The 'Thru-Zero' Lounge

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by PhuzzphayzZ, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. LPSupreme11

    LPSupreme11 Member

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    i think Owning a Zero-Point flanger really messed me up haha. In the end it was too digital sounding but it did exactly what I wanted it to do. It just sounds like the style of flanger is different.
     
  2. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    Here is a demo of how to achieve old school reel-to-reel tape flanging. A natural byproduct of this was the through zero effect as the two sound sources crossed over in time.... one overtakes the other, then vice versa.

    Before the days of digital recording, the effect needed 3 reel-to-reel tape machines. The reference reel, the flanging reel and a third to record the output of the other two.

    The flanging reel was an exact copy of the reference reel. Both were synced and played back together. The flanging reel motor was then sped up slightly, or the reference reel was retarded slightly.

    They were synced again, and played back, but now the flange reel would start to get ahead of the reference real, because it had a faster playback speed. Once the flange reel was far enough ahead, the studio engineer would slow down the flange reel by placing his finger on the rim or "flange" of the feed reel, applying a steady braking effect, slowing it down. The flange reel would now eventually fall behind the reference reel, at which point the engineer would remove the "brake" so it would speed up and overtake the reference again. And so on.

    This usually required a lot of preparation, trial runs and aborts, before the engineer felt confident everything was ready to record onto the third reel. Tedious, time consuming, innacurate, but worth it.



    The braking process, human error, was not steady, even or linear. Also the tape motor did not just ramp straight back up to speed when the flange braking was removed. These small, non-linear fluctuations in speed caused brief pitch-shifting - or secondary modulation - in the final recorded result. This final aspect IMO is hard to reproduce in electronic flangers. You can get similar effects though by running the flanger into a subtle chorus or vibrato, although this effect has a definite cadence, not random as per tape.
     
  3. Blue Bee

    Blue Bee Member

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    What’s a good cheap analog one with stereo in/out? I want something for my drum machine.
     
  4. S. F. Sorrow

    S. F. Sorrow Member

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    I’ve been doing reel tape flanging with reel to reels for years. Only two recording devices are needed. Take whatever tracks you want flanged & dump them onto another machine. Then you take those mixed tracks, sync/drag/pull onto an empty track of the original machine.
    Easy way I’ve done this with a DAW is dumping tracks onto a 4 track cassette recorder and syncing - the drag/pull can be done with the pitch control of the 4 track.
    There’s a certain art to real tape flanging. Lots of practice and errors to get it right.
     
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  5. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    I got a Spectre v.1 glued to my board that I use for pretty much everything clean now. It's amazing. Best modulation pedal evar.
     
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  6. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    Old School... before DAW, Digital Recording, Other Magnetic Recording media etc. ;)
     
  7. pup tentacle

    pup tentacle Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Deco that I keep around for its ability to create a stereo spread with adjustable width between two amps, but the TZF2 is in another dimension of flanging when it comes to sound quality and blending with the dry signal, especially in conjunction with fuzz/od/dist. I would suggest a TZF2 over the original TZF unless you absolutely need regen control, jacks for external speed/manual control, or stereo outs. It gets the same sounds otherwise.
     
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  8. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    The only analog thru zero flanger is the Foxrox TZF. All others are digital.
     
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  9. johnetone

    johnetone Member

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    The Spectre is also analog.
     
  10. LPSupreme11

    LPSupreme11 Member

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    I remember hearing these had noise issues.
     
  11. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    Thanks. I haven’t really explored them. Still, it’s not going to fit the “cheap” requirement of the poster.
     
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  12. Buddy67

    Buddy67 Member

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    I was told that too but i daisy chain mine (including with a RKM which is also supposed to be noisy) and it’s quiet.
     
  13. johnetone

    johnetone Member

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    I don't think any of the analog ones fulfill the requirement of cheap. I wish @Dave Fox would make a TZF3 in the Octron 3 size without the ramp feature. The envelope feature is the part of the TZF and TZF2 that makes it the best TZF pedal ever though. So I doubt he could really cram everything else into such a small enclosure! But maybe if he got rid of the ramp button and the switch that goes with it, he could somehow fit the 6 knobs and toggle into the smaller footprint?

    * * *
    * * *
    *

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    Otherwise, a TZF2 that also had an expression out for pedal flanging would be cool as fvck!

    Unfortunately, even the TZF2 is becoming scarce too. I do hope at least those will come out of hiatus at some point in the near future. I'm on the list because I want to get one with the vibrato setting on the polarity switch.

    The Positive Polarity setting of that pedal is to me one of the greatest modulation sounds of all time. I love also how it can act like his Aquavibe and have more than one pass-through of the zero point depending on how you set it!
     
  14. aaronjcurtis

    aaronjcurtis Member

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    They’re noisy, but it’s not an issue. It’s by design you get white noise. It can be dialed out for the most part, and as Joel stated they were intended to follow fuzz or other dirt.
     
  15. donfrantz

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

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    He had two of the PARADOX TZF NOS pedals B stock in his store. I nabbed one and see the other one is gone now too. Seems it has the best qualities of both versions.
     
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  16. johnetone

    johnetone Member

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    Yeah those are BALLER!!! I just never seem to have the scratch together when they arrive. Those newest ones sure are amazing!
     
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  17. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    Food for thought....

    In this one, flanging on guitar track, not whole band mix. (disclaimer: I believe 1972/3 was still too early for electronic flanging, but i could be wrong).

     
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  18. S. F. Sorrow

    S. F. Sorrow Member

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    It's possible to create a true Through Zero flanger with two delay pedals. The pedals have to be run in PARALLEL (not in series) with both set to all wet (NO DRY signal from either).
    I’ve done this and it works.

    Pedal one would be a short delay - no modulation, no feedback & all wet
    Pedal two also set at the EXACT short delay time (also no feedback and all wet) - slowly move time knob (modulate) slightly forwards and backwards

    ZTF is the time point where two sound sources meet (zero) and cause phase cancellation.

    The delay pedals should be closely matched fidelity wise. And when mixed together, the signal should be as even as possible.

    Here's a snapshot.
    Mono guitar signal goes into the bottom Realistic mixer - splits the signal in two - blended back in mono with the Tascam mixer above.

    [​IMG]

    The Flanger Hoax uses two parallel delay lines as well. Again the dry signal must be blended out for true TZF.

    [​IMG]
     
    axehole, johnetone and Turnipfarmer like this.
  19. webs

    webs Supporting Member

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    I didn't realize the TZF2 was hard to come by - I picked one up in a trade and it sounds terrific. I am still having a little trouble dialing it in beyond a few safe settings, though. The envelope control and the depth-manual interactions seem either too subtle to hear or too strong to be usable; I feel like I'm not using it correctly but the documentation isn't helping me.

    Anyone have a couple sample settings to show off the envelope and more prominent through-zero sounds?

    I probably shouldn't keep it, the Starlight DLX is more my speed, but it sure is pretty.
     
    johnetone likes this.
  20. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Supporting Member

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    Anyone using the Mobius for zero through? I can’t seem to get a great zero through, but I’m not sure how to set the knobs to get there. The ZTF on the Orbit wasn’t too bad, so the Mobius should do it too.
     

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