There is no denying the fact that flanger is not everybody’s cup of tea. Yeah, some might enjoy the music of Van Halen and the sounds of his Unchained, yet this effect might not be their favorite one due to its extreme character. Even though it can be tamed down, it still changes the whole ambience of your performance and takes it elsewhere. Not everyone is dedicated enough to spend hours experimenting and fiddling around just to create a single piece in a whole track. That is something that only true aficionados of the effect will do. Yet there are certain units out there that make that difficult process a bit easier. They don’t eliminate the requirement of having a certain level of skills, but they do make it possible to simplify your job just a bit. Such pedals are usually user-friendly and offer just a couple of controls. This way you don’t have to spend hours changing different settings and the utilization of flanger becomes more enjoyable. Today we are going to talk about MXR M152 Micro Flanger – a stompbox that is the definition of simplicity itself. If you are a type of a guy who loves things easy, then this article might be the perfect place for you. Let’s get started and see what we have here!
The features of MXR Micro Flanger will remind you of the renowned M117 – a pedal that was released way back but become one of the most prominent vintage units. M157 is its smaller version and shares some of the properties with the original (or maybe some upgraded versions). As the name indicates, this baby is housed in a small enclosure that will find its place on any pedalboard. It can even fit in your palm – that’s how small it is. This way huge sonic palette is shoved in a tiny body – what can be cooler than that! The design is rather simple as it includes darker body with black knobs and white writings, yet it still looks stunning and fancy. More importantly, Micro Flanger has an all-analog circuit (just like the original) with famous bucket-brigade chips. This adds a special character that is really hard to replicate with other technologies. It does also have a true hardwire bypass that makes sure your tone has all the frequencies and its qualities do not get sucked by the unit. Typically, this baby takes a single 9V battery or you can always utilize an adapter (keep in mind that it is not top-mounted, which can be a bit awkward to utilize) to power it up. The combination of these crucial properties is what makes this one such a success – it has everything you will need for creating dimensional flange. All in all, MXR Micro Flanger is a perfect match for those who love simplicity. This is the case where you have everything you need and nothing else – we have a one trick pony that performs wonderfully. What’s not to love?
The controls of MXR Micro Flanger are so easy to understand that if you let a dog mess around with it, he would emit some useful sounds. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit but nobody can deny that this thing is extremely straight-forward. Picky guitarists who love to tweak their sound meticulously might lack some controls here, but if you take things easier and enjoy whatever the unit provides you with, then you will be perfectly fine. The main thing is that we have two main controls that are needed to create flanger and I do not think that you would need any more than that in casual scenarios.
The first one of the couple is, of course, Rate. You will have a hard time finding a flanger without this fella. Well, what it does is that it changes the speed of the effect and enables you to diversify its intensity. Then we have Regen that determines the amount of feedback i.e. repetitions in your sound and allows you to get completely crazy. Of course, there is a footswitch that turns on this baby, and deactivates it whenever flange becomes too much. The combination of these two controls will let you create the effect without any fuss or headaches. Easy stuff!
The sound of MXR Micro Flanger is something that will convince you to spend some coin immediately. This baby does not get too extreme, though, so keep that in mind if you are planning to create something really crazy. Other than that this little pedal does not have any flaws. It shows off its potential regardless of the settings. In order to explore it fully, just start small and increase from there. You will notice that prominent warble coming through soon enough and quickly drown in the swirls of the effect. Micro Flanger is rich in its harmonic content and does not lose its definition even at higher settings. It has a well-balanced palette that gets even richer as you crank things up. Regen and Rate will do quite a good job at taking you from one shade of flange to another, as they work beautifully when utilized in conjunction. Emitting this effect has never been easier, my friend!
All in all, MXR has once again created a flanger that can change your world. To their vast and inclusive package, they have added a Micro Flanger that reduces the size of the shell without lessening the tone. You will taste the analog textures and swooshy fluctuations with this one, and all of that without too much hassle. If you want to make your life easier, you should definitely consider this one. Go out there, get yourself Micro Flangers and let its swirls spin your world. Good luck!
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