Pedals - Necessary or Not?

Hector Arcadius

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Yes, they are absolutely necessary. TO ME, that is. I have no idea about you, though...


And there are certain iconic guitar players, who have relied HEAVILY on pedals and various effects in order to create their sound (Hendrix, Gilmour, EVH just to name very few...). I do consider them to be tools, but to some, they are very essential tools. Very essential.
 

firesgt911

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Yes pedals are cheating!!! If you can't create a phaser, flange, chorus or wah sound with just your fingers than your cheating yourself and everyone who hears you. If you can't do an octave up and down fuzz sound with just a guit and cranked Plexi, then your just a hack. All effects are in your fingers. Enough to cover every genre.

This is of course considering you have the Firebird X...
 

Guitar Freak

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Yes pedals are cheating!!! If you can't create a phaser, flange, chorus or wah sound with just your fingers than your cheating yourself and everyone who hears you. If you can't do an octave up and down fuzz sound with just a guit and cranked Plexi, then your just a hack. All effects are in your fingers. Enough to cover every genre.

This is of course considering you have the Firebird X...
:lol: I don't consider those specific effects cheating, since they are nearly impossible to do with just your fingers. Thus, is why they were created. would you be able to create reverb with your fingers? I could see delay, but reverb? No. compression is a sad effect, most can get it from slamming their strings, but who wants to do that to a $500 guitar, which is by no stretch of imagination an expensive guitar, but still, that's $500 dollars you're beating.
 

4nd3h

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:lol: I don't consider those specific effects cheating, since they are nearly impossible to do with just your fingers. Thus, is why they were created. would you be able to create reverb with your fingers? I could see delay, but reverb? No. compression is a sad effect, most can get it from slamming their strings, but who wants to do that to a $500 guitar, which is by no stretch of imagination an expensive guitar, but still, that's $500 dollars you're beating.
He was being sarcastic, brother! :)
 

Oranjeaap

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I own a few pedals, but I dont use them much. For gigs I only use my chromatic tuner pedal. I used to have a wah wah but it broke down and I dont miss it.
A good tube amp that has a nice clean and overdrive or distortion channel and some reverb is all I need.
Im just not a pedal guy. I seen some people have like 30 pedals and pedalboards but that sort of stuff never moved me. I tried a few distortion pedals but they still dont sound like the real amp distortion.
I might buy one of those Blackstar HT pedals that have a tube in them. They sound good.

I dont think they are necesarry. But it depends on what you play and how you play. You can play almost any song without effects, but they can give a real nice twist to your songs when used right.
 

Mattdive

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There's an old ad for a Porshe 944 Turbo from the 80's that puts it well; something like: "you may not ever drive at 160mph, but it's nice to know that you could..."

I love the flexibility that pedals give, but don't lose sleep if I never stomp on one during a set. If you like your amp's tone, play through it. If you need something extra, stomp on something.

As for the phase 90, if you set it right, it can produce some great vocal sounds that you'd be hard-pressed to replicate with a wah. I've gotten better wah tones from the phaser than from my crybaby!
Having a couple different overdrives/distortions at your feet can drastically improve your creativity. Just a slight change in sound can make all the difference (of course, it depends on what you're playing). It's finding the right difference in sound that's the trick. FWIW, I've found that the pedals that claim a wide variety of tones or the versatility of a rack of effects in a pedal cannot produce the quality of tone that a dedicated effect can. The ones that do a lot, do none of it well (IMHO). I'd rather have a subtle effect that when added to my amp or another pedal, can just put the tone over the top.

Having a basic overdrive pedal is essential, but avoid cranking the gain on it. If you have a decent sounding amp, pegging pedals just muds it up. I use an overdrive pedal with the gain at about 9:00 and the level at 3:00. It pushes the amp's tubes just a bit more when you need it.

I've also found that pedals I like the sound of by themselves don't get used when others are toggled in. Think of your pedals in terms of how well they work together in different combinations.

