Guitar pedals are perhaps the most essential equipment you will need to get started learning guitar. There are many types of pedals, some more useful than others. The two main categories are those which alter the sound of the instrument and effect units. Effects units or knobs change the tone of a guitar or other instrument through electronic signal processing. Understanding these two groups of pedals will help you to decide what type of pedal to purchase for your guitar.
The tone of your guitar can be changed by one of three types of guitar pedals: volume, tone or combination. Volume and tone controls will change the volume of your instrument, but you must know which type of sound you are trying to achieve. If you want a sharp edge on your guitar tone, you should use a volume knob. However, if you want a richer, warmer sound, a tone knob may be more appropriate.
Some guitar pedals are equipped with more than one effects unit. For example, you can find a clean/verb, a wah, a distortion, and a combination wah, and phase shifting effects. You may choose one of these effects to use on different guitar tracks at the same time. Multi-effects units combine the capabilities of a variety of effects units, so you can achieve a wide range of guitar effects sounds.
In addition to volume, tone and combination knobs, there are many pedals that alter the tone of the sound. Spring reverb, for example, creates a realistic reverb sound that you can control. This type of sound can also be used with distorted sounds, such as a gurgling sound, to create a different feel from other sounds. Many guitar effects units offer this kind of functionality. chorus pedals add chorus effects. Each pedal changes the sound in a different way, and it is important to understand how each change affects the other sound.
Guitar compressors affect the volume of the sound that is being compressed. When a compressor effects the volume of a sound, it increases the overall volume of the sound. There are many types of compressors that are available. Some compressors compress both the volume and mid-level level of the signal, while others only compress the mid-level level. The latter kind of pedal is most often found on professional level guitar interfaces.
Guitar Effects amp are useful for creating different effects. For instance, an amp that is equipped with an effects loop is a convenient way to experiment with sounds. An audio amp allows the guitar player to generate "virtual" tones by connecting the guitar's signal to the appropriate amp. An amp simulates the sound of an acoustic guitar, and is useful when you would rather not play an acoustic guitar in a live performance.
Effects pedals are attached to amplifiers via their signal chains. Basically, the signal chains contain impulses of sound, which are sent through the amplifier where they are converted to actual sound. Effects pedals are useful when you want to create distortion, delay, or reverb. There are also units called virtual effect pedals, which can be connected to your instrument through its signal chain. When the signal chain is activated, the corresponding pedal will be triggered.
One of the most commonly used pedals today is the gain stage. Gain stages are useful for adding compression or distortion without altering the original signal. Gain stages are useful when you want to add distortion without changing the note pitch. The signal chain's strength determines how much gain is added to the signal, and the number of gain stages is determined by the strength of the signal chain.