We’re going to try and offer a quick look at the major forms of rock guitar effects. Here in part 1 we’ll cover the essentials.
We know there are one million sites offering insight to this topic, but its been our experience that they’re created by engineers, not musicians… they read like microwave manuals rather than a helpful resource… Anyway… off we go.
I can’t really milk more than a few lines out of this topic. It’s pretty cut and dry- an enhancement pedal will provide your signal a volume boost – or cut, for the way you’ve got it set. Most boost pedals work as a master volume control enabling you a fairly number of use.
So why do I need an increase pedal? To bring your guitar volume up over all of those other band during a solo, to get your amp harder by feeding it a hotter signal, to get a set volume change with the press of a button.
When most guitarists discuss overdrive, these are referring to the smooth ‘distortion’ produced by their tube amps when driven to begin breaking apart. Overdrive pedals are meant to either replicate this tone (with limited success) or drive a tube amp into overdrive, creating those screaming tubes beyond whatever they normally could do without wall shaking volume.
Exactly why do I would like an overdrive pedal? Overdrive pedals bring a boost pedal- which means you get those inherent benefits, you’ll find some good added girth to the tone from your distortion produced by the pedal. Most overdrive pedals have tone control offering you wider tone shaping possibilities.
Based on our above concept of overdrive, distortion is how overdrive leaves off. In the rock guitar world think Van Halen and beyond for any clear example of distorted guitar tone. Distortion pedals often emulate high gain amps that produce thick walls of sound small tube amps are certainly not competent at creating. If you’re fortunate enough to possess a large Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Diezel or some other monster amplifier to generate your distortion you might not want a distortion pedal. But throughout us mere mortals, effects for guitarists are necessary to modern guitar tone.
How come I would like a distortion pedal? You would like to be relevant don’t you? Even with large amps, like those mentioned previously, distortion pedals play a key role in modern music. They have flexibility that boosts and overdrives cannot rival.
God bless Ike Turner and also the Kinks. Both acts achieved their landmark tones by using abused speaker cabinets. Ike dropped his around the street walking in to Sun Records to record Rocket 88, the Kinks cut their speakers with knives or more the legends have it. No matter how they got it, their tone changed the planet. Some call it distortion, some refer to it as fuzz, however, seeing the progression readily available damaged speakers to the fuzz boxes built to emulate those tones, I believe its safest to call what Turner and Davies created/discovered was fuzz.
So why do I would like a fuzz pedal? Ya like Hendrix, don’t ya? In every 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.
The job of the compressor is always to deliver a level volume output. It makes the soft parts louder, and the loud parts softer. Current country music guitar tone is driven by means of compression.
Why do you really need a compressor? Improved sustain, increased clarity during low volume playing.
The earliest “flanger” effects were produced in the studio by playing 2 tape decks, both playing the identical sounds, while an engineer would slow down or quicken the playback of one of several dupe signals. This is how you could potentially produce wooshing jet streams. The advantage in the old style tape reels is called the flange.
How come I need a flanger? A flanger will give you a whole new color for your tonal palette. You can deal with out one, but you’ll never get several of the nuance coloring of your Van Halen’s, Pink Floyd’s, or Rush’s around the world.
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 can be heard all around the initial few Van Halen albums.
Why do I want a phase shifter? See Flangers answer.
Chorus pedals split your signal into two, modulates one of those by slowing it down and detuning it, then mixes it way back in using the original signal. The impact is supposed to sound dexspky30 several guitarists playing the same thing at the same time, creating a wide swelling sound, nevertheless i don’t listen to it. You need to do get a thicker more lush tone, but it doesn’t sound like a chorus of players if you ask me.
Exactly why do I would like a chorus? Because Andy Summers uses one, and Paul Raven says so… that should be good enough.
Being a kid, did you ever fiddle with the volume knob in the TV or maybe the radio manically turning it up and down? Yeah? Well you were a tremolo effect.
So why do I want a tremolo pedal? 6 words for ya: The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Now’
A delay pedal produces a copy of any incoming signal and slightly time-delays its replay. It can be used to generate a “slap back” (single repetition) or perhaps an echo (multiple repetitions) effect. Who amongst us can’t appreciate The Sides use of electric guitar effects pedal delay throughout U2s career?
So why do I would like a delay pedal? See Flangers answer.
A variable band-pass frequency filter… Screw everything- you know what a wah wah is… its po-rn music! It’s Hendrix! It’s Hammett. It’s Wylde. It’s Slash.