Other Equipment

Flangers….What’s Your Thoughts?

1

Thinking about a Flanger.

What's good, bad, or ugly? Appreciate any input and experiences.

2

I had one a long time ago. Had little use for it then, and it didn't last long in my rotation.

I did find it useful when I played heavier, usually behind my Rat and stereo chorus, but that was another lifetime and style of music ago.

So really, it depends what you might find yourself playing.

3

Maybe most of you know the background of flanging, but what the heck... When two tape recorders played back the same track in sync, and someone used their finger to drag on one of the reels - that would create the flanging effect (as in "Phalanges", roman for fingers). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by The Status Quo might be the first recording of it.

4

I've never been a fan of the Flanger effect, thanks to 80's Hair Metal, but when used tastefully, I really dig it --- that being said, I have an A/DA Flanger on my pedalboard (thanks to all the crazy noises Adrian Belew managed to squeeze out of his Flangers).

The original band I'm currently writing with is very weird and Psychedelic, which has elements of King Crimson, Tool, the Police, Pink Floyd, Primus, Rush... and I try to write melodic chords/phrases that can be emphasized with effects; a Flanger being one of 'em. So it'll remain on my pedalboard as long as I continue to perform with this group.

I've always dug how the guitar to Follow You Follow Me by Genesis sounded, as well as the crazy guitar part in Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club... not to mention Peg by Steely Dan (I transpose Fagen's parts to guitar whenever I play this song with 'the fellas').

For someone who is very experimental, the Flanger can be a really fun tool. However, if the controls are set to vanilla, it can sound cliché, like a simple Flanger --- if that's the sound someone is going for.

I learned to love it... even when I set it to Vanilla.

5

i like flangers OK, but don't care much for a lot of their typical applications. in particular, the overwhelming prevalence of flanging in British "New Wave" often drives me up the wall, especially flanged bass. i'm also not fond of the wild-wibble-wobble settings that e.g. Paul Gilbert uses. they are very useful for shoegaze textures, though, and James Dean Bradfield from Manic Street Preachers uses flanging exceptionally well.

i've been using an old AC-powered TC Electronics SCF flanger for ages, but it's a bit lacking in some respect i can't quite put my finger on. i still like it better than 99% of the other flangers i've heard, though.

7

I burned way out on flanging by the mid-80s, when I had an Electric Mistress. It’s not that I overused it - and for all that the Mistress kinda CREATED the pedal flanger genre, it sounded anything but generic. It was deep enough to get freaky with (but unGODly white-noisy).

Anyway, it failed at some point, I was over it anyway, and I haven’t wanted one since. And that’s odd, because there aren’t many types of pedals I don’t like. Pretty much just flangers, phasers, bit crushers, slicers, and wahs. I’ve even gotten over my aversion to chorus (also a casualty of the 80s) and will occasionally deploy it for stereo widening (not so much for modulation).

While I have no dedicated flangers (or chorus, for that matter), plenty of both come in the Strymon Möbius modulation engine, and in other digital devices I use. So I got’em if I want’em - and I still don’t find myself feeling flangey. A little goes a ridiculously long way, especially when used for their cliched effect. I DO like some stop-flange occasionally, on pedals (or algorithms) where you can stop the sweep at any point, like cocking a wah pedal at some point in its travel. Both can shape uniquely voiced distorted tones you can’t get any other way.

I find flanging more interesting when used experimentally, in unusual ways, at the extreme. But not all flangers have extremes; most seem to want to do the standard stuff and not even permit making crazy noises. Two that DO - and kill the usual effects as well - are the Alexander F.13 and the recently released EarthQuaker Pyramids - which is stereo and brings some new elements into the flanger domain. Makes some noises I haven’t heard before.

If I was going to flange, I’d probably head for the Pyramids. As little use as I have for generic flanging, I’m tempted. For some sonic entertainment, listen to some demos of it with headphones. Crazy stereo animation going on there.

8

I bought a flanger used about a year and a couple months ago. The Boss. Was $30 from Offer Up from a guy about 30 minutes drive. That’s a good price. Only have it because of The Cure and The Police. Had no idea that Gilmour used one with Pink Floyd but that’s another good reason to have one.

