We’re going to attempt to offer a quick look at the major types of guitar effects pedals. In part 1 we’ll cover the basics.
We know that you have a million web sites offering insight for this topic, but its been our experience that they’re published by engineers, not musicians… they read like microwave manuals rather than a helpful resource… Anyway… off we go.
I can’t really milk over a few lines using this topic. It’s pretty cut and dry- an enhancement pedal will provide your signal a volume boost – or cut, for the way you’ve got it set. Most boost pedals behave as a master volume control enabling you a fairly great deal of use.
How come I need an increase pedal? To give your guitar volume up over the remainder of the band during a solo, to operate your amp harder by feeding it a hotter signal, to possess a set volume change on the press of a button.
When most guitarists speak about overdrive, these are talking about the smooth ‘distortion’ made by their tube amps when driven to begin breaking up. Overdrive pedals are meant to either replicate this tone (with limited success) or drive a tube amp into overdrive, creating those screaming tubes beyond what they normally can do without wall shaking volume.
Why do I needed an overdrive pedal? Overdrive pedals can be used as an increase pedal- which means you get those inherent benefits, you’ll get some good added girth for your tone from your distortion produced by the pedal. Most overdrive pedals have tone control supplying you with wider tone shaping possibilities.
Depending on our above definition of overdrive, distortion is when overdrive leaves off. From the rock guitar world think Van Halen and beyond for a clear demonstration of distorted guitar tone. Distortion pedals often emulate high gain amps that create thick walls of sound small tube amps are not capable of creating. If you’re lucky enough to use a large Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Diezel or some other monster amplifier to produce your distortion you may not want a distortion pedal. But for the rest of us mere mortals, guitar effects pedals are crucial to modern guitar tone.
Why do I need a distortion pedal? You would like to be relevant don’t you? In spite of large amps, like those mentioned above, distortion pedals play a key role in modern music. They have flexibility that boosts and overdrives simply cannot rival.
God bless Ike Turner and also the Kinks. Both acts achieved their landmark tones by making use of abused speaker cabinets. Ike dropped his on the street walking in to Sun Records to record Rocket 88, the Kinks cut their speakers with knives or so the legends have it. Irrespective of how they got it, their tone changed the planet. Some think of it distortion, some consider it fuzz, however, seeing the progression from all of these damaged speakers towards the fuzz boxes manufactured to emulate those tones, I believe its safest to call what Turner and Davies created/discovered was fuzz.
How come I need a fuzz pedal? Ya like Hendrix, don’t ya? In all honesty, the fuzz pedal is seeing resurgence in popular music currently. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Muse as well as the White Stripes rely heavily on classic designs on recent releases.
The job of a compressor is always to deliver an even volume output. It makes the soft parts louder, along with the loud parts softer. Current country music guitar tone is driven by the use of compression.
Why do you need a compressor? Improved sustain, increased clarity during low volume playing.
The earliest “flanger” effects were made in the studio by playing 2 tape decks, both playing the same sounds, while an engineer would slow down or quicken the playback of one of many dupe signals. This is how you might produce wooshing jet streams. The advantage from the traditional tape reels is called the flange.
Why do I need a flanger? A flanger will provide a whole new color to the tonal palette. You can live with out one, but you’ll never get a few of the nuance coloring of the Van Halen’s, Pink Floyd’s, or Rush’s around the globe.
The phase shifter bridges the gap between Flanger and Chorus. Early phasers were designed to recreate the spinning speaker of the Leslie. Phase shifting’s over use could be heard all over the initial few Van Halen albums.
How come I needed a phase shifter? See Flangers answer.
Chorus pedals split your signal into two, modulates one by slowing it down and detuning it, then mixes it back with all the original signal. The outcome should really sound dexspky30 several guitarists playing the same thing at the same time, creating a wide swelling sound, but I don’t listen to it. You are doing get a thicker more lush tone, nevertheless it doesn’t seem like a chorus of players if you ask me.
Why do I want a chorus? Because Andy Summers uses one, and Paul Raven says so… which should be adequate.
As being a kid, would you ever enjoy the volume knob around the TV or maybe the radio manically turning it down and up? Yeah? Well you had been a tremolo effect.
So why do I need a tremolo pedal? 6 words for ya: The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Now’
A delay pedal produces a copy of an incoming signal and slightly time-delays its replay. It can be used to create a “slap back” (single repetition) or even an echo (multiple repetitions) effect. Who amongst us can’t appreciate The Sides usage of effects for guitar players delay throughout U2s career?
Exactly why do I needed a delay pedal? See Flangers answer.
A variable band-pass frequency filter… Screw all of that- do you know what a wah wah is… its po-rn music! It’s Hendrix! It’s Hammett. It’s Wylde. It’s Slash.