The flanger is a simple but surprisingly flexible effect. A flanger works similarly to a phase shifter or chorus in that it duplicates and offsets the guitar signal with a short and varying delay. Phase cancellation occurs when the two audio signals overlap at separate moments, combining with the delayed signal to produce a distinct ‘wooshing’ sound (often likened to a jet engine).
When studio engineers took two duplicate tapes and manually delayed the playing on one by softly placing a finger on the flange (rim) of one of the playout reels, they invented audio flanging. Flangers, on the other hand, may generate a far wider range of sounds in a modern guitar pedal setting. A flanger can sound like a vibrato, chorus, phase shifter, and more by modifying the parameters of how long the second signal is delayed and how the second signal feeds back on itself. Bottom line, adding a flanger to your setup will give you considerably more tonal options than the default jet-engine sound made famous by Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour, Lenny Kravitz, and others.
Table of Contents
Electro-Harmonix Stereo Electric Mistress Chorus/Flanger Pedal
- Individual flanger
- Individual chorus
- Chorus and flanger may be used together
The Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress is a classic pedal from the legendary company. In fact, the initial model, launched in 1975, was the first stompbox flanger unit ever made. In addition to an updated design, the Stereo Electric Mistress has a stereo output.
The Electric Mistress is a current version of EHX’s ultimate classic flanger, offering a basic, well tuned combo of flanger and chorus effects. On those 1980s Police songs, Andy Summers is famous for using one of these, though most people assumed it was just a typical chorus. This pedal combines two popular modulation effects: flanger and chorus. Find the ideal mix, plug into a mono or stereo output, and enjoy a sumptuous experience with fantastic effects.
The Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress is a wonderful modulation pedal with twin outputs for signal splitting, full bypass switching for signal integrity, three rotary knobs for altering the characteristics of the effects, and the inclusion of chorus alongside the flanger.
One of the most remarkable features of the Electro-Harmonix Stereo Electric Mistress is its durable construction; it’s arguably the best flanger pedal if you’re on the road. Its user-friendly solutions, on the other hand, are as excellent. When flanging signals or freezing modulated sounds, this is one of the greatest flanger pedals available, with greater levels of manual control. This model, like the rest of the E-H range, has a slew of mixing capabilities, including adjustable flanger and chorus depth, as well as rate.
Users may use both the flanger and chorus settings at the same time, allowing them to produce some very unique modulations. Even when playing in low-light conditions, an LED indicator will provide clear readouts. This is the Best Flanger Pedal in 2023.
Strymon Deco Tape Saturation & Doubletracker Pedal
- Tape Saturation Double-tracking Emulation Pedal with Flanger/Chus/Delay...
The Strymon Deco is a “tape saturation and double-tracker” that produces flanging effects by imitating old school tape setups. It is not a pure flanger pedal like the other entries on our list. If you’re looking for classic studio warble and flange, this is an excellent choice.
Rather than being a flanger pedal, the Strymon Deco is a tape machine emulator that emulates everything from simple saturation to double-tracking to flanging on ancient tape machines. As a result, the flange sounds on offer here are warmer and frequently more subtle than those offered by competitors, including those that provide ‘tape flange’ patches or modes. There’s also a brief mode that sounds remarkably similar to vintage studio flanging’s ‘finger on the tape’ sound.
Finally, it goes beyond the 25ms flanging limit, with chorus and even slapback tape delay, making the Deco extremely versatile for various creative effects. This is the Best Flanger Pedals in 2023.
MXR M152 Micro Flanger w/ 9V Power Supply
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The MXR M152 Micro Flanger is our “Best Budget Pick.” MXR managed to remove several controls and other features that aren’t strictly necessary without harming the high-quality flanging effect in order to keep the price down for the rest of us who can’t afford to spend a lot of money on a single pedal or simply don’t care about a million controls. The Micro Flanger is an exact replica of their popular 1980s original. It’s still totally analogue, with bucket brigade circuitry, and it still produces an authentic, warm tone.
Even with just the Rate and Regen knobs (to regulate the LFO’s speed and feedback), you can achieve all of the necessary sounds, such as jet plane sweeps and wild outer space sounds. I’m glad they retained the Regen because they could have easily discarded it.
They did, however, remove the Manual and Depth knobs, relocating those values to the most desirable and frequently used locations. For the adventurous guitarist who doesn’t like distractions, this keeps things simple while yet providing a lot of adaptability and customizability.
