Very few subjects dealing with electric guitar are a deep and unending as guitar pedals and effects. An industry unto themselves, players still use everything from old amps with built-in reverb and tremolo to brand-new technology like Line 6's Helix multi-effects. Effects are so pervasive that just about every guitarist keeps several in their rig at all times. From single pedals designed to enhance your guitar's tone, to otherworldly designs that create sounds never heard before, there are enough types, brands, and formats to keeps every guitarist's gear addiction satiated for a very long time to come.
What type of pedal you should add to your collection is completely dependent on what tone you're going for. But one style of effect almost all of us use as some point it would be drive. Drive pedals include overdrives like the Ibanez Tube Screamer, distortions like the Boss DS-1, and a classic example of a fuzz is Electro-harmonix's Big Muff Pi. Blues players that want to punch their amp a bit harder and jazz fusion guitarists looking for a thick sustaining lead tone all rely on these tools to get their message heard.
Time based effects are another popular pedalboard addition. These are your delays and reverb effects. Pedal companies such as MXR, JHS, Line 6, and TC Electronic all make stellar examples of these. Delays are incredibly popular for adding ambient repeats to your sound or even being utilized as a rhythmic element all their own. Reverb on the other hand can place your tone perfectly in the mix, or even impart your sound the with sonic signature of a massive cathedral, the 1960s' finest spring tones, or anything in between.
Modulation effects, such as chorus, flanging, phasers, vibrato, and rotary effects are where the sonically adventurous tread. The chorused sound of "Message in a Bottle," the jet-plane flange of "Unchained," and Hendrix's Uni-Vibe soaked "Star Spangled Banner" simply wouldn't have had their genre-defining impact without the tones generated by iconic guitar pedals and effects. Whether you prefer subtler tones or sonic anarchy, this is where you'll find it.
So you know the sound you want and the effect type you need. Now you just need to figure out what type of device you'll get it from. Single pedals are more popular than ever. Each offers its own signature tone. And they can be mixed and matched to achieve the exact tone in your head. Or maybe the ease of use and sheer versatility of a multi-effects unit is for you. Imagine it, most of the effects that are available today, a tuner, inputs and outputs for integrating into a variety of rigs, and even amplifier modeling in many units.
Today there are so many exciting things to think about when looking for guitar pedals and effects that it's an exceptional journey that never ends. Do you want true bypass or buffered? Do you need to incorporate a looper into your setup? Should you consider one of the many mini pedals to save on board real-estate? Often the answer to all of these questions is "Yes". So whether you're looking for a go to stomp for a bit more sustain, or an endlessly-powerful rack multi-effects unit like the Avid Eleven Rack, give our Sales Engineers a call and let them help you on your personal road of sonic discovery.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.