Italo de Angelis

Eventide and other stuff > Michael In A Box


Today’s technology has power . . . and sometimes enough finesse to create or replicate beauty from the past. In the late ‘80s/early ‘90s you (... and Michael) needed a heavy tower of processing gear, routing devices, power management and meters of audio and MIDI cables to get to THAT kind of tone we all know and aim to.

Now things are much easier! Massive dsp power with anything-to-anything audio routing capabilities, state-of-the-art audio converters and a fully programmable open platform make the H8000FW the only possible choice for advanced tasks like this one you are reading about.

Michael Landau’s “Tales From The Bulge” record is a mainstay, a milestone in great guitar tones and effects, besides the man tremendous musical artistry.
Those early ‘90s guitar sounds are still the best.
Here I have tried to replicate Michael’s effects machines from those days rack, including:

- Dytronics Dyno My Piano Tri-Stereo Chorus 1380S
- 2 Yamaha SPX90s
- 2 Lexicon Pcm42s
- Lexicon Pcm70
- several splitting/mixing devices to manage audio paths (Rane SM26s).

You will need to add your favourite preamp/power amp/ speaker cabinets and a compressor and parametric eq to get to the final point of this project.
After researching the net and discussing about Michael’s rig details with many musicians,the signal path has been implemented as follows:

- a mono signal (from a gtr preamp) is sent to the Tri-Stereo Chorus which splits it in stereo L & R dry and wet

- the left chorused and dry signals are sent to an SPX 90 in parallel, programmed to provide stereo detuning
- the right chorused and dry signals are sent to the second SPX90 in parallel, programmed to provide stereo hall reverb
- this whole mix is then sent in stereo to the second stage of the routing mixer and to 2 Lexicon Pcm42s digital delays in parallel
- one side of the stereo mix is also sent to a Lexicon Pcm70, using a very popular preset,“Circular Dlys”, in parallel.

A major work has been trying to recreate those vintage analog and digital devices sounds. I feel that some of them are very closely represented here, others are good replicas maybe with a little something still missing ... but the overall picture is well damned close to the original, without any doubt.

You and your ear are the judge! So . . . enjoy and let me know....

If you own an H8000, H8000A, H8000FW or ORVILLE you are in for a treat.
Folks using DSP7000/7500/H7600, sorry but there is not enough power to run these 2 algorithms together. You can only load one of these algorithms at the time.
The algorithms for ALL the above mentioned Eventide units are available in my ORVILLE/DSP Presets Library you can check out here:
Please contact me for purchase info here:

Let’s discuss how you are going to configure your H8000 audio routing, load the 2 presets and manage MIDI switching to turn each single fx on and off.

The overall signal path is very simple:
- connect your preamp output or FX loop send to the H8000 analog input 1
- connect the H8000 analog outputs 1 and 2 to your stereo power amp inputs or to the stereo FX loop returns or to a stereo line mixer if your system runs other fx units in addition to the Eventide.

***Keep the H8000 wet/dry mix on 100% wet***, under the LEVELS key!
This ensures the dry signal is managed correctly, passing thru the H8000. Don’t worry as its audio converters are stellar, truly. You won’t need to run your dry analog signal in parallel to the Eventide. Landau didn’t do so too, back in the days....
It’s possible to do so, though, if you are not convinced by my words. So you’ll be able to compare how good the Eventide treats your guitar sound.
Kill the dry sound in the “TriStCh” second menupage by setting “dry level” to 0%.
Unfortunately this will remove the dry sound from the whole fx routing, altering the final results. In Michael’s system part of the magic is the interaction between different copies of modulated, detuned and dry sounds being processed in series AND parallel. Some amazing super notches and phase tricks happen. If you remove your dry sound, it won’t be the same...but you can... for your testing curiosity.

Let’s take a look at the H8000FW I/O and inter DSPs routing. The following images show how you will configure your unit from analog input to DSP A to DSP B to analog outputs.


Choose “analog in 1” and “analog in 2” as input sources to DSP A. Only analog in 1 will be used in this project. But choosing inputs 1 and 2 make sure you have a stero input to your unit, in case you need to load a full stereo I/O preset. Back in those days most processors had a mono input.... so I kept the picture.



This is how you are going to configure DSP B inputs.
It’s a basic serial routing DSP A > DSP B. Keep in mind that the DRY signal flows thru the 2 DSPs and its level is controlled by the preset in DSP A, under the “TriStCh” menupage, second screen.



