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Different Types of Guitar Effects Pedals

Different Types of Guitar Effects Pedals

It can be a bit challenging to learn about the different types of guitar effects pedals. There are so many kinds that it can be hard to choose just one that fits your needs. Besides selecting the right pedal, other factors such as the type of music you play and the environment you live in can also affect the choice.

A guitar effects pedal is a type of foot-pedal box that provides various sound effects to the instrument. It can help shape the tone of the guitar. Besides altering the guitar’s tone, effects pedals can also help improve the instrument’s overall sound by reducing unwanted noises. They can also be useful in tuning the guitar’s tone and altering its volume. Most guitar pedals work well for all instruments, including electric, acoustic, and bass.

These boxes are usually placed on the floor and come with various features such as knobs, switches, and buttons. Guitarists can easily access them by simply stepping on them. You can also set these effects to either activate or disable depending on the song or show.

There are so many different models and guitar effects pedals that it can be hard to choose just one that fits your needs. Due to the increasing number of companies releasing new products, the market for guitar effects has also continued to grow.

In this tutorial, we’ll talk about the various effects pedals commonly used by guitarists. We’ll also teach you how to use them and build a pedal board. After you’ve learned about the different types of effects pedals, you can start to create one.

What are Guitar Effects Pedals?

A guitar effects pedal is a type of equipment that helps guitarists make their sound perform its best. It’s usually made of metal and comes with a built-in circuit allowing you to control various instrument features. Once you turn on the effects, it can drive, distort, or reverberate in multiple ways. Depending on the type of pedal used, it can also create different effects on the guitar’s sound.

A guitar effects pedal can transform the way guitarists play their instruments. It can create a new creative dimension or enhance the sound of their instruments. This page will provide the necessary information to learn how to use a guitar effects pedal.

Types of Guitar Effects Pedals

Aside from being able to tune their instruments, aspiring guitarists should also check out the various kinds of guitar effects pedals available. Some of these include distortion, delay, and a variety of modulations. Let’s check out what are these guitar effects pedals.

1. Distortion Guitar Effects Pedals

First, we will talk about distortion pedals, the first type of guitar effects commonly used. Most of us get attract to the electric guitar due to its powerful sound. One of the most common sounds associated with the instrument is distortion. Distortion can refer to a specific type of pedal or an umbrella term that refers to a variety of guitar sounds.

1. Distortion

A distortion guitar pedal adds gain to the signal, pushing it beyond its peak. This produces harmonic overtones and peaks, and troughs in the signal clips. It also adds sustain and compression.

People commonly use these instruments in heavier metal bands to cut through the mix and stand out from the crowd. Guitarists can also use them to solo or perform a certain type of song.

A distortion pedal is an effect that increases the gain of an audio signal to clip. However, it also refers to different types of instruments, such as distortion pedals that are different from those commonly referred to as fuzz and overdrive.

1.2. Overdrive

Like distortion pedals, an over-the-top pedal produces a distinct sound. It adds a layer of grit to the instrument’s tone by pushing it into saturation. Valve amplifiers create this effect, which can overheat the inner tubes when the temperature of the instrument’s chassis gets higher.

Over the years, this effect has been a common feature in electric guitar playing. It’s mainly preferred by musicians who are looking to achieve a warm and immersive tone. Unlike some of the more extreme gain-based effects, this effect doesn’t destroy the signal.

Most over-the-top effects come with various control options, such as gain, tone, and level. You can use it to create a more prominent tone or add character to a chord sequence.

1.3. Fuzz

The most extreme gain-based effect is known as fuzz. It was first discovered in the 1960s when a guitarist in Nashville used a faulty preamp to record a song. The resulting sound became a staple in blues and rock music.

Compared to an over-the-top effect, such as an overdrive, fuzz produces a more prominent distorted tone. It’s mainly used for single-note riffs and melodies. People can also use it in combination with other effects to create a variety of musical sounds.

Various types of fuzz pedals can be used to add more bass to a guitar’s output. These tools create a thick and powerful tone that’s ideal for guitarists. Some of the most popular models include the Big Muff and the Fuzz Face.

2. Dynamics-Based

These dynamic-based pedal systems give you the same dynamics of your guitar’s sound output. They do so by manipulating the various parts of the soundwaves, which consist of peaks and valleys. These types of pedals are great for guitarists who like to manipulate the sound in a way that’s not too loud or too quiet.

2.1. Compressor

The compressor reduces the dynamic range of the guitar. This function makes the dynamics more consistent and quieter. Dynamic range refers to the distance between the playing volume and the noise level.

