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36

A compressor "compresses" the signal that your guitar produces by normalizing the dynamic range of the audio input signal based on a threshold value. This effect is used virtually everywhere in recording. Everything you hear in music that is produced today is compressed in some way--and it can sound anything from a subtle barely noticeable effect to a thick, ...


31

I know both Steve Hackett and Robert Fripp. I have interviewed them for articles I published in guitar magazines. You are asking about an unusual effect that requires special equipment. To get the sounds you described, early in their careers, Steve Hacket and Robert Fripp used the hand-held electro-magnetic bowing device called the EBow. Later on they used ...


28

When you ask this question you are going to get 99% opinion because it is completely subjective. Plenty of people out there (like myself) absolutely hate multi-FX rigs, while others swear by them. There's no real scientific reason to pick one over the other, but here's a quick match up between their basic features: All-in-One Pros: Takes up less space; ...


21

A talkbox is a small, self-contained amplifier and speaker assembly. There's a tiny little speaker in it and the speaker, instead of moving air in a room, moves the air in a plastic tube that it's sealed against. You run your guitar in to the talkbox and the plastic tube you insert in your mouth. So your mouth becomes a resonant cavity for the guitar sounds ...


21

In order to properly answer this question we need to identify that in the world of guitar effects there are three distinct ways to produce distortion (or clipping): overdrive, boost, and fuzz. Each has it's own unique characteristics. In addition, let's consider the three different ways to run a pedal + amplifier overdrive configuration: clean amp + pedal ...


20

Every effect pedal, when on, runs your guitar's signal through its effect circuitry, which produces the altered signal. Fine. But what about when the pedal is off? Doesn't your guitar's signal just pass through the pedal unaffected? Actually, in many (most?) pedals, the answer is no. For these pedals---which include everything made by DOD, Boss, Ibanez, ...


17

"Digital" means that the signal from your guitar is first run through an A/D (analog to digital) converter to translate it into a digital signal (meaning a series of 1's and 0's). The effect then performs computations on that digital signal, altering it somehow. In this regard, it's no different from a computer---in fact, a digital effect is just a ...


17

Quite possibly one of the best ways to remove muddiness from your overdriven tone (regardless of what chords you play) is through the use of a compressor. If you don't know what one of those is, check out this question. If you think you know what one is, you probably don't, and you should check out this question =D. I kid. In all seriousness though--JFET ...


16

There are a lot of opportunities for EQ in the long signal chain between your pickups and the house sound: Your guitar's tone knobs, the tone knobs on your effects pedals (when engaged), the EQ on your amp, the choice and placement of the mic on your amp, the EQ in the channel strip on the house board, the main house EQs, and maybe some others I'm not ...


15

I feel a bit silly writing a new answer when Jduv's is so good, and so well received, but I'm going to anyway partly because I want to use simpler terms, and partly because I have a point to make about attack. Imagine you had a signal that was sometimes too loud, and sometimes too quiet. You'd deal with it by turning the volume down when it's too loud, and ...


14

Perhaps it was EBow. It amplifies string vibrations (using magnetic fields) providing very controllable feedback effect which allows to get very smooth and sustained sound. Also check out this video on Youtube. Although it is old it demonstrates very wide range of possibilities of this device.


12

It is useful because it allows you to add effects to your sound after it has been through the amps EQ and pre-amp; What this means; the pre-amp can do its magic on a clean signal from your guitar; before effects are added. Adding effects which boost(overdrive/distortion) the signal into the effects loop can be dangerous for the amp, as the signal has ...


12

There's no reason not to try an effect if you want to. Sure, some kind of effect might mask some bad habits (reverb and delay might sort off mess your timing), but distortion for example is almost like playing another instrument, and if you're into punk/rock, the sooner you try it the better. You will have to figure out ways to mute the strings and reduce ...


11

Gate / Noise Cancellation A gate filters silences the output if the input signal is quieter than a configured level. Noise Cancellation is a common application of a gate. By setting the cutoff level to a level that is louder than the buzz and noise when no note is being played, yet quieter than the quietest note that you will play, it suppresses the buzz ...


