If you have anything to do with music, you have heard of the effect called phaser.
Phaser is a sound effect that involves filtering the audio signal in multiple notches in the frequency spectrum that moves over time. As a result, it makes it possible to obtain a non-standard-sounding sweeping audio.
Phaser is somewhat similar to chorus and flanger. The main difference between them is the delay time.
In a nutshell, here are the best phaser plugins in 2023:
How do phasers work?
This effect is obtained by splitting the audio signal into two streams. The first is affected by the phase filter, which changes the audio signal phase but preserves its frequency. The processed and unprocessed signals mix, and the out-of-phase frequencies cancel each other out. It creates gaps in the audio spectrum.
Low-frequency oscillation (LFO) plays an essential role in phaser operation. It makes it possible to simulate the position of peaks and troughs, which change over time and create the oscillation effect.
Speaking of the depth of the phaser effect, it depends on adjusting the ratio of the processed signal to the original signal. You can obtain the maximum depth at a ratio of 50 percent.
How do you use the phaser effect in your music?
You can use the phaser on any track, from individual instruments to the master bus. It depends on the creativity of the person making the music. But still, most often, we can hear it on guitar. To get the effect, musicians use stompbox pedals that process the signal of the instrument. In addition, you can use the phaser on vocals, keyboards, and even drums.
The point is that the phaser allows you to get an unnatural tone. Since there is no way you will find a sound like that in nature, this effect is most often used as “ear candy” to attract the listener’s attention.
Who invented phaser?
Phasers were invented to emulate the sound effect of a rotating speaker. As a guitar effect, the phaser was included in a pedal created in 1968 by audio engineer Fumio Mieda. After that, it was actively used by such musicians as Robin Trower and Jimi Hendrix.
In 1972, the phaser was first created as a studio unit. It was the Instant Phaser from the American company Eventide. Todd Rundgren and Led Zeppelin often used this piece of equipment.
In the ’70s, the phaser was widely used as a guitar effect. In particular, Tom Oberheim’s creation, the Maestro Phase Shifter PS-1. It was actively used by John Paul Jones, Alex Lifeson, and Ernie Isley. Another famous phaser was the MXR Phase 90 pedal, which Eddie Van Halen later used.
Now, in the dawn of the digital age, you can use various phasers in your home studio. There are a massive number of plugins that emulate this effect. Let’s take a look at the best of them.
The 7 Best Phaser Plugins 2023
1. Eventide Audio Instant Phaser MK II
The Instant Phaser MK II is an emulation of that very first studio phaser from Eventide.
Eventide was a true pioneer in the development of studio equipment in the twentieth century. In addition to the phaser, they also created such pieces of gear as the first digital delay DDL 1745, the first digital harmonizer H910, and the first studio flanger FL 201.
Two years ago, the company decided to transform its legendary Instant Phaser into a plugin form. The creators claim that they accomplished it in the neatest way possible. Therefore, you get the same sound that Led Zeppelin and other rock heroes of that time used.
- Different Sonic Characteristics
With this plugin, you get three mods: Shallow, Deep, and Wide. All of them differ in the coloring of the phasing. But the main feature of the Wide option is that it will give you a slightly different fading effect in the left and right channels, which will make your sound wider.
- Blend different ages
The Instant Phaser MK II has an Age knob in its arsenal. With it, you can change whether it is an old phasing effect or a more modern one. Or just mix it up and find your perfect balance.
- Control Your Depth
You will have the Depth knob in your hand, which is probably the most crucial setting of any phaser. Thanks to it, you can control the ratio of wet and dry signals.
- Feedback Setting
Feedback is also an essential part of any fader effect. With it, you adjust how expressive your effect is. Just turn this knob all the way up if you want the most pronounced sound.
- Side Chain Function
With this feature, you will be able to implement inter-track mingling. The idea is that with Side Chain, you can trigger the Envelope Follower from a separate source in the mix.
The plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Eventide Audio’s Instant Phaser MK II is the digital prototype of the legendary studio equipment that was a real hit in the ’70s. With this plugin, you can get both old-school phasing and modern.
