Mixdown's Guide To: Phase, Flanger and Chorus Effects

Spot The Difference

Do you know the difference between the stompboxes' three most popular effects - the phase, flanger and chorus effect? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you before you have to admit that you didn’t know to anybody (even yourself).

So we’ll ease you in with the phase shifter. Phasers split the signal of whatever instrument you’re using into two exact copies. Because of this, specific frequency bands are cancelled out creating a rippling effect. If you want subtle waves of sound that won’t distract from your music too much, this is the road you should go down. Think ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘The Tourist’ from Radiohead’s OK Computer... you know…their best album.

 

Next we’ve got the flanger. It’s pretty easy to confuse with the phase shifter, but for the practiced ear, you can tell that it has a really dramatic effect on your tone. Much like the phaser, the flanger splits your sound, but the key difference is that one of these sounds is very slightly delayed. Give the Beatle’s ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ a listen and see if you can pick it up.

 

The chorus pedal is similar to the two aforementioned effects because, you guessed it, it creates two exact clones of the signal. The chorus pedal allows musicians to achieve a longer delay, significantly longer than the flanger, and is primarily used to mimic the sound of a choir. Listen to Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ and you’ll see what I mean.

 

Comments