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 talking about BOSS PS-6. I would appreciate the answers from real users and their setups.

1 Answer 1


Well, that depends on what sound you're going for :). In all seriousness though harmonizing effects should usually be placed near the beginning of your chain and most definitely before any overdrives for several reasons, the primary of which is: that's where it will track the best. In order to harmonize with a note the unit will need to process input and produce the polyphonic tone. The closer the input is to the real note you are playing (signal degrades as it traverses your board) the more accurate it will be. Placing it behind a normalizing unit like a compressor will also increase the chances that you'll get an accurate note. Finally, it's likely a good idea to place it before any overdrives such that it doesn't have to figure out how to harmonize with distorted overtones that emanate from those units. From my personal experience, my Digitech whammy (a very famous unit that will do octaves along with many other tricks) is placed immediately after my compressor--which is second in line to my guitar after a fuzz pedal. To illustrate:

Guitar --> Fuzz --> Compressor --> Whammy --> ... --> Amplifier.

You could place in the effects loop providing you don't use any distortion pedals pre effects loop.

  • Ahhh- you use compressor after your fuzz. Will need to try that...
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 19, 2011 at 9:45
  • @Jduv - i'm not sure this will cover all the aplications. If as reference we look at predefined effect chains in multi-effects processors, then Yes - Whammy like pedals are located in so called preamp section (and octavers, and wah's too), but harmonizer (and pitch-shifters) is often placed in modulation block after amp. So why is it this way? Jul 20, 2011 at 6:52
  • a harmonizer tries to run fourier analysis on the isgnal to figure out what note (or notes) to base it's modulation on. With a lot of notes (or noise) this calculation can be too much so you can hear it flipping between what it thinks are the fundamental.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 20, 2011 at 17:15
  • @Hubert Dr. Mayhem nailed it. I've never seen a harmonizer placed in a modulation block on all the boards I've worked on, built, or scoped at a concert for the reasons stated by both Dr. Mayhem and my original post. You're free to put it wherever you want of course--but the nature of the effect lends itself to being placed first as I explain in my answer.
    – Jduv
    Jul 25, 2011 at 13:57
  • Ok. As time goes by, there is no one else to add his 5 cents. So i accept Your answers guys. Thanks :) Aug 2, 2011 at 10:36

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