Your Essential Effect Types...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by redpill, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. redpill

    redpill Member

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    I'm curious what types of pedals (not specifics by name, but just the sort of effects) people here feel are their absolute must-haves and why. I've been a guitar-wire-amp guy for about three years now, and I'm perfectly happy with that, but for fun I've decided to poke around at pedals again (I no longer have any interest in a new guitar or amp, after all).

    For me, I think the basics are:
    Chorus - Probably my favorite effect, and I have to admit that I'm not all that picky about it. :)
    Reverb - I don't have it in my amps. Of course, both amps also have no effects loop, so I'm kinda stuck unless I add it at the board, as it tends to sound funny in front of the amp.
    Overdrive/Clean Boost - Preferably in one box.
    Volume - The expressive power of a volume pedal is one of my favorite things about the electric guitar. I need one now.

    Effects that I don't personally use at all:
    Flanger/Phaser - Everybody wanted them when I was a kid. Now I rarely see them in use.
    Compressor - I feel like I *ought* to want this, given what a staple it is for so many players, but I've never enjoyed having one in the signal chain.
    Tremolo - Again, feels sort of like an "ought to" effect, but I've never had a use for it beyond goofing off
    Pitch shift/harmonizer/octaver - Just "too much" for me. Some players have used them to great effect, but I just get in trouble with sonic overload when I try.
    Rotary speaker - Ditto.

    I'm on the fence about:
    Wah - Great in theory, fun to play with, but I seldom use one. Really annoying to the audience when overused.
    Distortion - I am leaning toward getting one box for just over the top grind, but I know I'll use it pretty rarely.
    Delay - Lots of fun, but again, not sure about its utility to me.

    So what are your essential effects and why?
     
  2. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow, this is a wide subject. Context is everything - someone who plays original music and is really looking to create new sounds might need a pedalboard that only fits in a cargo hold. I personally make a living playing cover tunes, so I will offer my "must haves" from that perspective.

    First, 2-3 OD pedals, preferably of different flavors. Between manipulating the knobs and stacking, you should be able to achieve a very wide variety of tones, from cleanish tones with bite to full-blown, high-gain madness.

    Second comes modulation. I like to have available chorus, flanging, phase shifting and a nice wah. This will cover all the bases pretty much. If a song calls for a univibe, a nice phase shifter can get you very close - if you need a leslie effect, a flanger or chorus pedal can get you close, etc.

    Next comes compression - I will admit I tried to avoid this type of effect, but it is so widely used, and such an effective tool for achieving certain tones, that I have found it to be a necessary part of my arsenal

    Finally, delay and/or reverb. These ambient types of pedals allow me to dot the I's and cross the T's when trying to cop certain songs. I am not a big fan of these types of effects, especially when playing live, but sometimes the thing will not sound right unless you use them.

    I do not include any type of effect that makes weird or unusual noises - they might be cool, but for my context, they are out of place. Some examples of this kind of effect might be a Theramin or Talk Box. Cool, but not really necessary.

     
  3. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    Hi,

    With spring reverb and tremolo in my amp I'd get along with just an OD and a delay.
    Then I'd like to have phaser and wah as well and maybe a second dirtpedal.

    Unusable effects for me:
    chorus - just sounds cheesy 80s metalballads to me, (unless I want cheesy)
    flanger

    hard for me to use but sounds great
    fuzz
    autofilters

    /c
     
  4. jazzguitarplay

    jazzguitarplay Member

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    chorus, delay, reverb-/ Phrase shifter-vibe type pedal-/3 o/d's of various colors and e/q's-/1 distortion-/1 Fuzz-/1 boost pedal-/tuner-/compresser-/volume pedal and wah. thats it for me
     
  5. lukeII

    lukeII Supporting Member

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    OD, Fuzz and Delay for me
     
  6. Dave Wakely

    Dave Wakely Member

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    For me (and I'm a very 'non rock' player!), the following:

    Always On:
    Volume Pedal - immensely handy and expressive, and frees a hand for better use!
    Tone Press (compression with audible compression - better tone and greater sustain)
    Clean boost (Hao Rust Booster - which I deliberately use for a fatter/warmer tone as much as for boost)/Snarling Dogs Very Tone (10 tone presets, but generally on "Bypass" as a very transparent clean boost or "E" for a full range boost)
    BBE Sonic Stomp - clarity and focus
    Noise Gate
    (last two used in the FX loop on the amp)

    Used frequently:
    Boss Digital Dimension (DC3) - used sparingly for a touch of shimmer (rate at minimum, depth at noon)

    For colour:
    Tremolo (an old TR2 that I want to upgrade) - again, depth generally fairly shallow
    Line 6 Verbzilla - the Octo patch, mix fairly low to add a certain something to lead lines (would love to experiment with a HOG for similar effect but greater control of frequencies and attack/decay of them - comments very welcome!)
    Guyatone SV2 (SlowGear clone)/OD (an old Boss OS-2), both set up via a Morley FX Blender - allows me to have a clean tone for initial attack with the OD fading in as the note sustains, or for a subtle 'violin' effect (here I'd love to experiment with an Enveloope, but would miss the controllability of the Morley)
    Rotary (using a Line 6, but not liking it, its tone sucking, or its noise floor!)
    Delay (Wasabi Forward/Reverse Delay - very good pedal, and rarely mentioned)

    Recently tried a Diamond Halo Chorus (to replace a Boss CH1 currently connected via the Morley), and loved the Phase Mix element, but didn't otherwise like the pedal much (too subtle!).
     
