For questions concerning tone-altering effects typically used for guitar or bass. Questions should also be tagged with specific effects types if applicable.

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34
votes
5answers
79k views

What Does a Compressor Pedal Do?

Quite often, when I see a pedalboard of guitarists I admire, there is a compressor pedal in the chain. How exactly does this pedal affect the sound?
32
votes
20answers
4k views

Glossary of Guitar Effects

There are numerous effects options available to the guitarist, especially the electric guitarist. This question is intended to gather and cultivate a set of answers to questions in the form of: ...
24
votes
9answers
39k views

How to play a long sustained note on an electric guitar?

I've seen such effects on Santana, Robert Fripp and Steve Hackett. They produce a clean sustained sound and I don't know how to create it.
21
votes
3answers
16k views

Why is an amplifier's effects loop useful?

When should you plug gear into your amplifier's effects loop and not into the standard input?
20
votes
15answers
13k views

Multi-Effects Pedal or Multiple Effects Pedals?

A long time ago I owned the BOSS PW-10 V-Wah and I loved it until I connected up to an incorrect power supply destroying the circuitry. I often see artists such as Matt Bellamy using a bunch of ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

How to stop distortion from making minor chords muddy?

I have a Roland/Boss GT3, which I use to get various distortion sounds. I like the sound for the most part, but I find that distorted sounds seem very ... "muddy" I guess would be the best way to ...
16
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the difference between Overdrive and Distortion?

What's the difference? They sound vaguely similar to me and I can't tell a distinct difference sound wise. What is the difference in tone, harmonics, etc.? Are they the same? Which one is better and ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Tips on playing with wah-wah for beginners

I love the sound of a guitar played through wah wah as much as the next guy, but I have some problems picking that skill up. I would love if anyone can either give me some tips on how to start using ...
13
votes
3answers
35k views

Do distortion pedals work well with tube amps? Or should I use a tube screamer?

I have a Blackstar HT5 tube amp and I like to use a Boss DS1 with the clean channel for the heavy stuff (Zeppelin to Nirvana, these are very different I know). Is this considered a good idea, or ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to make swell effect on electric guitar?

The effect I'm thinking of is when you don't hear the pick attack as you play a note, but you hear the note afterwards as it seems to get louder before decaying. I suppose you can mimic this with a ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

What is true bypass?

What is true bypass on a pedal? What are it's advantages? What are it's disadvantages?
12
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the difference between analog and digital effects pedals?

What are the main differences between digital and analog effects? Do they have different circuitry? Sounds? Features?
12
votes
10answers
18k views

What are most common effects (pedals) for Post-rock music genre?

What pedals do bands use for post-rock music? Tons of bands have simillar sound of guitar I want to know how this sound is produced (pedal configuration) and which pedals are used. I know some ...
11
votes
9answers
16k views

How important is it to have an EQ pedal in your chain?

I have a Digitech Bad Monkey, which in my experience, is a very transparent pedal. I use it to mainly to boost my volumes during solos etc. But I've spoken to a few ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

Where should I put delay pedal, before reverb or after?

What's difference between positions of these pedals? I'm playing more post-rock music, with lots of effects... still can't figure out where should I place reverb.
11
votes
9answers
4k views

How to obtain a Clean yet Distorted guitar sound?

I'm kind of a guitar effects noob so sorry if this is an extremely stupid question. How do you obtain a clean and distorted tone using pedals and amp? An example of the kind of sound im looking for is ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Altering the sound of a guitar to match a sitar

I'm interested in altering my guitar to give it a more sitar-like sound. I've stumbled upon this video below and am wondering how dangerous this would be to my ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Basic effects for bass

I’m an amateur bassist looking to get started with effects pedals. Most bassists use effects a lot more sparingly than guitarists, so I’m not sure which ones are common or important. I have AmpKit, so ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How does The Talkbox work?

Beck started using this in the early 70's - they called it The Bag for a hot minute (as did Stevie Wonder) - Frampton's career came alive when he started using it - how does it work?
10
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does pedal order matter?

Why does the order in which I put my guitar/bass pedals matter? For example, why does the compressor needs to be the first one in the order?
9
votes
3answers
7k views

What's the difference between a Flanger and a Phaser?

Every Multi-effects pedal comes with a bunch of different Phasers and Flangers. While I can hear the difference between them when comparing directly, I could never point out what it is that makes them ...
9
votes
6answers
868 views

Lower guitar tuning

I know that there are devices to quickly lower a guitar’s E string into drop tuning. Are there also devices or effects pedals to lower the entire guitar? There’s a lot of rock music in E-flat tuning ...
9
votes
1answer
942 views

Can I build an EBow myself?

It's possible to get some crazy sounds using an EBow on the guitar. I know that it works by creating an electromagnetic field to move the strings. Has anybody tried to build one? Are any schematics ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I get a violin sound from my electric guitar?

I have composed a modern classical piece of music which has sections for violins, cellos, some horns and percussion. The problem is that I did all of that using an electric guitar, so I actually don't ...
8
votes
1answer
435 views

Weird light instead of pick?

I've been on post rock concert (God is an Astronaut if it helps) and during one song artist were not using something looking like tiny laptop power supply with little light (pickup side). He was still ...
7
votes
6answers
11k views

How to prevent high pitch feedback when palm muting

I have a Les Paul with Burstbucker pickups. They sound amazing because they are so hot (very high output). However, when I play with a lot of overdrive, it will constantly squeal (super annoying high ...
7
votes
3answers
573 views

Is True Bypass better than Buffered Bypass? Is it possible to be neither?