You won’t find a competitor with comparable quality at this pricing. There are some less expensive options that aren’t horrible, but they don’t provide the same value. You simply cannot find a poor setting on this pedal, whereas lesser pedals with more features allow you to completely ruin your sound. You’ve found it if you’re looking for a low-cost solution that will get the job done without driving you crazy. This is the Best Flanger Pedal for Guitars in 2023.
Boss BF-3 Flanger Guitar Effects Pedal
- Flanger Pedal f Guitar Bass with Momentary Mode
- Ultra Gain/Pan Modes
- Tap Tempo
The Boss BF-3 Flanger is easily the most versatile of all the pedals on this list, as are all Boss pedals. It’s a more advanced version of the BF-2, with a large following. Thanks to the upgrades, this one will as well. For one thing, there’s a separate Bass guitar input for lower-frequency instruments. You’ll also note the Mode knob, which has four options: Momentary, Gate / Pan, Standard, and Ultra.
Though many people tend to look down on Boss pedals in this daring new boutique era, the truth is that many of their designs are really well-engineered and thought out, with plenty of surprises hiding beneath the surface. The BF-3 is a great example of this: the standard and ultra modes are as you’d expect, but there are also two brilliant secondary modes: a momentary function for those Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love-style sweeps, and a gate/pan mode, which is similar to the classic Boss PN-2 tremolo pan pedal but with flanging.
Two of these are completely new. The pedal is only on when you hold down the footswitch in momentary mode. In mono, Gate / Pan mode functions as a noise gate and sounds somewhat like a tremolo; in stereo, it sweeps the flanger across the stereo field, panning back and forth. Standard mode is what you’d expect, while Ultra mode amps up the intensity and adds extra depth.
They also included a very useful tap tempo, which you can activate by pressing and holding the massive footswitch for two seconds. Of course, it comes in the same sturdy Boss case as the rest of their pedals. A Resonance, Manual, Depth, and Rate knob is found here, with the Manual knob resting beneath the Resonance one.
Boss stompboxes are wonderful since you don’t need a lot of knowledge with effects pedals to utilise them. The BF-3’s robustness and strong construction make it an excellent choice for a touring musician who will be using the pedal frequently.
The BF-3 is a fantastic modulation pedal, with its iconic and unique Boss design, four revolutionary rotary settings, and the ability to generate a variety of flanger-inspired tones. It also features two inputs for bass or electric guitar, as well as a pair of signal splitting outputs. After putting dozens of flanger pedals through their paces, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Boss BF-3 is the best flanger pedal money can buy.
MXR M117R Flanger
- Create wild sounds from jet plane takeoffs, vibrato, cool space effects and...
- A staple of '70s rock and funk
- Use with guitar, bass, keyboards or vocals
The MXR M177R Flanger Pedal was always in high demand, so MXR took the desired effect, addressed any issues with volume dips when engaged, and reintroduced it to the market at a low price so that we could all enjoy a piece of the action. It’s still constructed like a tank and sounds exactly as wonderful as it did when it first came out.
This pedal’s versatility is what makes it our “Best Bang for the Buck” pick. You can get sounds like a sweeping jet plane taking off, a subtle chorus, or even a static wah pedal tone where you set a frequency and leave it alone. You may add delays and vibrato to your sound. It can handle both complicated signals, such as distorted guitar or multi-voice synth, and simple single note melodies.
The knob controls are simple to use, and as you explore them further, you’ll see how versatile they are. The Manual knob selects the frequency spectrum to be flanged, while the Width knob controls the delay sweep’s spread, also known as ‘intensity.’ You may regulate how much feedback you want with the Regen knob, which loops the output back into the flanger. The Speed parameter controls how fast or slow you want the low frequency oscillation rate to be.
You won’t find a more traditional, classic, and dependable alternative. This one is made to last, exactly like the ones from the 1970s, which are still going strong! The MXR M117R’s adaptability is one of its best features. As a result, it is appropriate for all guitarists, regardless of their level of skill or style. It’s easy to use but also capable of producing sophisticated flanger tones, making it a perfect choice for both experts and beginners.
In terms of sound quality, the M117R Flanger pedal is unparalleled. You may construct unique modulation blends and discover a tone to suit any genre or style using the four parameters.
EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids Stereo Flanging Device Guitar Effects Pedal
- Stereo Flanger Effects Pedal with 8 Modes
- True Bypass Switching
- 5 User Presets
Due to it’s versatility, many guitarists consider the EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids Stereo Flange to be the best flanger pedal on the market, with eight selectable modes and five user presets.
Five presets, eight flanger modes, tap tempo control with subdivisions, a multi-use modify control, positive and negative feedback, and a mix control are all included in the EarthQuaker Devices pedal. The sounds we can make with this device are nearly endless!
