Flanger Pedals

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About Flanger Pedals

Sounding like a jet plane taking off, flanger pedals are not for the faint-hearted. A bold, in-your-face sound, they have been used by guitarists as diverse as Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, and Lenny Kravitz.

Flanger pedals create a real sense of urgency in otherwise stale guitar parts. Flange was originally a studio effect created by running a sound simultaneously on two tape machines. The engineer would then put their hand on the ‘flange’ - a mechanical part that spools the tape - causing the tape to slow down. When they let go again, the tape would then rush to catch up. Combining the two sounds - the unaffected tape and the slowing down/speeding up tape - creates the classic whooshing sound.

Legend has it that it was John Lennon who first coined the term ‘flanging’! The first flanger in a pedal format was the Electric Mistress introduced by Electro-Harmonix in 1975.

What Makes Flanger Pedals Different?

  • Bold, in-your-face sound
  • Creates urgency in stale guitar parts
  • Replicates a famous tape effect from the 50s and 60s
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Flanger Pedals

    Question: What does flanger mean?
    A ‘flange’ is a part of a tape machine, belying its origins as a tape-based effect.
    Question: What is the difference between a flanger and chorus pedal?
    A flanger splits a signal in two and delays one of the signals, allowing it to speed up and slow down slightly. A chorus pedal splits a signal in two and modulates the frequency of one of the signals, allowing it to go slightly in and out of tune.
    Question: What type of guitar player needs a flanger pedal?
    Bold and distinctive guitar players love the whooshing effect of the flanger pedal.
    Question: Where does a flanger pedal go?
    A flanger pedal is most commonly placed after overdrive pedals but before reverb and delay pedals.