I built a CE2 chorus clone that sounds fantastic and should work for Rooster. But I believe the Alice in Chains guitarist (was it Cantrell or Layne playing?) is also using a phaser, which I don't yet own... much of the high shimmer of the chorus is missing, but there's a nice "middle" warble going on with the chorus too. I read somewhere it was a chorus and phaser combo.

So which phasers have a frequency response/range like that? Would just an ordinary Phase 90 do it? Or would I need something with less depth like the Phase-45, or more control like a Phase 100, or maybe some other phaser (Ibanez, Ross, Boss, etc.)?

If it's not a phaser and there's some other known way of getting that sound, I'm open to ideas... I can get pretty close with the CE2 and cutting as many "highs" as possible, but there's still a missing warble.


5 Answers 5


It's really tough to tell the difference between phase/univibe/chorus/vibrato when they are low in the mix--as most of those effects overlap or sound very similar. The thing about phasers is the more stages you have the more versatile the sound. Most analog phasers have anywhere from two to twelve stages (incrementing by two for each tier)--and it sounds like it could be a basic 4 or 8 stage phaser. The important thing to listen for when attempting to identify a phaser is for the telltale "notch" in between phase tiers. I can't really hear it clearly on the live or album versions of the song I have, so it may be something else.

Knowing Jerry Cantrell if he used a phaser he likely used a standard MXR Phase 90 for this, but there's also the option that he used a Dunlop Rotovibe, since that has been seen on his recent pedalboard. I also hear a little telltale warble in there in addition to the vibe effect--which further convinces me that it is likely the Rotovibe or a combination between a phaser/vibe and a chorus unit.

In any event, you can emulate the sound with a Phaser, a chorus, or a vibrato with the right settings. It won't be perfect, but most people won't even notice.

  • I saw the vid with the Rotovibe, though as I recall they talked about it being specific to a certain song, and it wasn't Rooster. I've heard a few live recordings and it sound like they might use some different gear than when they recorded it. But thank you for the info about phaser stages - I will look more into this, as I'm looking at getting/building a phaser soon.
    – Anonymous
    Jan 22, 2011 at 0:26

I thought I read in a guitar magazine that it was a flanger, which sounded right to me. I covered the song in a band several years ago, and I used the flange effect on my GT-6, and it sounded right. I know sometimes it's not the easiest thing to distinguish a light phase effect from flange, though, and even if Jerry did use a flanger on the recording, you can probably get a very close approximation with a phaser if that's what you have. Like @Jduv said, a lot of people won't even notice the difference.

  • Pretty certain it was a flanger - think I read the same magazine article as you @Andy. Will try and hunt down the article.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Feb 22, 2011 at 20:21

The closest I've come to the Rooster clean tone is with using a CE-1 Anolog Chorus from my POD HD500, a EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress Flanger, and a dual amp setup with one of the amps being a Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker. The chorus and flanger are blended on two paths of my signal (lets call them 'A' & 'B') Then those two signals run through a VOX AC30 preamp sim and split out to the power amps of a 50W EL34 tube amp and the Yamaha RA-200. The Yamaha and Electric Mistress help add those tough to distinguish modulation qualities that probably come from Jerry's mix of chorus/flange/phase/vibe.


I was Dave Jerden's tech for a decade but did start a little after Dirt...however, the sound was Dave's Taylor into a ce-1, small stone, and flanger (prob his Boss)...the amp was a vox superbeatle...hope this helps :)


Got a DOD 747 flanger the other day. We used my housemate's lovely new pink strat and played on it for hours and got a pretty decent rooster tone

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