For linear systems with a multi-symplectic structure, arising from the linearization of Hamiltonian partial differential equations about a solitary wave, the Evans function can be characterized as the determinant of a matrix, and each entry of this matrix is a restricted symplectic form. This variant of the Evans function is useful for a geometric analysis of the linear stability problem. But, in general, this matrix of two-forms may have branch points at isolated points, shrinking the natural region of analyticity. In this paper, a new construction of the symplectic Evans matrix is presented, which is based on individual vectors but is analytic at the branch points—indeed, maximally analytic. In fact, this result has greater generality than just the symplectic case; it solves the following open problem in the literature: can the Evans function be constructed in a maximally analytic way when individual vectors are used? Although the non-symplectic case will be discussed in passing, the paper will concentrate on the symplectic case, where there are geometric reasons for evaluating the Evans function on individual vectors. This result simplifies and generalizes the multi-symplectic framework for the stability analysis of solitary waves, and some of the implications are discussed.