And out we go, connecting DSP B outputs to the unit analog outputs 1 & 2.
So the overall signal flaw will be:

DSP A OUTS 1 and 2 >> DSP B INS 1 and 2
DSP B OUTS 1 & 2 >> ANALOG OUTS 1 & 2

Very straightforward!

You H8000 will simply need a balanced cable connected to analog input 1 XLR and 2 balanced ones connected to analog outputs 1 and 2.

Load “Michael Landau DSP A” in machine A and “Michael Landau DSP B” in machine B.


Effects MIDI switching
Please notice that the last menupage of all effects looks like this:



You can choose your favourite MIDI CC# in the MODE line by using the KNOB and setting mode: MIDI single.

The con: line allows your choice of any MIDI CC# message that your MIDI pedalboard will have to send to the H8000 to turn that very effect on and off.
In all you’ll need:
A CC# for the TriStereo Chorus
A CC# for the Stereo Detune
A CC# for the Reverb
A CC# for the 2 Pcm42s (one command manages both)
A CC# for the Pcm70


A word about the effects...
The Dyno My Piano is probably the hardest to replicate here, in digital domain. Many have tried with mixed results. This is my second version in the Eventide units; the first one is available in the factory presets. I feel (and hear) more randomness in the modulation and a better resemblance to the original Dytronics chorus.
The first menupage shows 3 horizontal sliders that allow to change the waveform for each of the 3 internal chorus paths. Waveforms can be single choices or a blend of 2, which makes things more interesting. This was a feature in the original TSC unit.
The 3 spread parameters play tricks on audio phase, giving a subtle but clear stereo field enhancement. Fell free to program YOUR Dyno settings at your liking....
Stereo Detune and Reverb are pretty straight. Not much to say other than the reverb offers some more parameters than the SPX90. Its second menupage has choices for the reverb modulation. You can try your own walk here but it’s definitely safer to keep SPAN and GLIDE as they are and only tweak depth and rate (like in a chorus) if you want more modulation on your verb tail.
The Pcm42s have been replicated following an older scheme I used years ago for the Vintage Delays algorithm on Eclipse. This version has a better hicut and lowcut filter network in the feedback path, much resembling the typical dark organic tone of those legendary digital delays.
The Pcm70 is a detailed replica of the unit’s version 2.0 classic “Pan Delays” preset. The “m_xxxxx” parameters are masters; they allow to change all 6 voices delay, level, filters and panning values.
I took a liberty here. The original Pcm70 algorithm doesn’t have modulation on the diffusion.
You will find it in the second menupage. It’s set on off...but you can really have fun here if you turn diffusion up and engage chorusing. Your delays will be something you’ve never heard so far.
Notice that the Pcm70 is turned OFF! The reason for this is simple. By having 2 Pcm42s already, I didn’t want to add too much delays here. So I believe the best choice is to use the 2 Pcms or the 70. But, again, yours is the choice. You have them all in here. Also notice that both Pcm42s and Pcm70 offer tap tempo capability. So you can now set your delays with a single footswitch.
To load these 2 algorithms on your H8000 you will need a piece of software available on the Eventide website. It’s called VSIGFILE. It’s an editor to build algorithms. You will only use it to send an algorithm to your H8000, then store it into the unit internal memory or to a Compact Flash Card.
Vsigfile runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7.
You will also need an old SERIAL CABLE. If your PC has a COM port you will be able to connect the serial cable between the computer and the Eventide.
If no COM port is available you’ll need an USB to SERIAL adapter to be plugged into an USB port. The other end of this adapter has a COM port to be used with the serial cable... so you’ll be able to connect PC and Eventide. These adapters have drivers that need to be installed on your computer before you can use them.

MAC folks:
there is a third party editor, vSigX, available from
I have no idea how updated this version can be, so you’ll need to contact Doug Wellington on that website if you are having problems.
You will still need an USB to SERIAL adapter and a serial cable. Mac folks are adviced to use KEYSPAN USA-19HS.

M o r e   i n f o   h e r e :
This adapter also works under Windows.
You can also use your Intel Mac Bootcamp to install Windows and run Eventide Vsigfile or any Virtualization software, such as Parallels, WMware Fusion and run Windows.

More info on Vsigfile editor and serial cables are available on the Eventide website and support forums.

You can contact me for feedback on what you hear, advice, help:

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Owing to a bunch of smartass users of a popular "wanna-be-it-all" box, the algorithms are no longer available for free download. Sorry! Unfortunately kids like to steal other people's work.

  Michael-in-a-box   (this article in PDF)  
  Dynochords   Dynochords

(download aiff/stream mp3 @320k)
  Sycamore Avenue   Sycamore Avenue

(download aiff/stream mp3 @320k)