Skip to main content
Pro Audio Community

Phasers vs. Flangers

I am familar with both of these types of sounds, but I do not really understand what a Phazer is. I know a Flanger mimics tape flangeing. How can one explain what a Phazer is, and how it scientifically is different from a Flanger. Thanks in advance!

Eric

Tags

Comments

Steve Halko Mon, 01/05/2004 - 16:43

I am familar with both of these types of sounds, but I do not really understand what a Phazer is. I know a Flanger mimics tape flangeing. How can one explain what a Phazer is, and how it scientifically is different from a Flanger. Thanks in advance!

Eric

The Phase Shifter was the first attempt at using electronics to emulate tape flanging. Real flanging requires a time delay, which was very difficult (and expensive) to achieve back in the late 60s. Phase Shifters use a series of all-pass filters in order to shift the phase of the signal. This phase-shifted signal is then added to the original (unshifted) signal.

In a flanger, the signal undegoes a time-delay, then is added to the original (un-delayed) signal.

In both the phaser and the flanger, the resulting frequency response has a series of notches (which represent those frequencies where the original signal and the time-dealyed (or phase-shifted) signal cancel each other. If this frequency reposnse is plotted on graph paper, the series of notches look kind of like the teeth on a comb, so the circuits are also known as comb filters.

The difference between a phaser and flanger is in the positions of these notches. In a flanger, the notches are equally spaced, because the time delay is the same for all frequencies. In a phaser, the phase shifting looks like a time delay, but can be different for different frequencies - so notches in the phaser are not necessarily equally spaced, and therefore sounds different than a flanger.