Flanger Pedals

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Like delay, flanging began as a tape-based effect. Classic examples of tape flanging include the vocals on The Beatles’ "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," and everything on Slowdive’s seminal shoegaze album Souvlaki. Eventide and MXR built rack flangers in the '70s, but flange effects have come in a wide variety of guitar pedals, from the noise makers dream, Electro-Harmonix’s Flanger Hoax, to the classic compact Boss BF-2.

What does a flanger pedal do?

Generally, a flanger pedal attempts to recreate the effect of pressing on, or otherwise manipulating, a reel-to-reel tape deck. Because the action modulates both the speed and pitch of the sound produced, flangers occupy a gray area between time-based and waveform-based effects. For a pedal-based reproduction of tape flange and other analog studio tricks, try out a Strymon Deco.

What’s the difference between a flanger and chorus effect?

Both chorus and flanging overlap in being short delay-based effects. Chorus effects add several replications of the original input sound, while flangers usually create one slightly slower, mildly pitch-bent effect in parallel to the original input. Analog and digital technology pushed the flanging effect, which is often used as a more extreme effect than chorus, and often compared to the sound of a jet taking off. For an expert explanation, read Andy’s Tone Tips on the two effects.

What’s the difference between a flanger and phaser?

Unlike flangers, phasers are not time-based effects. Phasers manipulate the waveform of an audio signal.

What are the top flanger pedals?

In addition to the stompboxes mentioned in our rundown of The Best Flangers Ever Made, the EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids is worth a look. It offers amazing tones, stereo ins and outs, and preset recall.

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