Can somebody please explain this Boss BF-3 Flanger feature.....

Gutch220

Member
Messages
31
Can somebody please explain to me what the 'manual' knob does on the Boss BF-3 Flanger pedal?
I've tried reading other reviews, videos, the Boss literature, but something clearly makes sense to me.

What does it do along the range of the turning the knob?
I know what the depth knob is maxed out the manual knob does nothing.




:dunno
 

AXXA

Supporting Member
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6,949
It changes the delay time, at least that’s what it does on the BF-2. It changes the character of the flange/chorus sound. Longer delay times get closer to chorus territory. On the BF-2, with depth at minimum, the manual knob works like sweeping a filter. Hopefully that all applies to the BF-3
 

Gutch220

Member
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31
On the BF-3, the Res knob controls the level/intensity of the feedback loop giving you more of that "jet swoosh" sound. Depth & rate are obvious.
But I'm yet to have somebody explain the manual knob function.
 

RMosack

Supporting Member
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5,157
The second poster kind of explained it already. But flanger pedals tend to have these four controls, but some only offer three of them. If one is missing, it is usually the fourth one. Each manufacturer names them a bit differently, but these are what they are and what they do.

1.) Rate / Speed
2.) Depth / Width
3.) Feedback / Resonance / Intensity / Regen.
4.) Manual / Delay / Delay Time

Flanger pedals work like chorus pedals, for the most part, with the addition of a feedback circuit to bring the output back into the input. Both pedals make a copy of the original dry signal and delay it a bit. Both pedals have a Rate and Depth control that allow you to control the LFO. That LFO modulates the delay time of that wet signal to creat the pitch shift effect. Flangers just happen to have shorter nominal delay times than choruses.

And unlike a chorus pedal, a flanger tends to have a feedback control to allow you to put the output back through the circuit.

That manual control, which is also called delay or delay time on various brands, is how you set the original delay that the LFO modulates. TSo as stated above, longer delay times for a flanger make it start to sound like a chorus.

So, as the guys said above, if you lower the Resonance/Feedback all the way, and then set Manual to the longest delay time, boom, your flanger can start to sound like a chorus...because it kind of is.
 

ED_P

Silver Supporting Member
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1,033
Quick tip on the BF-3 I read here. The "Bass" input is actually more like a BF-2 in the knob range settings. I tried it and found it to be less extreme with my guitar.
 

Amp_Addicted

Member
Messages
471
As a former recording engineer, I have always thought of the manual control to be a delay time control that mimics the tape op manually pressing down on the tape reel flange. If you have ever done real time flanging with analog tape machines, it makes sense for the delay time to be called manual. Then again what flanger pedal actually has the depth of real time analog tape flanging?
 

PhuzzphayzZ

Member
Messages
2,489
Can somebody please explain to me what the 'manual' knob does on the Boss BF-3 Flanger pedal?
I've tried reading other reviews, videos, the Boss literature, but something clearly makes sense to me.

What does it do along the range of the turning the knob?
I know what the depth knob is maxed out the manual knob does nothing.




:dunno
You don't hear the sound getting 'closer, tighter', or, 'farther, looser' as you sweep the knob? (set Rate and Depth lo n slow, Feedback Off)

Manual = .25Hz-@16Hz (that would be my estimation for a Flanger, anyone?)


On my A/DA, the Manual can be controlled by Xpedal... this is actually the secret of the word 'Manual' (I believe), because, in order for a Flanger to actually 'flange', you have to mimic the action of the finger on the tape reel, which you have do with a quick 'swipe' of your foot- milder, or, wilder.

All Flangers that don't have a "Manual Input"=Xpedal should call their knob 'DelayTime', and some do.

My CarlMartin ClassicFlange calls it 'PreDelay'...


Crank the Feedback and then sweep...
 

PhuzzphayzZ

Member
Messages
2,489
As a former recording engineer, I have always thought of the manual control to be a delay time control that mimics the tape op manually pressing down on the tape reel flange. If you have ever done real time flanging with analog tape machines, it makes sense for the delay time to be called manual. Then again what flanger pedal actually has the depth of real time analog tape flanging?
A/DA has always had XpedalOUT, and this IS TheSecret. I finally hooked up Xpedal, and, voila!, with an ever gentle swipe Up of the Xpedal, you get that exact amount of 'knob wiggle' mimic of a finger on the reel.

