Electro-Harmonix Andy Summers Walking On the Moon flanger/filter matrix: More than a one-trick modulator!
I bust open the box and groan; oh great, a pedal based on THAT band, on THAT particular song. Like, what if I want to play a different song through this cursed object? But somehow, by the time I switched this thing off, I was actually impressed. And genuinely surprised by that.
Anyway, today I’m taking a look at the Andy Summers Walking On the Moon (from here on in referred to as the WOTM) pedal, a flanger and filter matrix pedal named for the hit song by The Police, a band he participated in some 45 years ago. Fortunately this unit doesn’t focus on the inexplicable Jamaican accent of their sexual braggart vocalist, but rather, is a surprisingly versatile modulator pedal.
Looking to the past before we delve into the today side of things, Electro-Harmonix is a credible juggernaut in the pedal business, starting out in New York in 1968 by Mike Matthews, and from there steering the future for effects pedals with their many innovations including the Big Muff, the Small Stone, the first flanger pedal, and so much more.
Now, before he was in THAT band, Andy Summers was involved in some really cool projects too. Just check out the 1967 single by Dantalion’s Chariot – Madman Running Through the Fields, after which he ended up in Soft Machine for a while, then found himself in The Animals. I’ve suddenly got a new respect for the guy.
To write this review I’m being forced to listen to The Police; I’m gonna try keep things subjective so I don’t get sucked into the cesspit. BUT it sounds like old mate on guitar here is using a compressor, a delay, a little reverb, on top of his flanger. So this pedal isn’t gonna give you the whole lunar sandwich.
So, how does this thing sound? Actually good! Thanks to the Xvive clone of the MN3009 bucket brigade IC it’s 100% vintage, with a tasteful flange, a nicely weird filter matrix (basically the flange frozen in place), and what sounds like a little built in compression. For a modulator it’s got versatility and an instantly great tone; plugging it in it’s hard to make it sound bad. Even if you play a Police song through it.
The Color knob (spelling, I know…but that’s on the pedal) controls the intensity of the flanger, Range sets the limit of the flanger sweep, and Rate does exactly what you’d imagine. With the Filter Matrix switched in, Color adjusts the depth of filtering, Range changes the now static filter position, and the Rate knob is disabled.
It’s got a 100% wet output and a 100% dry output so you can double up your amp, or run your sound with some subtlety if you so wish, from either a 9v adaptor, or a battery.
After a little more research it seems that the box is really the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress (an updated, more reliable version of their now $1k 70s Electric Mistress unit, the first ever flanger pedal), rebadged with Andy’s signature on it. But for $100AUD less than it was before. OK, sure.
The Electro-Harmonix Andy Summers Walking On the Moon flanger/filter matrix pedal takes the title as the longest titled pedal I’ve ever used, but actually sounds really good. It can be picked up from all good pedal hawkers for around $319AUD, and comes with a 1 year warranty.
Find out more over at ehx.com