9

Is there a pedal or rackmount device that offers a fairly intense flanging effect with a controllable sweep? This would be used for recording in general; not just a single guitar. I'm trying to get the same recorded effect as used in Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces.

10

My favorite use of flanging is John Bonham's drums in Kashmir.

I find that so much more appealing than flange on guitars.

11

Yep, some very limited stuff that I would use a flanger for. Probably why I've never bought one before too.

This all got me started listening to a few old songs and thinking that one might be nice to have.

I was looking at the Boss unit originally, then the wave of numerous units hit me like usual.

Price, functions, and how much use it would get, or not get, got me scratching my old head.

I do appreciate all the responses.

12

Maybe most of you know the background of flanging, but what the heck... When two tape recorders played back the same track in sync, and someone used their finger to drag on one of the reels - that would create the flanging effect (as in "Phalanges", roman for fingers). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by The Status Quo might be the first recording of it.

– dlaf_2

I think you're right. That's really been the only song we've covered where I've used the flanger setting from my ancient Digitech GSP5. It is a fun song to play and sing. Camper Van Beethoven did an admirable cover.

13

JD, here are some various flangers for you to take a look at.

15

Is there a pedal or rackmount device that offers a fairly intense flanging effect with a controllable sweep? This would be used for recording in general; not just a single guitar. I'm trying to get the same recorded effect as used in Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces.

– beatbyrd

Since flanging is a time-delay effect with modulation, any decent digital delay with sufficient range in delay times can be set for a flanging effect. The modulation controls can control the sweep. When I was touring in the 80's, I used a rackmount Vesta Kaza Digital Delay (essentially the same as the DeltaLabs Effectron II) for flanging and chorus, as well as for echoes and slapback.

16

In the 90s, I picked up a Boss Hi-Band Flanger cheap. It was a terrible pedal. As the name suggests, it only applies the effect to higher frequencies, which gave it a really, slick 80s feel. I recently saw someone selling one of these at collectors prices. I don’t regret selling mine a long time ago.

I recently picked up a Strymon Deco which can do some flanging as well. It’s a much warmer, subtler effect, which should be expected as it emulates tape effects.

I’d also recommend multi effect units to get started. My Line 6 M13 has some great flangers. All of them are available in the affordable M5 pedal.

I’ll also add I prefer the more dramatic phaser over flanger. My first tube amp was a Peavey Deuce which had a Waylon Jennings style phaser built in.

17

Buy one, you'll have fun with it for a few days, then you'll never use it again.

That's the story of most pedals bought throughout the world. It's happened with me about a dozen times. Delay and reverb pedals are really the only pedals worth owning.

18

wasnt the flanger a new wavey thing? Did'nt the Cure use one on "A Forest" . Other new wave bands too?

19

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by The Status Quo might be the first recording of it.

i believe The Beatles' use of manual flanging on "Tomorrow Never Knows" preceded the Quo by at least 6 months.

20

it's hard to think of a New Wave band from the UK who didn't use a flanger.

21

wasnt the flanger a new wavey thing? Did'nt the Cure use one on "A Forest" . Other new wave bands too?

– Gasmoney

Yeah, The Cure went flanger crazy -- as did just about every '80s new wave and metal band. Cool trick The Cure did was use the flanger on the bass guitar. You do that at home and you are instantly transported back in time to the '80s. That flanged bass sound became a big thing of the '80s new wave sound.

22

Yeah, The Cure went flanger crazy -- as did just about every '80s new wave and metal band. Cool trick The Cure did was use the flanger on the bass guitar. You do that at home and you are instantly transported back in time to the '80s. That flanged bass sound became a big thing of the '80s new wave sound.

– Sanctuary

Thats what it was--the bass. Quite cool at the time. And I still love it today

23

Yeah, The Cure went flanger crazy -- as did just about every '80s new wave and metal band.

Peter from New Order in particular.

24

Thats what it was--the bass. Quite cool at the time. And I still love it today

– Gasmoney

Yeah, as a goof I played my bass through a flanger and started laughing. I instantly had The Cure sound. No matter what I played on my bass that day, I sounded exactly like The Cure.

25

Thinking about a Flanger.

What's good, bad, or ugly? Appreciate any input and experiences.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

This has always worked well for me.... Oh wait, wrong kind of flanger....


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