Flanger Question

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supersockmonkey
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Flanger Question

Post by supersockmonkey » Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:21 pm

I was curious how they got such an effect, mainly 60's insane flange that seems to have a mind of its own. Notably The Byrds "Wasn?t Born To follow" and some of Hendrix's tunes. I think Lenny Kravitz used it at well. Was this a pedal/rack effect or tape manipulation of some sort?
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Post by Rodgre » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:11 pm

ah... real Tape Flanging. You are noticing the difference between real old school tape flanging and a Flanger effect, which tries to do the same thing, but up until recently, none of them could do the "real" thing due to not being able to go "through zero".

I have an explanation on one of my sites: Flanger article

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Post by drumsound » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:32 pm

Great Article Rodgre!
rodgre wrote:The longer the delay time, the deeper the pitch. If you continued on with longer delay times, you would eventually pass into chorus territory, then ?double track,? then slapback, then echo, and then ?Us and Them? by Pink Floyd.
Hillarious!

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Post by supersockmonkey » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:33 pm

Nice. That?s what i thought (tape manipulation) but wasn?t quite sure. I really dig that article and will definitely borrow some of those techniques. Is it possible to recreate the tape flange in say Protools doubling up the tracks and slowing one down slightly? I?ve only been using Protools for a year now so im not sure of all its abilities.
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Post by Rodgre » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:42 pm

Here is my special secret recipe for DAW-based Tape Flange effects! Remember, you heard it from me first and I'm sure no one has ever done this before ;)

Take the track you want to flange. If it's the whole mix or a submix of, say the drums, you print it to it's own track, if it isn't already. (Important: you need it to be a recorded track, if it's a submix) Then make a copy of that track.

You will now have two of the same tracks adjacent to each other. (hint: if you invert the phase on one of these tracks, it should totally cancel) Now insert a delay plug in to one of the tracks. Set the delay for 2ms, NO feedback, NO modulation and 100% wet. Now take the actual track and move it AHEAD in time by 2ms. It should now be approximately in time with the non-delayed track.

Now apply a slow and medium depth modulation to the delay and you should start to hear the makings of a realistic tape flange effect. What is happening is that since the track with the delay is shifted ahead in time, it can technically occur BEFORE the unprocessed track by a millesecond or two. Then when the delay modulates to OVER 2ms, it shifts AFTER the original. Instant WHOOOOSH. Experiment and you'll find what makes it work best for your mix.

A key here is that the undelayed and delayed tracks should not be panned any differently. When you first try it, do it in mono. This is kinda crucial. If it's a stereo track, like a whole mix, make sure the delay plug in is doing the same thing on the right and left.


Then, once you've mastered this effect, then pan it out in stereo, unprocessed track on one side, and delayed on the other side and you won't hear the flange so much, but you will hear a cool stereo effect that pans around your head, but is always in both speakers.

Roger

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Post by Slider » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:28 pm

Why don't they have a plugin that comes even slightly close?
I was listening to the Dukes of stratosphere record the other day and the tape flange on that is just amazing. I was wishing I had a plug that really delivered the goods.
I'm going to try the Rodgre trick though.
Sounds like a great idea.
Last edited by Slider on Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rodgre » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:21 pm

Slider wrote:Why don't they have a plugin that comes even slightly close?
I was listening to the Dukes of stratosphere record the other day and the tape flange on that is just amazing. I was wishing I had a plug that really delivered the goods.
I'm going to try the Rogre trick though.
Sounds like a great idea.
They do.

Some plug-in flangers do thru-zero flanging. At this point, They probably all do. I can get an okay tape flange effect just with a stereo delay inserted on a track in PT. The process I described above is a great way to learn what's actually going on, though.

And if you want to talk hardware, my favorite box to do tape flange effects at the moment is the $150 Alesis Airfx. It does great tape flange with the wave of your hand for randomness.

