Orbit dBucket Flanger

Download Example 1
Half Regen, 3/4 Manual, Pos Feedback, Lin LFO
Download Example 2
Hi Regen, Max Manual, Neg Feedback, Log LFO
Clips recorded with PRS McCarty DC245 20th Anniversary into a Matchless Avalon 35 combo.
When it comes to flangers and phasers, I’m usually a little more critical than I am of other effects. To me, they can become tiresome much quicker than delays or even other time-based effects. However, there are times when they can add some magic if you use them sparingly. For example, I own a vintage Ibanez FL9 Flanger that I absolutely love, but only for one specific sound. But the Orbit opens up a lot more possibilities in the modulation realm. And that’s because it sports an array of controls for altering the speed, width, regeneration, mix, and delay time of the flanging. You can also change the phase of the wet/dry mix and significantly alter the range of the effect with the threeway Feedback switch.

But the three-position LFO switch is the Orbit’s coolest control. It selects between a logarithmic sweep (even frequencies), a linear sweep (which speeds up through the high bands and slows down through the lower ones), and Thru 0, which phases in and out of high and lower fidelities. Fittingly, you can save your favorite setting by holding down the Favorite footswitch, and you recall it by simply stomping on the switch again. You can also use the Favorite switch to assign the expression pedal. Hold it down while plugging in the pedal, and the first knob you turn is the one the expression pedal will govern. That means any control can be assigned to the expression pedal, which opens up the possibilities for morphing from subdued to wild even further.

For my tone testing, I warmed up the Vox AC30 reissue once more and pulled out a Fender Road Worn Telecaster. With the knobs at noon, Feedback set to positive, and LFO set to logarithmic, I achieved a fairly convincing early-’80s flange tone. The Speed and Regen controls are highly sensitive, yet what really opens up the potential is the combination of the Width, Feedback, and LFO controls. Using the switches in tandem with moderate changes in Width can dramatically change the response, tone, and feel. I like my flange to have a lot of air and movement, but not be too overbearing. The negative position on the Feedback switch adds a lot of quack, which is perfect for funk styles, but I was able to quickly cut it out by flipping to the smoother sweep located in the positive position. For a wider tone, I liked setting LFO to the logarithmic position. When LFO is set to linear, the Orbit lends itself to more aggressive flanging tones, a la Smashing Pumpkins and early ’90s grunge. For players who like heavy distortion and a subtle flange sound (think My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, who is a master of using flangers and phasers to belch out a seasick wave of sound) the Thru 0 position is perfect.
Buy if...
you need an all-in-one device to satisfy your flanging jones.
Skip if...
you need something simple or your flanging needs are negligible.

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