11

Delay Delay is an effect in itself, and also the basis of some of the other effects1. Delay is simply the effect of playing the input signal some time later than it was fed into the device. Delays can be as short as a couple of milliseconds, as long as a bar, or more. Usually, but not always, the delayed signal is combined with the original signal, ...


11

One easy way: Use a sustain effect processor (Glossary of Guitar Effects). A sustain effect just saves the highest volume you played and raises the volume gradually as the tone from the guitar decays, thus effectively sustaining the volume at an equal level or at least a slowly decaying level in the dry channel. Other Tips: Use a good guitar. Bad guitars ...


10

People use Wah in lots of ways; for me I find that the most effective way to use it is to wah with the feel of what your doing. I have seen many people just rock back and forwards on the things at the same speed (usually fast) no matter what they are playing, that what you don't want to do. Remember its an expression pedal. Here's a few examples: If your ...


10

Boost Boost is an effect which boosts the volume of an input signal, in order to assure that the amplifier is driven beyond its regular dynamic range and thus will produce clipping and thereby distortion. Boosts are very useful for tube amp players who wish to increase the gain on their amplifier without having to modify the tone the way a traditional ...


10

First off we should understand that the nature of a plucked string is to decay exponentially. There fore sustain on a guitar string is literally impossible without some sort of electronic enhancement. Before I suggest any of a number of ways to create sustain, let's examine the contributing factors that allow some guitars (electric or non-electric) to ...


10

Often called violining, either use the swell (volume) pedal or the volume pot on your guitar. Strat style guitars are pretty good for this, as Leo thought to put the volume control quite close to the strings/bridge, so a little finger can roll from palm to tip as you pluck the string. Then it gets rolled off again the opposite way, ready for the next note. ...


10

One way to get this effect is with an envelope filter. Then you will get it automatically, as the volume starts at 0 when the string is plucked, and then increases (with the correct settings).


9

In addition to @DRL's good answer, another use for the effect loop on an amp is to provide access to the power-amp in, avoiding the tone-messing-up circuitry, when you're using some modeling effects. For instance: I have a Pod X3, which was Line6's bad-boy floor unit until recently. A modeler simulates the chain of effects, preamp, amp, cabinet, speakers, ...


9

What's difference between positions of these pedals? I'd say the more traditional approach is delay -> reverb. Reverb being used in this context to create "space" and delay being used to, well, repeat things (as opposed to using the delay with a short repeat time to create a bigger sound). An example of this approach would be something like Godspeed! ...


9

Compressor/Limiter Compression is used to reduce the dynamic range of a signal. It can be used at the top of the amplitude range, to reduce the volume of a specified range of inputs, or at the bottom of the amplitude range, to increase the volume of a specified range of inputs. In the case where a compressor is used to reduce volume it may be referred to ...


9

Chorus Chorus is an effect that copies the input signal passed to it, modulates the pitch of it by some configured parameters, and stacks it back on top of the original signal. Originally, the motivation would have been to simulate the sound of two singers -- the second being very slightly delayed by a gently varying amount, and at not precisely the same ...


9

Reverb Reverb is the effect of playing a sound in an enclosed space, or a simulation of that effect. The sound travels from the source to your ear directly, but it also bounces off surfaces in the room to reach your ear, each reflection arriving at a different time, with different frequencies lost. If you play with no effects, in a room full of soft ...


8

Distortion One of more commonly known effects for musicians is distortion. It falls into the family of effects sometimes referred to as "dirt" boxes: Distortion, Overdrive, and Fuzz. In simple terms, it is cutting the top and bottom of the sound wave off using a technique known as "hard" clipping to create a more square shaped wave instead of the more ...


8

Fuzz Fuzz gained much glory from the sixties and seventies when popularized by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix. Today, fuzz pedals have evolved into a staple for some bands and is capable of producing everything from a singing, warm sustain to a scratchy, velcro sound. The mainstay of a fuzz pedal's sound is produced by an electrical component called a ...


8

Bring your own guitar to the shop! And preferably play the effects through a similar amp as you have at home. If you are going to buy a digital Multi-effect I would try them out in the same situation as you are gonna use them. For example if you mostly will be sitting at home playing with earphones, thats how you should try it in the shop as well. Many try ...



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