All of these functions are possible thanks to the pedal’s excellent unique digital signal processing. It also includes a stereo I/O that may be used with an expression pedal. We can also use the Tap/Trigger footswitch to re-trigger the modulating LFO, which opens up a whole new world of rhythmic possibilities with this unique flanger unit. Another unique feature of the EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids stereo flanger pedal is the subdivision toggle, which allows users to play along with the song’s tempo. On traditional flangers, this element isn’t always present.
Those familiar with the Avalanche Run series will be pleased to learn that this instalment features the same 24-bit/96kHz DSP architecture. A huge mixing knob, a bypass mode, and a patented “Flexi-Switch” that allows users to effortlessly blend choruses and harmonics are among the other features.
MXR EVH117 Flanger Guitar Effects Pedal
- Original bucket-brigade design
- Model Number: EVH117
- Use the EVH switch for instant "Unchained" tone
Eddie Van Halen used flanger guitar pedals on several of his singles, including And The Cradle Will Rock, while being better recognised for his use of the MXR Phase 90, for which there is also a signature EVH model. It has a beefier, more in-your-face flanging sound than the Electric Mistress, and the flange effects are abrasive and raw when mixed with distortion.
Surprisingly, when releasing this more current version of the MXR-117, the company neglected to make it 9V so that it could be powered by a standard PSU, implying that it requires a dedicated 18V PSU or appropriate connector. There’s a button for Eddie lovers that quickly recalls his settings for the song Unchained. That might or might not be a selling factor — after all, there’s a thin line between homage and retread.
TC Electronic Vortex Flanger Pedal
- Tone print technology Enabled
- Classic flange and tape flange modes
- Intuitive yet deep control set
The Vortex flanger pedal from TC Electronics sounds great and has stereo inputs and outputs for handling and producing gorgeous and broad flanger effects. This multi-purpose flanger pedal is deserving of a place on this list. The Vortex sounds great straight out of the box, and it can be tweaked to sound even better in your setup. Its small size makes it easy to fit on most pedalboards.
The TC Electronic Vortex flanger pedal reintroduces vintage sounds in a compact form factor. The sheer number of effects is also astounding, allowing you to access a variety of sounds in a matter of seconds. The user can tune in both positive and negative feedback using unique feedback settings.
This tape flanger pedal also has a toggle switch that allows you to access other TonePrint flanger modes (via a standard USB cable). There are a few recent presets here, designed by some of the world’s most well-known guitarists. The Vortex, like other TC pedals, is true bypass for maximum clarity while not in use. If you do need a buffer to prevent high-end loss, the pedal provides a buffered bypass switch as an option.
The TonePrint technology from TC is included into the design of this pedal. With the free TonePrint Editor, you may create your own customisable flanger effects or obtain those from the community. These tones can be wirelessly uploaded or plugged using the built-in USB port.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Flanger Pedals work?
The flange effect is achieved by simultaneously merging two identical audio signals while significantly delaying one of them. A device known as an LFO, or low-frequency oscillator, is responsible for the delay. Rather of the delayed signal being consistent in time, the LFO changes the delay periods, but only slightly.
The gap between the two signals interacts with one another in a weaving pattern, generating modulation in the frequencies produced. The most stereotypical kind of flanging is the “swooshing” sound, which can be found on all flanger pedals.
Many flanger pedals also include more experimental versions of the effect, as well as the more common “jet engine” sound. Feedback is created by partially feeding the output back into the input. This gives the flanging appearance a whole new layer. The slightly delayed signal is usually 5 to 25 milliseconds late. This is the perfect place for flange production. If the signal is delayed for more than 25 milliseconds, it begins to sound like a chorus and loses its flanging effect.
Where should I place Flanger Pedal in my signal chain?
Flanger pedals, like all modulation pedals, should be placed in the signal chain’s back end. The primary reason for this is that the flanging effect will be applied to all pedals in the chain before it.
Any dynamic-altering pedals, like as compressors, EQ, or volume pedals, should be the first in your signal chain. To perform at their best, these pedals demand the cleanest possible signal. After that, add any gain-based pedals like distortion, overdrive, or fuzz. The signal is significantly altered by these pedals.
Then, just before the modulation effects, place any filter mode, such as wah pedals. Reverb and delay are the only effects that should be placed after a flanger. Of course, there’s always opportunity for experimenting, and adjusting this broad suggestion could lead to some unique tones. I’d recommend starting with the traditional arrangement and then moving and swapping pedals to see what outcomes you get.