Own the First Studio Phaser
Released in 1972, the Eventide Instant Phaser began the studio effects revolution by successfully simulating tape flanging, an effect that’s been at the core of legendary albums for the last five decades. Modeled on the original hardware unit, the Instant Phaser Mk II plug-in accomplishes the same legendary sound with all the analog personality, smooth modulations, and inherent musicality. Its capabilities have been expanded, and now you can even take your phaser on an excursion from the 70s far into the future with the delightfully characteristic “Age” knob. Outfitted with a complete host of control options, the Instant Phaser Mk II is out of the rack and into your plug-in arsenal.
The Instant Phaser Mk II offers three different sonic characteristics that change the amount of phase-shift sections, simply labeled “Shallow,” “Deep,” and “Wide.” When “Wide” is selected, the Instant Phaser Mk II gives you a different amount of phase-shifting on both the right and left channels, resulting in a slightly different effect in each ear. You can use this to turn flat mono guitars into huge stereo leads or make your single-channel synthesizer fill out the sides of your mix.
- Add Age for component drift with time
- Offers three different flavors of phasing with the Mode switch: Shallow, Deep, and Wide
- Utilize one of four distinct methods to control the phasing
- Depth allows you to combine the phased signal with the dry signal
- Added Side Chain function allows you to trigger the Envelope Follower from a separate source in the mix for inter-track mingling
- Exercise total control of the Oscillator with Sync and Retrig controls
- Use Feedback control for a more pronounced sound
- Includes standard gain input and output
Aged not Old
The Instant Phaser Mk II perfectly captures the unique, imprecise analog character of the original hardware. During development we discovered that the values of some of the components change with age; they drift further and further from their marked values. The result is that an Instant Phaser which has been powered up for years will sound different than it did on day one. The new plug-in features an innovative Age knob, which allows you to simulate this aging of the components of the phase shift networks and the LFO. Once we started down this path, in a salute to entropy, we decided to extrapolate far into the future.
Different Ways to Phase
The Instant Phaser allows four distinct methods to control the phasing:
Manual allows precise automation of the phasing.
Oscillator modulates the phasing at a constant rate that you decide.
Envelope changes the phase whenever your signal passes the specified threshold. The plug-in accepts a side chain input for this control method.
Remote maps the phasing control to a modwheel for tactile manipulation.
The Story of Pioneering a Household Modulation Effect
Historically, the terms “phasing” and “flanging” were used interchangeably and described an arduous process whereby the output of two slightly offset tape recorders was mixed together. Eventide’s debut effect, the Instant Phaser, was the first studio rackmount effect box to accomplish a similar sound. Because of this, the original manual spent a decent amount of words introducing the idea of the phaser effect and its purpose, explaining, “The Eventide Clockworks Instant Phaser was designed specifically to eliminate the costly and tedious job of setting up and implementing the special effect known as ‘phasing’ or ‘flanging.’ In addition, one can electronically control it to produce new and desirable effects.”
At the heart of what made the original tape flanging sound was a dry signal combined with a slightly delayed signal. When the Instant Phaser was designed, there was no such technology to achieve delay artificially. This being the case, the effect was only able to approximate the sonic quality of tape flanging by using all-pass networks. The sound is similar but is created by using a method that is fundamentally different. A few years after the Instant Phaser hit the market, the Instant Flanger made its debut. The Instant Flanger manual delved into the differences between the electronic processes of phasing and flanging, and said about phasing, “Since its invention or discovery in the mid-1960s, the special effect known as ‘phasing’ or ‘flanging’ has been one of the most popular additions to the mixer’s repertoire. Phasing was introduced to the mass audience in the song “Itchycoo Park” by Small Faces and has been used (yes, and overused) to some extent by virtually every artist since that time.”
Interested in more Instant Phaser history? Check out our Flashback blog.