In the world of music, the only thing that limits a guitar player’s tone is his or her imagination or the depth of the wallet. The digital revolution has afforded us material progression and a lot of leeway in terms of effects. Effects that could only be achieved with a lot of in-studio work can now be produced live with the simple stomp of a pedal.
For instance, there was a time when delay was a trick achieved in the studio by using tape loops and improvising on reel-to-reel magnetic recording systems. This was done by adjusting the read and write heads and cutting short or lengthening the loop of tape. The end result was a delayed echo that could be controlled. On the other hand, flanger was created by taking two synchronized tapes and recording a track on them. One of the tapes was then periodically slowed by applying pressure on the edge of the reel known as the flange. The resulting sound is what is commonly referred to as the spaceship or jet plane sound. To cut the long story short, what was in the past left to the studio, can now be done by you thanks to pedals that are packed with enormous amounts of guitar effects. If you are looking for a flanger pedal and are not sure which model or brand to go for, this article is here to help you. Today, we will be performing an MXR M117R Flanger review.
This is a pretty straight forward pedal. With its easy-to-use controls, this flanger pedal is the perfect product for someone looking for an affordable and yet impressive pedal to use. If you are a veteran guitarist, the MXR M117R will be a valuable addition to your effects chain.
Four controls – Manual, Width, Speed, and, Regeneration. This pedal uses a 100% analog circuitry with a bucket brigade technology. This is especially important for those veterans who do not fully trust digital systems and prefer the good old rigid analog systems. The pedal is small and compact in size but with a solid build. The pedal is powered by either a battery or a Dunlop ECB-004 AC adapter. This is very useful to those who do not carry screwdrivers or do not like the hassle of taking out the battery and replacing them every time they run out at a gig.
As we all know, chorus and distortion effects are the ones used throughout an entire song. Flangers are only used for intros, solos, and certain small places where the guitarist wants to add a jet effect or swoosh to spice up the tone. With that said, flanger pedals are more difficult to use than other types of pedals. This is because they are quite tough to get the exact sound right when used together with other effects. This is the reason why you should use the Speed and Regeneration knobs. The Regeneration knob handles the overall intensity of the effect while Speed controls the rate of the effect. This eliminates the headache of trying to get the exact time right. The best way to determine what each of the two knobs can do is to set them at their mid and then go from there. Using this setting allows you to produce a colorful and very warm chorus-like effect with sound movements and subtle waves similar to that produced when playing through clean amp settings. When you increase Regeneration, it gives you a big hollow-like sound similar to a chorus with a swooshing, slight wah sound. Reducing the Rate knob to zero produces the jet sounding effect, which is commonly known as flanger. These two controls are straight forward which allows it to give you a pretty interesting and useful sound when you combine both of them together or with the other control knobs.
The MXR MX117R is a flanger pedal that is both impressive and affordable to purchase. With less than $100, you will be able to add this great pedal to your effects chain. The pedal is easy-to-use and has simple and straight forward controls. All in all, this is a great pedal for both beginners and veterans or those guitarists looking for a solid flanger that they can depend on.