Disclaimer: I beta tested this device and received a license in return.
T2 Phaser is the second RE by That Music Company, a small developer whose first RE was the well received Distort Chain. How does it compare, in a RE effects market occupied by the likes of Synapse Audio and u-he?
T2 Phaser consists of three effects that the input passes through serially, a distortion algorithm, a phase shifter, and a high pass filter. The distortion algorithm, different than Distort Chain’s, has two parameters, Harshness and Amount. The phaser is very well-featured, with seven stage number options (2, 4, 5, 8, 12, 24, and 48), positive and negative feedback, and a stereo LFO with a wide range of rates and fourteen waveforms to choose from. The high pass filter is resonant and cutoff frequencies range from twenty-four to fifteen thousand hertz.
CV connectivity is excellent, with inputs for almost every parameter and outputss for the LFO.
The missing piece in T2’s feature set, if there is one, is a frequency control. In normal use, adjusting the LFO amount rotary produces all of the tones needed but this limits T2’s utility as a static comb filter.
I’m very pleased. The distortion is very high gain and too harsh, for my taste, but used at its lowest setting, it adds the necessary harmonics to sounds that are too dull for the phaser to have much effect on, e.g., the top octaves of a Rhodes. The phaser is not the warmest I’ve heard but it’s far from sterile and is pleasing, all around. In normal use, it’s easily capable of lush, Phase 90-esque tones or a pretty decent Leslie imitation. When it comes time to create extreme modulation effects, the twelve, twenty-four, and forty-eight stage modes, and negative feedback deliver.
I find the high pass filter a nice inclusion; it’s nice to have a way of taming the low end, should things get out of hand.
How does it compare to other Reason phasers? Of the ones I have, I would say it’s superior to the Reason factory PH-90 as well as Revival’s phaser, which are nice but limited. Antidote’s phaser, based on Synapse-Audio’s standalone Analog Phaser, puts up good competition for a synth-based effect but, though perhaps sweeter sounding, lacks T2’s range. Mytrial of u-he’s Uhbik P is long since lapsed, so I couldn’t A-B the two, but I prefer T2, having originally found Uhbik P to be harsh and sterile.
I’m a little disappointed that That Music Company opted for the extreme twenty-four and forty-eight stage modes over the, in my opinion, more musical ten and fourteen stage possibilities but that’s a bit of a churlish complaint; the sound really is quite good.
Ease of Use
Phasers are fairly simple to use, so there’s not a lot to say. The GUI is nice and the feature-set is well thought out. No complaints.
Though it isn’t the be-all-end-all of phasers, this is a device a Reason user looking for a new phaser can’t ignore, especially at it’s reasonable $25 price.
Vintage: A subtle phase effect is a nice way to add lushness or character to a rhythm instrument. Donald Fagan used to run a Rhodes through two Phase 90s, for a very hip stereo effect.
Leslie: Leslies are conceptually more similar to choruses and flangers but phasers do good imitations, too. Phase Pan controls stereo width.