What do Guitar Effect pedals do ?
A guitar effect pedal is an electronic device that alters the sound of a musical instrument or other audio source through audio signal processing. It's a magic box of tricks that will allow you to change the sound of your audio, or guitar.
If you are new to guitar or guitar effects then you might be wondering what a guitar effect pedal actually does. Hopefully we can help answer that question for you.
The most common form of guitar effect is distortion & overdrive, these guitar effects are often used with electric guitar in electric blues and rock music, it’s an effect found on guitar amplifiers too. Acoustic and Bass guitars also can use guitar effects, but will require some subtle differences in the frequencies and range that they work on.
Guitar pedals also get called stompboxes, they are the same thing, you place them on the floor in front of you, operate them by adjusting the control knobs and standing (stomping) on the button/switch to turn them off or on when you want. They need to be connected together to form a chain and suitably powered.
Guitar pedals can be used on all guitars that use an amplifier and will transform the sound.
Dynamic effects such as volume pedals and compressors change the amplitude of the input signal. Filters such as wah pedals and graphic equalisers modify frequency ranges. Modulation effects, such as chorus, flangers and phasers give emotion, depth and feeling. Time effects, such as reverb and delay create echoing sounds and emulate the sound of different spaces.
Most guitar effect pedals that you will use, work by sold state electronics or digital signal processors.
Musicians, audio engineers and record producers use effects units during live performances or in the studio, typically with electric guitar, bass guitar, electronic keyboard, synthesisers or electric piano.
While effects are most frequently used with electric or electronic instruments, effects can also be used with acoustic instruments, drums and vocals.
Take a look at our A-Z below for a brief overview and the pedals that we make in that category.
Acoustic guitars are perfect for using with a little guitar effect to add a new dimension to your playing, modulation will not mess with the tone, but add more emotion and feeling to your sound.
Starting with the more subtle guitar effects from our modulation category reach for, chorus, tremolo and even a little phaser, these will all add a little more emotion and interest to your acoustic number.
Reverb and delay are a must have, bring a sense of depth to your playing.
A looper is a great tool to practice or perform with, a solo acoustic player can fill the room layering different parts of their material and create an impressive range of tones.
Feeling a bit different, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot use an overdrive or distortion pedal to surprise everyone.
If your acoustic guitar Pre-amp is not up to much, you will be impressed what a difference an EQ pedal or a Acoustic DI can make in improving tone and reducing feedback.
Not everyone can afford a room full of vintage amps, or have the luxury of stacks of rehearsal space to store them in. How useful it would be to still have your pedals and a great guitar amplifier tone without the complaints!
With JOYO Amp Simulator pedals, this range of FX transform those beloved varied amp tones we crave straight onto your board and into your ears, without the expensive amp or messing around trying to mic the thing up ! JOYO Amp Simulators can be used as a DI (Direct Interface) and are perfect for recording at home or in the studio. Perfect to practice with headphones, plug your board straight into a PA system and forget the guitar amp, bring the classic amp tones with you and control them from the board
Use a JOYO DI Amp simulator in front of your amp for a tonal drive, push your existing amp to a whole new level and get the tone you want. These pedals are best sellers for a reason.
Overdrive your bass with a direct XLR output for PA or Direct Interface, perfect for mixing and recording direct with balanced cab simulation.
The bass guitar comes into full effect when you combine it with overdrive, distortion, fuzz, delays, chorus, reverbs, you can throw it all in. Our overdrive pedals are made to pick up and transform the low frequencies that other pedals miss..
In General all modulation works well with bass, combined with spacial & compression effects to sustain notes.
Chorus guitar pedals are one of the most essential and popular pedals for guitarists. A chorus pedal splits your guitar signal into two parts and detunes and delays one of them. It can be used to add subtle modulations to your sound or using in more radical ways for more drastic effects and widening your sound.
Chorus is one of a few types os modulation effect, it should be placed fairly late in your pedal chain. It should come after a wah pedal, compression pedal, overdrive pedal, and distortion pedal, but before your delay pedal, tremolo pedal, or reverb pedal.
Two songs to hear a chorus; The Police with Walking On The Moon and Nirvana: Come As You Are
Although a Compressor pedal can be used as an obvious effect, it's more likely to be used as a subtle tool to adjust the tone of the guitar. What a compressors actually does isn't always that obvious. BUT, take it away and you will notice the effect, guaranteed!
In brief compression pedals will attenuate, sustain or squash any signal peaks, that's the noise you make when you strike the strings, unless you strike evenly the expression could highlight imperfections in your playing.
