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085 | Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress XO: A Closer Look at this Flanger Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 85 of the Sonic Renegades podcast, where we're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress, XO analog flanger. I know that sounds like a mouthful. So in essence, today, we are talking about the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress. So if you love the world of flanger, you're going to love this discussion, we'll see you on the other side.

Hey everybody, Scott Schwertly and Andrew King of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you're having a great one. Well, I'm super excited. I've been wanting to cover this pedal for quite some time and we've got it now on the agenda, and today we're going to be talking about the Electro Harmonics Deluxe Electric Mistress. Just for the fact that we're covering an Electric Mistress pedal today, it's super exciting to me. So really happy to bring this one to the table for you guys.

Andrew King:
Yeah. So many great classic rock and metal sounds have come from this pedal. So it's really exciting.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Definitely. Really looking forward to covering this. I know we haven't covered that many flanger pedals here on the Sonic Renegades podcast, so excited to add this one to the mix.

Andrew King:
Flanger just in general is kind of a lost beauty, maybe as classic rock and heavy metal has become maybe a little less prominent, so has the flanger effect.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, That's for sure, and I guess that's an unfortunate reality, but hopefully we can shed some light on it today and maybe inspire some of you guys out there to actually pick one up. So yeah, again, really, really excited to cover this one today. So if you're not familiar with the Electric Mistress, it's actually been around for quite some time. So just to clarify, because this can get probably quickly confusing here because of the different variations and versions that exist. Today, we are talking about the Deluxe. So the Deluxe Electric Mistress, specifically the XO version. So this is one of the newer reissues that came out not too long ago, but all that to say, because we're talking about an Electric Mistress, it does share this history with the other version.

So it actually goes all the way back to 1976. So David Cockerel, I believe, who was actually working with Mike Matthews at Electro Harmonix developed the original Electric Mistress. So if you think about bands like Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, and you hear things like, David Gilmore was a big user of the Electric Mistress, it's generally in regards to that pedal that was built in 1976. So that was really a big part of Gilmour's tone, really from the years, 1977 to 1983 was using that original Electric Mistress.

Fast forward two years later to 1978, and you have the first deluxe version, which was actually created by Howard Davis in conjunction, again, working with Mike Matthews at Electro Harmonix. And at that time you could actually either buy the original Electric Mistress or you could also buy the deluxe version of it. And that pedal was really popular and stayed the same way from really 1978 to 1981, and then they essentially started working on new variations of it, all the way fast forwarding to today, which is now we're looking at a re-issue of that. But bottom line here, if you're looking for the difference between the original Electric Mistress versus the deluxe Mistress, which is again what inspired the pedal we have here for you guys today, the big difference between the deluxe and the original is really just this extra noise filter, which makes the pedal less noisy. It's got a little bit more of a jet-like tone to it. And typically with the deluxe, you're going to find a bit more mid range and a little bit more low end.

So again, today when we demo this, if you are a big Electric Mistress connoisseur, you may notice those different subtleties. So don't want to bog you down with the history. I think at the end of the day, we're just excited to talk about an Electric Mistress flanger pedal. And again, the one we're going to be looking at today is the deluxe version of that. So hopefully all that makes sense. Yeah, and now excited to get into the world of flanger. So yeah, let's go ahead and continue unpacking this thing for you.

Andrew King:
Yeah. When I think of the Electric Mistress pedal, I do think of that jet sound that you mentioned Scott, where it does kind of sound like, in addition, whether it's on a big rock track and there's an eighth note or some type of chugging rhythm going, kind of feels like there's almost a jet flying in time with the track and it's just on so many great records. And flanger's really unique and versatile in that it's a little bit like a chorus pedal, it's a little bit like a tremolo pedal, but it's its own thing. And again, I go back to the unique characteristic of it for me is if you dial it right, you can get that jet sound that is so prominent, or at least used to be so prominent.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Yeah. Most definitely. Yeah. And speaking of that jet-like tone or just the beauty of flanger, I've really been getting into Pink Floyd a lot, which I think has made me so excited that we're recovering this pedal today. But when you hear songs like Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd, you can really hear this pedal shine. Again, not this deluxe version, because that's not the one that David Gilmour used, but just the Electric Mistress in general, you can just really hear it on tracks like that, and it's just such a cool thing, bottom line. So again, that jet-like tone is very apparent in a song like that. So, and as you mentioned, I mean, obviously it's been popularized by other artists as well. I mean, obviously we talked a little bit here about David Gilmour, but even Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins has used the Electric Mistress. Robin Trower, Robert Smith of The Cure, Andy Summers from The Police. The list goes on and on. All these folks, obviously being big fans of flanger.

Andrew King:
Yeah. Yeah. The pedal at its core, it is a versatile because with the rate knob, for instance, the rate knob, obviously on this pedal and other flanger pedals. It controls the speed of the flanger modulation. And as you turn the rate clockwise, the flanger speed increases, but the higher settings of rate, you really can almost get to a vibrato effect, which is also, some of the artists you just mentioned, they used it that way.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. And again, just so much that you can do with it. And we'll talk here in a minute too, again, about just the specifics, what the knobs ... Again, it's not a very overly complex pedal, pretty straightforward, but one of the great things about the pedal that we're talking about today, because it is a reissue, is they were obviously able to get this into a more compact size. They've added an LED, I believe the originals did not have once now you actually have an LED. So you know when the pedal is actually engaged, versus not engaged. Even the nine volt battery option and more of an industry standard power source. A lot of these things did not exist with the original.

