What is a Phaser Effect?

If you are a seasoned musician, you probably understand the various types of filters brought about by the effects of guitar pedals. If you are an aspiring musician, then you must understand this, as well as what a phaser effect is, especially if you are to play in a band. In the simplest of terms, a phaser effect gives the audience the impression of a guitar sound fading away, then returning gradually. You most likely have experienced this if you frequently listen to music played by a band. As a professional musician, though, you need to know how the phaser works to be successful.

How it Works

A phaser uses simple technology. Using a basic phaser pedal, a signal is fed into this pedal. This signal splits into two. One of the signals is left free, while the other gets processed in the pedal. This signal is shifted to 360 degrees, in a complete cycle that returns it to its original version. The signals are in connection at all times when this is taking place, hence them canceling out when the shifting gets to 180 degrees. It is at this point where you perceive a dip, while at the same time the guitar’s sound resumes, as the signal that is being shifted, falls back in position with the untouched counterpart.

Like the bass compressor pedal that alters the sound of your guitar, making it sound a little bit clearer, evener and louder, the phaser also varies the sound intonation so that the audience can hear it differently depending on if you want them to perceive it. The phaser pedal varies the sound by changing the points at which the separated signals cancel each other. The intensity of speed, resonance, and depth will depend upon the type of phaser pedal you are using. The end sounds produced by these changes are of a great variety, hence the need for this system in your band.

How to Use It

You also need to know how to use the phaser pedal. Learning to use this pedal will add a great variety to your tone. You will learn the basics, then get to understand the entire system as you use it. You need to learn to perceive the dips and spikes so that you can control them, and determine how clear your tone will be. The type of music you are planning to play should be your guide on how to set the phaser pedal. If set incorrectly, a phaser can only alter your tonal variation, but also the resonance and speed, which can distort your sound in general. How you play your guitar also determines how you will use your phaser. Music that has slow cords are especially good using a phaser, since it captures every other note that you play. Avoid the temptation of cranking up the pedal to 11 when setting it up, and control it yourself in the course of playing your instruments. A good way is being moderate in its use, and knowing how to connect it properly to your instruments.