A compressor pedal will ensure your transmitted audio signal is within limits and controlled throughout. Added features to sustain gain and mix can make a huge difference to the overall tone.. An essential pedal for recording, performance & studio use.
ANALOG - DIGITAL - MODULATED - REVERSE - FILTERED, controlling time, ambiance, delay & repeat
Analog delays diffuse the guitar repeat into warm smooth delays, where the signal slowly degrades with each step. Digital delays offer versatility, providing crystal clear exact copies of the original signal, enabling precise delay time control.
Modulated delay will add a subtle chorus to the repeat. Filters emphasise or suppress frequencies in the guitar signal, resulting in a change to the tonal colour of the repeat. Apply a whole lotta backwards echo & reversed repeated delays to visit worlds of shoegazey prog rock psychodelia.
JOYO guitar effects "Distortion", "Overdrive" and "Fuzz" are similar in effect, but they each have subtle differences in tone, ranging from warm mild overtones to an extreme manipulation destruction of the guitar signal.
Distortion effectsproduce approximately the same amount of distortion at any volume, and its sound alterations are much more pronounced and intense.
An EQ pedal is used in the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components of the guitar signal. The JOYO EQ pedal strengthens (boosts) or weakens (cuts) the energy of specific frequency bands or "frequency ranges" from your pedals, rather than on the mix.
Equalisation can also be used to boost or reduce unwanted sounds (e.g., low hum coming from a guitar amplifier), make certain parts or voices more (or less) prominent, enhance particular aspects of the guitar tone.
Put an EQ in your amp fx loop to gain some control over your amps tone.
Flanger Guitar Effects - JOYO Pedals. The fighter jet sound of Modulation effects. The flanger will give you the roaring sound of a jet engine, which is what great flangers are known for, the jet-flanger sound.
If you like the swirly whirly sounds listen out for the flanger on tracks like Tomorrow Never Knows (Beatles), Itchychoo Park (Small Faces), Bold as Love (Hendrix) and used by many Bowie, Queen and many more.
Fuzz guitar effects alter the audio signal until it is nearly a square wave and will open up a whole new experience when playing the electric guitar.
Early experimentalists would use faulty components in a similar way to produce a “broken” and distorted sound.
The earliest fuzz pedals used germanium transistors and tend to produce a warmer and more-rounded tone with a strong mid-range.
Silicon transistors were developed to be a more practical alternative to germanium, offering more reliability and consistency.
Look for pedals that offer both!
The JOYO guitar looper pedals plays your riff back over and over again, controlled by one footswitch. Record unlimited tracks up to 20 minutes long, add unlimited parts in at any time, a tap of the foot, record some more, overdub it over and over, listen to it all looped together, delete, undo the delete and recover your masterpiece..
Time flies from the minute you get your looper and the options here are limitless.
Timing when recording or playing with a looper is a skill to master, especially when playing into a live loop. The Ironloop looper pedal has an animated LCD screen making timing accuracy of overdubs far easier than any other mini effect pedal,s whilst the OMB, One Man Band provides the beats with a massive range of genres, beats and tempo adjustments.
Modulation is a category of effects, a collective of effect types that manipulate the sound in a particular way so phaser, flanger, chorus, tremolo etc would all be considered modulating effects.
CHORUS effects slowly modulate delay time with a low frequency oscillator (LFO). As the LFO cycles the delay time up and down, the delayed volume creates a chorus !
TREMOLO creates dynamic pulsing that gives modulation control over volume Intensity and adds a groovy tone wobble.
PHASE In the world of effects, the phaser is the most popular it creates the swirly whirly rotating sweeping sounds.
FLANGER Prepare to take off, the flanger takes your guitar tone by jet propulsion sweeping levels low and high. WOOSH.
AUTO WAH The Auto Wah is expressed by how hard or soft you play. The pedal sweeps the peak response of a filter up and down in frequency, creating the Wah sound
JOYO Multi Effect units are perfect for getting to grips with your tone. Easy to operate and everything you need in one place without the additional power supplies or cables.
A guitar multi effect pedal will contain many guitar effects inside one unit that can be adjusted and saved. Ideal for any style of playing, they are an affordable option for those starting out or those who want everything to be contained within one unit.
Check out the Gem Box for a massive range of effects, or the Tonechain series for the core effects combining an fx loop and delay.
Noise Gates are a very simple but useful piece of kit if you like a guitar with single coil pick ups like a Strat or Tele.
As we know, lights and other stage equipment can leave you with an embarrassing hum or feedback between songs, especially from a high gain guitar amplifier. Put your noise gate in the effect loop, or after that noisy pedal and turn down the noise without it altering the tone. If you like High Gain, then you will have heard that hiss.. A noise gate will sort it.