It’s all thanks to the Age knob. There are also a lot of other tweaks that give you a unique and exciting synthetic sound.
2. Nomad Factory – Blue Tubes Analog Phaser APH-2S
If you want a vintage analog phaser, the APH2S from Nomad Factory would be a perfect choice for you.
Nomad Factory was founded by the late composer, producer, and recording engineer Bernie Torelli, who worked in France, Canada, and the United States. In the early 2000s, he decided to dedicate his work to creating software based on studio gear.
Thus, The Blue Tubes Bundle was created, including effects plugins such as Tempo Delay, Chorus, Oilcan Echo, Stereo Imager, ValveDriver, and Phaser itself.
The Blue Tubes Analog Phaser APH2S plugin fully replicates the behavior of analog equipment. There are several stages of resonant analog filters – these are 4, 6, 8, and 12.
Thanks to this, you can create several modulation effects. In addition, there is a user-friendly interface and all other necessary settings to get an excellent phaser effect for your audio signal.
- Choose Your Wave
You will be able to choose between 5 different waveforms, which will influence what your phaser effect will sound like. These are Saw Up, Saw Down, Square, Triangle, and Sine waves.
- Peak-Limiter control
A nice bonus in this plugin is Limiter and Peak control. Thanks to this, you can easily adjust the level of your signal.
- Adjust the color
There will also be a Color dial at your disposal. With it, you can adjust the color of your effect – whether it will be darker or lighter and more expressive.
- Vintage Interface
The plugin interface is easy and accessible, exactly like on vintage equipment. You won’t have to puzzle over what works and how – everything is pretty straightforward and understandable.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.8.5 or higher, both 32 and 64-bit. It comes in VST, RTAS, AU, and AAX Native formats.
Blue Tubes Analog Phaser APH-2S from Nomad Factory is a beautiful plugin that will give you an analog-sounding effect.It has a straightforward interface and enough settings to allow you to change the audio signal as you like.
For example, you’ll be able to select different phasing stages, alter the coloring of the effect, and more.
3. SoundToys Phase Mistress
Phase Mistress from SoundToys will allow you to get modeling multiple vintage phasers at once.
SoundToys is a reasonably well-known music production software company that provides very high-quality products. For example, they are the developers of the Decapitator plugin, a saturator that many professional mixing engineers have adopted.
You can also find their famous EchoBoy, Little AlterBoy, Devil-Loc, Little Plate, and Tremolator.
The company specializes in plugins that give a vintage vibe, so it is not strange that a phaser called Phase Mistress is among their assortment. The developers assure that they gave it the richest and silkiest old-school sound because while creating, they studied such legendary equipment as Trine, Small Stone, Moogerfooger 12 stage, Phase 90, Boss Super Phaser, and Bi-Phase.
- From Subtle to Wild
In this plugin, you will also be able to select the stages of phasing. The range of possibilities here is enormous because you can start with stage 2, which gives minimal effect, and go up to 24, which will sound crazy.
- Find Your Style
Your arsenal will have everything you need to create your unique phase tone. You can fine-tune the resonance and adjust the intensity and color of the effect.
- Choose the Operation Mode
The plugin will give you the ability to choose between different modes. There is the Standard LFO, Random, Step, and Rhythm, with which you can achieve even more creative solutions.
- 69 presets
That’s how many different presets you’ll find in this plugin. It is handy for those who do not want to dig into the settings and experiment with ready-made sounds.
The sound that this plugin can give is suitable for different styles of music. You can use it for disco, jazz-fusion, rock, funk, and more.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
Phase Mistress will be an excellent solution for those who want to get everything at once. SoundToys did a great job of making it the most versatile. Unlike other plugins, here you will find many different phaser effects, which you can change as you like. The point is that you can both sculpt your tone and choose between dozens of ready-made settings.
4. Bom Shanka Machines aardvarkkPhaser
With the aardvarkkPhaser plugin from Bom Shanka Machines, you get the most liquid phaser effect sound you can imagine.
