Sometimes you don’t know you’re missing something until someone gives it to you. Such is the case with Experimental Noize’s Aphazing. A ginormous digital phaser with seven knobs, it seemed like overkill until I started tweaking. That said, I’m still not sure why they had to make it so darn big.
There’s nothing to be done about the pedal’s footprint, so let’s focus on the many parameters to which the Aphazing provides access. The top two knobs allow you to decide if you want to use a 2-, 4-, 6- or 12-stage phaser, and at what rate the LFO is cycling.
Next up is the mode control, which offers four different settings: Additive (A), subtractive (B), alternate additive (C) and alternative subtractive (D)—bear with me, and I’ll describe these in layman’s terms. There’s a high-pass filter (Low Limit) and a low-pass filter (High Limit). Finally, there’s Resonance—which adjusts the feedback in the signal—and Depth, which determines the amount of the effect applied to the signal (or, as the manual says, the peaks and troughs of the notches in the phaser’s filter).
Broadly speaking, the more stages in a phaser, the more complex the effect, so four different phase stages alone make the Aphazing pretty versatile. Throw in the various controls and the detailed sweep of the Aphazing’s knobs and you can dial find a huge range in the different controls, which is what makes them so effective. For example, in practical terms, the Resonance control affects the intensity of the phaser’s sweep. Using the Low Limit and High Limit controls enabled me to dial in some extreme effects while dialing out distracting overtones with the high end, and dial in a firm, present low-end by rolling out excess bass.
But once you throw in the various phaser voices, you’re really dealing with an incredibly useful tool. For example, I found Voice A to be the best choice for a “Classic” phaser. I loved the 12-stage setting to be great for ‘70s soul with Rate, Bass, Treble and Res all at approximately 10 o’clock, and Depth at 2 o’clock, while the 2-stage settings with Res at noon and Depth at 3 o’clock proved to be great for funk.
Moving to Voice B, I was able to get a great Rotary sound with the 12-stage setting; I liked Res set around 8 o’clock, with Depth between 2 and 3 o’clock. Here, the Low Limit did a great job of helping me dial in the right amount of throb, and the High Limit helped to keep the top end chirp sounding “organic.”
Voice C provided a great vibrato effect that could easily be pushed into ring modulation depending on where the Res, Depth and Rate are set. Voice D, when married with the 4-stage setting, sounded like a really deep, watery Tremolo when I set Depth and Res to approximately 3 o’clock; moving to the 6-stage setting, the Aphazing felt like it was veering into envelope filter territory, but with the more regimented response of a tremolo. Also exciting was the fact that the rich sound quality makes the Aphazing that rarest of beasts: a phaser that, in my view, doesn’t need an output boost. Pretty darn amazing, if you ask me.
What We Like:
Great sound married to great flexibility for a really reasonable price.
Two spring to mind: first, the Aphazing’s buffered bypass had a notable effect on an overdrive I was demoing upstream. So much so, in fact, that I worried I needed to rewrite the review until I removed the Aphazing from my (already buffered) signal chain and heard the tones I was accustomed to. Second, the Aphazing is huge which, for those with already-cramped pedal boards, might be a bummer. Still, those who want great sound and great tweakability in a very user-friendly format should check the Aphazing out.