Wrap your head around the swirling sound of flange...
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We love flanger and the glorious modulated tones it produces, but what is a flanger actually doing?

A flanger is an effect that creates a swirling, "whooshing" sound for your guitar. It adds a distinctive and unique modulation effect to your playing.

Here's how a flanger pedal works:

The original guitar signal is split into two paths. One path remains unaltered and becomes the "dry" signal, while the other will be processed and becomes the "wet" signal.

The wet signal is sent through a short delay line, usually achieved using a bucket brigade device (BBD) or digital delay. The delay between the wet and dry signals is extremely short, ranging normally from just 1 to 5 milliseconds.

The delayed wet signal is then modulated using a low-frequency oscillator (LFO). The LFO generates a cyclical waveform, typically a sine wave, that controls the speed and depth of the flanger effect.

The modulated wet signal is mixed back with the dry signal. As the delayed wet signal is periodically combined with the dry signal, certain frequencies interact and create peaks and notches in the frequency spectrum, known as comb filtering.

The peaks and notches caused by comb filtering move up and down in frequency due to the modulation from the LFO. This creates the characteristic sweeping or swirling sound associated with a flanger effect.

The final mixed signal, comprising the dry signal and the flanged wet signal, is sent to the output, which can be connected to an amplifier or recording device.

Experimenting with different settings and playing techniques will help you discover the range of sounds and textures that a flanger pedal can produce. Whether you want to create swirling jet-like sounds, add subtle modulation, or make your guitar solos stand out, a flanger pedal is a versatile tool for shaping your guitar's tone.

For some famous examples of a flanger, listen to 'Barracuda' by Heart. You can also hear the jet like 'swooshing' very clearly in the intro of 'Unchained' by Van Halen!

Join Dan on his journey to find the perfect flanger...

Has Dan Found His Ultimate Flanger Pedal?

We demo a selection of flanger effects pedals for electric guitar including the Thorpy Camoflange, Dreadbox Komo Rebi, Retro-Sonic Flanger and a vintage Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress.

Like a fine wine or maybe one of those truly gopping mouldy cheeses, the question of Dan's flanger has needed time to ferment and mature into a well rounded answer… not least while Thorpy was developing the new Camoflange with the help of British guitar effects guru, Dan Coggins. Which means there are no prizes whatsoever for guessing what Dan’s new favourite flanger is. He’s really quite ripe about it.

Six Awesome Flangers Compared

In this episode Daniel and Mick run through six different flangers

Dan absolutely loves them, Mick’s relatively in the dark as usual… before being entirely surprised that they do all sound quite different! We talk about how they work, where they sit on your board and of course have a good ol’ play through all of them. Let’s flange, baby…

Want more?

We have lots more videos available on the That Pedal Show YouTube channel