Bom Shanka Machines is a relatively young company. It was founded in the UK in 2017 by producer and electronic musician Rich Elmes. He wanted to use some plugins from Windows on his Mac and saw that they were not available.
So, having experience in programming, he decided to make his own, which are usable not only on Mac and Windows but also on Linux. In the line of Bom Shanka Machines plugins, you can find such units as chrisGlitch, asimilonGate, psymmetrixDelay, and two free ones – occularScope and plasticityFilter.
The aardvarkkPhaser plugin has a relatively modern and straightforward interface. It has 64 poles, controlled by its own multi-shape LFO or in a manual way. It also has all the other standard phaser settings like feedback, depth, and more.
- Number of poles
You can choose the number of poles yourself. The range is from 4 to 64. The plugin has a separate knob that will adjust the amount.
- Choose LFO Type
There are different types of LFOs in your arrangement, which you can select on a particular switch. For example, there are options such as Sine, Triangle, Square, Ramp, and Random.
- Adjust the Mix Amount
The plugin has a slider, thanks to which you can adjust the mix amount of your effect – from Dry to Wet signal. Thanks to the ratio setting, you can put the effect in parallel with the original signal.
- Tempo syncable
With this option, you can synchronize the effect with the tempo of your project. It is a handy option if you need to get a rhythmic phaser for your song.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher (32 or 64-bit), macOS 10.11 or higher (64-bit only), and Experimental Linux support. It comes in VST2/3 and AU formats.
AardvarkkPhaser is a modern-looking plugin from Bom Shanka Machines that will impress you with many settings and possibilities. You will be able to choose the number of poles, the type of LFO and adjust the mix amount. The same software will allow you to synchronize the effect with the tempo of the project in your DAW.
5. D16 Fazortan
With the Fazortan 2 plugin from the D16 Group, you can get tunes in the style of the godfather of electronic music, Jean-Michel Jarre.
The Polish company D16 Group has long had a positive reputation in the music software market. They produce beautiful plugins with incredible sound quality. On their website, you can find virtual instruments like synthesizers and drum machines, effects like chorus, reverb, distortion, delay, flanger, and all that kind of stuff. They are all based on professional studio equipment.
The Fazortan 2 plugin is part of the SilverLine Collection products. It simulates the operation of an analog phaser and replicates its characteristics completely. But in addition to the analog sound, you also get a bunch of other features that help you be more creative.
- Works in a Variety of Waveforms
Perhaps this is the main feature that distinguishes it from its analog prototype. You will have a choice of waves, including random, hyper-triangle, triangle, and sinus.
- Control two LFOs
You will be able to use two LFOs at the same time. An endless variety of stretch contours will open up for you.
- Rotating Speaker
You can also adjust the sound of the plugin to the same rotating speaker effect. It will be especially interesting for experimentation guitarists and keyboard players. In doing so, they will get the juiciest sound.
- Suitable for all Genres
The developers assure that the plugin is suitable for both old-school and modern music. And you can use it for any instrument.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher (32 or 64-bit) and macOS 10.7 or higher (64-bit only). It comes in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
Fazortan 2 is a phono plugin from D16 that will give you the highest quality vintage sound. You will have control over two LFOs with the ability to change the waves of each. As a result, you can get unusual sounds. This software is versatile and can suit different genres and musical instruments.
6. MeldaProduction MPhaser
MPhaserMB is a multiband phaser from MeldaProduction that you can use both on individual tracks and master buses.
MeldaProduction is a Czech company that takes special care to fill its plugins with unique features that you won’t find in other software. In addition, they make sure that the interface of their products is easy to understand. Among their assortment, you can find both virtual instruments and effects, as well as plugins for mixing and mastering.
MPhaserMB is a versatile plugin that will provide movement to your mixes. In addition, it is musical-sounding so that it will fit a variety of instruments. You can use it quite subtle as well as extreme – it has all the settings you need to experiment with the sound however you like.
- 6 Bands of Possibilities
Since this is a multi-band phaser, you will have access to adjust the six bands separately. Each will have settings for gain and limits. In addition, this feature is based on three algorithms – hybrid, linear-phase, and analog.
