Electro-Harmonix Flanger Hoax


Electro-Harmonix Flanger Hoax
Electro-Harmonix Flanger Hoax
By Rusty Cutchin
Two analog phaser
Two analog delay
Low-frequency sinewave modulator
Feedback control sends wet output back into phaser
Modulator Mode
switch steps through
waveform phases
n the beginning there was the phase
shifter. And players heard that the
swooshing and gurgling was good,
and thus was born the sound on hundreds of tunes, from “Itchycoo Park”
to “Eruption.” But wait, said the god
of foot pedals. Actually, in the beginning was flanging, a sound created by
mixing two identical audio signals and
warping the second one through physical interruption of a tape reel (usually
by touching its rim, or flange).
Hang on, said the electronics geeks.
Let’s make both effects possible by
using delays and modulators to vary
speed and intensity. Sheesh, said Joe
and Jane Guitarist. We just want to plug
in and get a cool sound.
Joe and Jane are out of luck with
Electro-Harmonix’s Flanger Hoax.
This box requires trial and error, and
an understanding of phase-shifter
design and modulation, to master its
sonic potential. However, creative players who spend some time with it will
The Flanger Hoax's Modulator Mode
rotary switch steps through different
phases of the modulation waveform.
64 GUITAR ONE << guitaronemag.com << JANUARY 2006
soon find that experimentation leads
to satisfaction.
The strangely named
Flanger Hoax is labeled a Flanging
Phaser Modulator. It’s a large pedal
with several controls and a single footswitch. One input jack and three output
jacks—Direct, Blended, and Effect—sit
on the sparse rear panel. If your amp
doesn’t have an effects loop, you’ll most
likely want to use the blended output.
The unit features two separate phaser sections and delay lines. The Fixed
Phaser will shift the phase of your input
signal by a set amount of 240 degrees.
The Swept Phaser is more like a traditional phaser, modulated by a low-frequency sine wave. Each phaser circuit
also passes through an analog delay
line, which can be independently
swept by the modulating wave. You can
bypass each phaser to access the delay
lines without any phase shift. The feedback control sends the output of the
pedal or the Swept Phaser back into the
phaser circuits.
A host of other
controls lets you
create an almost
infinite variety of
sounds by using
modulation and
feedback, as you
would with simpler phaser/flanger boxes. The Delay
Mode switch and
Delay Amount
knobs open up lots
of possibilities by
providing differ-
ent phase-shift combinations for the
modulating waveform that sweeps the
Fixed and Swept Phaser Delay lines.
The Modulator Mode rotary switch
steps through different phases of the
modulation waveform; using it in tandem with the delay modulation, you
can go from subtle, traditional phasing
to otherworldly extremes.
SOUND Although its electronic architec-
ture may be more familiar to a synth
programmer, the Hoax is a fantastic box
to get sounds from. Slight twists of pots
result in giant sweeps of undulating
audio when the settings are right, and
once you have the beast under control,
you can get ultra-clean shadings that
fatten up rhythm parts without overpowering an entire mix.
The Hoax is all analog, which
explains the lack of presets. According
to Electro-Harmonix, a collection of
settings guides is being arranged to give
first-time users a starting point for creating individual settings. That should
do a lot to make the Hoax less daunting out of the box.
Even without further guidance, anyone with a basic knowledge of phasers and flangers can start coming up
with sounds right away, and the broad
palette should appeal to any players
who haven’t upgraded their Maestro
or Phase 90 recently.
The Flanger Hoax is a
rich sound source for anyone fascinated with phase-shift, modulation, and
delay effects. You’ll need to work with
this pedal awhile, but once you do, it’ll
give you an amazing aural experience.

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