Dumb question: what's the difference between a vibe and a phaser?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by righthandman, Mar 14, 2006.


  1. righthandman

    righthandman Member

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    I've never really spent much time with either effect but vibe clips always sound like phasers to me. So what am I missing?
     
  2. yesteryear

    yesteryear Member

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    You're not missing anything.Vibes basically are a phaser. In simple terms... It's a really "throbby" phaser. Hence the pulsating, throbbing sound you hear. Not as smooth and rounded through each cycle.
     
  3. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Phaser produce the "phase" swirl by creating EQ notches that sweep thru the total music band. The "stages" referred to (4 stage-6 stage-12 stage) are the number of notches with more being deeper phasing but perhaps less friendly to feedback. Anyway, there are several ways of producing the varying phase that creates the notches-Univibes do it by using a light sensitive resistor. Most phasers use something else, but the characteristic sound of a Univibe is in large part due to that.
     
  4. righthandman

    righthandman Member

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    Cool, thanks guys. I see some boards that have both vibe and phase pedals, are they really different enough to use both on the same board?
     
  5. jeak

    jeak Member

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    Matter of taste, I'd say. Also depends on which vibe and which phaser. Some are more different from each other than others. In theory, it's no different from having multiple dirt pedals. Different flavors for different dishes. Some guys have two phasers or two flangers, etc.
     
  6. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    I'm certainly no expert in the technical description of producing either sound, but my ears hear it like this:

    A Phaser is like a long filter that changes the shape of the tone. The sound is hard to describe writing here (please forgive me):(...glaaaaaaaoooooowwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaglaaaaaaaooooow...)
    :eek: (that was fun)

    You can adjust how "deep" that filter is on the sound, and how fast the "sweep" (the amount of time it takes for the filter to run it's course) takes to go from one end to the other.


    Vibe is similar to that effect, but sort of mixed with chorus and tremelo.

    Chorus blends a second signal with a slightly varying pitch that strays away from and back to the original note. When listened to together, it creates a "chorus" effect.

    Tremelo is that "throbbing" sound you hear on old amps. It is a fluctuation in the signals volume.

    A Vibe sounds like it sort of blends the phase, chorus & tremelo together. It has the filtered sweep but more lush with a chorused effect and a "wow wow wow wow" sort of throb. You can control how deep the effect is, and how fast the sweep or rate is.

    A phaser can be set to sort of sound like a vibe, especially if you set the rate really fast like a leslie speaker. But slowed down they are very different.

    Phaser is a simpler sound? Vibe is more complex?

    Phaser:
    http://maxonfx.com/mp3/ph350.mp3 (listen to the whole mp3 - it is actually several different settings combined)

    Vibe:
    http://accelerate.voodoolab.com/mp3/microvibe-vintage.mp3

    http://sweetsound.com/Audio/Mojo1.mp3


    Hope this helps! Good luck.

    Peace. :D
     
  7. mrp3118

    mrp3118 Member

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    How about this question... Can the Uni-vibe get just a tremolo sound? I am thinking of Deja vibe or Mojo
     
  8. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    It's MUCH cheaper to just get a tremelo pedal.

    The Vibes will always have a "Vibe" thing going. But you can get the throb. It just sounds a little bit like a Tremelo on acid......:hiP
     
  9. mrp3118

    mrp3118 Member

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    You're right on price because a vibe is going to put a dent my bank account. I think i'm just going to get a vibe. "Machine Gun" and "Breath" have done it for me. But then I will listen to money and want the tremolo. GASSS. Harmony-Central and you guys are decimating my bank acccount. bahhhhhh
     
  10. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    DrBob's explanation makes sense. I'm no techie, but use vibrato all the time, and don't really like more pronounced phaser or chorusy effects. The vibe I like is Magnatone style true pitch-shifing vibrato (also in the Austone Vibrostomp pedal.) This is simply varying note pitch, different from trem effects (typically varying volume or bias). I don't think this simple style of vibrato sweeps EQ at all. The effect is swirly, kind of "watery" (bad word, but that's what comes to mind.) It's not as dense or processed sounding as phased effects. Doesn't move as much. Sort of related I guess, but the true pitch shift vibe feels more transparent; all the basic amp tone comes through, not artificial at all.
     
  11. dragonFang

    dragonFang Member

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    apologies if this me being way off base, but

    I thought the univibe sound comes from emulating the rotating Leslie and similar speakers. Since the speaker doesn't really rotate, but a horn (high end) or baffle (low end) rotates to redirect the sound, the "vibe" effect seems to me it should have similar features (if it's well reproduced).

    So, the sound waves are being aimed or "thrown" in a circular spiral as the signal changes. This should introduce varying volume/amplitude (as the horns/baffles sweep from directly at you to 180 degrees away), plus pitch changes (Doppler effect), plus interference waves due to the rotation, plus sound changes characteristic of the different cabinets, rotation mechanics, and materials. Since the rotating mechanisms didn't just go on/off and instantly to full speed, there's the increase/decrease in the effects introduced by ramping spin up/down, or letting it stop rotating, too.

    So, more complex than simply tremolo, vibrato, chorus or phasing by themselves. I think the poster that suggested a combo of the qualities of all the above was on target.

    There are a number of pedals that incorporate pretty lush reproductions and control of these sounds and characteristics. They're all pretty expensive too. The cheapest I've found is the Behringer RM600, but some people claim it "sucks tone" from the signal...maybe not a true bypass. Others are the stuff by Fulltone, the Pigtronix Rototron, the Tech 21 roto choir (I think) and some others. You can even get a used DanElectro Chicken Salad pedal for around $30-$45 if you hunt on the Bay long enough. All the cheaper versions have their weaknesses. If you've got deep pockets, I'd say go for the Rototron. If you need to be able to vary the speed of the effect on the fly in real time (not fiddle w/knobs) then you probably want either the Fulltone gear (MDV-3) or the Pigtronix plus at least one expression pedal. Still some serious $$$ either way.

    For my money I wish Fender would come up w/a Univibe patch for the Mustang line!
     
  12. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Member

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  13. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    A vibe will never sound exactly like a tremolo b/c they purposefully have a different wave shape, and not just the volume up/down of a trem pedal.

    Find a couple cheaper ones (trem or vibe) and try them out to see what you prefer. The Moog trem is great and can be found used for a good price. Gives 3 wave shapes and expression control. Maybe try that out and see if you want more psychedelic sounds or if that works for you. If you don't like it, move on to Vibes.....but that is quite the rabbit hole to go down, my friend. I went through about 5 before I finally found the "one". Happy hunting!
     
  14. donfrantz

    donfrantz Yo! You stealin’ all the cool. Supporting Member

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    Roger Mayer "voodooo-vibe plus" has three settings--trem, vibe and chorus.
     
  15. elijah

    elijah Member

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    True vibrato is an oscillation of pitch.
    True phaser is an oscillation of phase (timing) between two versions of the same signal, which is also the basis of chorus and flange.
    Chorus can also have pitch oscillation.
    True tremolo is an oscillation of volume.
    in guitar land, things are not always named correctly, even Leo Fender got it wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  16. rotlung

    rotlung Member

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    I often run tremolo and phaser at the same time. Is this basically serving the same function as a vibe?
     
  17. 9520575

    9520575 Member

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    :drink
     
  18. 9520575

    9520575 Member

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    No.
     
  19. 9520575

    9520575 Member

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  20. ChrisVereb

    ChrisVereb Member

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