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Wednesday, 07 January 2015 14:01

What is the right pedal order on your pedalboard?

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What is the right effects pedal order for your stompboxes What is the right effects pedal order for your stompboxes

There is no right or wrong order to pedals although many would like to make you believe that. Truth is that it is all about what 'sound' you are after. The suggestions here are to the generally agreed pedal orders on a pedal board for the most typically desired tone and sound results.




Quick look at types of guitar effects pedals and their typically suggested order on the pedalboard:
Filter - Equaliser (EQ), Talk Box, Wah-wah
Distortion - Distortion, Overdrive and dirty boosts, Fuzz
Feedback and Sustain - Some compressors, ebow etc
Dynamics - Clean Boost, Volume pedal, compressors and noise gates
Modulation - Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Ring modulator, Tremolo, Vibrato
Pitch/Frequency - Pitch Shifter and harmonisers
Time Based - Delay, Loopers, Reverbs

Some reasons why the order is suggested this way:
If your distorion is behind a delay or modulation, your drive or distorion pedal will over drive the applied effects. This can make the sound muddy and sometimes strange when dealing with delays and some modulations. If the delay effect (for example) is applied to the driven or distorted signal the effect sounds cleaner and more defined.

Old WAH and the like did not work or sound nice after drives as well (for the same reason mentioned above). They also tended to create incompatibility issues with some pedals, therefor they tended to be first in the chain.

The other thing to remember is you might have a variety of a 'type' of stompbox as mentioned above in your chain. For example it is common to have chorus and a flanger. The same types of pedals can be experimented with as to which one comes first. 

The best way to think about this is 'what do you want to apply the effect to?'

Other factors are buffered and true-bypassed pedals. If you have a long guitar lead and many pedals, you might have to have a few buffered pedals in the chain. If you do not have a buffered pedal you might get some signal loss on your clean sound because of the high-impedance signal from your guitar. If you do not have a buffered pedal you can buy buffers specifically.

Some pedals also do not like to be next to one another in the pedal chain for some odd reason. Here is is also a good ideal to place a buffer or buffered pedal in between them.

Please click HERE to read more about buffered and true-bypass pedals.

If things get more complicated and you end up with many pedals in your effects chain you might want to think about looping your pedals. That is using a looping pedal. What they do is isolate a chain of pedals (for example of a specific created sound). When you want to engage that 'sound' you engage the loop via the looping pedal.




Some typical pedal orders -

Classic suggested pedal order:
Guitar
WAH / Volumes / Pitch
Comp
Dist
Drive
Boost
EQ

Modulations
Delays
Reverbs
Trems

Into Amp



Or:
Classic suggested pedal order:
Guitar
WAH / Volumes / Pitch
Comp
Dist
Drive
Boost
EQ

Into AMP ->

Out from Amplifier FX Send
Modulations
Delays
Reverbs
Trems

Into Amplifier FX Return

Pedal Order graphic from BOSS Website
Pedal Order graphic from BOSS Website

Last modified on Saturday, 10 January 2015 19:06

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