Eden’s newest modulation box for bassists makes easy work of dialing in smooth and subtle effects.
In the Who’s Who of classic bass amplification, Eden is certainly a mainstay for many players. Best known for their rugged cabs and heads, Eden has diversified by expanding into the world of effects pedals as the company has grown over the years. Building on the success of pedal creations like their CaliforniWAH, WTDI, and I-90, Eden now brings us the AstroFlange—a flanger that tweaks the I-90 chorus template and provides flexibility in an easy-to-use package.
The AstroFlange features Eden’s familiar box design, with stout knobs and a steel chassis, and, like the I-90, a quartet of dials governs the delay shifting sounds. At the far left-hand side, the velocity dial adjusts the speed of the flanging effect. Next up, the height of the flanging effect is manipulated via the aptly labeled altitude control.
Third in line is the low-cut dial, which controls how much low end is impacted by the effect. And lastly, the effect-level knob provides the means to mix the unaffected signal with sounds generated by the AstroFlange. Powering the pedal requires a 15V power supply, which comes included.
What’s in a Name?
Before delving into the positive aspects of the AstroFlange, it should be mentioned that the characteristic sounds of a flanger—typically whooshing, jet-engine-like timbres—were not necessarily present. The delay time of the AstroFlange is longer than other flangers in its class, so to my ears, it instead provided sounds more commonly associated with chorus pedals. With that in mind, I simply focused on its sonic capabilities.
I experimented with the Eden pedal in my home studio by placing it between a Fender American Professional Precision and a Bergantino B|Amp paired with a Bergantino HD112 cab. Setting the velocity and altitude dials in their lower ranges (around 9 o’clock) delivered smooth, subtle modulations that gave the P Bass a Darth Vader-esque quality. Maxing the dials completely clockwise produced predictably warbling sounds, but not as throbbing or nauseating as some other pedals in this category. Players who experiment with organ-style chording and bebop lines will likely appreciate how the AstroFlange produces this fun effect.
As a bassist, seeing a control labeled “low cut” could be a bit concerning. The dial, however, actually became my favorite feature of the pedal. Instead of diminishing lows, it focuses the effect by delivering fullness and emphasis relative to the positioning of the velocity and altitude knobs.
Using the same P Bass and Bergantino rig (along with an additional Bergantino HD210 cab), I put the pedal to work at a rock jam to test it in a mix. When I tried dialing in a Duff McKagen-esque tone for a take on Guns N’ Roses’ “You Could Be Mine,” I found the effect was a bit too subtle to be heard over the aggressive ensemble. However, employing the AstroFlange for moodier music made for a cool, tonal complement. During a performance of the Police’s “Walking on the Moon,” I maxed the velocity control, set the altitude at 9 o’clock, and dialed the low-cut knob to around 11 o’clock. This provided a spacy vibe for Sting’s well-known bass line that served the song nicely.
The AstroFlange represents another solid addition to Eden’s growing family of pedals. While it doesn’t exactly perform as its name might indicate, the stompbox produces smooth, modulated sounds that are easy to shape. At $150, its price puts it in about the middle of the pack, so it won’t bust the bank by adding it to your pedalboard. If you’re an Eden disciple, a player seeking a controlled chorus-like pedal, or both, a look at the AstroFlange is worth your time.