  7. Joses

    Joses Member

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    For me personally:

    MUST HAVE:
    + Volume Pedal - i live on these things ;)
    + Wah - its amazing how much you can do with one of these (i once did a complete gig on just Tele > 535q > Amp, and i must say it really forces creativity out of you)
    + Delay - it fattens, it layers...again, i live on these

    DEFINTELY GOOD TO HAVE:
    + Overdrive/Distortion - 2 to 3 of these are enough, ranging from "lite" to "drop your pants"
    + Chorus - great for colouring in, where there is a lack of ambience (keyboards)

    USEABLE, BUT NOT NECESSARY:
    + Phaser - nice for ambience, but ain't my bread and butter
    + Tremolo - for party tricks IMO :D
    + Boost - either to goose up your dirt (pre-drives) or to get a bit more 'in your face' (post-drives)
    + Loop Sampler - enough said

    I DON'T QUITE 'GET' THEM:
    + Compression
    + Fuzz
    + EQ
    + Octaver
     
  8. blackjack davey

    blackjack davey Senior Member

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    Simply, Fuzz, OD & Delay for me. Maybe the occasional Wah to keep things interesting.

    I no longer use Trem, Chorus, or Phase.
     
  9. bluntage

    bluntage Member

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    For the last 15 years, my essential effects have been a wah and a vibe. Those two pedals combined with a 2 channel amp and a good guitar keep me pretty happy!

    :AOK
     
  10. giggedy

    giggedy Member

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    "ranging from "lite" to "drop your pants"

    hah!

    I use delay, comp, and od constantly. I've noticed that I'm turning the gain down on my od's gradually as weeks go by.
     
  11. Dandy13

    Dandy13 Member

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    essential would be fuzz, overdrive, and delay. maybe a phaser as well.
    i pretty much have at least one of every effect though just 'cause.
     
  12. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

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    I can't stand chorus or volume pedals. I'll give everything else a go.
     
  13. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    er....everything.
    make that 3 of everything otherwise I wouldn't be on TGP......

    I'm still a cable guy for blues gigs though.
     
  14. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Essential? Probably just overdrive/distortion and delay. But this is coming from a guy who has very little experience with anything else. I've built up my collection so I can really get a feel for fuzzes and other modulation effects.
     
  15. Gigbag

    Gigbag Member

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    For me, the essentials are:

    Wah
    Delay
    The next level up would be (allowing me to cover more songs):

    Wah
    Delay
    Fuzz
    Vibe
    Then this would cover all I need (for most songs):
    Wah
    Delay
    Fuzz
    Octave fuzz
    various dirt pedals
    Phaser
    Flanger
    Compressor

    The extras that I have in a rack or access to, but use rarely:

    Tremolo
    Auto wah / filters
    Outboard reverbs
    Talk box
    Volume

     
  16. C-Dawg

    C-Dawg Member

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    I play hard rock. Essential for me:

    Wah, OD, TUNER!!!

    Not a "Must have" but really enjoy using are:

    Delay, chorus

    Would like to try out:

    Tremolo pedal, maybe a flanger or something as well...
     
  17. semi-hollowbody

    semi-hollowbody Member

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    simple...
    compression, wah, overdrive, distortion, chorus, tremolo, vibrato, flanger, phaser, delay, octavia, accoustic simulator, auto-way, and reverb...the barest of essentials! :)
     
  18. plan-x

    plan-x Supporting Member

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    bare bones is:

    OD
    chorus
    delay
     
  19. r080

    r080 Member

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    Essential:
    Distortion--many levels of dirt when combined with guitar volume knob
    Delay--I often need to sound like a keyboard, and delay gives a lot of options for that, especially with modulation.

    On the fence:
    Chorus--I occasionally play songs where a thick chorus is necessary to put the song over the top. Usually I can do without.
    Wah--I recently stopped using it.
    Tremolo--It takes up a lot of space for a sound I rarely need.
    Volume--I never had one until I started using a POD XT. It is great for swells with full chords, but I have gone back to using the guitar volume and just single note swells.
    Fuzz--I like it, but can't justify the extra spot usually.

    No thanks:
    Flanger--It makes me want to throw up
    Phaser--To me, it's like a chorus that never grew up.
     
  20. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    Essential:

    Various degrees of Overdrive:
    --Mild (ie, Timmy)
    --Moderate (ie, Eternity)
    --High (ie, Crunch Box, Dyna Red, etc)

    Compressor:
    --Barber Tone Press (the compressor for those who hate compressors. won't kill your attack.)

    Delay:
    --Good to have short and long

    Clean Boost:
    --for solos obviously

    Helpful:

    --Wah (I only use it probably 10% of the time)
    --Phaser (they're fun, what can I say?)
    --Fuzz (anger management in a pedal)
    --Tremelo (some nice variety for soft passages)
    --Reverb (If you have a good delay, you don't necessarily need one)

    I never use:

    --Chorus (Its annoying, IMO)
    --Flanger (Also semi annoying, unless you're playing RATM)
    --Rotary (I've never had the opportunity to use one)
    --Pitch Shift (I just can't picture ever needing this)

    Of course it all depends on the type of music you play.
     

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