Welcome to the
first in a series on technical articles on many different aspects
In this article
I will discuss effect devices for Electric Guitar.
There are basically
two schools of thought of using effects for Guitar.
- The Stomp
Box – i.e. BOSS Pedals
- The Multi-effects. – i.e.
Korg AX1500, Line 6 POD, etc
The Stomp Box
Stomp boxes have been around for a very long time and since people
like Hendrix made them popular back in the late sixties guitarists
have been using them ever since.
They are simple
and effective. You set your sound using a few simple knobs.
When you want to engage the sound you simply “stomp” on the
pedal. Many different pedals can be used together in a daisy
chain. Also the order in which they are placed (which is material
enough for a whole other article) can also affect the sound.
There are several
effect pedals are usually expensive.
- To create
complex sounds you need many pedals.
many pedals together can generate unwanted noise and signal
- Most of
these devices are battery powered.
Although this last
point is a problem, power supplies can be usually bought for
stomp boxes. I recently came across a very interesting unit
from a company called Voodoo Labs who make a unit called “Pedal
Power 2”. This unit powers a variety of pedals from one “Black
Enter The Multi-Effects Unit
Then we come to
multi-effects units. These are made by manufactures such, as
Korg or Line 6 and are basically a collection of stomp boxes
all rolled into one unit. They usually contain a wide array
of sounds (In a future article tweaking and setting up your
multi-effects unit will be discussed) and some even allow interfacing
to your Personal Computer so that one may download new patches
from the Internet.
Most recent models
like the Korg AX1500G also contain amplifier modeling which
means that even if you plug into your PA system or a small amplifier
can recreate the sounds of classic amps such as Marshall, Vox,
etc. Also most multi-effects units are usually cheaper than
the collection of stomp boxes they represent.
So Far So Good.
Then why do not all guitarists choose
Well for starters
most Guitarists unlike their keyboard-playing counterparts seem
very resistant to change.
players pride themselves in having Keyboard X V2.15 instead
of V2.14 Guitarists in general are in the thought pattern
that old is good. Hence the reason Valve Amplifiers are still
around and the planets biggest artists play guitars designed
more than fifty years ago like the Fender Telecaster or Gibson
There is another
way of course, and that is to mix and match. Follow your ear
and sticks to what sounds good. If you like a multi-effects
unit well use it. And if that particular song sounds great with
that stomp box well throw it in as well below is my own line
up of effects devices for electric guitar.
Just plug in and play!