Electro-Harmonix Andy Summers Walking On The Moon Analog Flanger / Filter Matrix Pedal: What is it?
This new EHX release is great for guitarists but less good for fans of pedal trivia. Previously, in a pinch, there was always telling somebody about how Andy Summers used a flanger, not a chorus, on The Police's iconic 1979 hit. No longer, thanks to this.
As modulation aficionados know, the principal difference between a chorus and a flanger is the timing range of the delay line. The Electric Mistress has a range that goes all the way into chorus territory. Of course, it's not a true chorus, as it retains the resonant feedback of a flanger.
Electro Harmonix Andy Summers Walking On The Moon Analog Flanger / Filter Matrix Pedal: Performance and verdict
Although this is badged as a signature pedal, it's in fact just an Electric Mistress with a new design and chassis. With the stereo Electric Mistress being the standard EHX flanger carried by retailers at present, perhaps it was a good opportunity to re-contextualise the older unit. Whatever the reason, it's still a great pedal, even if it's nothing new.
Two features not seen on many other flangers are found on the Electric Mistress - a separate dry and wet out, and a filter matrix. Conceptually the filter matrix does for the flanger what a parked or cocked wah pedal does for a wah filter. It stops the LFO at a specific point, adding the resulting resonant, metallic feedback. It's not a sound you'll use every day, but it's an interesting niche effect for creating unusual timbres.
Elsewhere, the controls are self-explanatory, with usable sounds throughout their range. The colour control is the only one that could prove confusing. It's a little like a depth control, and interacts with the range knob to provide the voicing of the pedal.
As mentioned, one of the most interesting features of the Electric Mistress was that the range went all the way from flange into chorus. After setting the colour and range, the rate becomes chorus-like past the 10 o'clock point.
If you're after the signature sounds that were advertised, then push the rate into Chorus and then adjusting range and colour to taste. Subtle changes of the controls will unearth Summers' more subtle sounds from hits like De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da and Message in a Bottle.
Pairing the pedal with a delay is where it shines with a clean guitar, and a natural pairing is a Deluxe Memory Man in front. When distorted, like many phasers and flangers, an extreme fuzz like a Big Muff will make it roar. For EVH-like 'jet plane' flange sounds, a more metallic distortion is required. For its part, the Electric Mistress is a quite mild, rich flanger, and has to be coaxed into that harsher voicing.
While there's nothing new about the Walking on the Moon, this signature makes sense. Andy Summers is perhaps the most famous user of the Electric Mistress, and has committed some of its most famous sounds to record.
MusicRadar verdict: The Electric Mistress is an excellent pedal, and although there is some difference from the vintage units, if you're looking for a flanger you should consider it.
Electro-Harmonix Andy Summers Walking On The Moon Analog Flanger / Filter Matrix Pedal: Hands-on demos
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Electro-Harmonix Andy Summers Walking On The Moon Analog Flanger / Filter Matrix Pedal: Specifications
- TYPE: Flanger / filter matrix pedal
- ORIGIN: US
- CONTROLS: Colour, Range, Rate, switch for Filter Matrix
- FEATURES: Input, Dry Out, Wet Out, Power
- BYPASS: True
- POWER: 9V Battery or 9VDC Centre-negative
- CONTACT: Electro-Harmonix