Do you ever hear those musicians play those swirling sound effect riffs on Instagram and wonder how do they do it? Well, one way to do that now is to use a cool VST plugin. However, back then, it was only possible through a guitar phaser pedal or a similar piece of hardware. That particular effect that appeared back in the 1960s is now also known as flanger and the pure 'phaser' has become another thing - it's a string of low and high frequencies and these frequencies are further modulated to create that moving, swirling sound effect. You can either get your hands on a multi-effect guitar processor for this or get your hands on a separate phaser pedal for your pedalboard. This article lists the Best Guitar Phaser Pedals in 2021 that are available in the market. At the end of this article, we'll hook you up with relevant information that will help you zero in on a reliable, good pedal without having to break your bank!
A guitar phaser pedal can help you produce that swirling, moving sound out of your guitar, first heard back in the 60s through the 80s. Into the waters, onto the subtle beauty, back into the depths - that's what you get from these bad boys.
If you haven't had a hands-on experience with pedals yet or used a phaser before, this section will hook you up with everything you need to know about this cool gadget! Let's dig in.
Things You Should Consider When Buying A Guitar Phaser Pedal
When shopping for a guitar pedal phasing unit, you want to be sure to find one that is easy to use and can provide the sound you’re looking for. One way to be sure of this is going through the customer reviews prior to putting a pin on your purchase. You can also scour through the product's description and more often than not, you'll find your answer out there.
In addition to the customer reviews, the following are a few primary factors that you must take into consideration before buying a guitar phaser pedal:
The phaser pedals are compact in size, there's no issue with them being portable design-wise. You may put one of these on your truck, in your RV, in the trunk of your car, or even in the backseat. However, what defines true portability for gadgets like amps or pedals is the ability to run these through a battery. If a guitar phaser pedal is only powered through a power adapter, it'll ultimately limit your use of the pedal.
Therefore, make sure you look for a guitar phaser pedal that can be powered by a battery or gives you an option to switch between the battery and power cable so you can have it by your side on the go - especially if you're fond of impromptu jam sessions.
Every guitar phaser pedal will come with a brief description of what it's meant to sound like. From Edward Van Halen to switchable vintage and modern voicings, only go for a phaser pedal that serves your purpose!
The bypass button is very important - especially if you'll be playing live and switching from your normal gear to the phaser pedal in front of an audience. A true-wired bypass button has to be there so you can completely keep the phaser off throughout the song and you're able to turn it back on to play a nice riff or such.
Some phaser pedals out there will have minimal housing - just a single speed knob to do all the sound wizardry. However, a few out there may have a few more controls (2-3) to help you achieve a number of functions. This could be delay, reverb, rain, mix, vibrato, and such.
If you're looking for the phaser effect, it's best that you keep things simple and go with a pedal that's easy to use!
Why Do I Need A Guitar Phaser Pedal?
The phaser effects are considered as one of the earliest guitar effects. Phasers or phase shifters were originally made to simulate the sound of rotating organ speakers. Once the original phaser was done and dusted, the players found that they could make other cool sounds too that works by using special filters that change the frequencies filtered over time - this is what creates the soft, moving sound that phasers are now famous for!
You need a guitar phaser effect if you're looking for that boomy, swirling, moving sound right of your guitar. There's not really a need to get your hands on a phaser specifically for recording/mixing purposes since that can be achieved through DAW plugins and VSTs. However, when you're playing live, you'll want to avoid all that live sound engineering drudgery and you can just plug your guitar into a phaser pedal to achieve the desired sound!
What Is The Function Of The Primary Controls on Phaser Pedals?
Most modern phasers now have 1- 4 controls. These may include rate, depth, resonance, and effect level. However, a few of the pedals like JOYO-06 or MXR M101 can help you have all these controls under a single knob!
The labels of these controls may be different in some phase pedals, however, more or less, you'll be achieving a somewhat similar sound. Here's a brief overview of what each individual control does so you can make an even better decision while purchasing:
The rate control helps make the sweep faster or slower. It determines how fast the effect should kick in! A lower rate would mean you'll get that phaser effect with a bit of delay. A higher rate will help you get that sound quicker.
Depth makes the effect more intense - that's exactly why this control is sometimes called intensity.
Resonance, as clear by the label, emphasizes and plays with some certain tones while you're in the sweep. A higher resonance will make the tone more profound and rich.
Classic and vintage phaser pedals have different amounts of phase shift stages - this is what's done when you play the effect level or stage knob. The higher the stage setting (mode), the more swirling and thinner sound you'll be able to get.
How Much Does A Guitar Phaser Pedal Cost?
The price of a guitar phaser pedal starts at around $30 and it goes as high as $200 - maybe even higher in some cases. However, you can get your hands on a reliable, excellent-sounding phase shifter guitar pedal in around $100. The low-end models, below $50 might not offer you the same freedom and room to play as the high-end ones.
Best Guitar Phaser Pedal FAQ
Q: What is a guitar pedal phasing pedal?
A: A guitar effect pedal, also known as a phase shifter, is used to produce a guitar effect that produces a robotic, swirling, digital rainy sound. Its intensity varies and it comes with a bunch of controls as well so you get to control the final sound.
Q: What is the difference between a flanger and phaser?
A: The line between a flanger and a phaser is blurry - as we mentioned in the beginning. Both these guitar effects have significant overlap and you can make them sound alike with only a few tweaks. One particular difference is that phasers create the sound they do using high-pass filters and the flanger does it by duplicating the incoming audio signal and coupling it with delay.
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.