We're calling it: flangers are due for a comeback. But there's a lot more to this classic effect than what first meets the eye. Whether you want to emulate Eddie Van Halen to a tee or push the envelope of experimentation further than ever before, EarthQuaker Devices has you sorted with the revolutionary Pyramids Stereo Flanging Device.
With eight modes, five presets, detailed controls (including rate, width, mix, feedback, and mod knobs) EarthQuaker has clearly designed this pedal with detailed tweaking in mind. But while it may be intimidating at first, the selection of presets offers both a great launching panel for further sonic exploration and an easy sound to dial in mid-show. The addition of a variable mix control and stereo outs makes for a worthwhile contemporary update to a classic sound, and adds bucketloads of extra versatility. Built using EarthQuaker's proprietary DSP architecture, sound quality is pristine and deep throughout. Capping it off is the addition of a tap tempo/trigger control, which makes dialling in rhythmic effects easy. All in all, EarthQuaker has gone all in on this one. They've spared no expense in making one of the most inventive, expansive flangers on the market today. But the question remains: is it overkill? Of course, that's where you come in. The Pyramids Stereo Flanger is as useful or as useless as you want it to be – the only limit is your own creativity.
Yes, the Pyramids Stereo Flanger can do classic tones with ease. But if that's what you're looking to get out of this pedal – and nothing else – I'd suggest you look elsewhere. The players who get the most out of this pedal are those looking to seriously experiment and expand their tonal horizons. And if that's what you're after, you've come to the right place.
Utilising the presets is a great way to start defining your own sound. Moving past classic, you'll find barber pole up, trigger up, step, and random. Each progressively messes with your signal until you eventually find your guitar sounding something more like a synth. I had great success coming up with synth-like arpeggios, randomised bass flanging, and scatter-shot rhythms that would work exceptionally well in electronic music. And that's part of the beauty of this pedal: flanging is the entry point, but there's so much more under the surface when you start digging.
At low rate settings, you'll get the mushy and swirling tones that are perfect to lose yourself in – suited for psych or ambient music. Cranking up the rate, things begin to get gloriously erratic. It's a surefire way to freshen your approach to the guitar – you'll find yourself playing and writing things that you never would have been able to without this pedal. After all, isn't that what effects are for in the first place? Inspiration pours out of this device, and I'd wager you could spend an entire year discovering new tricks with it.
While it may not be for everyone, EarthQuaker's Pyramids Stereo Flanger is the perfect purchase for those wishing to take their playing to strange and unusual places. The world has enough of the same-sounding guitar lines. Why not make something different? If that sounds like you, just start here.
Hits and Misses
Not suited for beginners