If you’ve been playing the electric guitar for any amount of time you’ll be familiar with electric guitar effects pedals and the wide range of sounds they can help produce.
Fortunately when it comes to buying guitar effects pedals you don’t need to be an electronics wizard to understand how each pedal works and how to set them up. Basically there are two ways for you to set up your guitar pedals.
The first is utilizing multi-effects units that have an array of guitar effects integrated into one module; these vary in price depending on the amount and complexity of functions they contain. The other way is whereby individual pedals are connected together in a daisy-chain fashion, connected together with short cables.
Building up a collection of effect pedals in a daisy-chain pattern is the most common configuration that guitar players adopt, due mainly to the fact that pedals are built up over time as finances allow and also that guitar players like to mix and match their favorite effect units as they please. One possible drawback to the daisy-chain method is that more cables are needed to connect the units together, as well as it taking longer to set up the pedals if you are performing at different locations.
As previously stated there is a multitude of guitar effect pedals to choose from, the following types represent a sample of what’s available and what they actually do.
Distortion and Overdrive Pedals
This type of pedal will take the signal produced by the guitar and amplify it to a point where it makes a sound that can vary between a raw dirty tone to a rich warm clipped sound. The variations in tone produced will depend on the make and model of distortion pedal, with some having just a few simple knobs and a footswitch to those that have tone shaping capabilities.
While it’s accepted that the more sophisticated amplifiers will have reverb built-in, if you have an amp that has less than acceptable reverb by all means consider buying a reverb effects pedal. Reverb has the capability to add a new sound to your playing. Like all good things with reverb it is very much a case of less is more, in other words don’t overdo its use, but rather use it sparingly during parts of a song to highlight emotion.
These types of pedal are essential for anyone who’s serious about playing the guitar. Although ordinarily it’s relatively easy to tune by ear, once you are on stage playing with other band members this can become next to impossible. With a tuner pedal you can cut the signal from the guitar going to the amp, so no one hears it, and instead use the visual display to determine whether your guitar is in tune or not.
Wah Wah Pedals
The effect is produced by a foot pedal that you are able to rock back and forth to produce that familiar wah-wah sound, and is very popular with lead and rhythm guitar players. The effect itself is created by a low-pass filter, which has a cut-off frequency that is controlled by the foot pedal.
Although not an easy effects pedal to use, it’s still a very useful pedal for all guitarists to have in their arsenal. What a compressor effect pedal allows a player to do is perform a piece over a wide dynamic range. This can extend from aggressive solos to gentle rhythmic chords, all done while keeping the same output volume from the Amplifier. This enables your audience to not only hear softer and gentler passages, but also enables them to hear the more charged lead work without diminishing the sound from the other band members. A compressor also has the ability to sustain notes for longer, beyond what your guitar would normally allow you to play.
This is one of the most popular of effects pedals as well as one of the best known. Essentially, what a phaser does is to create two signals from the source guitar signal and then outputs these two signals slightly out of phase. This is what produces the phasing effect, which can be varied and manipulated by use of the controls on the pedal.
Back in the nineteen sixties this was a very popular effect, and its popularity hasn’t diminished to this day. The essence of the tremolo pedal is that it creates a vibrato effect by altering the amplitude of the guitars source signal. The Pedal gives control over both the speed variation and the signal depth.
As you can see from just a sample of the guitar effect pedals you have plenty of scope when it comes to creating experimental and unique sounds. Why not check out the Joyo pedals review for more information on particular types of joyo pedals.