Every serious musician knows there’s no compromise when it comes to tone. Long gone are the days of plugging a guitar directly into an amp without an array of effects to lend the player their unique sonic signature. The variety of pedals available is enormous. The guitar player can use this to their advantage by selecting a combination of pedals that will create a sound that is unique to them.
Overdrive is commonly compared to distortion, while these two pedals can achieve similar sounds they are different things! Overdrive pedals take your guitar signal and boost it, this boost when run through an analog circuit creates the almost but not quite distorted sound. Every guitarist should own an over drive, and there’s plenty to choose from!
Distortion pedals take the signal and intentionally clip (peak) it, this creates that phat wall of sound. Distortion tend to have a colder more technical sound than fuzz’s and Overdrive’s.
Fuzz pedals were among the first effects pedals ever made, the circuits are exceedingly simple and have a nostalgia inducing warm sound. If you want to hear a good example of a fuzz check out some Hendrix!
Wah is synonymous with the Jim Dunlop CryBaby, these pedals have a filter that is activated and swept with a foot pedal. There are many variations of the way pedal, some include selectable filters, EQ’s and boosts!
The name says it all! Delay pedals repeat a set amount times to a tempo you set, these trails can be modulated to create some detune/spacey sounds or left clean to attain a Edge like sound! You can get analog and digital delays, both types have there pro’s and con’s with analog delays always sounding a little warmer with a more natural decay and digital delays having some crazy sounds with super clean processing.
Reverb in pedal land is more than just a spring, plate or room emulation, most digital effects feature atmospheric and unique reverbs that can totally change the character of your guitar. You’ve probably heard of ShimVerb which is one of these crazy effects, reverb is an essential for guitarists who are chasing the perfect relaxed tone.
Modulation covers a few things; phase, chorus, & flange being the most notable. These pedals all revolve around the same principle, which is frequency manipulation. Phase pedals take you signal down two paths with varying phase, these signals are then periodically combined to create frequency cancelling movement. Flange pedals are similar to phase pedals, however they are more dramatic and have more depth to the effect, the signal is split down two paths again with one being delayed, this effect was discovered while messing around with tape machines in studios! The last modulation effect we’ll touch on is Chorus. This effects creates two clones of signal with longer delay times that create a more subtle effect than the movement of phase and delay pedals.
HOW DO I POWER ALL OF THESE PEDALS??!?!
Most pedals can be powered by batteries which are great for short term use but this can add up to extra expenses in the long run. This is because batteries need replacing. There’s a couple of solutions to this, daisy chaining pedals with a high output psu, or using an isolated pedal power supply. The daisy chain is the cheapest option, however this will introduce noise into your signal and may affect some pedals in weird ways. Isolated power supplies are what we recommend, these PSUs have anywhere between 6-10+ outputs which supply clean regulated power to your pedals, which doesn’t introduce any extra noise!
As you pedal collection grows, it’s a good idea to keep them organised. A well organised pedal board will consist of the board itself to attach the pedals to (usually via Velcro), the patch cables to link the pedals together and the power supply to eradicate the need for replacing numerous batteries. Well throw some pictures of some cool boards below!