- Multiple modulators
Make the sound move through time and be more interesting with the ability to use up to 4 full-featured modulators. Each of them can work as a follower, LFO, or ADSR envelope.
- Randomization of settings
It is an exciting feature. By clicking on the special randomization button, the plugin will give you random phaser settings. Just click on it until you hear an excellent sound that fits your mix. If you click control while doing this, the plugin will change the settings just a little bit.
- From Mono to Surround
The plugin works in mono and stereo modes. But besides that, it can give you surround sound based on eight channels. It is advantageous if you are working with movie soundtracks or audio design for games.
- Dual User Interface
In general, the plugin has two interfaces – simple and advanced. You won’t spend a lot of time on the settings in the first one because you will only have a few options. The second is more complex and designed for those who want to immerse themselves in the plugin’s capabilities.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher (32 or 64-bit) and macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only). It comes in VST/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The MPhaserMB from MeldaProduction will be a versatile solution for those who want a powerful phaser with many features. With this plugin, you will work on six bands, making the sound exciting and unique.
You’ll also have the ability to work on surround sound, which is ideal for working in the film or game industry. Thanks to its dual interface, the creators also made this software suitable for both new users and experienced ones.
7. Kuassa Efektor PH3605 Phaser
The Efektor PH3605 Phase plugin from Kuassa is excellent to give your guitar tracks some movement.
Kuassa is a company created by musicians from Indonesia. They develop good plugins, which include emulations of guitar amplifiers, effects pedals, equalizers, and other software for music production.
These guys have a whole series of products called Efektor, which includes a wide range of guitar effects: chorus, compressor, fuzz, overdrive, distortion, tremolo, delay, reverb, and others. The PH3605 Phaser is also among them, with which you get three operation modes with all the settings you need and a fat sound.
- Phase One
With this mode, you get a very soft phaser effect. It will be perfect for a clean guitar tone.
- Dual Phase
This mode will be suitable for keyboards, vocals, bass, and guitar. The point is that it will give you a thick yet warm sound. You can use it for distorted guitars as well.
- Multi Phase
The Multi Phase mod is the most extreme because the plugin will involve more than 2 phases here. With it, you can achieve some crazy tones, which can also be quite creative in the context of the mix.
- Synchronize BPM
Efektor PH3605 Phaser has a tempo synchronization button. It means that the effect will move to the rhythm of your project.
The plugin is available for Windows Vista or higher and macOS 10.7 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Efektor PH3605 Phaser is a pretty good plugin from the Indonesian company Kuassa. It is best suited for clean and distorted guitars, keyboards, drums, and vocals. You will have three modes of operation, which will change the number of phases and the ability to synchronize with the tempo of your DAW.
The 4 Best Free Phaser Plugins 2023
1. Kilohearts – Phaser
A relatively simple but still modern and strong Phaser Snapin plugin by Kiloheart is Next on our list.
Kilohearts is a company from Sweden that positions itself as a producer of modern software for modern music. It means that they are not chasing after emulation of analog equipment but trying to implement their solutions. You can find many plugins related to distortion, saturators, chorus, flangers, and other effects. They also make host plugins and bundles.
The Phaser Snapin plugin is quite minimalistic in appearance. It is one small window with six knobs. Still – it has all the necessary settings, so you can effectively and, most importantly, quickly apply the phaser effect to your tracks.
- Give Your Order
The plugin has a unique Order knob that helps you turn the effect into a more pronounced one. It will increase the order of the filters and the distance between troughs and peaks.
- Cutoff knob
This knob will give you the ability to move the dips and peaks in the frequency spectrum. It will come in handy to provide you with a better put effect in the mix.
- Spread the Effect
Use the Spread knob to give stereo widening to your effect. It will be possible because of a shift between the right and left channels, which will affect the stereo picture.
