Riffing on Legends

November 7, 2016

On October 1, we had a party at United Recording in Los Angeles. A big one.

While serendipitous in its timing, this soirée wasn’t about the recent AES Convention in Los Angeles. Rather, we threw down with our friends Dave Derr and Gil Griffith to honor the innovation that galvanized our friendship and celebrate 20 years of visionary pursuit of our subsequent solo projects: Soundtoys, Empirical Labs and Wave Distro.


While working together at Eventide, Ken Bogdanowicz (Soundtoys founder, pictured second from left), Bob Belcher (Soundtoys engineer, left), and Dave Derr (Empirical Labs, right) created the H3000 Harmonizer, which was evangelized by Gil Griffith (Wave Distribution, second from right). Inspired in part by the Lexicon PCM 70 and Yamaha SPX90, their vision was to build on the concept of the harmonizer and develop a pitch-shifting, multi-FX tool that would put creativity and intuition first and foremost.

The H3000 has inspired artists since its debut in 1986, including Steve Vai and Brian Eno, who even sent a handwritten letter to thank the team for its creation. This classic box also inspired the aural aesthetic that sparked the vision for Ken’s own company, Soundtoys, in 1996.


For 20 years, Soundtoys plug-ins have merged the sound and vibe of classic analog gear with modern and musical twists, adding color, character, and creativity to the digital music studio. Over the years we’ve released 25 analog-inspired effects plug-ins like EchoBoy and Decapitator, that capture and carry forward the tradition of creativity and uniqueness that started with the H3000. Effect Rack, the crowning feature of our latest release, Soundtoys 5, takes cues from the original multi-FX platform in its ability to creatively combine individual effects.  

And so we partied. We filled the halls of the legendary United Recording Studios (formerly Ocean Way) on Sunset Boulevard with dear friends and loyal users. We listened to an intimate performance by multi Grammy-winning producer and artist Daniel Lanois, with collaborator Rocco DeLuca, bassist Jim WIlson  and drummer Kyle Crane. We were serenaded by the Scott Wilkie Jazz Trio in Studio B. We gave away an original H3000 to lucky winner John Whitt. We (okay… our caterers) played with fire. We poured many, many drinks. We loved every moment of it.

We owe it all to you – our users – the inspiring, creative minds for whom we innovate. THANK YOU. Here’s to another 20 years of epic sound.



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