Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • TonePrint enabled
  • Versatile
  • Straight-forward controls
  • Sensitive knobs

Cons:

  • A bit loud
  • Might take some tweaking to achieve desired sound

There are brands out there that release unexpected units while there are some that always have the same patterns. The former category is more spontaneous (but not always successful), while the latter is more reliable and consistent. The brand we are going to discuss today belongs to the second category for a simple reason: you always know what to expect from their products and more often than not those expectations turn into reality. TC Electronic, a European brand that knows how to manufacture diverse and useable pedals, has always been in the row of those who strive for innovation and modern touches. It has already been a while since they incorporated TonePrint technology into their pedals and they have been keeping up the same game ever since. Though it is quite common nowadays to see the units that pair with some sort of software, it is always nice to see such an option still within the affordable price range. Our article is dedicated to flange effect so we will discuss their Vortex Flanger today. This little baby has wonderful features on its own but it has a lot more under the hood. If you are ready to scrape around and try out different options on the road to perfect sounds, then keep on reading!

Features

If you check out our reviews of TC Electronic products, you will notice that certain features keep popping up no matter which effect we are talking about. That consistency is what makes this brand so reliable and always makes me want to purchase their newer models. Vortex Flanger is not an exception in the sense that it has all the features the manufacturer can proudly show off. It is compatible with TonePrint App and Editor that create so much more options for you. The former enables you to download the presets that were recorded by your beloved musicians or produce your own, while the latter puts meticulous tweaking right at your fingertips and makes it possible to dial in the perfect sonic recipe. Not only do these two diversify your possibilities, they also keep the pedal interesting – you will always be able to find something new and juicy as long as people keep playing. TonePrint enabled stompboxes are simply immortal in that sense. What is more, Vortex Flanger is not so bad on its own either. It can create two different types of flange, taking you from classic to tape with simple adjustments. It has stereo inputs and outputs that can add an extra “oomph” to the overall performance. Just like its siblings, this one does also have an internal trim pot that lets you choose between true and buffered bypass. This way your pedal will not suffer because of the length or other peculiarities of your signal chain. Vortex Flanger has Analog-Dry-Through that transfers the unaffected signal without converting it to anything else. It is equipped with Kill-Dry feature as well, enabling you to remove dry signal path for parallel effects loops. Typically, this baby can be powered either with a battery or an adapter – depending on what you prefer. It is obvious that Vortex Flanger still retains its simplicity while multiplying your possibilities with every adjustment.

Controls

The on-board layout seems intuitive even before plugging this fella in. Once you start playing, you will see that these controls make a lot of sense and alter various properties of your flange with ease. But if these bad boys are not enough for you, you can always turn to TonePrint Editor and tweak some more from there. I will leave the software to you and do my job, i.e. discuss the duties of each control.

What we have here is a 4-knob layout. Speed lets you modify the rate of the effect and go from slow settings to extreme, fast sweeps with ease. Depth messes around with the depth of LFO and makes the swirls more defined. Feedback controls the amount of repetitions in your sound and gives you more resonance at higher settings. Delay Time alters the length of the delayed signal and tailors it to your own liking. Lastly, we have a toggle that enables you to select either of three available modes: Flanger, TonePrint and Tape. Let’s not forget that we have a footswitch that has true bypass in its factory settings but can be set to buffered one with the help of the internal pot.

Sound

As with all the pedals from TC Electronic there is a lot to talk about in the sonic section. Vortex Flanger has interesting sounds on its own, but the TonePrint adds a whole new dimension to this puppy. This pedal can create anything from standard flange with defined sweeps to sought after tape type (that gets close enough to actual taped flanged). You just have to hit the toggle, rotate the knobs a bit and that’s it – you have a different effect on hand. The TonePrint makes it possible to make meticulous adjustments in your tone or skip that part and directly download available presets. Since they are created by professionals and not some wannabe amateurs, these presets are usually really well-voiced. Vortex Flanger has some funkier sounds on its own that not everyone will enjoy, but some will really fall in love with. On the whole, this fella is diverse in its sonic content and can really crank your performance up a notch. You just have to be hard-working and force your laziness to express itself elsewhere.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is how a certain pedal suits your setup, style and instrument. I am pretty sure TC Electronic Vortex Flanger will be good enough for many players as it has a lot to offer. You will quickly see how dedication can bring fantastic results to the table and turn you into a real professional. Just try it out, fella, what is there to lose? Good luck! 

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