TC Electronics Vortex Flanger – Review – 22-12-2015

Ever since I have been playing electric guitar & synthesisers, one of my favourite effects has always been the flanger. That whooshing, flying sound, almost like a jet engine which had a life of its own. Then again growing up in the late 70s/early 80s I had to shortage of music with the said effect to inspire me like the “Prologue” in ELO’s “Time” album or the later “Save  a Prayer” By Duran Duran.

Back then I remember commandeering my father’s Vox 1902 “Spaceship” Flanger and whenever funds would permit installing the two Eveready nine volt batteries it required as to use it in my recordings.

Fast Forward to 2015 I haven’t really had the aforementioned effect in use in recent times until acquiring the Vortex Flanger we are about to look at now.

Made by the Danish company known as TC Electronics (Well Known for their Polytune polyphonic tuner) the Vortex is a simple and easy to use stomp box in a single size footprint.

Specifications

The Vortex is a digital pedal with true bypass and also a buffered bypass option is also available via an internal dip switch. This can be useful for a large pedal board or for those who use very long cables.

 The pedal can be powered by a 9 volt battery or a power adapter for which the socket is located at the top of the pedal, which I prefer to a side mounted socket for mounting on a pedal board.

Moving on to the controls, the first one to note is the mini toggle switch located between the two top knobs. This allows one to switch between the standard mode, toneprint mode, and an emulated tape mode.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Toneprint function this allows sounds tweaked by well known artists to be downloaded onto your pedal via usb or with an application on your smartphone.

The other four controls are quite the usual ones to expect on a flanger these regulate;

Speed: How fast the effect moves along
Rate: The Intensity of the Effect.
Feedback: Controls how much of the effected signal is fed back into the pedal.
Delay Time: Sets the Pitch of the Sweep

Sounds

The unit has a great variety of sounds which I include in some sound samples below, ranging from lush chorus effects, digital flanging to tape emulated sounds.


By Ernest H Slade