The result is a more smooth and balanced tone. To achieve this, you can use the compressor by setting the ratio and threshold parameters to a low level. This will result in the lowest points being raised in volume while the louder ones are reduced.

Compressors can also be used to reduce the dynamic range. Doing so makes the playing volume more muted or boosted. It can additionally make it sound less natural. The use of a compressor can also help prepare your signal for other instruments. With consistent dynamics, the signal can interact with the pedal that comes after it.

2.2. Noise Gate

A noise gate is a tool that can be used to mix audio. It controls the volume of the signal and lets you choose which sounds should be left behind. These devices are similar to a compressor, but instead of controlling the output, you have the ability to set the volume.

A noise gate is useful for those who have a lot of unwanted sounds in their signals, which can compromise the clarity of their audio. When the gate is opened, the noise can freely pass through, but it can be completely removed if the gate is closed.

2.3. Tremolo & Vibrato

The two most common types of guitar pedals that are commonly used are the vibrato and the tremolo. This effect has been used on a wide range of records, including those from the early days of rock n’ roll.

The effect of the tremolo is usually described as a gradual decrease in the volume of the signal. On the other hand, the effect of the vibrato is usually described as a sudden increase in pitch. This combination of effects can cause rhythmic changes in the tone of the instrument.

The name of the device that was featured on the Fender Stratocaster is causing a lot of guitarists to confuse the two effects. Although the name of the device was supposed to be a vibrato arm, it ended up being called a tremolo arm.

The effect of a tremolo arm is usually described as a reduction in the tension of the strings, which causes the pitch of the instrument to be altered. Many different types of guitar pedals also have a secondary effect known as the vibrato.

3. Time-Based

People commonly use time-based pedals to reproduce the sound of an original guitar while playing it with a slight shift in timing.

These are some of the most popular time-based pedals used in the guitar-playing world. These are the ones for you if you’re looking for a rich and atmospheric sound.

3.1. Delay

When a sound is produced in a sufficiently large space, delay can occur. For instance, if a sound wave hits a wall, it reflects toward us.

During the 60s and 70s, various musicians use analog delay pedals. However, in the 1980s, the digital delay became a must-have addition to any music collection. Some of the most prominent bands that used digital delay included The Edge and Dave Gilmour.

Due to its powerful effects, the digital delay became one of the most popular effects in the music industry. It can create long super delays that can last up to 16 seconds. There are a variety of cheap digital delay pedals out there that can sound great.

3.2. Chorus

The time-based modulation effect known as the chorus gives you a richer, more beautiful quality when playing with multiple instruments at the same time. It mirrors the changes in pitch and timing that occur when multiple people sing or play the same part.

It’s commonly used in countless songs and works well with other effects such as distortion. Some grunge bands that used it included Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine.

3.3. Flanger

There are many opinions about flangers, which can be divided into two categories: those who love them and those who hate them. The effect of these devices is that they create a noise that mixes two separate signals. With the help of a flanger pedal, you can create a variety of time delays, which can cause the frequency spectrum to go up and down. The Source Audio SA240 Mercury is the best choice.

3.4. Phaser

The phaser is also known as a phase shifter. You can use it to create a resonant and ethereal tone and can use it in various genres. Besides being used in music, these devices can also be used in other areas.

3.5. Reverb

An acoustic guitar can provide you with natural reverb, which is a type of signal that you can use to create a feeling of space and time. With electric instruments, however, there is no natural source of this effect. This is why you have to rely on an amp to get the most out of it. Besides you use it to add depth, this effect can also create a sense of mood. If you want to hear more power, try listening to David Gilmour’s work.

4. Utility

There are various kinds of effects pedals that you can use to keep things in check. These include the ones that you don’t use to create effects.

4.1. Tuner

The tuner is a device that measures the musical notes of a guitar using the Hertz scale. You can use it to determine the high and low points of a note. Since it’s not possible to hear the notes properly with your ear, using a tuner is much more accurate than tuning manually. The best part about using these pedals is that you can use them while you’re playing live.

4.2. Looper

A looper is a type of pedal that allows you to record what you’re playing. It provides a perfect backing track for another track by playing back on a loop. Some of the better products allow you to create multiple lines of music.


These types of guitar pedals are great additions to any guitarist’s performance, providing them with hours of enjoyment and inspiration. They can also help them create new sounds and carve their own unique identity.

The recommended chain order for most guitar pedals is to follow this one. However, you can also experiment with different orders by sticking random pedals in random locations in your signal path.

In addition to experimenting with different styles of guitar pedals, you can also learn about the tricks that can help you make a name for yourself in the industry.

You can easily find your perfect pedal and tweak your tone

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