That's a key thing that I forgot to mention. Great tape flanging shouldn't necessarily sweep back and forth with a steady cycle like a typical flanger LFO. The beauty of tape flanging is that it comes and it goes at certain parts. Once you understand the mechanics behind it, you can figure out ways to bring it in where you need it and also how to accent the right spots of the song. It sucks when the big swoosh isn't at the big dramatic part! :)

Roger

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Post by RefD » Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:17 pm

Rodgre wrote:That's a key thing that I forgot to mention. Great tape flanging shouldn't necessarily sweep back and forth with a steady cycle like a typical flanger LFO. The beauty of tape flanging is that it comes and it goes at certain parts. Once you understand the mechanics behind it, you can figure out ways to bring it in where you need it and also how to accent the right spots of the song. It sucks when the big swoosh isn't at the big dramatic part! :)

Roger
think i could get that semi-randomness going with the 2ms button, some feedback and the envelope-following function on my DeltaLab ADM2048?
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Post by RefD » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:17 pm

*bump*
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Post by Slider » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:16 pm

Rodgre wrote:
Slider wrote:Why don't they have a plugin that comes even slightly close?
I was listening to the Dukes of stratosphere record the other day and the tape flange on that is just amazing. I was wishing I had a plug that really delivered the goods.
I'm going to try the Rogre trick though.
Sounds like a great idea.
They do.

Some plug-in flangers do thru-zero flanging. At this point, They probably all do. I can get an okay tape flange effect just with a stereo delay inserted on a track in PT. The process I described above is a great way to learn what's actually going on, though.

And if you want to talk hardware, my favorite box to do tape flange effects at the moment is the $150 Alesis Airfx. It does great tape flange with the wave of your hand for randomness.

That's a key thing that I forgot to mention. Great tape flanging shouldn't necessarily sweep back and forth with a steady cycle like a typical flanger LFO. The beauty of tape flanging is that it comes and it goes at certain parts. Once you understand the mechanics behind it, you can figure out ways to bring it in where you need it and also how to accent the right spots of the song. It sucks when the big swoosh isn't at the big dramatic part! :)

Roger
That's weird because I have a few flanger plugins that are thru-zero and they just don't do what tape flanging does. The effect is just not as strong.
Not that I need to do this effect very often, but it would be nice to have something that sounded close. Maybe I should try something other than the Waves meta-flanger next time.

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Post by joel hamilton » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:48 pm

If you have waves stuff, you can do the same thing rodgre describes but with the mondomod plugin for modulation... and since you can offset the phase of the FM and the AM, you can get semi random fun happening just by duplicating a track, and throwing a mondomod on one of the tracks, with ADC engaged (in HD).

I also like just leaving chunks of audio laying around at exact or close to the same time stamp as the original, and again, modulate slightly, and see where the phase relationship "lands" in any given moment. Automate with the pencil tool on the sample and hold setting and you can get some amazing random phase/ flange type effects going on backing vocals or something like that... I love it on B voc's because you can do this in stereo and really mess with phase relationshiips that "decentralize" the BGV's as the track progresses, then it returns with a center image, then sort of "whooshes" out to the sides again.... totally fun.

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Post by Bill @ Irie Lab » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:01 pm

Excellent presentation, Roger.

Bill

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Post by supersockmonkey » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:21 pm

Thanks all. Now I have to build on my flanging chops with my new found knowledge. This should be interesting. Thanks again.
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Post by RefD » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:47 pm

RefD wrote:
Rodgre wrote:That's a key thing that I forgot to mention. Great tape flanging shouldn't necessarily sweep back and forth with a steady cycle like a typical flanger LFO. The beauty of tape flanging is that it comes and it goes at certain parts. Once you understand the mechanics behind it, you can figure out ways to bring it in where you need it and also how to accent the right spots of the song. It sucks when the big swoosh isn't at the big dramatic part! :)

Roger
think i could get that semi-randomness going with the 2ms button, some feedback and the envelope-following function on my DeltaLab ADM2048?
:?:
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Post by jmoose » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:12 pm

I'm *shocked* that nobody really mentioned using stompbox or old 12-bit rackmount flangers. Old mxr, korg, even boss and digitech stuff is MAD kool and just way hipper/more believeable then the flangers in this $2000 TC Electronics box at the shop...

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