So yeah, being altogether, it's just a modern take on it and it's still ... It doesn't nail the Electric Mistress sound again, thinking about the 1970s and '80s, it doesn't nail it exactly, but for a hundred bucks or 150 bucks, I think this is exactly, I think this is around $162. You get pretty close. I mean, obviously you can try to buy one of the originals. That's going to set you back probably 500 or 600 bucks, but for $162, ease of controls here, pretty straightforward. You get a really, really great pedal. So super pleased with it.

Andrew King:
Yeah, Scott. I couldn't agree more. Did you want to talk a little bit about some of the knobs and what they do?

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So, let's go and talk about those. Really it's straightforward. You've got three knobs, you've got a color knob, a range knob, a rate knob. And then the one, I guess the shining star in this that most people like to talk about is the filter matrix effect, which is, there's basically a toggle switch right in the middle there where you can activate that. But yeah, Andrew, anything you wanted to shed light on with those three knobs or the filter matrix?

Andrew King:
Just what I'd hit on before. I love the higher settings of rate on it too, to give you a vibrato effect. I also love as you turn the color knob clockwise to make the intensity of the flanger a little more pronounced and a little more in your face, that you can really get some cool tones. I mean, you can really get into almost alien sound, some really non-traditional tones, and if you're trying to pair that with a heavy, gained amp or some other effects, you can really dial some unique sounds.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, it's definitely got a lot of options. And if you guys jump online too. Again, if you're listening to this episode, I'm assuming you're probably also a fan of David Gilmour. I think most people pick up this pedal because of David Gilmour, but I mean the amount of information online, as far as deluxe Electric Mistress settings, to get that Gilmour sound, it's all online. You can find a ton of different recommendations there. So definitely use that as a starting point, if you want to do that. And a lot of people ask too, I know on this podcast, we've talked about the [inaudible 00:09:36] and Mobius. And again, there are a lot of great resources online on how to sort of mimic the Electric Mistress sound on a Mobius. And I've done a lot of comparison between the two. I mean, at the end of the day, I'm going to argue that the Electric Mistress actually does sound better than the Mobius, as far as trying to get that Gilmour sound.

Andrew King:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
But the Mobius does a pretty good job of getting pretty close to it. And again, you're going to be about 10% off. It's not going to be quite there, but I mean, if you again really want to dial that in, pick up a pedal like this, and you'll be in great shape if you want to sound like Pink Floyd.

Andrew King:
Yeah. I think, and a good point, Scott. That with the Mobius, that it's not going to get you there to the deluxe Electric Mistress completely, but the Mobius kind of gives you so many different effects that it comes down to a decision of, do I want to use up basically half the space of, or double the space of the Electric Mistress and get a bunch of different effects? Or is this flanger sound really particular to what I'm trying to do? And if you just can't be compromising on what you need from the flanger, because that's the sound you're going for on a session, or that's the sound of a song, that's critical to a set you're playing with an artist, or as part of your own band, then maybe you do need to be leaning towards, "Hey, I need this Electric Mistress pedal." Because this is the most practical way to get that sound.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. And it all comes down to obviously that subjective choice and you know what's best for you in your situation, and in your band and in the setting that you may find yourself in. So yeah, we'll leave it up to you guys to decide what to do on that front. But yeah, you can make strong arguments both ways just depending on your needs.

Well, awesome. Well, that's what we wanted to cover today, guys. Pretty straightforward episode. Just happy that we're adding a flanger pedal into the mix here today. So we're going to go ahead and give you guys a sample of what this thing actually sounds like. Andrew, what are you going to go with today for guitars?

Andrew King:
Yeah, I got my Gibson Les Paul, and I'm going to plug that into a matchless HC30.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Well, we're going to get this set up guys and we will see you on the other side.

Andrew King:
Yeah, so the jet has landed. That was the classic jet tone that we've we've discussed here. Great pedal. And it's really the most efficient way to get that classic Electric Mistress sound.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I love it. And again, if you love flanger, if you love the world of flanger, you definitely want to pick up one of these. It's just a great one to have. And I feel like even though this is a re-issue, I feel like you're still owning a little bit of history here by having something like this, either on your board or part of your collection. Yeah, definitely no regrets in buying this one and picking it up. Well, awesome guys. Well, that's what we wanted to cover today. That is again, the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress, specifically the XO version.

Join us next time. We're going to go back into the world of Boss. I feel like we we've covered a lot of Boss pedals, but we haven't covered this one. We're going to be talking about the Boss GE7 Equalizer. Andrew, I know you've had this thing on your board and you're a big fan of it.

Andrew King:
Yes.

Scott Schwertly:
So really ...

Andrew King:
It's such a Swiss army knife of a pedal. I think if you're building a pedal board, I think it's almost a must have on there for me.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, I've heard nothing but great things about it. So, excited to share that one with you guys and in our next episode. So it should be a good one.

Andrew King:
Looking forward to it.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Well, thank you guys for joining us. Hope you have a great day, have a great week and we will catch you in the next one.

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