Review – Eventide Fission
Every once in a while a new plug-in comes out that really does something, well, new! And Eventide Fission is one of them. I have had the great pleasure of being able to give it a spin, and it is fantastic. The only thing that comes even a little bit close to doing what it does within Logic Pro X’s suite of built-in plug-ins is the Enveloper.
And only just barely.
What is Eventide Fission?
So, what is Fission? Fission appears to be what (I hope) is the first of a series of new plug-ins from Eventide using it’s new Structural Effects technology. Fission separates the incoming audio signal into two parts based on the signal’s structure, in this case Transient content and Tonal content. These two different streams are processed individually with custom Eventide effects, and then combined back together in (close to) real time. Because the Transient and Tonal structures of the signal are processed separately, Fission lends itself to some very useful and interesting mixing and sound design purposes that haven’t before been possible.
Eventide Fission – The User Interface
Structural Split Section
The interface is very intuitive. The centre row is the Structural Split section, which performs the separation magic. Choose one of the source type presets, and use the focus slider to control how much of the signal’s energy is directed towards the Transient Effects section, and how much to the Tonal Effects section. Use the Smoothing and Transient Decay knobs to tweak the detection algorithm.
Once the split is established, the gain can be offset separately for the Transient and Tonal sections. This alone makes it a fabulous transient shaper plug-in. Even using just this gain offsetting functionality, Fission is miles above Enveloper. Enveloper is to Fission what Garageband is to Logic Pro X! But this is just Fission’s starting point.
Transient Effects, & Tonal Effects
Post Structural Split, the Transient signal is independently processed through a selectable Effect Block, while the Tonal signal is independently processed through it’s own selectable Effect Block. The controls update, depending on which effect is chosen. Transient effects include Delay, Tap Delay, Dynamics, Phaser, Reverb, and Gate + EQ. Tonal effects include Delay, Compressor, Pitch, Chorus, Reverb, Tremolo, EQ.
All kinds of great sounding combinations, either corrective or creative, are possible. How about a nice warm Rhodes sound with a washy chorus effect only on the sustained portion of the sound, while the attack portion is enhanced with some compression? Or maybe Delay on the attack portion and reverb only on the sustained, or tonal, portion. Or maybe vice versa! Drums are seriously fattened by detuning the tonal part of the drum with the Pitch effects, while retaining the crack of the transients at their original pitch.
Processing & Soloing
Each of the three main sections (Structural Split, Transient Effects, & Tonal Effects) can be switched on or off independently. So, it’s not absolutely necessary to process both parts of the signal. Turn off the Structural Split section, and the Focus fader becomes a send fader to balance the two effects that will operate on the entire signal.
Each effect block can be soloed as well. This is not only great for dialing in the balance of the structural split, and fine tuning the effects; but they can be left in their soloed state when closed. This way either just the attack portion or the just tonal portion of the signal is played through the channel strip it is hosted on. This is great for layering drum sounds together. Duplicate your drum part onto multiple tracks triggering different samples. Then blend the attack of one drum on one track, with the sustain of another drum placed on another track. Works wonderfully layering pads and other keyboard sounds together too.
Eventide Fission is a seriously great sounding plug-in that stimulates experimentation otherwise not possible. I highly recommend giving it a spin. And kudos to Eventide for really imaginative and creative plug-in development. And for inventing new tools that we didn’t know we needed, and now can’t live without!
More Info, Pricing & Demo Download
Eventide Fission is currently priced at $97 instead of $179.
To buy, or to try a free, fully-functioning, 30-day demo, visit the Fission product page on the Eventide website.
Eventide Fission Explained – Free to Watch for Groove3 Members
Note that Groove3 already has a series of video tutorials about how to use Eventide Fission, produced by yours truly. You’ll get to learn the new plugin inside and out, as well as how to use it on different sounds and instruments! They are free for any registered Groove3 user, so anyone can view them for free simply by registering at Groove3.
Just head over to Eventide Fission Explained at the Groove3 website!