Looking to go analog?
Going analog may seem like a really challenging task at first but once you are certain about the chain of effects you use in your guitar signal you will understand how to prioritize and establish your own unique sound!
Are you looking to make a shift to guitar pedals? You will most certainly find more warmness in character in your tone from guitar pedals in comparison to that emulated processed tone you were previously dialing in from those digital guitar processors.
The two broad categories of pedal effects would be gain based (primary) and time based effects (secondary). Gain based effects usually involve effects such as overdrive, distortion, compression, EQ, Wah, Volume, Fuzz, Boost and so on. Time based include digital effects such as Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Tremolo, Phaser, etc. Another tangent of effect pedals that are primary requirements would include utility pedals such as a Noise gate, Tuner, Footwitch pedals etc.
The first major step is to find that drive pedal that defines the character of your tone. It could be an almost clean drive or a bluesy overdrive or a rock distortion or even a hi gain metal distortion. Drive is the heart of your tone and is by far the most important pedal to have as everything else is dependent on how your drive responds to your playing style.
The second most important pedal to have is a noise gate. If you are using a really hot drive it would need a noise gate to eliminate that dirty sound that rings out during silent passages of your playing. Noise gates are extremely crucial in making sure your sound is tight and does not have any unwanted decay in your tone. Another alternative train of thought could include using a compressor pedal. Compressors are able to maintain that steady balance in your tone, it helps tame down loud playing and also boost soft passages so that you maintain a decent dynamic signal in your playing.
Now that you have sorted out your primary tone you can choose to build on your secondary tone based on the kind of effects you prefer for your kind of sound. This could very simply include a delay or a reverb or maybe even an expression pedal such as a Wah, Volume etc or even all of these and more. You should be able to gauge what kind of secondary effects would enhance your playing style and make you shine as a guitar player.
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