Types Of Guitar Pedals ~ Guitars are like the harps of heaven in the hands of masters! But there are times when special effects are necessary, and this is where guitar pedals come in. These are devices that change the wavelengths of sound made by guitars resulting in special effects that wouldn’t be possible without them.
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While there are numerous types of pedals, these can be categorized into four types, namely: boosters, modulators, loopers, and filters. Each category has several sub-types, too, resulting in more choices for guitarists.
Guitarists like booster pedals because these are simple to set up yet provide a good range of special effects. These pedals, which include compression and pre-amp pedals, change a guitar’s signal without distorting it, a clean sound.
Booster pedals increase a signal’s overall level. It is their use in getting into overdrive mode. Compression pedals change the sound by narrowing it down, as well as restricting the attack on notes and augmenting their decay.
Tip: Install a compressor pedal at the start of the effects chain for clean and level signals. Then, put a noise gate pedal at its end to remove unwanted noises, including hisses.
You can also add distortion effects to your guitar’s sound through these methods:
- Fuzz (Think hum-tone buzzy sounds like in Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction)
An example of a booster pedal is the TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster Guitar Pedal, which packs power despite its size.
The early examples of the use of modulation effects include the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Modern modulation boosters work by changing a signal’s frequency and pitch in creating a wide range of sounds. These range from the classic vibrato to spaceship effects, thus, the popularity of modulation pedals.
The sub-types of modulation pedals include:
- · Phasers
- Vibrato and tremolo
- Octave driver
- Ring modulator
If you’re looking for a great modulator, you should consider the Donner Guitar Modulation Effect Pedal.
Listen to U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name for an early example, and among the best even today, examples of looping effects. The reverb and echo effects add more to the listening experience, too.
Several effects can be made with looping pedals including:
- Delays, both short and long
The likes of Howie Day and Andrew Bird are known for their use of looping pedals. Experiment with the multiple layers that can be done with a looping pedal with the Boss RE-20 Space Echo Delay.
These pedals change the wavelength, amplitude, and speed, among other aspects, resulting in the way we perceive the sound is coming from a guitar. There are several sub-types, with each one allowing for specific special effects.
- Wah-wah pedals – As its name suggest, this pedal can make a guitar sound like crying. No wonder the greatest guitarists like Jimi Hendrix use them for their music. (Look at the VOX V845 Classic Wah Wah Guitar Effects Pedal and experiment with it)
- Auto-wah pedals – It uses an envelope filter to produce special effects.
- EQ pedals – These are used to mimic the sound of synthesizer-like filters.
To conclude, guitar pedals are optional devices in making beautiful music. You can make your guitar cry, sing, and talk, so to speak, without them. But if you want to bring your music to the next level, you should consider using them.