Audio: flanging (0:03)

Figure: flanging

flanging plays flanged white noise. The time delay rate varies, starting at 20ms, reducing to 1ms midway, and then back up to 20ms at the end. Feedback is set at an unsubtle level of 90%. The flanging figure shows the spectrogram.

Flanging is a delay effect using a short and variable time delay together with feedback.

Audio feedback occurs when some or all of the output, the processed sound, is fed back (added) as an input.

Flanging is similar to a chorus effect. Both use a variable delay time to produce their effect. The difference between the two is the delay time: in flanging it is short, typically 1-20ms, and more often 1-5ms, in a chorus effect it is longer, typically 20-50ms. Also, feedback is usually applied in flanging, rarely in chorus.

Flanging and phasing also sound very similar. They both produce a metallic whooshing sound. The difference is not in the nature of the sound but in the synthesis techniques used to generate that sound. A flanging effect is generated by varying delay time, a phasing effect is generated by varying phase.

Flanging produces a hollow swirling sound. When the rate of modulation is slow it can be used to good effect with pitched sound, for example, to change the timbre of an electric guitar. It can also be used with unpitched sound, for example, to change the timbre of drums. Flanged noise produces a subtle swirl using a slow modulation rate together with a modest amount of feedback, and a violent metallic sound using a fast modulation rate and a high level of feedback, as is apparent in flanging.