The flanger effect for bass is created in a similar manner to the chorus effect, in that it mixes two or more audio signals together. This process is called modulation. Flanger is also similar to the chorus, in that harmony plays a part in creating the effect. It’s also important to point out that just like the chorus, the flanger effect is created by mixing an altered audio signal with an unaltered signal. The altered signal in flanger, just like the chorus is modified with a time delay.
The delay flanger
The delay in flanger, however, is shorter. This short delay creates an up and down sweeping effect that is characteristic of the flanger. One more significant difference between flanger and chorus is that while both effects employ some form of delay, the effect of the delay in flanger is much more noticeable. With flanger, you can literally hear echoes within the effect.
The flanger effect is most often times compared to the sound of a jet airplane taking off. The flanger sound could also be described as being “spacy”. Flanger also sounds similar to swirling water going down a drain.
Flanger is yet another one of those effects that’s not that commonly used by bassists but is definitely a really fun effect to experiment with. The control knobs on most bass flanger pedals allow you to sound anywhere from subtle to out of this world.
Read our guide on the bass equalizer and octave pedals.