Phonec 2 by Psychic Modulation Review

Remember those old days when you watched a movie or home recording on VHS? Remember the warped washed out sounds that have been so normal when watching VHS? If you want to create those sounds that have character and an edge Phonec 2 is the synthesizer for that dusty warped 70-80 years beautiful color and tones. Psychic Modulation did send a review copy with no strings attached.

If you enjoy the sound of the Phonec 2 Synth and would like to take your own synthesizer collection and apply the same texture you can use also a plugin from the same company. EchoMelt (Review) by Psychic Modulation is a detuning,  warbling, drifting, and smoother plugin that you can use to melt your tracks and create those stylish old VHS tape sounding recordings.



After purchase you receive a download link, next step is to install the plugin, and you are ready to use Phonec 2 in your DAW.


Looking for otherworldliness and atmosphere retro sounds from 30-40 years ago? Your search for worn out VHS and faded sound memories has come to an end. The sounds that the developer of Psychic Modulation reacted in this synthesizer is diminished or sullied and that in a right way, like a worn-out VHS tape. Phonec 2 is resembling this effect shown in the video below.


Phonec2 has an Oscillator scheme that uses multiple blends which allow you to come up with exciting new sounds. The included Oscillators can be mixed, synced and combined through Logic gates. The resulting sounds can be further mangled especially through the unique feature Melt which gives warped, drifting, and mysterious characteristic tone.

PHONEC PHOSPHOR VOL 1 and 2 Soundbanks from The Unfinished (Matt Bowdler)

There are already third party Soundpacks for Phonec available,  I highly recommend THE UNFINISHED Phonec Phosphor Vol 1  and Phonec Phosphor Vol 2 to expand the already included Soundpacks expansion.

Phonec 2 is doing shaping the sounds like no other synths are doing it, if you try to generate similar sounds on a different synth, you would spend hours and still not come close.

All Features:

  • Dual Oscillators with various combinations: Mix, Sync, Ring, X-wave, logic
  • Sub Oscillator for beefing up the low end
  • Analog-style oscillator drifting
  • 2-stage lowpass filter with 8 modes + Acid Filter
  • Post Highpass Filter
  • Filter Saturation Driver
  • 3-Stage Filter Separation
  • 3-Band Parametric EQ
  • Melt: A unique feature that adds instant character to any patch
  • Arpeggiator that works in conjunction with a Modulation Sequencer
  • 3 LFOs (2 monophonic, 1 polyphonic)
  • HFO (High Frequency Oscillator)
  • Various modulation types: AM, PM, FM, Filter FM
  • 2 Modulation Envelopes
  • Aftertouch control of several parameters that can also be linked to the Modwheel
  • EchoShifter: A Pitchshifting, Dub Delay Unit
  • Chorus effect with Melt integration
  • External Audio Processing
  • Pan-Tracking
  • MIDI Learn and automation of most parameters
  • Patch Randomization of Sub-sections
  • Sub-presets: load/save settings for sections such as osc, filter, etc.
  • Double Click Parameter Reset
  • Intuitive patch management system
  • Default bank of 128 presets

User interface & Usability

The Interface is simple and if you get the flow you can easily produce unique sounds that come with a past decaying character. Patchbanks management of included and third-party soundbanks could be improved by integrating a better and user-friendly browser.

Patchbank management

Rating:  Five out of five stars

Phonec 2 is an awesome sounding synthesizer and can create worn out (VHS like) tones. You can quickly produce vintage analog tones, lo-fi soundscapes, and pads that also have become very demanded driven by different shows produced by Netflix and others. As a Synth Phonec 2 it totally under the radar for most composer and belongs on stage and be looked at by any modern composer. Alternative you could buy one of those old VHS recorders, put your song or tracks on tape and watch the tape for numerous hours until you see the effect to kick in. It is much easier use Phonec 2. The sound, character, and uniqueness make Phonec 2 really an attractive addition to your toolbox.