- “Snaping” Plugin
The plugin can be used as a separate unit. But if you are a user of Kilohearts hosts such as Snap Heap or Multipass, you will be able to use it in combination with other Kilohearts software.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.7 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
The Phaser Snapin plugin from the Swedish company Kilohearts is minimalistic but practical software that gives you an excellent phaser effect. You won’t have to worry about the settings because you will only have six knobs at your disposal. You can adjust out and listen if it makes your effect fit the context of the mix.
2. Chow Phaser
First on our list of free phaser plugins is Chow Phaser by Chow DSP, which will give you the legendary vintage sound of this effect.
Chow DSP is the American student, engineer, and musician Justin Chowdhury’s website, where you can download software for free. His goal is to provide good-sounding plugins to as large an audience as possible and thus inspire music creation.
In Chow DSP, you will find such software as the emulation of the famous Klon Centaur guitar pedal, kick drum synthesizer Chow Kick, digital emulation of a reel-to-reel analog tape machine Chow Tape Model and several others.
The Chow Phaser plugin is a digital effect inspired by the Schulte Compact Phasing ‘A’. It is the legendary analog phaser that was popular in the ’70s. Such music legends used it as Ritchie Blackmore, John Lord, Tangerine Dream, and Pink Floyd.
- Mono & Stereo
The plugin has both versions, Mono and Stereo. In Mono, a mono signal will be generated as a stereo signal at the output. In turn, the Stereo version handles the left and right channels separately.
- Multiply the LFO
There is also a separate checkbox that allows you to multiply the frequency of the LFO by 10. In Stereo mode, you can do this separately for the right and left channels.
- Drive, Dirt & Thrash
You will have three knobs with which you can add different styles of non-linear processing. For example, use Drive to give more saturation to your effect.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher, macOS 10.12 or higher (M1 not supported), and Linux. It comes in VST/3 and AU formats.
Chow Phaser is an excellent free plugin with which you can experiment with adding phaser effects. It was inspired by the famous Schulte Compact Phasing ‘A’ unit, on which more than one generation of musicians grew up.
This software will give you plenty of possibilities and settings, up to the fact that you can affect the phaser in the right and left channels separately.
The following free software on our list is HY-Phaser by HY-Plugins.
It’s hard to find any information about this company on the Internet. They have a website that offers plugins at relatively democratic prices. And you can even download the HY-Phaser effect for free.
Even though it is free software, it is no worse than many paid plugins. You will find all the necessary settings here, just like in any other phaser.
- LFO Selection
As with many other phasers, you will have the option of selecting the LFO type. HY-Phaser will give you six options: Sine, Tri, Up, Down, Rect, and Rnd. Quite a vast number, as on free software.
- Filter the Effect
A nice bonus for you will be the two knobs of the Filter section. These are hi-pass and low-pass filters. You can use them to zoom in and out of your effect in the context of the mix.
- Make the Settings Random
The plugin has a special button to randomize the settings. Click it until you hear something you want. You may find both easy phasers and quite extreme-sounding ones.
- Choose Your Preset
You also get seven ready-made presets. There are both pulsating and fast, as well as pretty smooth effects. One thing is for sure – they all sound interesting.
The plugin is available for Windows (both 32 and 64-bit) and macOS (64-bit only). It comes in VST and AU formats.
HY-Phaser by HY-Plugins is a beautiful plugin that will give you an excellent phaser effect. The amount of features it has, despite being free, is impressive. An incredible bonus for you will be the seven presets and the ability to randomize the settings.
4. Blue Cat’s Phaser
A tremendous vintage effect that you can get for free is Phaser by Blue Cat Audio.
Blue Cat Audio comes from France, and it is a company founded by software engineer and musician Guillaume Jeulin. These guys have everything you need in music production in their assortment, including guitar plugins, various effects, distortion, modulators, and audio analyzers.
You can get several of their plugins for free. For example, they are chorus, flanger, amp, triple EQ, as well as Blue Cat’s Phaser.
This one is designed along the lines of the old phaser circuits. So, you will notice the sound that you can hear on 70’s albums. Despite this, the plugin will give you relatively modern processing methods.
