Other Equipment

Flangers….What’s Your Thoughts?

26

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.

– Proteus

But... But...but Tim, how could you ever pull off decent credible covers of Zappa, Curved Air, or Steve Hillage tunes without a good flanger pedal?

27

Mick Jones of The Clash overused a flanger terribly live from 1980 on. I'd love it if he rerecorded his parts to several later Clash songs with the single p90 LPJ on their first album. His tone was amazing. Totally suited his style of playing, probably because of the Johnny Thunders influence.

28

I like flange when it's used on the whole mix as an effect in just a part of a song, usually a middle breakdown or something and then, bam, it's back to the original mix again.

29

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.

– Sanctuary

Yeah. Check our the count-in to Primary. Awesome flange sound.

For guitar, the Dimension C pedal with the four buttons really gets Robert Smith’s guitar sound.


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