Flanger is an effect that was given to us by Les Paul. When used, it’s rarely done sparingly. Queen’s "Keep Yourself Alive," Rush’s "Spirit of Radio" and Heart’s "Barracuda" are some classic examples of flanger hogging the spotlight. Besides the cliche swirling jet plane sound though, what else can it do?
With its tagline—“Take risks. Make noise."—I knew that Old Blood Noise Endeavors would be the perfect manufacturer to solve my flanger dilemma!
The Flat Light Texturtal Flange Shifter stretches the parameters of an average flanger with 3 modes of modulation: Detune, Resonate and Echo. Detune goes from a slight pitch-shifting warble to an octave up or down. Resonate blends droning overtones with a classic flanger. Echo fattens up the flanger signal with a few short delays.
To fine tune these modes, the Flat Light has 4 knobs: Rate, Depth, Mix and Shift. Rate controls the speed of the effect while Depth adjusts the width of the flanger. Mix, often overlooked on a flanger, controls how much of the effect is blended with your clean signal. Shift controls the frequencies of the effect in Detune and Resonate mode and in Echo mode, it controls the delays.
Right next to the Bypass switch is a Tilt switch. When stepped on, it momentarily maxes out the Shift knob. You can also adjust the Shift or Rate knob hands-free by plugging an expression pedal into the Flat Light. After taking the backplate off I spotted an internal trimpot to boost or lower the overall volume of the pedal.
I’d recommend taking your time with the Flat Light. It is extremely reactive to the dynamics of your playing and packs some serious sonic density for a four knob pedal.
All of the audio clips below were recorded with a 72 Fender Thinline Telecaster reissue and a Fender Blues Junior amp.
Clip One: I started off in Detune mode with the Shift knob as low as it could go to get an octave down effect. I loved how the tracking is a bit lazy. In the second half of the clip, I raised the Shift knob up halfway and stepped on the Tilt switch for some tape machine-like swirl.
Clip Two: This clip shows the Resonate mode in action. I wanted to show how sensitive the Flat Light is to dynamics. Fine tuning the Shift knob allowed me to dial in a C drone note.
Clip Three: For Echo mode, was it the purple knobs? Was it the rain outside? I recorded a Prince-inspired classic flanger lick with a little bit of Echo to fatten things up. The end of the clip I cranked the echo, lowered the mix and stepped on the Tilt for a little chaos between chords changes.
The Old Blood Noise Endeavors Flat Light is available now for a street price of $199.
For more info on the pedal, head on over to oldbloodnoise.com.