- Multi-stage Effect
This plugin is made like a multistage phaser. It means that you can either achieve an extreme sound or make the effect almost invisible. There are a total of 32 phasing stages.
- Stereo Spread
By selecting the stereo mode of the plugin, you will be able to control the Spread knob. It gives you the ability to adjust how wide your effect will be in the stereo field.
- Сontrol the phase
You can extend the effect even further by controlling the phase of the signal in the wet and feedback path.
The plugin is available for Windows Vista or higher and macOS 10.7 or higher, both 32 and 64-bit. It comes in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
Blue Cat’s Phaser is worth a try. It’s a good-sounding plugin made in the likeness of vintage analog equipment. You’ll have plenty of room to experiment with the sound and find what works best for your mix.
AudioThing Phase Motion 2
First on our bonus list is Phase Motion 2 from AudioThing, an advanced plugin at an affordable price.
AudioThing is a company founded by the programmer, sound designer, and composer Carlo Castellano. It is now based in Dublin. These guys create effects plugins and virtual instruments. For example, you can get synthesizers, percussion, equalizers, echos, enhancers, rotors, and other software from them.
Among their products, you also can find Phase Motion 2, which will serve you as a 32-stage phaser plugin. It has enough valuable features, a nice modern look, and no complicated interface.
You can work on one effect or two different effects for the right and left channels. Let’s take a closer look at what this software is.
- Modulate the Phase
You will get a choice between 6 forms and thereby influence the character of your phaser. For example, you can switch between random, square, rump down, ramp up, triangle, and sine modes.
- A Plugin for a Variety of Purposes
An old-school phaser, or an extreme one that’s suitable for electronic music – it will all depend on how you influence the settings. Experiment with Depth and Feedback to get different sounds.
- Adjustable Rate
Another trick of the plugin is that you can influence the speed of the effect. Precisely, you can synchronize with the tempo of your DAW or select Rate manually based on Hertz.
- L, R or Both
Switch between L and R modes so you can change the right and left channel settings individually. If you press the link button, the plugin will apply the settings equally to both channels.
- Ability to make a thick stereo effect
By working on the two channels separately, you can make your effect sound thicker. To do this, you will need to have the same settings for the L and R channels and change them slightly but so that there is only a tiny difference.
The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.7 or higher, both 32 or 64-bit. It comes in VST2, AU, and AAX formats.
Phase Motion 2 is a plugin that will give you a lot of possibilities to manipulate your phaser effect. At the same time, it has a somewhat democratic price. The developers have taken care to give you the ability to work on the right and left channels separately so that you can get the broadest possible sound from the effect.
We live in a great age when you can create your musical masterpieces from the comfort of your own home. You can have anything in your arsenal – and effects are no exception. As you can see, there are quite a few plugins that will give us a great phaser. You can choose any to suit your taste and wallet. But how not get lost in them? Let us help you.
Make up your mind exactly what kind of phaser effect you want. Will it be more old-school, 70’s style, or modern and extreme, like in electronic music? In the first case, we suggest you try the number one on our list, the Instant Phaser MK II from Eventide, as it’s an emulation of the legendary studio unit that was the first in the history of the music industry.
But it costs over a hundred dollars. If you want an old phaser, but at a more affordable price – be sure to check out #5 – this is the Fazortan 2 from D16 Group.
If you don’t have a software budget, you can get some plugins without any money. It is #1 and #2 on our list of free plugins – Chow Phaser and HY-Phaser. They will surprise you with many features, although they are freeware.
And of course, the most suitable for electronic music would be #6 MPhaser by MeldaProduction and #7 Phaser Snapin by Kilohearts. They will give you enough possibilities and superb modern sound.
With almost all of these plugins, you can achieve the main goal – to make your sound moving and be unique. And as a result, add something interesting to your mixes and surprise your listeners. Experiment, because it’s an art. Good luck!
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Ilarion Ivanenko is a remote mixing and mastering engineer from Ukraine, a musician with more than 15 years of experience. Specializes in rock, metal, progressive and the other genres. He can’t imagine his life without music, as it is the biggest passion in his life