Monday, March 27, 2023
HomeMovie ReviewEventide Misha evaluation: A playful sequencer that claims to hell with custom

Eventide Misha evaluation: A playful sequencer that claims to hell with custom

Standalone sequencers are one thing of a luxurious within the trendy music-making panorama. Nowadays, even the most cost effective synths and samplers have not less than rudimentary sequencing capabilities. And whereas many MIDI controllers have on-board sequencers, they’re normally meant to again up reside efficiency quite than substitute it. In fact, there are a number of exceptions to this rule (Arturia’s BeatStep Professional stays extremely fashionable even eight years after it was launched), however it’s a must to begin wanting into the complicated and infrequently intimidating world of Eurorack and modular synths to commonly come throughout units whose sole function is taking part in again strings of notes for you.

Eventide, finest identified for its high-end results models just like the and TimeFactor, just isn’t an apparent candidate to delve into the world of Eurorack. However that’s precisely what it determined to do with , its first sequencer. Now, no one would have blamed the corporate for enjoying it secure with its first foray into the area. As an alternative, it determined to chuck the standard conventions out the window and make one thing distinctive that’s equal components enjoyable and confounding, particularly in the event you’re deeply entrenched in conventional music idea and keyboard-based composition.

I’m not an adept pianist. Nor do I’ve a very deep information of Western music idea. And even nonetheless I initially struggled to wrap my head round Misha. That’s as a result of the buttons on its face don’t play particular notes. As an alternative they play intervals associated to the final observe performed inside a scale.

-4, -3, -2 and -1 interval buttons on the Eventide Misha.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The simplest solution to clarify that is via an instance. Let’s say we’ve set the Misha to play a C Main scale. Beneath the display, which exhibits you the important thing and scale, are 9 coloured buttons labeled -4 via +4. In the event you press 0, you get a C proper off the bat, as a result of that’s the root observe and it’s zero intervals away from the beginning of the size. In the event you press the +1, as a substitute of getting a C#, you’ll get a D, the subsequent observe within the scale.

Thus far, so good, proper? However in the event you press the +1 once more, you gained’t get a second D, and as a substitute you’ll get an E, one interval greater within the scale. To get a second D observe, you’d must press 0. And in the event you wished to return to C, you’d must press -1. It’s not difficult essentially, however it breaks a primary expectation that any musician would understandably have – that in the event you do the identical factor, it is best to get the identical observe. If I play the fifth fret on the low E of a guitar, I count on to get an A each time. If the notes continued to climb by 5 steps, with out transferring my arms, I might have a a lot more durable time taking part in something.

However that is the core idea of the Misha. It’s not constructed round absolute pitch and as a substitute forces you to compose based mostly purely on the relationships between notes in a scale. If that concept sends you operating for the hills, then this most likely isn’t the sequencer for you. If, nonetheless, you’re like me and intrigued by Misha’s distinctive method, grasp round and let’s dig slightly deeper.


Eventide Misha MIDI in and out jacls

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Earlier than we go too far down the rabbit gap of scales, modes and sequencing, let’s take a step again and have a look at the {hardware}. Whereas my unit got here with a devoted pod for housing the Misha, it’s ostensibly designed to reside in a Eurorack setup. At 28hp vast, it’s a comparatively giant module, however it’s fairly shallow at simply 19mm deep, that means it ought to slot in even essentially the most moveable skiffs. That width is type of obligatory, although. The 17 buttons, two knobs, microUSB port, microSD slot and and 16 ¼” jacks for MIDI, audio and management voltage would really feel impossibly cramped on something smaller.

The format feels simply spacious sufficient to be viable as a efficiency software, with out fully dominating a smaller Eurorack setup. The 9 interval buttons are well-spaced, the display is giant sufficient to ship all the required info and the knobs are sturdy. My solely concern hardware-wise is that the shift buttons have a hole spring to them that feels a bit low-cost they usually make an audible popping sound.

The 12 CV (management voltage) jacks are cut up throughout three tracks, with three pairs of gate and CV outputs in addition to two inputs every. This provides you a good quantity of choices for controlling a number of synth voices or modulating the Misha’s sequencer. There’s additionally MIDI out and in jacks, in addition to stereo out and a clock in. The microUSB port can be linked to a pc keyboard to be used with customized keymappings. You’re not gonna be wanting for connectivity choices right here.

Eventide branding and CV jacks on the Misha.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The display within the lifeless heart offers you all the information you want about navigating Misha’s interface, although it will possibly take a bit to determine the way it all works. I extremely advocate studying the guide. It’s not lengthy and might prevent a lot of time and frustration. When you come to grips with how the Misha works, it’s virtually deceptively easy. The truth is, I ceaselessly felt like I needed to be lacking one thing. That, for certain, this module, with all its buttons and knobs and 1-inch display, was hiding options from me.

Positively take time to customise these 4 person buttons, although. Whereas the default capabilities of up and down one octave (button one and two), and up and down one chromatic step (three and 4) are helpful sufficient, they will provide a variety of efficiency energy when mapped to satisfy your particular wants. Personally I like swapping in “transfer pitch” for the chromatic steps, and setting it to a fifth. That provides a bit extra spice than a easy octave, however usually nonetheless works effectively musically with no matter else is occurring.

