The world of guitars does not only revolve around guitars.
Sometimes, the repertoire that you hear is not just a by-product of a skilled master or a high-end, custom-made guitar. In the floor, you can see little boxes arranged systematically under the feet of the guitar player.
They are guitar effects pedals. And one way or another, they can improve and elevate the kind of sound that comes out from the instrument. It is the primary reason why avid players are investing in a myriad of pedals. The more you can alter the tone of your instrument, the more versatile you become on the stage.
Of course, you can either opt for analog or digital guitar pedals. Each of these has its own tradeoffs. As long as you are comfortable with them, there should be no problem at all. This time, you need to know every guitar effects pedal that your rig should have.
The simplest can sometimes be the best. That’s what a boost pedal can prove to you. Guitars do require the service of a clean boost. Being able to amplify the signal of your guitar is definitely something that you need from time to time.
A boost pedal enables guitar players to hit their amp with an enhanced and more robust signal. It causes the volume level to spike, which in turn, results in the amp getting more gain. For live performances, a boost pedal is a must-have.
It is undeniable that one of the most sought effects pedals out there is the overdrive. Of course, there’s a reason behind this.
You see, the term “overdrive” directly refers to the mechanism in which a tube amp is put in the state that surpasses its range. At this point, there are no clean tones already. But of course, the dirty tone is definitely something we seek, especially in rock and blues.
In a sense, overdrive can remain subtle. You can describe an overdrive tone as “warm”, which adds to the overall sound quality and characteristic. Compared to distortion, overdrives are much more controlled. Distortion effects are compressed and saturated. Metallica is one of the legendary bands that popularized the heavy use of thick distortion. Meanwhile, the legendary Eddie Van Halen kept his Marshall overdriven.
One should know that fuzz pedals are among the earliest types of guitar effects pedals that have been released on the market. It has a simple circuitry so that it can fulfil its role. Specifically, it can clip the tone of the guitar so that its sound waves will become square in shape.
The Maestro Fuzz Tone is known to be one of the pioneering fuzz pedals that have been sold commercially. It was released around 1962. During that time, the traction of this pedal to guitar players are not that rigid. However, when Keith Richards utilized a fuzz pedal to do the Satisfaction’s opening riff, people started to swarm over it,
The fuzz effect is ubiquitously used through the entire debut record of Led Zeppelin. It can also be heard in the intro riff of the “Heart Full of Soul” of Yardbirds.
A pedal that is labelled as “distortion” is guaranteed to create “hard clipping.” This is quite the opposite of the mechanism of the overdrive pedal, which solely generates soft and subtle clipping.
There’s a vast difference between these two worlds. You can realize this after you take a look at an oscilloscope–or the device that allows us to see soundwaves. Distorting or overdriving a note will cause the flattening of waves. Technically, this is called clipping. The more the sound waves are clipped, the more distortion you can hear.
When it comes to clipping, the fuzz pedal is indeed the king. In fact, it can clip the wave so much to the extent that the latter becomes square. The top of the wave is as flat as the bottom.
Interestingly, distortion pedals can be used for overdrives. You just need to reduce their gain so that you can regulate the clipping.
The reverb pedal is another pioneering effect pedal for guitars. The original design of this pedal is quite distinct compared to other pedals. Specifically, the reverb is directly built into the amp. An excellent example of this is the Fender Deluxe Reverb. You can also take the Super Reverb as another traditional example of a reverb.
In the case of traditional spring reverbs, the signal of the guitar is sent to the springs. The result of this is a reverberating vibration. Of course, this is the actual reverb effect that stimulates every guitar player out there.
Technology came, and reverb pedals are already manufactured in the form of rack units. Fortunately, these racks that have been sized down so that they can already fit on standard pedalboards.
A myriad of reverb pedal exists today. Personally, I prefer those that include a plethora of reverbs such as hall, spring, plate, and church. Overall, the effect they generate is subtle. They provide extra character and ambience to the sound of your guitar. When you are inside recording studios or confined rooms, your ears can really lavish such effects.
The chorus pedal became famous in the market during the 80s. The advent of Boss CE-2 and Boss CE-1, TC Electronics Stereo Chorus, and Electro Harmonix Small Clone opened the floodgates for this particular pedal effect.
It is not difficult to describe what a chorus pedal does. The latter simply emulates the effects of string and choir orchestras. This is done through by mixing various sounds that differ in pitch and timbre. The effect splits the audio signal of the guitar before it reaches the amplifier. The pedal modifies the signal by adding variations in frequency and minimal delays. Meanwhile, part of the signal will not be altered at all.
These are the essential guitar effects pedals that should be present in your pedalboard. It doesn’t matter if you practice in a specific genre or musical inclination because these pedals will undoubtedly amplify your performance. They allow variations in your creation and ensure that you can create a masterpiece without spending too much.
If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.
Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don't want to drop my zeal--especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!