What Is A Flanger Pedal And What Does It Do


Were you wondering what a Flanger pedal is? Flanger pedal belongs to the same modulation effect family and also similar to the working of Chorus pedal and Phase pedal, these 3 are often confused. Like brothers that look alike, these 3 pedals go hand in hand.

Artist use Flanger Pedal for sweeping and  jet-engine sound. This effect was big back in the day and you can hear it is on all sorts of classic rock and metal records. The most well-known example that comes to mind is Barracuda by Heart. That open riff is legendary; it is easily one of the most recognizable riffs of all time!

The Flanger pedal was discovered by the great Les Paul himself back in the 1940's. I couldn’t fact check that but if that is true, that is one of the coolest inventions by the classiest of dudes, so I will believe it to be true and so should you.

what Flanger Pedal do?

So, now we know what a Flanger pedal is. However, what does it do is yet to be answered. Let us get into that:

We learned that a Flanger effect sounds like a jet-engine with a mix of chorus and vibrato in there. How exactly is it able to get that tone though?

To get that tone, the Flanger pedal does the following:

  • It takes the original signal and divides it into multiple layers.
  • Then, ever so slightly, it delays original signal by a couple of milliseconds (which can be adjusted but more on that later).
  • As you are playing, this delay is altered over time, which causes the harmonics produced to phase cancel and result in that jet-like sound.

To sum it all up, the Flanger takes your original signal and copies the sound it creates, makes a copy of it, and then slightly adds a bit of delay to that copy. The intensity of the delay can be adjusted according to one’s own taste but that is the gist of how it works.

Despite the huge range of Flanger pedals out there in the market to choose from, the basic idea of them all remains the same; to give the player that unique jet-engine tone.

Anyways, now we know what does a Flanger pedal do to get that classic tone that we have associated with it.

Also check on Flanger vs Phaser, as it can be tricky to tell the difference but they are quite similar and no one is denying that.

how Controlling a Flanger pedal?


Flanger pedals usually have about 4 types of controls, namely:

  • Depth.
  • Rate.
  • Feedback.
  • Manual.

For the most part, these are the most commonly found controls, some brands offer you stompboxes with more controls or controls that are just named differently but in practice, they behave the same.


Depth:  The Depth knob allows you to control the overall noticeability of the effect. So, if for example, you set Depth at a minimum, you will hear just a mere hint of the flanger effect. Your guitar will create the advertised jet-engine if you set it high.


Rate: As the name suggests, this control adjusts the rate of your sweep effect. Also known as ‘Speed’ because it inherently controls the speed of the delays. Simple, to the point names. I like it.


Feedback:  Again, with these things, the name explains quite well what it does. Breaking it down, this knob is the ‘feed back’. Meaning how much of the output signal is fed back to the input.


Manual:  This knob controls the center point of the effect, meaning it determines where the sweep's center is. Using this knob, you can shift it to the right or the left by rotating the knob anti or clockwise.


That was all the basic information you would need to know when you are out in the market, looking for a new Flanger pedal to get. Hopefully “what is a Flanger pedal and what does it do” question  has been cleared.

Getting yourself a Flanger pedal is a smart decision. It is one of the most commonly bought stompboxes out there and my personal favorite in the holy trinity of guitar pedals, namely Phaser, Chorus and Flanger no pedalboard is complete without one of these.

I hope this article helped. Rock on, musicians across the world.

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