“That old-ass piece of gear made our vocals come to life in a way they never had up until then”: Chromeo on the magic of the Eventide H3000

“In our minds, H3000 equals Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, so we never really went in on it.”

Chromeo

Image: Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

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Chromeo have credited the Eventide H3000 multi-effects unit for making their vocals “come to life” on their upcoming album Adult Contemporary (arriving 16 February).

Speaking to MusicTech, the Canadian electro-funk duo revealed what it was like working with Storm Queen producer Morgan Geist, whom they’ve enlisted to mix their new record. According to member Dave 1, the combination of Geist’s magical, analogue-loving touch and an openness to experimentation helped the group achieve what he calls “their best-sounding vocals yet”.

“The breakthrough on that was [Eventide’s] H3000 on all my vocals, all the time,” Dave explains.

“In our minds, H3000 equals Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, so we never really went in on it. But Morgan [convinced us]. Half the songs have no reverb on the vocal – more than half! It’s just H3000. That old-ass piece of gear made our vocals come to life in a way they never had up until then.”

“When we first approached Morgan to mix the album,” Dave adds, “we asked ‘How long do you need to mix each song?’ and he was like ‘A week’. A week per song? I was like, ‘We’re not gonna make the deadline’. So he said, send me the songs as you finish them, so we re-jigged our schedule. But that allowed us to finish a song, send it, finish a song, send it. So as the process was evolving, our production process also became more cognisant of what this was gonna sound like.”

“Morgan’s not an engineer, he’s an artist. And I think that’s what all mixing should be, personally,” says P-Thugg.

Released in the late ’80s, the H3000 Ultra-Harmoniser was often known as the ‘holy grail’ of multi-effects units. It quickly became a go-to for guitarists, both in the studio and in their live racks, shaping the iconic guitar sounds of artists like Van Halen and more.

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