Eventide’s Flashback Highlights Its HM80 Baby Harmonizer

As part of its ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration, Eventide’s Flashback Series, which highlights groundbreaking products that first solidified the company as an audio technology leader, continues with the latest installment — Flashback #6: HM80 – The Baby Harmonizer (1978).

The HM80 Baby Harmonizer was designed to provide the capabilities of the H910 Harmonizer in a more compact, road-ready and affordable profile. The HM80 featured guitar in, amp out, as well as performance features including expression pedal control of pitch and an auxiliary switch jack for switching the repeat function on/off. It was highly acclaimed and influential, and predated the introduction of the first digital delay stompbox, the Boss DD-2, by nearly five years. At about half the price of an H910, HM80s found their way into the hands of a few gigging musicians and composers who, for the first time, could exploit the new world of digital audio effects live. Among the early adopters were lauded composers Laurie Spiegel and Randy Walters.

A highlight of Flashback #6 is the embedded video – Laurie Spiegel Eventide HM80 Harmonizer Demonstration – an excerpt from a composition performed by Spiegel at the New Music America Festival in 1981, which was broadcast live on NPR. For this performance, she used an Apple II computer – one of the first affordable, personal “microcomputers” – to create square-waves, and sent them through an HM80. This combination of "microcomputer" plus "baby Harmonizer" resulted in expansive, yet low budget, synth sounds.

Flashback #6 is the latest in the ongoing series of Flashbacks that help celebrate Eventide’s 50th Anniversary while providing readers a true historical perspective on the company featuring insights, photos, videos and documentation excerpts that chronicle Eventide’s ongoing quest to find unprecedented ways to bend, distort and manipulate sound.

Do you think Eventide should reissue the HM80 today? Vote in a special poll here.

The Eventide 50th Flashback retrospective episodes can be found at the following links: