Ever since the advent of electric instruments, guitarists have been experimenting with ways of using effects to expand their range.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the different 5 types of and highlighted some specific favourites – as well as a surprise bonus at the end.
From early 70s fusion to contemporary , have had a big impact the and range of many guitarists.
Travelling with at least two is very common, with , delay, , compression and among the most popular.
These effects provide character and depth to a traditionally mellow and clean , allowing a whole bunch of personality to come through.
A j will often use a variety of effects, from and delay to more unusual effects like ring modulators.
So let’s have a look at the different types of pedals, then a list of the top brands and models to consider.
There are several different categories of pedals, all of which will alter your in different ways.
But each of these categories contains countless unique pedals which can vary wildly. The following are five broad categories which we’ll look at in this article:
- Overdrive &
Rock, blues, and metal, for example, are all known for their use of and overdrive. However, an over does not necessarily have to result in a pure-rock .
guitarists can make use of subtle overdrive to give warmth and low-end to their .
This adds clipping stages to the signal, driving it to maximum intensity and creating harmonic overtones that complement the fundamental note.
However, should be used with care, as high amounts of can create a lack of note definition!
From the 1960s onwards, and overdrive have been used to great success in rock music.
The Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer and the Fulltone OCD are two well-known overdrive pedals, the former of which was used by legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn.
The BOSS DS-1 and the ProCo RAT are two well-known pedals that have been used by a wide range of artists, including Radiohead, Sonic Youth, and Metallica.
To add a lot of sustain to your , which cuts audio signals and generates a thick, dirty . , use a
This is great in some cases, but it filters out many mid-range frequencies, which makes it easy to get lost in the mix. Therefore, it’s not necessarily great for solos, especially when not paired with anything else.
These pedals essentially filter the frequencies being played, removing either the lower or higher frequencies.
A is the most common type of filter , and it allows the player to switch between high and low frequencies by rocking the back and forth.
was an avid user of this , most notably on ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’.
Modulation effects provide subtle texture to clean tones, which, in the case of a , can create the impression of two independent impulses.
A gives the illusion of several instruments by doubling an audio output that is just a few milliseconds out of sync.
The was prominent in 1980s synth music, but it can also be found in everything from grunge (as in Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”) to (as in Mike Stern’s characteristic ).
Furthermore, the adds a lush and rich to the .
is great for adding depth, richness, and ambiance to your . It is often confused with vibrato, which can be used to add a wobble-like quality.
A records the notes you play and then replays them at time intervals you set on the .
Delay pedals come in a variety of flavours, from analog delay (like the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man) to digital delay (like the Boss DD-7), to emulated tape echo (like the Boss DD-1 or the JHS Lucky Cat).
The starting lines of Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” are an excellent example of a in action.
A in that it stimulates the echoing of a large room. works similarly to a
In conclusion, a delay creates the illusion of two signals, resulting in a richer .
It can also be utilised to add ambiance to your performance by creating the impression of a larger room, and layering up your .
5 Best Pedals to Try
So we’ve looked at the different types of pedals, but what about specific brands and models?
Here are 5 of our top picks…
M169 Carbon Copy
Guitarists of many genres are familiar with the M160 Carbon Copy analog delay and guitarists will like the warmth of the M169 Carbon Copy’s delay .
Including a Carbon Copy in your setup will give your a sense of space reminiscent of playing in a concert hall.
Every note you play with this will as if it is expanding to take the volume it requires.
It will much more significant if you play in smaller places.
Boss DD-7 Delay
The Boss DD-7 is a . that creates a temporal delay on the of the
The delay produces a reverberating and is a recording of the notes being played back.
On the pedalboard of certain electric guitarists, two of these pedals will be directly next to each other.
One is tuned for a lengthy delay for typical soloing, while the other is set for a shorter, slap-back delay for a more subtle, rhythmic .
MXR Phase 90
This Jim Dunlop-designed MXR phaser produces a basic, uncomplicated modification and is one of the oldest pedals still very much in production.
The design is minimal, with merely a knob to set the phase frequency, a red light to signify that it is operational, and a button.
The Whammy is a pitch shift that allows you to ‘bounce’ your playing up and down in pitch.
It allows you to be very controlled, or very dramatic with these shifts, using a momentary switch and customisable rise and fall time. It uses a foot switch that allows you to control it.
Boss CH-1 Super
The Boss CH-1 can add a touch of modernity to your by producing highly prevalent sounds in 1980s music.
When performed with a CH-1, fast lines and chord changes provide a melancholy organ-like .
The Super allows you to fine-tune the ‘s tempo, depth, and .
By properly setting the knobs, you may achieve the rich and warm you desire.
It’s a strong contender for the most incredible on the market, especially considering its price.
Furthermore, the CH-1 is adaptable and can be utilised to play a variety of musical styles, making it an excellent addition to your pedalboard!
Bonus: Strymon Iridium
Is it a pedal? Is it an amp? Is it something else entirely? Well, the folks over at Strymon describe the Iridium as an amp and a cab in a room in a pedal.
Whatever the label, the basic idea is that the iridium sits at the end of your signal chain and takes care of all the tonal sculpting you’d usually do on your amplifier.
You feed your signal into a recording interface, some monitors, or a larger “in-house” sound system, and even though there are no amps in the vicinity, your sound will have that full-bodied, rich character we associate with the iconic tube amps of yesteryear.
You can check out full review of the Strymon Iridium here.
It’s a matter of personal taste when it comes to choosing the best effects pedals for your .
What style of need to be? do you prefer? What is your budget? To accommodate your playing styles, how flexible does the
If you can answer all of these, finding the correct effects pedals for your signal chain will be much easier.
But don’t be fooled: whilst these examples may very eccentric, when used right, effects pedals can give a great subtle lift to your .
More importantly, they’re a lot of fun to play with.
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The label ‘Discover Jazz’ is attached to articles which have been edited and published by Jazzfuel host Matt Fripp, but have been written in collaboration with various different jazz musicians and industry contributors. When appropriate, these musicians are quoted and name-checked inside the article itself!