The BBC Natural History Unit’s Seven Worlds, One Planet wildlife documentary series, filmed over nearly five years across all seven continents, features a theme and score composed by Hans Zimmer and Jacob Shea of Emmy- and BAFTA- nominated Bleeding Fingers Music. For this latest series, Shea, who also worked alongside Zimmer on the music for the BBC’s Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II series, made a significant change to his workflow, implementing Eventide’s flagship H9000 multi-effects processor and Emote control software.
“The H9000 is just so deep, and so thoughtful, in terms of the way that these effect algorithms are built. I’ve had it for a year now and I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface,” says Shea, who integrated the processor into his studio at Zimmer’s multi-room Remote Control complex in Santa Monica, California.
Shea opted for the H9000R, a version of the 2RU processor unit with no front panel controls. Control of all the settings and parameters is handled by Emote, which is available as a standalone Mac and Windows application and as an AAX, AU and VST plug-in. When instantiated as a plug-in, all of Emote’s parameters may be automated within the DAW session. “I use a two-screen system; one screen has Logic and the other has Emote in full view,” he says.
The H9000 introduces a new paradigm, FX Chains, that allows the user to connect any set of four effects from the H9000’s 1600+ unique algorithm library. As a guitarist, says Shea, “What I enjoyed doing when I first got it was just building weird chains of stuff.”
Shea says he has found the reverb algorithms in the H9000 particularly inspirational. He employs a Session preset loaded with eight reverb algorithms, including halls, rooms, plates, Blackhole and Shimmer. “A lot of times,” Shea shares, “when I was working on an emotional piano-and-strings piece, those H9000 algorithms beat out anything that I had in-the-box.”
Shea began using Eventide plug-ins long before adding the H9000 and says that one of his favorites is still the SP2016 Stereo Room. “I use that all over,” he says, typically to reposition a close-miked source in a larger space. “It feels like you recorded it in a more expansive place than where you actually recorded it. Alan Meyerson hipped me to that process on Planet Earth II, when he mixed the score for that series.”
As a composer, Shea says that he really appreciates the musicality of the H9000. “It was a breath of fresh air when I pulled up the pitch-shifting algorithms. I can just focus on my idea as a composer and not have to worry about a wrong note jumping out and taking me out of it. It has made playing with the thickening of harmonics really effortless.”
Seven Worlds, One Planet debuted October 2019 in the U.K. and on multiple outlets in the U.S. in late January 2020.
A video interview with Jacob Shea can be found on Eventide’s YouTube channel at https://etide.io/JacobShea, and a longer version this story can be found on Eventide’s website at https://etide.io/JacobSheaBlog.
For more information on the Eventide H9000, visit www.eventideaudio.com/h9000
For more information about Bleeding Fingers Music, visit www.bleedingfingersmusic.com