The phaser is an effects processor used to create a classic sweeping ‘phaser’ sound suitable for pads and guitars, but can be used for more extreme effects too.

Phaser effect units work by creating a complex frequency response containing many regularly-spaced "notches" in an incoming signal and combining it with a copy of itself out of phase. The positions of the notches are modulated over time by the use of a low frequency oscillator.

The phasing effect is a kind of hollow "whooshing" sound reminiscent of a flying jet airplane.

Clap with phaser effect

A stereo phaser uses two identical signals modulated for the left and right channels with one usually being a quarter-wave out of phase.

The phaser is best used as an insert effect.

Phasers are mostly found as plugins on sequencing software and as a part of a monolithic rack mount sound effect unit.