In what order do you set up your effects?

I was just wondering what order people like to set there effects in, and why, to get the best tone. For instance do you like your compressor in the front of the chain, or in the middle, or at the end. How do you guy's set up your effects chain? In what order do you set your effects up?


Mine is wah, tuner, compressor, volume, high gain death metal pedal, overdrive, boss bc-2, crunch box, tremolo, delay, reverb.

No right or wrong, so mine is kind of based on making it all fit. I don't stack anything with my tight metal, so I run it first, but the boss bc-2 has an od before it so I can push it.


Silver Supporting Member
Wah > Comp > pog > phaser > OD > distortion > muff > tuner > chorus > flanger > boost > delay > verb > amp


It depends. What defines the best tone is subjective and it largely depends on your musical tastes and the guitar sound you're trying to achieve. There are basic guidelines, but they're not set in stone. For example, convention usually dictates that you place wah pedals before your dirt pedals (except for germanium transistor fuzz pedals), followed by dirt (overdrive/distortion/fuzz), then followed by modulation effects, and delays/reverbs at the end of the pedal chain. Again, these are guides. There are no set rules, so feel free to experiment.

As far as compressors go, the can be placed before your gain pedals or after. It just depends what you're trying to achieve. I've only used compressors when playing clean, and then it's only a mild compression enough to even out string volume. I never use it with any gain. I also tend to place my dirt pedals in order of gain. Low gain overdrive pedals usually come first, before higher gain OD's, and fuzz (except for germanium transistor fuzz pedals). Modulation effects come next: phasers, flangers, chorus, with occasional exception. Sometimes I place my chorus or flanger in front of my dirt pedals if I'm deliberately going after an 80"s post-punk/goth sound, but more often than not chorus/flange remain off as they tend to date your sound quickly unless used sparingly. Last come delays and reverb, or reverb then delay (depending on the effect I'm trying to achieve).

Clark GriswoId

Looks Great. Little Full, Lotta Sap.
Silver Supporting Member
Wah > Buffer ( tuner out of buffer ) > modulation (pog flanger) > dirt> comp > vol > delays > buffer > aby> ( either amp or looper then amp ) or two amps , 1 for looper, 1 for lead

Im thinking of making a 2 or 3 channel true bypass looper to segregate my 3 pedal themes- with comp included in the dirt section-


There's definitely plenty of great articles, videos, and posts about signal chain, but it is also a subjective art. It matters most for effects you will be stacking. Certain effects are more subjective than others too. Compression is one of those. I tend to put mine earlier, after a buffer but before boost. Some folks I've seen put it at the end to control compression of everything.

Phaser is another one, some say keep it with the mod section towards the end but others find it best before gain. Reverb, tremolo, and delay are ones that can get vastly different sounds depending on which order they sit when on. For example, I like the tremolo chops to have reverb to them rather than being chopped by the tremolo. But I like reverb to be included in any delay/loop rather than delay/loop getting reverb at the end. For the most part. It is good to change things up to experiment. Just think about which ones you may be stacking and which process makes most sense for your desired sound.

That Pedal Show channel on youtube is a great series that explains how many effects are actually working, I'd say pretty balanced both from a technical side and from a guitarist perspective that may not be as invested in how circuit boards and signals work as an electrical engineer might be. Even for the former it is good to have a general idea of what is happening to your signal for different effects.


Gold Supporting Member
tones first, effects last.

its all subjective, but that's my basic rule. lasers in the back. sometimes, in an effects loop, if you have one. for some of the neither/nor pedals (like eq or compressors) it depends on how you want it to interact with your other pedals and what you are trying to do with it. that applies for all pedals, actually, once you start using more than one at the same time. od>dist isn't the same as dist>od, chorus>reverb isn't the same as reverb>chorus, etc. every pedal can affect everything in the chain after it.

rules of thumb are just that. they'll give you a basic guide to follow, but it depends on your tastes and the individual pedals you have and how they play along with each other.

my chains are roughly:
(buffer/tuner) boost> delay> overdrive/dist> (trem) reverb> amp

i tend to put delays first (which is uncommon) because with my rig, the overdrives tend to cause the delays to clip and distort, which i don't like.


Gold Supporting Member
With so may of these threads being posted recently, I'm starting to think that if you don't know how to order your effects or figure it out for yourself, then you are using too many effects.


It's totally subjective but as a general starting point:

1. Buffer-Tuner-Wah-Compressor-(Modulation)-Dirt-(Modulation)-Delay-Tremolo-Reverb

Or with fuzz pedal

2. Tuner-Wah-Fuzz-Buffer-Compressor-(Modulation)-Dirt-(Modulation)-Delay-Tremolo-Reverb

Some fuzzes are temperamental and need to be first (true bypass pedals in front are okay though, so tuner and wah before are okay as long as true bypass)

I put modulation either side of dirt as you really might wanna experiment with this one, or you can put all before or all after, 2 slightly different sounds but both legitimate.

Also one thing I forgot to mention is Volume pedals. Generally they either go before dirt or after dirt, depending on whether you want the volume pedal to clean up your sound as you lower the volume (before dirt) or lower your overall sound (after dirt).
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Cerpin Taxt

Finally!! It's about time somebody decided to ask this question!! It has been a total mystery until now, being that are absolutely NO threads on the subject anywhere to be found! Thanks, OP!!


Comp > Fuzz > Distortion > OD > Modulation's > Wah > Delay > Tuner.

Tuner last so it's also a mute. Comp set for slight comp and a bit of warmth (always on).
My fuzzes (fuzzii?) work best first after the comp. Distortion and OD order changes depending on what pedals I run, currently running a Barbershop last in my dirt chain (almost always on). I prefer Wah after dirt and Mods, as I'm running a non-typical low-pass wah pedal.
Whenever I buy new pedals I tend to try out where they work best.
Tuner wah comp dirts modulation delay. Only exception is univibe, before dirt/fuzz for Smoother. And sometimes fuzz before wah. And sometimes delay before AND after dirts. And sometimes trem and reverb in the loop, but sometimes toward the end of the chain. AnAnd sometimes tuner last if you wanna mute everything. And sometimes compressor at the end. And sometimes chorus before dirt but after fuzz. And sometimes phaser before overdrive. And sometimes after.

Hopw that clears things up.

michael patrick

Silver Supporting Member
Wah > > phase> fuzz > OD > boost. Delay and reverb in the amp's loop.

I don't lay them out on my board in signal path order, I put the ones I step on most often along the bottom row regardless of where they are in the chain.
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