However, the Xpedal sweeps the WHOLE range of the Manual, so, unlike, say, my GT-6, you can't just set a very limited sweep range, you have to do that with foot finesse. (actually, my BOSS Xpedal should be able to limit... hold on...)

BUT IT WORKS! AND sounds 'better' than TZF!
 

Riffa

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4,152
Waiting for my HF-2 to get here so I can check it out. I've got the MXR Micro Flanger, which I really like, but... it doesn't have a delay control.
 

Gutch220

Member
Messages
31
This is what the owner's manual says........

1600310563678.png

How does this 'center frequency' reconcile with the maxed-out depth knob?

So when the knob is all the way left, then __________. And when the knob is all the way to the right, then ________ .


Here is a Sweetwater review where the knob is fully rotated, and I hear no difference.

but...

Edit- This video does a good job explaining it. The manual knob all the way to the left actually maximizes the delay between the wet & dry signal, while the knob all the way to the right minimizes this delay. This is new to me, and counter to what is 'normally' found on pedals.

So once this delay is set, the Depth/Rate knobs control the LFO on the wet signal? While the resonance/feedback controls the amount of signal going through the feedback loop? Is all of this sounding right, or would you change the wording?
 
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drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,539
Think about it this way, the basic delay of a flanger is between say 5msec and 15msec. And let's say the "Intensity" allows the LFO to increase and decrease the delay by 15msec. Then, any setting of the delay, the delay is going all the way to 0 and at least out to 20msec, changing the "manual" or the basic delay time won't matter. Now if you set the "depth" to 0, then the LFO is changing the delay by 0msec and it just sits at 5 msec to 15 msec. If you plug in a CV pedal, or cycle the manual with your fingers, then you're doing what the LFO was doing in the first example-sweeping it back and forth and presto-flange under manual (or footual) control!
 

Gutch220

Member
Messages
31
..........so the delay is also cycling back & forth a small amount, as well as the depth/rate? The 'manual' knob controls the amount of delay cycling time? In other words, the delay is never at a constant speed, but rather cycling back and forth a small amount (i.e. 5ms to 15ms) based on where the manual knob is set.
So, for example, the manual knob maxed-out would have a longer delay range, while the manual knob minimized would have zero delay time? Is this correct?


I also noticed this very important detail; it looks like the manual knobs on the BF-2 and BF-3 are reversed.



In the BF-2, the delay range decreases going clockwise:
1600315572515.png



In the BF-3, the delay range increases going clockwise:
1600315691870.png

The way they word this, is very confusing. ^^^
 

breogan

Member
Messages
244
This article does a great job verbally and visually explaining things.
This article is really good, it made me understand my BF2. It covers why the manual (delay) knob doesn’t do anything if you set the depth up.

The key thing is that depth is a modulation applied to the delay time. Same as if you play with the delay knob in a delay and you get a change in pitch. So, if you set the depth at max, the oscillation is already covering the full range on the delay chip.

Btw, Pete Cali is the guy from Strymon that is in all of their videos explaining the pedals.
 

Highway Chile

Member
Messages
616
I own this pedal among other flangers. On the Bf-3 turning the manual all the way to the left makes the delay longer and can give you the really weird sounds. The delay range on the pedal is significantly wider than on the old BF-2 so the weird sounds you can get out of a BF-2 are even more extreme on the BF-3. The manual all the way to the right gives the shortest delay times (which on the pedal can be very short).

I don’t use the bass input, but I understand that it eliminates the longest delay times to keep the sweeps tighter.
 

breogan

Member
Messages
244
isn't this reversed in the BF-3 compared to the BF-2? According to the Boss owners manuals it is flipped.
The BF2 is the same, max delay happens when the knob it is at minimum.

In most settings, manual selects the frequencies that are filtered. To get an idea on how this works, set depth and speed select some conservative values (12 o’clock) and Res to 10-11 o’clock. Hit the lower string and move the manual until you find a setting you like. The behaviour of the manual knob will change for each depth and speed settings.
 
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Gutch220

Member
Messages
31
The BF2 is the same, max delay happens when the knob it is at minimum.

In most settings, manual selects the frequencies that are filtered. To get an idea on how this works, set depth and speed select some conservative values (12 o’clock) and Res to 10-11 o’clock. Hit the lower string and move the manual until you find a setting you like. The behaviour of the manual knob will change for each depth and speed settings.
So the BF-2 and BF-3 manual knobs both work the same way? They aren't reversed? Why does the Boss booklet for each pedal say they are reversed (see above)?

Does anyone know for sure?
 
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