One final thing price noting is that Misha has a built-in oscillator you can activate within the settings. However, past offering a easy sound supply for auditioning melodies and usually getting a really feel for the sequencer, it’s virtually ineffective. The truth is, it’s not even talked about within the guide.


Eventide Misha set to play A Major scale.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Misha ships with starting from primary (Melodic Minor), to unique (Enigmatic), to microtonal madness (48 observe equal-tempered). And, if someway that’s not sufficient for you, there are 100 person slots for loading your individual scala recordsdata. Between the assorted scales, modes and keys, the musical choices baked into Misha are seemingly infinite.

Probably the most fast solution to begin exploring them is to pick out a scale after which begin urgent the interval buttons. That is really a fairly satisfying method of taking part in an instrument, too. I don’t have a giant rig to stay this in, however I paired it with , in addition to the and Elektron Digitone all to great impact.

This isn’t the form of course of you go to whenever you need to translate a melody you hear in your head to the true world. Maybe somebody may practice themselves to assume in intervals to make use of Misha that method, however it might take a variety of work. As an alternative this will create comfortable accidents. You simply must pay particularly shut consideration to what you play to ensure you can recreate something that catches your ear.

Now, sure, there are methods to lock a controller to a selected scale, much like the Misha – mainly making it not possible to play out of tune. However there’s one thing about taking part in intervals as a substitute of notes that feels each intuitive and stunning, in a method a keyboard by no means may. Crafting melodies turns into a rewarding exploration the place I’m mainly pressured to cede management, quite than a irritating try to make use of my restricted idea information to show concepts into actuality.

Scale knob on the Eventide Misha.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

One of many few issues I’ve to resolve beforehand is what number of octaves I need to mess around in. Setting the observe vary to 2 octaves, as an example, means, as soon as I climb past that cap, the intervals will swing again round to 2 octaves under my root observe. It’s most likely finest to try to keep away from going all the best way round, although. Leaping down two octaves can sound a tad harsh.

The octave limits additionally apply when utilizing Misha as a sequencer, so you’ll be able to play a melody line unfold out over 4 octaves price of a scale earlier than beginning over. The sequencer, although, is the place issues get slightly dicey. It’s constructed across the thought of a “,” a tool utilized in serial composition the place all twelve notes within the chromatic scale are performed, with out repetition, to create a motif. The innovation right here is that this idea of a tone row may be utilized to any scale, not only a twelve-note, Western chromatic one.

This technique of composition undoubtedly falls on the experimental finish of the spectrum and with sure scales it will possibly come off slightly awkward. This additionally implies that the variety of steps in a sequence relies on which scale you’re utilizing. A single octave sequence in a minor pentatonic scale will solely have 5 steps, whereas two octaves of the quarter tone scale may have 48 steps. Whereas I recognize the novel method, a part of me actually needs that the tone row was a mode you may activate and off. I’d like to see Eventide add a extra conventional sequencer via a firmware replace the place notes may be repeated.

There may be additionally a chord mode that lets you ship three-notes out over MIDI or divided between the three CV outs. You probably have a Eurorack setup with a number of synth voices, this can be a nice solution to create some complexity and variation, particularly in case you have different utilities that may additional modulate what the Misha places out. For instance, you’ll be able to ship the basis observe via a easy arpeggiator for the bass whereas utilizing the opposite notes to play leads or pads. Sadly, there is no such thing as a onboard solution to sequence chord voicings. You may manually change it whereas performing, however it’s type of a ache. Alternatively, you may use one other sequencer to ship MIDI CCs to Misha and alter chord voicings, which looks as if overkill.

Diagram showing the default MIDI mapping for the Eventide Misha

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Simply one of the simplest ways to make use of the Misha is as a efficiency software paired with an exterior MIDI controller. Right here, the white keys offer you an excellent broader vary of interval jumps (9 in both direct) in addition to fast entry to the basis observe, whereas the black keys can repeat a observe, play a random scale observe or transfer chromatically up and down one step at a time. And, after all, you’ll be able to nonetheless hit the 4 person programmable buttons on the entrance of the module and even map different notes on the keyboard to place extra variables at your fingertips.


Eventide Misha on a desk with book, patch cables and a very pretty pen.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

At $599, just isn’t low-cost. And that jumps to $699 in the event you want a Eurorack pod and energy adapter. However it’s additionally actually distinctive. If the attract of interval based mostly efficiency or tone row sequencing is what you’re after, effectively, that is the one recreation on the town (not less than that I’m conscious of). I’m certain that there are methods of getting an identical impact utilizing software program, however relating to {hardware}, that is it.

I do want that Eventide made a number of extra concessions to conventional composition, although. I would like to have the ability to repeat notes or program passages which can be an arbitrary size, quite than be restricted to the variety of notes in a scale. Possibly these can be added in a future firmware replace, at which level it is perhaps more durable to provide you with causes not to purchase one. For now, Misha is a dear, area of interest software that’s additionally undeniably playful and inventive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments