effect pedal types - Town Center Music

effect pedal types - Town Center Music
EFFECT PEDAL TYPES
Gain Effects
Effect achieved by overloading a
chip/diode/IC inside the pedal
resulting in “hard clipping” or
“square wave” distortion.
Meant to emulate the “soft clipping” of an overloaded tube preamp.
Tone coloration is inherent.
Tone coloration is inherent.
Usually emphasis on midrange.
OVERDRIVE
DISTORTION
Linear signal boost across all
frequencies.
Controls the apparent volume of a
signal by lowering or raising gain.
Usually transparent, zero tone
coloration
Tone coloration is inherent.
Great for players looking to “even
out” a tone (i.e. “chicken picking”).
Great for beefing up tone to a
low-volume amp.
BOOST
Figure 1: “Soft” vs. “Hard” Clipping
COMP
Figure 2: How a Compressor Works
Time-Based Effects
Repeats signal at specified rates
& volumes.
Chops up signal at specified rate
and depth.
Multiple tone colors available:
analog, digital, tape, etc.
“Square wave” is very choppy.
“Triangle wave” is softer effect,
like a vintage Fender amp.
DELAY
TREMOLO
Modulation Effects
Copies your signal, flips the
phase of one copy, and sweeps
“phase notches” thru the frequency spectrum.
Same as phaser, but flippedphase signal is delayed no more
than 20ms.
Delay can be controlled to increase effect.
Very subtle.
Think EVH, “Eruption.”
FLANGER
PHASER
Same as phaser & flanger, but
with longer delay time.
A tone knob at your feet.
Vintage wahs often have a more
pronounced top end roll off.
More subtle than phaser &
flanger.
Some wahs have distortion, octave, or other effects built in.
VERY effective in stereo mode.
CHORUS
WAH
CHAINING EFFECTS
“Which Chain Of Effect Pedals Makes Life Easy?”
- Robert Keeley
Wah, Compressor, Overdrive, EQ, Pitch, Modulation, Levels, Echo
But really, there are no rules. Would you rather wah your delays, or delay or wah? Some
fuzz pedals like to see the guitar first, so they should be put in front of the wah. Moving
these fuzz boxes around in your chain will create different kinds of sounds.
DO CABLES AFFECT MY TONE?
YES. But not as much as some cable companies would like you to believe.
Top tips:
Oxygen-free cable. Less corrosion, less capacitance.
Gold-plated connectors. Again, less corrosion, less capacitance.
Length of no more than 18’6” - that’s where measurable capacitance and RF interference occur.
TRUE VS. BUFFERED BYPASS
Is true bypass better than buffered bypass? MAYBE.
Huh?
MXR/CAE Buffer
True bypass DOES cut everything out of your signal path, preserving you original
tone, as in, nothing added.
Remember: 18’6” is where capacitance & RF interference begin to be a problem. Think about
your chain: guitar to board, pedal patches, and board to amp. How long is that?
The buffered bypasses of Boss and other brands give your signal a clean boost , so nothing is
lost.
USING EFFECTS LOOPS
Should I use my amps’ effects loop? Again, maybe.
The effects loop sits between the preamp and the power amp sections of your amp.
FX loop out
FX loop in
Your effects pedals, amp distortion and EQ all happen before this split, while pure amplification
is handled after this split. Time effects (like delay and tremolo) and modulation effects (like
chorus, flanger, etc) all sound cleaner and sharper when used in your effects loop. You’ll even
find that you might turn your effects down when you use them here.
Think about it: Your preamp is distorting your signal, which is good. But all the little delay trails
from your nifty MXR Carbon Copy pedal get distorted as well. Move it to the effects loop, and
voila, your live sound is studio clean. Also, if you are running very high gain where a lot of buzzing is present, a noise gate pedal works really well here. The only real down side to using an effects loop is the extra cords you’d need to run. If your amp has an effects loop, try it to see how
you like it.
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