Tips & Techniques: H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer Tip & More

H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer Tip

from Craig Rogers, Production Director, WHO/KLYF, Des Moines, IA

The Eventide H3000 Harmonizer is a great piece of gear, especially if you play keyboards or have MIDI gear, or so I hear. Well, we've got the H3000, but I only play keyboards well enough to find middle C and to painstakingly pick out a tune. (Mom always said I'd be sorry if I quit!) Besides, the only keyboard we have is the ops supervisor's Casio SK1 -- you know, the $39 baby with the sampler -- not a great S/N ratio.

But, I do have a sort of 3-note keyboard built into the production studio. On the board is a tone generator with a 1kHz tone and an 80hZ slate tone. On the Otari 5050 tape decks are test oscillator tones of 1kHz and 10kHz. By running these through various presets in the Harmonizer, I've come up with some pretty neat effects. Here are some of them:

Load up #614-Hammer on 3rd or #615-Hammer on 5th. Run a short burst of 1kHz tone through it and, voila! Instant electronic phone ringing.

Run the 1kHz tone through #628-Vibrato and the fat lady finally sings with this opera diva holding a long, high note.

For some sci-fi effects, run the 1kHz tone into program #640-Cannons. You'll get a great "Beam me up, Scotty" effect. Short repeated bursts of 1kHz into #642-Crystal Echoes simulates space communications. And, for the rumble of large machinery/engines, run the slate tone through #655-Reverserb.

Here's one that will drive the engineer nuts. Run the slate tone through #649-Modulators, and you'll get a real nasty electrical hum. Turn this on, then go complain to your Chief Engineer that you just got zapped when you touched a mike.

Dialing up a fax machine results in a really annoying noise. But how do you get that same noise without tying up the company fax? Just run the 10kHz tone through #612-Gregorian Chant, and you'll get a reasonable facsimile.

These are some of the fun effects I've come up with just using three notes. Hmmm, I wonder what it would be like to hook up that SK1?

Finally, here's one more tip for users of the H3000 who like to customize the factory programs:

When you're modifying a program, the work sheets provided in the instruction book are a great way to keep track of how you have changed parameters and what you've patched to where. But, instead of making dozens of photocopies of each work sheet, make only one. Keep them in a separate folder. When you want to modify a program, slip the appropriate work sheet inside a plastic sheet protector. Write on the sheet protector with a grease pencil. Make a mistake or want to redo something? Simply wipe it clean with a paper towel dipped in alcohol and start again.

This is especially useful for program sheets that take two pages. Face them back to back and slide them in the protector, and you'll only have to flip it over to see both sheets -- one page to deal with instead of two. (I've found this especially helpful when working with the Patch Factory program, #111.)

Once you have an effect set up as you want, you can of course save the program to the Harmonizer memory. If you need a copy of the modifications for your files or to send to someone else, copy your notes from the plastic work sheet to a regular paper copy of the work sheet, and you're set!

From Rick Calvert, KIOZ-FM, San Diego, CA

Here are some tips for anyone who recycles their tape reels. (This is radio; so who doesn't?) Many of us don't reuse the small hub 5-inch reels unless absolutely necessary -- the take-up is too fast. So, I use them as take-up reels to empty my large hub 5-inch reels onto. I fill them up with as much old tape as possible (just wind 'em on without splicing or anything, one after the other), then I throw the whole thing in the trash. It's faster than using a razor blade or spinning them off by hand, and there aren't a lot of those small hub 5-inch reels to have to deal with.

For reusing the boxes, I just order some big sheets of FasTrack permanent white labels from my printer and have them cut down to 6½" by 5" -- it's cheap, it makes the box look better, gives you lots of room for writing on 'em for in-house production, and helps cover up the ugly old labels for outside production.

from Al Peterson, WLAD/98Q, Danbury, CT

Here's another cool production tip courtesy of the cheapest @#$%¢& in radio today; me.

Nothing's handier to have than one of those calculators that can add time in minutes and seconds without having to do a bunch of impossible conversions. However, the fifty-buck-plus price tags can be a neg factor, especially after such a soft first quarter.

Pay a visit to the nearest K-Mart or Caldors in your area and drop twenty on a Casio fx-100d or fx-115d instead. These calculators have the same feature, except they call it "sexagesimal to decimal conversion" and is commonly used in surveying and navigation. It means an extra keystroke or two, but the thirty bucks you saved should make the bean counters happy.

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