Besides the guitar and amp, guitar effects pedals is another piece of gear guitar players sought after and rave about. Whether it is big or small, expensive to the cheapest guitar effects pedals available, what it brings to the table in making guitar playing sound even better and a lot cooler is considerably essential.
There are two ways to start playing with guitar effects. You can either start with a multi-effects processor, or grew a guitar effects collection by collecting individual stompboxes that you can later on create an effects rig set up.
If you’re on the conservative side of things, want to test it out first just to get your feet wet and don’t wanna spend too much money right away. The best choice for you to make is to start with a multi-effects pedals. However, if you don’t mind collecting effects first to make a pedal train later on or you have now the resources to create an effects rig set up, stompboxes are the one’s for you.
Collecting stompbox effects has no false starts on what should come first and what to go last. It is very subjective, based on ideas and no one will ever tell you that you bought the wrong effects for any specific reason. Experimenting on effects is encourage, but to do this, it will cost more money especially on those modulation type effects.
A practical approach of selecting stompboxes is to take the time knowing first the budget to spend, music you are going to play heavily, together with your influence to end up having the effects you will use quite often.
In case your still wondering. As a suggestion, just to give you an idea where to start if you have decided to go ahead with the stompboxes. You might want to consider an Overdrive or Distortion, Reverb and a Wah Pedal for your first pedals. The reason why is, with this pedals, you can immediately hear the changes on your sound/tone and can already give you the funk, blues, classic rock to hard rock genre which is a great start up when playing with guitar effects pedals.
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Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz Pedals
Playing clean to dirty is probably the priority and what comes first into mind when playing with effects. There are more than one ways of achieving this through pedals that will also show different kinds of result. Which brings us to the usually asked question. What’s the difference between the sound of an overdrive, distortion, and fuzz?
The overdrive is considered the most natural of the three distorted sound. It simulates the sound of a tube amp amplified beyond its normal limit of clean capacity breaking up giving a warm creamy distorted sound. Having an overdriven sound using an overdrive pedal is already good enough to take you far from just playing clean, but in some degree, the level of harshness it provides is less and insufficient to play other forms of music like punk, hard rock, and especially metal.
This is were distortion pedal and fuzz pedal comes necessary and arguably is better to produce the much needed heavier distorted sound on using a pedal. Distortion and fuzz is the more aggressive type of distortion, but yet again both presenting a different quality of distortion sound. Fuzz has a raspy violent and transistor like characteristic while distortion has the heavier overdriven and darker sound.
Where to buy: Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Overdrive Pedal $78.20 Amazon
Although we hear this naturally occurring sound everyday we don’t think of it as much as an effect unless we hear it on a large hall or stadium where it is distinctively heard. On its earliest days, mustering this effect is only possible on recording studios by placing microphones to capture the direct sound of the instrument and natural sound of the room, which is made up of sound reflection of all the surfaces in that room, merge together to produce one single continuous sound.
As technology progresses. Reverberation is now produced in analog and digitally for guitar’s using reverb pedals that recreates the sound of this kind of environment and also by simply using the spring/plate reverb effect built-in on most guitar amplifiers of today.
The use of the reverb is the basic on having a great sound, but often many miss out on its importance because of the use of more dynamic sounding effects. Tuning the level of effect just a little on the reverb pedal and adjusting the decay/time slightly makes the sound more ambient, natural and also adds more clarity on how each notes will sound.
Where to buy: TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal $129.00 Amazon
In the world of guitar effects, the wah-wah voice is probably the simplest and the most uniquely sounding. Why? Unlike other effects, it doesn’t need much settings to put it on a sweet spot and noticeably other effects are closely related in such a way making them almost sounding the same. Except only for the wah.
The distinctive wah-wah voice has become one of the staple effect on a guitar pedal. It has been used in many lead solos and rhythmic kind of sounds along side or combined with other effects like an overdrive and distortion which maximizes its use in crossing music genres.
Even though it is a great effect to have, it is still an effect a guitarist needs to think about on how he/she wanna use it. Some might find the wah-wah voice already useful at the beginning and others may find the use for it later on.
Choosing what modulation effect to use can be a daunting task. With so many of them available to alter the way a guitar will sound, there is always going to be one on the sideline waiting for the right moment of using it to arrive. The last two spot on this list will belong to the multi-modulation effect for that reason.
Starting with a multi-modulation for beginners or placing one on a pedal chain that you already have today can be fitting addition. Not only you get to enjoy playing and experimenting on effects you are not accustomed too, but it also lessen the cost of buying modulation effects individually.
Modulation effects can come in different group variations depending on each multi-modulation effect processor. Some may just have three effects included and others can have up to eight types of modulation in a pedal. There is of course going to be a sound difference between a dedicated and a multi type. Nonetheless, it is still a useful piece of gear guitar players can use to enhance and change the way they sound.