Phase Shifter Pedals

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Phase shifters, or phasers, create a modulated effect by manipulating the waveform of the input signal, usually changing over time and controlled by an oscillator. Daft Punk and Eddie Van Halen are popular users of phasing effects. Phaser effects are often defined by a number of stages, the number of peaks in the created waveform. Many analog phasers have four or eight stages, resulting in a more noticeable effect. Phasers with sixteen or thirty-two stages can sound more nuanced and subtle.

What is the difference between a phaser and flanger?

Unlike phasing, flanging is a time-based effect, which creates a slightly delayed and pitch-shifted copy of the input signal. Although phasers also often blend the wet, modulated signal and the dry, unmodulated input, there is typically no delay between the two sounds.

Flangers, which began as a tape-based effect, can sound closer to familiar auditory effects, such as a jet taking off. Phasers, on the other hand, tend to sound more synthetic and are often used to create sound effects, such as an android’s voice in a popular sci-fi fantasy franchise.

What is the difference between a phaser and chorus or delay?

Like flangers, chorus and delay effects are both time-based. Chorus pedals create several pitch-shifted and time-delayed versions of the input signal. Some multi-delay pedals may include modes that add phase shifting to the delayed repeats or echoes of the input signal.

What are the best phaser pedals?

The MXR Phase 90, as seen on the boards of Tom Morello and Omar Rodríguez López, and the Electro-Harmonix Small Stone, as used by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood on OK Computer, have been two of the most popular and well-regarded phaser pedals for decades. For a boutique update of the analog phaser, check out the Walrus Audio Lillian, which has both four and six-stage options, and a vibrato mode.

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