At some point, most new bassists will start thinking about adding effects to their signal chain. After the obligatory tuner pedal, the next two considerations are generally some sort of dirt (overdrive/fuzz) and some sort of modulation (chorus/flanger/reverb). My first dip in the effects pool happened over 40 years ago. It was a BOSS CE-2 bass chorus. That old stomp box was really great soloed, but could get a little lost in live settings. So, I continued looking for more aggressive modulations that would stand out more in a band context. That's when I discovered the joy that is the Boss BF-2 Flanger.
The BF-2 is flat out cool. The pedal is made in the usual, indestructible BOSS stomp box format, with four controls for "Manual" "Depth" "Rate" and "Resonance". "Manual" sets the center frequency of the flanging effect. "Depth" sets the flanging range (extremes) from the center frequency. "Rate" adjusts how fast the modulation cycles from extremes back to center frequency. "Resonance" adjusts the amount of feedback - adding more effect as the knob is turned clockwise.
The cool thing about the BF-2 bass flanger, and what makes it a solid choice for a first modulation pedal, is its versatility. Set all knobs at noon. Turn the resonance knob all the way down and you get a chorus sound that is really REALLY close to a CE-2. So, for me, it actually replaced my chorus pedal. Turn resonance back up and turn down the Depth and Rate knobs and you get a subtle flanging. Start increasing the Depth knob back up and that subtle flange becomes more of a jet flange. Experiment some more and you find that the pedal is capable of producing short delay sounds as well. This is truly a gateway pedal. Once you start playing with this one, the world of modulation opens up and soon you will be thinking about phase, longer delays and even looping. Its just that fun!
Is it the best pedal going? Of course not. There are so many boutique pedal builders that are always improving our pedal choices. But, if you are just starting out and wanting a swiss army knife modulation pedal that sounds great soloed and in the mix, this would be a great place to start.
BOSS BF-2 Flanger
Standard size BOSS effects pedal, usually colored purple, that produces several flanger and chorus-type effects.