We’re going to attempt to give a quick look at the major varieties of guitar pedal reviews. In part 1 we’ll cover the basic principles.

We understand that we now have millions of websites offering insight for this topic, but its been our experience that they’re authored by engineers, not musicians… they read like microwave manuals rather than a helpful resource… Anyway… off we go.

Boost

I can’t really milk over a few lines using this topic. It’s pretty cut and dry- a boost 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 allowing you quite a number of use.

So why do I want an increase pedal? To create your guitar volume up over the other band in a solo, to operate a vehicle your amp harder by feeding it a hotter signal, to experience a set volume change with the press of a button.

Overdrive

When most guitarists talk about overdrive, these are making reference to the smooth ‘distortion’ made by their tube amps when driven to the point of breaking up. Overdrive pedals are made to either replicate this tone (with limited success) or drive a tube amp into overdrive, creating those screaming tubes beyond whatever they normally would be able to do without wall shaking volume.

So why do I need an overdrive pedal? Overdrive pedals can be used as a boost pedal- therefore you get those inherent benefits, you’ll find some good added girth to the tone from your distortion developed by the pedal. Most overdrive pedals have tone control giving you wider tone shaping possibilities.

Distortion

According to our above definition of overdrive, distortion is the place where overdrive leaves off. Inside the rock guitar world think Van Halen and beyond for a clear instance of distorted guitar tone. Distortion pedals often emulate high gain amps that create thick walls of sound small tube amps are certainly not effective at creating. If you’re fortunate enough to possess a large Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Diezel or other monster amplifier to generate your distortion you will possibly not want a distortion pedal. But for the remainder of us mere mortals, effects for guitar players are very important to modern guitar tone.

So why do I would like a distortion pedal? You wish to be relevant don’t you? Despite large amps, like those stated previously, distortion pedals play an integral role in modern music. They have flexibility that boosts and overdrives simply cannot rival.

Fuzz

God bless Ike Turner along with the Kinks. Both acts achieved their landmark tones by utilizing abused speaker cabinets. Ike dropped his in the street walking in to Sun Records to record Rocket 88, the Kinks cut their speakers with knives roughly the legends already have it. Regardless how they got it, their tone changed the globe. Some call it distortion, some call it fuzz, however, seeing the progression readily available damaged speakers on the fuzz boxes created to emulate those tones, I believe its safest to call what Turner and Davies created/found was fuzz.

Why do I needed a fuzz pedal? Ya like Hendrix, don’t ya? In all of the honesty, the fuzz pedal is seeing resurgence in popular music currently. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Muse along with the White Stripes rely heavily on classic designs on recent releases.

Compressor

The work of the compressor is to deliver an even volume output. This makes the soft parts louder, and the loud parts softer. Current country music guitar tone is driven through compression.

Why do you want a compressor? Improved sustain, increased clarity during low volume playing.

Modulation

Flanger

The earliest “flanger” effects were made in the studio by playing 2 tape decks, both playing exactly the same sounds, while an engineer would slow or increase the playback of one of several dupe signals. This is the way you could produce wooshing jet streams. The edge from the old fashioned tape reels is known as the flange.

So why do I needed a flanger? A flanger will offer you a brand new color for your tonal palette. You may live with out one, but you’ll never get a number of the nuance coloring in the Van Halen’s, Pink Floyd’s, or Rush’s of the world.

Phase shifter

The phase shifter bridges the space between Flanger and Chorus. Early phasers were intended to recreate the spinning speaker of your Leslie. Phase shifting’s over use might be heard everywhere in the initial Van Halen albums.

How come I needed a phase shifter? See Flangers answer.

Chorus

Chorus pedals split your signal into two, modulates one of those by slowing it down and detuning it, then mixes it back with the original signal. The result should really sound dexspky30 several guitarists playing the exact same thing as well, causing a wide swelling sound, however i don’t hear it. You do get yourself a thicker more lush tone, nevertheless it doesn’t appear to be a chorus of players if you ask me.

Exactly why do I want a chorus? Because Andy Summers uses one, and Paul Raven says so… that ought to be good enough.

Tremolo

As a kid, have you ever have fun with the amount knob on the TV or the radio manically turning it down and up? Yeah? Well you have been a tremolo effect.

Exactly why do I need a tremolo pedal? 6 words for ya: The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Now’

Delay

A delay pedal results in a copy of your incoming signal and slightly time-delays its replay. It can be used to make a “slap back” (single repetition) or even an echo (multiple repetitions) effect. Who amongst us can’t appreciate The Edges use of electric guitar effects pedal delay throughout U2s career?

So why do I needed a delay pedal? See Flangers answer.

Wah

A variable band-pass frequency filter… Screw everything- do you know what a wah wah is… its po-rn music! It’s Hendrix! It’s Hammett. It’s Wylde. It’s Slash.