Burnell concluded by saying, “Our experience with the H8000s has been great. It’s an amazing piece of gear, and, with the routing options it provides, there’s just nothing like it on the market. We can link the units together to send signals from one algorithm to another and create a seemingly unlimited number of new sounds. In the studio environment, the only product we’ve found that compares with the H8000 reverbs is the Lexicon 960L and, for many, Lexicon is the benchmark to compare against. We’re choosing Eventide over Lexicon.”