A noise gate guitar pedal will cut that noise dead, literaly close a gate on it. Prevent trailing high gain feedback when pushed to the limits, small adjustments make a big difference
Octave Guitar Effect Pedals come in a few different flavours and can sound quite different in the effect they make to your sound.
They adjust the pitch up or down and the main difference is Monophonic (one note at a time) & Polyphonic (more than one note), shifting notes up and down or both and modulation !..
Check out these pedals that all feature octave effect.
JOYO Overdrive guitar effects are the mildest of the three distortion guitar effect types, producing warmer overtones at quieter volumes and can achieve a harsher distortion as gain is increased.
JOYO guitar effects "Distortion", "Overdrive" and "Fuzz" are similar in effect, but they each have subtle differences in tone, ranging from warm mild overtones to an extreme manipulation of the guitar signal.
Overdrive captures the tone and warmth of a classic overdriven tube amp.
Sometimes a song can require quite a complicated patch, switching from one set of pedals to another, this can mean something close to tap dancing on your pedals if you're not careful!
So that's where these pedal switches come in handy. Pre program your guitar effect pedal changes into patches for ease of use for that crucial live situation when timing is everything.
Achieve more control over your pedals by using a loop, starting with an A-B for 1 and 2, or PXL for 4, 8 and more controls in the chain.
Phaser Guitar Effects - JOYO Pedals are heard on multitudes of rock recordings throughout the years as well as on a lot of funk recordings.
The phase pedal is a must have on almost any guitarists pedal board. Whether you just want to add a little bit of space or swirl to your tone or you want to turn it all the way up and get a swirling Leslie type effect the JOYO Phaser guitar effect will deliver.
A massively popular pedal for good reasons it can make that rhythm part or that lead line stand out in your recordings or at the live show.
JOYO guitar effect pedal power supplies are reliable & noise free, providing regulated, short-circuit and overheat protection for your guitar gear.
Power supplies for 9V、12V or 18V Pedals, with Daisy Chain, Multi Supply, Filtered & Isolated power supplies all catered for. When you use a combination of pedals, then investing in decent power supply is a must, for that reason we say ditch the batteries and get the noise filtered. Our power supplies come with all the cables, extension leads, polarity converters you will need.
Read our blog article on How to power your guitar effect pedals
Some guitars have lots of it, some have less. It is perceived that a guitar will sound better if it has lots of sustain compared to one that doesn’t. When you hear about Sustain it simply means the length of the string's vibration, how long the note lasts, so a long sustain means the string or note can vibrate or ring out for a longer time, then a short sustain means the string can't vibrate for a long time.
There are a number of things that will traditionally change sustain on a guitar, the wood, strings, the material of the nut & saddle and pickups. A combination of changing these things will change the way your guitar sustain behaves. But ! What if you do not have lots of different guitars, what can you do to adjust your guitar sustain?
A classic way to adjust the sustain of your guitar tone is to manipulate the tone by adding a compressor pedal or an overdrive set on low gain with compression built in. The compressor takes all the highs and lows of the signal and squishes it together, so all the highs and lows of its output are the same, this results in a longer note.
Some pedals do this better than others, so here are the top JOYO pedals & devices that will give you the best sustain guitar effect to dial in on your existing gear and make you sound infinitely better.
Tremolo Guitar Effects - JOYO Pedals. From subtle throbs to all out stutters, the tremolo guitar effect pedals will cover almost any sound you're after. From triangular wave tremolo to a stuttering square wave tremolo and anything in between! Adjusting the volume up and down.
If you're thinking about experimenting with tremolo then The Molo could be perfect for you, with it's super compact size it barely takes up any 'real estate' on your board so is a no brainer to get you into Trem's.
Whether you want a nice slow deep throbbing trem, a mega fast almost stutter like tremolo or a really light barely audible trem just to give that little bit of movement in your sound then a tremolo is for you.
The whammy bar on your guitar is often incorrectly referred to as a tremolo, when it is actually Vibrato.
Volume and Expression - from a clean volume boost, a hint of dirt..
A volume pedal gives you control and can be used to boost not just your volume but push a guitar amp to give it some extra ooomph.
Wah and Filter guitar effect pedals - give your guitar tone a little more expression, with volume and filters. From small sizes classic wah pedal, multifunction wah with Q control and a mini auto wah..
The JOYO selection of wah pedals, from auto wah, original wah and multifunction wah and volume pedals. They are all extremely dynamic effect and great to kick in some very versatile funk & expressive filtering at your fingertips. The wah is a very funky modulating pedal, sounds great on bass too!..
There is no need to be a big cry baby, JOYO has all the wah wah you need..