Eventide Physion MkII: What is it?
The clue, as they say, is all in the name. Eventide’s Physion has been updated to MkII, and it’s got some pretty clever technology going on, drawing on similar concepts to Eventide’s innovatory Split EQ plugin.
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While this plugin is packed to the brim with some very usable and showy presets, it’s worth stepping back to understand exactly what’s going on. Upon first launch, Physion MkII displays three lines, which are distinct working areas.
The initial audio signal enters at the point of the middle layer, which is described as a Structural Split. It is this layer that provides the essence of the plugin. In concept, the signal can be split into transient-based or tonal colours. In separating these elements, you can then dictate how much of each element heads-off in the direction of appropriate effects.
To aid the splicing and dicing of the audio signal, there are a number of preset splits, which can be selected from a drop down menu. These presets are categorised by instrumentation or description, such as full mix, electronic beat, or guitar.
There is nothing to stop you using whichever preset you prefer, but there is an overarching sense that Eventide has tried to be as helpful as possible, by supplying a number of instrumental options. There are also controls for smoothing and transient decay, delivering further control, before the layers split off, heading in their assigned directions.
Eventide Physion MkII: Performance and verdict
Residing in the upper and lower portions of the plugin window, we have the respective effect elements.
Both the Transient and Tonal effect portions may be enabled or disabled, according to how effected you wish your signal to be, but they both share a degree of similarity. In fact, anyone versed with current Eventide plugins, may notice more than a passing nod to other products in their lineup.
The Transient area is unsurprisingly equipped with effects that relate well to rhythmic signals. There are delays (both Tap and Reverse), compression, reverb and more. The Tap Delay is an old favourite, but with some limitations, if compared to Eventide’s standalone UltraTap plugin.
The Tonal section, on the other hand, is perfectly equipped with effects that gravitate to a more sustained signal. Tremolo, chorus and pitch are offered, with inclusion from reverb and delay in this area too. Again, much of this feels quite familiar to Eventide endorsees, but should take nothing away from the impressive washes and colours that can be easily created, using an appropriate incoming signal. With plenty of production ready presets, it is easy to get a handle on the ultimate possibilities.
The beauty of Physion MkII is that it definitely falls into the camp of multi-effects. While its whole credo revolves around the ability to split a signal into transient and tonal parts, there is nothing that would prevent you from deactivating the structural split element, and using it as a simple but excellent set of effects. This arguably doubles its usage capacity, and there is certainly nothing unsubstantial about the basics that are included within.
Eventide is famous for its quality reverbs, so you are getting this element by default, along with a bunch of other highly respectable effects. The delays are superb, and very controllable, while the tremolo, phasers and modulation effects are all of the highest quality. As far as current effect plugins go, the price is just inching towards the bigger league, but then again, knowing that it can give you quite a bit more for your money could well justify the expense, and that expense will be money well spent with quality this high.
This is undoubtedly a worthy update to the original Physion, but you would be well advised to consider this a production or post-plugin, as the very presence of Physion applies a considerable degree of latency across your system. If you are attempting to play something live, or via a virtual instrument, performance is very sluggish, and we were testing on a bang-up-to-date M1 based MacBook Pro.
Physion MkII is also likely to be less attractive to anyone who may have already invested in certain Eventide plugins, such as Crystals, Blackhole or UltraTap. It would be unfair to describe this as repackaging, because it goes in a slightly different direction, but the sonic similarities are undeniable, and there is undoubted repetition, wonderful in sonic appeal as that repetition is.
MusicRadar verdict: An undeniably classy plugin, that could provide serious inspiration and production sheen for your work. A real sum of parts, where the parts all shine by themselves.
Eventide Physion MkII: The web says
"With a raft of new effects on board, Eventide’s wonderful ‘structural split’ plugin now boasts more creative potential than ever."
Sound On Sound
Eventide Physion MkII: Hands-on demos
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Eventide Physion MkII: Specifications
- macOS 10.9+, Intel and Apple Silicon, AAX 64-bit, AU 64-bit, VST2 64-bit, VST3 64-bit.
- Windows 8+, AAX 64-bit, VST2 64-bit, VST3 64-bit.
- CONTACT: Eventide