No other guitarist has been more associated with the unmistakable sound of the chorus effect than Andy Summers, guitar emeritus of the legendary band the Police. The glaring irony, of course, is that Summers actually used a flanger pedal – specifically, an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress – to create those shimmering chorus textures on hits like Walking on the Moon and Message in a Bottle in the band’s early years.
Obviously, taming the swooshy flange required Summers to dial back certain knobs on that vintage pedal to achieve his heavily chorused guitar sound. Even the man himself admits, “A big part of my guitar sound at that time in the Police was the flange sound, which we have here today in this great new pedal.”
But figuratively speaking, many experienced players like Summers already knew that chorus and flanger are more akin to close relatives than distant cousins, and have been able to manipulate a flanger to conjure the heavy sweep or swirl of either effect.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, you can summon both of those related effects – along with the ability to nail Summers’ iconic tones – with the Electro-Harmonix Andy Summers Walking on the Moon Flanger.
More of a commemorative tribute than a collaboration, the Walking on the Moon artist edition analog flanger is a near-sonic recreation of an original Deluxe Electric Mistress stompbox. It has the same topology but has been shrunken down into a compact die-cast chassis (which, coincidentally, is the same as EHX’s discontinued Deluxe Electric Mistress).
The faithful control set of Rate, Range and Color are preserved, as well as a Filter Matrix switch that suspends the LFO from the flanger circuit, just like the original pedal. There are also jacks for Input, Flanged Out for the wet effect and Dry Out to split your signal from the affected signal.
The pedal has true bypass switching and includes a 9V adapter while also being able to be powered by a 9V battery. You’ll see that Summers’ signature graces the face of the pedal, and a tribute Walking on the Moon poster with art by Laura Josephson is included inside the box.
For many who are not familiar with the WOTM’s control set, you’ll find the Color knob ramps up the intensity of the flanger effect as you move it clockwise, while Range manages how narrow or wide the sweep of the flanger reacts with the bass frequencies.
The Rate, naturally, increases or decreases the speed of the flanged modulation, where higher settings create a fluttering vibrato. I found keeping the Color and Range below the 10 o’clock position with the Rate just before noon got me close to Summers’ signature chorused sounds with a hint of flange.
As you turn up the Color and Range, the flanging metamorphoses into a thick jet-like swoosh similar to a tape flange, while dialing them back encourages a juicier flange with lush chorusing. Engaging the Filter Matrix switch (which halts the LFO of the flanger circuit) opens the pedal up to a host of alternative filtered tones where you can usher in metallic and boxy-sounding ring modulations.
- PRICE: $/£129
- TYPE: Flanger pedal with filter matrix
- CONTROLS: Rate, Range, and Colour, filter matrix toggle switch
- BYPASS: True
- POWER: 9V DC, 9V battery, drawing 40mA
- CONTACT: Electro-Harmonix