the former sounds cool. the latter, less so. rather use and od or boost, but i see the value.You can use it to mimic some pedal-steel type licks with pre-bending and a volume pedal. Some people use it full-open for a lead tone and then back off on the volume pedal for rhythm.
using just the volume knob, i have trouble keep the attack consistent, especially when i'm recording. holding the pick, working with/going around the bigsby and stuff is distracting. realizing that lead me down this path.Practice swells and stuff on your volume knob on the guitar for a while. If you like the effect you're getting but wish you could do it faster or find that it would be more convenient at your feet, get a volume pedal.
i hadn't thought of that. i used to assume that the volume pedal goes first in line, but it is "supposed" to go somewhere in the middle, right?Depending on what kind of overdrives or fuzzes you're using after the volume pedal, you could find your distortions provide a dynamic range you didn't know existed before using the volume pedal. This just happened with me. I've had a Keeley Fuzz Head for a while, but recently bought a volume pedal. I found that dialing off on the volume pedal turned the Fuzz head--a pretty volatile and loud pedal--into more of a light overdrive, almost like a clean boost. It was a pleasant surprise. I'm also a big volume swell user with tons of delay, so it's great for that, too.
I recommend the Dunlop volume pedal. It looks corny, but sounds really great and doesn't require a battery.
using just the volume knob, i have trouble keep the attack consistent, especially when i'm recording. holding the pick, working with/going around the bigsby and stuff is distracting. realizing that lead me down this path.
First argument for a volume pedal: Your username is "feet"...
Second argument (observation) for a volume pedal: Honestly, just the fact that you are on here trying to have someone to convince you to buy one tells me you will own one soon.
Third argument for a volume pedal: Here's my .2 cents. To me, a volume pedal is an absolute must and it has nothing to do with swells or for muting, it's all about control. I run mine smack in the middle of my chain, after drives, before delays and verbs, the great thing about doing that (IMO) is that i'm not affecting my gain stages in the same ways as rolling back the volume on my guitar. So if I want the same gain "profile" if you will, I can have it at whatever volume I need it, not just at full mast on my pedals and guitar, I hope that makes sense.
I play music that requires me to wear a lot of different hats to fit into the overall mix during each song. The more control I have between those transition spaces the better. I do use it for swells regularly. I do use it for a quick mute occasionally. It's just a really great tool IMO. The great thing is, you don't have to spend a lot to get a decent one. I have a Goodrich just because of some of the tone suck issues with a EB VP Jr., BUT I had a VP Jr. forever and it was a great pedal and you may not even have tone issues with it, if you do get a $30-40 buffer from T1M or LS Effects and you'll be fine. Two tips: 1) Experiment with where in your chain you like it. 2) Give yourself some time to get used to all the ways you can use it. It took me a few weeks to get my swells right, get a feel for when to use it and when not to, etc.
Hope that helps!