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Flanger block

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Flanger block.PNG

Available on which Fractal Audio products

  • Axe-Fx III: 2x.
  • Axe-Fx II: 2x.
  • FX8: 2x.
  • AX8: 1x.

X/Y and channels

  • Axe-Fx III: 4 channels.
  • Axe-Fx II: yes.
  • FX8: yes.
  • AX8: yes.

About the Flanger

"Flanging" originated from pressing on the flange of a tape reel of two tape decks that were synchronized. This caused a small delay between the two decks, creating the famous whooshing sound.

Flanger in Wikipedia

Premier Guitar: Behind the Bucket Brigade

"The core flanger algorithm is a delay with feedback. Very little difference between using the delay block as a flanger and using the flanger block."
"It is basically the same as the delay block but with finer control over the base delay time. It's essentially the same algorithm."
"The basic algorithm IS a delay. Chorus and flangers are basically delays. If you can do it with the delay block then you can do it with the flanger block UNLESS the base time is greater than 10 ms."
"The issue isn't the algorithm. It's understanding the parameters and how to adjust them. Obviously things are too confusing for some people and I will have to give some thought on how to make the effect easier to adjust or clarify the controls. If anything, the flanger block is superior to the delay block for flanging because you have more precise control over the time. The delay block is quantized to 1 ms increments."

Position of the Flanger block

The Flanger block can be placed before or after the Amp block. For guitar it often sounds best when placed before distortion. As a studio effect, put it after the Amp block.

Mono and stereo

Flanger is a stereo effect but defaults to mono to prevent phase problems when used before an Amp block. To make it stereo, adjust the LFO Phase parameter.

Through-zero flanging

Use the Dry Delay parameter for best results. It sets the delay time of the dry signal as a percentage of the maximum delay time of the wet signal. For classic thru-zero flanging this parameter should be set to 50%. For interesting new sounds experiment with lower or higher values.

This parameter has no effect if Through Zero is set to Off.

Parameters

Parameters table

Parameter Axe-Fx III Axe-Fx II AX8, FX8
Type yes
Rate yes
Tempo yes
Depth yes
Feedback yes
Delay yes
Low Cut, High Cut yes
Drive yes
LFO Type yes
LFO Phase yes
LFO Bypass Reset yes
LFO Hicut yes
Auto Depth yes
Through Zero yes
Dry Delay yes
Phaser Reverse yes
Stereo Spread yes

Depth and Time

"The key is getting the depth and time right."
"I think the problem is people set the Depth too high. For slow rates the Depth should be between 10 and 20%."
"The temptation is to turn Depth up but that can actually decrease the intensity of the effect. Depth controls the sweep depth but if you turn it up you'll sweep too much and ruin the effect. Always start very low and bring it up gradually."
"Depth controls the sweep depth. Time controls the minimum delay time of the wet signal. Depth controls the maximum time, up to 10 ms beyond the minimum time. If you set Time to 1 ms and Depth to 100% the delay sweeps from 1 ms to 11 ms. Personally I like around 1 ms for the time and 10 - 20% for the depth."
"If you can do it with the delay block then you can do it with the flanger block UNLESS the base time is greater than 10 ms. I've never seen a flanger have more than 10 ms of delay since then it's really not a flanger anymore but a chorus."
"The Axe-Fx time parameter sets the minimum time. The modulation is unipolar on top of the base time, up to 10 ms of modulation. So the maximum time is 20 ms which is longer than the A/DA. Technically a flanger is a very short delay."

Feedback

"Feedback was something that was added to "flangers" that were intended to emulate this effect but the original flanging technique did not have feedback. There is nothing to say a chorus can't have feedback as well. It just happens to not sound good so it's not done."

Delay

"Delay range: 0 to 10 ms. Technically the block is capable of 0 to 20 ms but I've never found any use for that. Just sounds strange to me."

Mix

"The ideal mix is 50% as this will create the most intense effect but sometimes a little more or less is desirable. If you deviate from 50% you'll reduce the depth of the notches caused by the comb filtering. This can make the effect more subtle but perhaps more "organic". Deep notches aren't always desirable."

LFO Bypass Reset

The parameter “LFO Bypass Reset” resets the LFO whenever the block is bypassed. This allows synchronizing the sweep to the engagement of the effect.

Not supported on the AX8.

Firmware developments

(firmware 17) "The Flanger block has been completely rewritten. The new algorithms now model the behavior of classic bucket-brigade device (BBD) units (except they are true stereo). The Depth parameter works somewhat differently now and sets the maximum delay time (up to 20 ms). When Auto Depth is not off the maximum delay is reduced as the rate is increased. There are now three Auto Depth values: Low, Medium and High. Turning Auto Depth to Off allows complete control over the delay time. The minimum time is set by the Delay parameter and the maximum time is set by the Depth. Several new Flanger types have been added which demonstrate the new algorithms."
(firmware Quantum 1.00) "Fixed Dry Delay Shift parameter not working in Flanger block. The parameter has been renamed to Dry Delay and works differently (and more intuitively). The parameter now sets the delay time of the dry signal as a percentage of the maximum delay time of the wet signal. For classic thru-zero flanging this parameter should be set to 50%. For interesting new sounds experiment with lower or higher values. Note that this parameter has no effect if Through Zero is set to Off."

Tips and tricks

Javajunkie's recreations

Contour the taper

"If you want to contour the taper of a flanger, try this trick: Place a modifier on the TIME. Set the source to SEQUENCER. Add a little damping. Now you can craft any kind of sweep shape you want. Use MIN and MAX in the modifier to set the depth. You can also do this with the DELAY block MONO TAPE algorithm. It has a different sound than the Flanger block. Modify MOTOR TIME using an LFO or the trick above." source

Creating a flanger with the other blocks

The Multitap Delay block and Delay bl;ock can create a flanging effect too.