Essential Guide for Electric Guitar Pedals

Due to the desire that many of you expressed to have on hand a guide for guitar pedals that do make the guitar tone is affected or colored in several ways: adding surfaces sound, treble or bass filtering, modifying equalization anandiendo very strongly or frequencies that are not originally. Thus we have the Octaves (duplicators tone, really), the delays, flangers, phasers, chorus, etc … that captivates so many modern guitarists. We will thresh all these famous pedals from the same categorization we used for the first guide. In this way, we always clear what this or that family belongs pedal we like, and we want to use. All this before entering utilization and order of the pedals, to be discussed in the last section of this guide.



– Modulation (phaser, chorus, flanger, tremolo, rotation, and derivatives)

– Filters (autofiltracion, specific filter wah, talk wah and filter peaks)

– Dynamic (Noise Suppressor, compression/ limiting and volume pedal)

– Delay/ Echo

– Reverberation

– Pitch or temperature control (Whammy, Harmonizers, conveyors, Octaves, harmonic synthesizers, etc …)

– Distortion and saturation (all types of distortion, saturation and all kinds of boosters)

– Equalize

– Modification (analog sequencers, tone-envelope envelope, levels of initial input, etc …)

– Special effects (noise and shifting in tone, wave to-reverse, and in general, all kinds of strange effects and sui generis, mixtures of several of the above, etc …)

Pedals or secondary second order would be modified, filter, delay/echo, pitch or tampering, modification and finally, the special effects are somewhat apart, and we could consider a third category. If you’re wondering why I do not include reverberation in the following breakdown, check the first guide. While it is true that modifies the sound reverb, the reverb itself is a real phenomenon in nature. There reverb whenever we play, by acoustic physics considering it as an effect would be the primary effects; therefore the treatment in the first guide.


But we have from the reverb would be the only force for which no pedal needed since entry into play the dimensions of the enclosure or room where you touch and could do many different and endless considerations. Someone might say that for the overdrive pedal would not lack either, only turn up the volume of a tube amp to stop. Do we do the same with one of the transistors? Can we do the same with all types of the tube amp? Remember that this guide is for both solid state and valves. And the reverb is something that is present wherever we play a particular or specific manner and intensity. But what it is said “to be” unless we are always playing on the moon. That is why the reverb pedals and in amps are nothing more than “exaggerations” of reflection or sound reflections on materials that can graduate at will. It is true that the reverb has a direct relationship with the echo, but the echo is attached to the category of delay and as solid pedal has a particular treatment as discussed below.


The easiest thing would be to say so named because modulating the sound, but the truth is that what they do is not as obvious as we might think. The first thing to do to understand the functioning of these pedals is to focus on two of the four meanings of the modular verb in Castilian.

  • Harmonics purposes vary the qualities of sound in speech or singing
  • Changing the value of the amplitude, frequency or phase of a carrier wave based on a signal

Therefore these pedals (each in their way) modulate your tone frequencies to give a concrete result that can, in turn, sound us with brake controls. These pedals modulators are the following.


It is an effect which produces a corresponding flange with the difference that applies phase to phase variations delays added to the input signal, while the flanger result is based on a duplication of the wave. To give us an idea, this effect was that was used in Star Wars to the sound of the lightsaber; it is also the name of a famous Star Trek weapon.

As controls, there are many variants on the market. Typically have an authority that regulates the output of the effect and another that controls its speed, but as I say there are many variations that currently exist; can regulate even the resonance of this effect. There phaser with one and up to five controls.



The chorus (choir) is based on the superposition of two signals, one in constant vibration effect. The vibrating signal is mixed with the raw signal so that the resulting sound seems the two instruments in unison, one of them very slightly detuned. An exaggerated variation of this effect is made up of tremolo pedals, chorus modified are focused on doing much or little the original signal vibrate.

As for the controls, as in all child pedals, there’s lots of variety depending on the manufacturer and according to what we seek. Typically, find an adjustment of intensity and amount (concentration, rate), but we can find to a parametric equalization within the effect.

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