Is True Bypass better than Buffered Bypass? Which one is better? I have heard mixed opinions about this topic, and am not sure which side is correct? I have one true bypass pedal and it sounds just ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

How to achieve a glassy, edgy solo tone?

I'm talking about a tone that is clearly saturated, yet without sounding dirty. Imagine a 'creamy' sound, but make it more 'liquid' (!!!) [ref: Popular names for particular guitar tones ] I'll give ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Silicon vs Germanium Fuzz

Hopefully without starting a holy war I would like to discuss the differences, electronically and sonically, of silicon and Germanium fuzz. This is inspired by my recent birthday present (my precious ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Describe the 4 cable method for connecting a multi effect pedal to a guitar amp

What is the 4 cable method, and what are the benefits for connecting your effects pedal to an amplifier in this way?
7
votes
3answers
8k views

What does a preamplifier pedal do?

I've seen a lot of people using a preamplifier pedal. What does that pedal do? Do I need one on my pedalboard?
7
votes
1answer
433 views

Why is the reverb effect so much more pronounced on headphones?

I've recently been forced to go back to playing on headphones instead on a proper amp. I use a digital guitar processor for that, which also sometimes gets hooked into my FX loop. I have some presets ...
6
votes
4answers
388 views

Tips for trying out effects (at a guitar shop)

I'm about to go shopping, and I decided to buy a multi-effects unit for versatility (I thought a lot and decided I do need it). Now I gotta decide which one (not that it's really relevant, but my ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

How can you get guitar and bass tone out of a guitar?

I noticed that '68 uses a single guitar to produce bass and electric guitar sounds. How is this possible? You can see in the video below that Josh is playing a guitar hooked up to a guitar and bass ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

Creamy vs Crunchy Distortion

I'm hearing that you should have a crunchy distortion for rhythm playing and a creamer distortion for lead. In general, I'm usually more a clean player, but I'm trying to learn. I've been playing with ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Chorus pedal, before or after the distortion?

As the title says, should a chorus pedal for guitar go before or after the distortion pedal? I have read about both options, and there are people using it both ways. What makes sense for me is to go ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to make a bass growl?

There’s a bass tone I really like, that doesn’t quite sound distorted, but instead is sort of a subtle, warm growling noise. I think this might be what guitarists mean when they talk about “crunch.” ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I find a good reverb pedal for a huge, soul-filling sound?

I'm looking to experiment with some post-rock sort of stuff, and my guitar sound is just far too empty right now. I've got an echo park that I've been messing around with, but given that it's ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does my guitar sound more natural when plugged directly into a tube amp vs through a pedal board?

Why does my guitar sound better when plugged straight in to my amplifier as opposed to running it through a pedalboard without a true bypass strip?
5
votes
2answers
398 views

Is it safe to use distortion or overdrive with an acoustic amp?

I'm running an acoustic/electric guitar into a small Fishman acoustic amp, and need a little boost sometimes. I've considered using an overdrive pedal I have, but I want to make sure it's okay to do ...
5
votes
2answers
412 views

Delay with your hands

I recently watched a youtube video where John 5 was going over his rig. They turned to his pedal board and he talked about how he is not over reliant on pedals and that he likes to produce effects ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Switching amp heads with pedal

I was listening to Killswitch Engage and decided to look Adam D's rig up. He's used multiple amps and guitars, but is sparse with pedals. When reading this I started wondering how they achieve cleans ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

using multiple stereo effects

I have a couple pedals that have either a dry out, Digitech Whammy or they are stereo effects, i.e delay, chorus. I have multiple amps; Bugera 333xl head, a line 6 Flextone combo, a Hartke 20 W Bass ...
5
votes
3answers
196 views

Is there a guitar effect set up that can emulate the sound of Nashville tuning?

I really like the sound of Nashville tuning, where you typically replace the EADG (low to high) strings with lower gauage strings to get a really light sparkly sound. Is there a way of emulating this ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

what kind of equalization is done for different music genres for your guitar tone?

I have articles which say that if you are into classic rock and metal then you should have more of MIDS etc can some one please provide information that for different kind of genres what kind of EQ is ...
5
votes
3answers
935 views

How do I play the intro riff from Collective Soul's song Heavy?

This question got me all jazzed up about Collective Soul again, so I was spinning through my iTunes library and I hit "Heavy" off Dosage. I have always wondered how to play the beginning riff of that ...
5
votes
3answers
848 views

Distortion pedals similar to Boss's DS-1

Does anyone know of any distortion pedals that have tone similar to the Boss DS-1? I love the smoothness, boost, and grind that this pedal offers, but I'm curious if there's a similar pedal that ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Where to put guitar Harmonizer in effects chain?

So where should it be. First in the chain. Or Maybe somewhere near the modulation effects in amp's effect's loop? And why? what are pros and cons? Let's assume for purpose of this question, we are ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

What guitar effects pedals are important to get according to genre?

I was wondering what guitar effects pedals are important to get. What are the typical pedals that one might need in order to get started? What is the bare minimum and what would be the ultimate ideal ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I get a sound similar to Shine by Collective Soul?

I love the riff in that song but no matter how much I fiddle with my amp head and pedals, I just can't seem to duplicate that warm, fuzzy feel. Here's a link if you are unfamiliar with the song. I ...