EarthQuaker Devices has bestowed upon us a stereo flanging device that blows all other flangers out of the water.
Originally, the flanging effect was produced by recording two identical tracks simultaneously; during the playback of these to tracks to a third, a finger would be lightly placed on the rim of one of the reels which resulted in a sound that is most commonly described by the term “jet plane.” The sound seems to swell in and out or up and down as the tracks move back into sync. If you’re unsure about what it sounds like, check out the killer intro to Heart’s “Barracuda.” I’m sure you’ve heard it a billion times before, but this time, listen for the flange!
For guitarists, EarthQuaker Device’s Pyramids provides the versatility and functionality to take that sound to the next level.
Complete Sonic Control
The Pyramids offers eight different flanger modes and five user-definable presets. It also features:
Tap tempo: overrides the rate control and allows you to set the speed of the effect using a footswitch.
Mini Tap toggle: small switch located underneath the rotary switches that moves the tap tempo from slow (left) to normal (center) to fast (right) in an easy flick of your finger.
Modify: control knob that essentially adjusts the responsiveness of the effect. This varies from tone control to delay time to sensitivity control depending on which mode it is in.
Feedback: control that allows for the effect to regenerate, or in other words, feed the signal back into itself.
Mix: lets you blend in as much or as little of the effect on the signal as you’d like. This is definitely something you don’t see in flange pedals everyday.
Width: allows for you to change the frequency range of the LFO (low-frequency oscillation).
Footswitch: Flexi-Switch Technology equipped. Allows for momentary or traditional latching operation.
Manual: allows for control of delay time of the modulated signal. This is controlled via knob, or you can use an expression pedal through an input on the side.
Fancy Pants Options
The user-definable presets option is a first for any EarthQuaker pedal. You can save any settings you like and recall them by the rotary switch. It is also equipped with EarthQuaker Devices’ Flexi-Switch Technology. To momentarily engage the pedal, hold the switch for as long as you want the effect, and simply release when you want it to end (it’s super duper cool).
If you want to switch on the effect the traditional way, just tap it on like you would with other pedals and tap again to bypass. Another buzzed about feature is the variable Mix Control. I think this is a feature that is just what I needed to slowly ease into the flange game. Easily blend in as little or as much flange as you want. All hail mix control!
It should also be noted that Pyramids has a range of routing options that make this pedal a dream in studio. Mono in/mono out? It does that. Mono in/stereo out? It also does that. Stereo in/stereo out? You guessed it—it does that, too. This gives you the the flexibility to vary your output anyway you’d like.
There is also the option to use two inputs, or two instruments to the output route of your choosing. In trigger up and down modes, side chain flanging is an option. This allows for the effect to be triggered by an external source. The instrument is routed through right input/right output while the control source is patched through the left input/left output.
8 Shades of Flange:
Classic: Classic “jet-plane” flange sound. Your instrument will swirl in and out forever through space and time.
Through-Zero: This swirly, flanging mode is phase cancellation and comb-filtering effects at its best and in stereo!
Barber Pole Up: This effect is best defined as an infinite sweep upwards with no discernible end.
Barber Pole Down: This is just the opposite; it is an infinite sweep downwards.
Trigger Up: This provides an infinitely upward sweeping effect that restarts the flange cycle with each new pick attack or by pressing the Tap/Trigger footswitch.
Trigger Down: Alternatively provides an infinitely downward sweeping flanger that restarts the flange cycle with each new pick attack or by pressing the Tap/Trigger footswitch.
Step: In this mode, Pyramids sweeps up and down in stepped increments, producing a rhythmic flange effect similar to an arpeggiator and/or sequencer on a synth instrument.
Random: This mode sweeps up and down in random intervals, creating a chaotic flange effect similar to a synthesizer or envelope filters “sample & hold” function.
Anything but Square
From user presets to the Flexi-Switch technology to the mix control, I’ll confidently say that flange effects users have not seen a device quite like this before. If you have never tried a flanger, or you have tried one but you weren’t blown away by the effect, I would urge you to plug into Pyramids—I’m willing to bet you’ll be wildly impressed.
Pyramids boldly goes where no flanger has ever gone before.