Here's my setup:

1. Carvin A/B switch with two guitars in - out to tuner
2. Ibanez pedal tuner
3. Crybaby wah
4. Overdrive (started as a cheap Washburn Blues OD off e-bay, now modded)
5. Marshall Guvn'r (used for those few songs needing heavy distortion)
6. Rogue EQ (surprisingly, this works as well as the boss unit I used to have)
7. MXR phaser (an odd-ball, not the orange box, but has a big square switch and stereo outs)
8. Rockson Chorus (very subtle effect)
-out to amp
 

Splattle101

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Who does that?

"Hey man, gimme a 'G'"

*AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

*BEEEEYYOOOOOORRRRR, AAYYYYOOOORRRR*

"OK good, now a 'B.'"



:shock::shock::shock::shock::shock:
Well, actually...

I only got a tuner for my current band because it's a three piece and I have to play in three or four tunings, so I have three guitars that all need to be in tune when I pick them up.

But prior to that, where I would be playing lead in four or five piece bands, or just guitar in a straight rock three piece, I never used a tuner. I found that different tuners had varying degrees of accuracy, and most weren't very good. This was before the days of cheap strobe tuners. As a result, if the bassist and two guitarists each tune to their own tuner, there'd be three differently tuned instruments on stage and it sounded bad.

So I tuned to the bassist. I'd get a reference note (usually D), and tune my guitar from there. I was quicker at it than the most people are using a tuner. And my guitar sounded in tune. It didn't just look like it was in tune on the tuner. It sounded in tune.

This last point might sound trivial, but it's not. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard an out-of-tune instrument that was 'in tune' according to somebody's tuner.

As I used to say to my students, 'If it sounds out-of-tune, it is. Regardless of what the tuner is telling you. You do not play guitar to please the tuner. You play to please your ear, and if your ears are telling you something, you'd do well to listen.'
 

Splattle101

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Oh yeah, to the OP, you don' HAVE to put anything at all in the effects loop. You can put the effects where you want them, and decide what sounds best.

Time-based effects - such as delay, phasers, chorus, etc - will sound cleaner and less noisy when used in a post preamp effects loop. But a very dry digital delay might actually sound BETTER in front of the preamp. Sure, it might be noisier, but it may also sound warmer. That might be more important to you than the noise.

Noise is an issue, as is hum, but it can be overstated. Most hum and noise can't be heard at all once the band is playing. So don't get too hung up on technical matters, and go for what sounds good.

The same goes for volume boosts. If you're running high gain settings a volume booster or OD pedal in front of your preamp might not produce anything except mush and shite. But if you're running medium to low gain, a booster in front can be exactly what you need. It will increase your gain just by shoving signal level into your amp. It will also affect your EQ (i.e., the voicing or sound or 'tone' of the instrument). This can be an excellent thing.

Again, what is best is what works best for you.
 

Mattdive

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As I used to say to my students, 'If it sounds out-of-tune, it is. Regardless of what the tuner is telling you. You do not play guitar to please the tuner. You play to please your ear, and if your ears are telling you something, you'd do well to listen.'
Well said! :dude:
 

lemeng

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I always use my volume knob. But it doesn't do vibe. That's all I'm saying.
And brother, if I aint learned it by now, I aint gonna. But I still try.
That said, those clips (and the millions like them) sound really good to me. I've always really liked the "bar-band" sound. A lot of my favorite bands are glorified bar-bands, like Skynard and ZZ top (their early stuff). It's the first sound I ever really heard from a live guitar turned up loud. I've always been amazed at that stuff. I can't do it. But my favorite all time band is Zep, and Page uses pedals. Jimi uses pedals. Clapton uses pedals. I want to take my stuff towards Skynard (they also use pedals) right now, which will be a challenge for me. I'm mediocre, by most honest comparisons, but I have never felt like I was "hiding" behind my pedals. I use them for a different sound. But I don't have (or like) any huge tripped out Radiohead shit in my board. I admire it as an art, but it ain't for me. But lots of my favorite bands also use pedals. Basically only the old skool blues guys are the only ones using nothing but a cord. And I like that stuff too. But the goal of the pedal board I am building (and am almost done with) is to give me "several different amps" without having to buy/carry them. My 800 doesn't have reverb. Doesn't have a drive channel. Doesn't have tremolo. That's most of my board. I like my MDV2, and I use the delay sometimes. And I'm getting the Picture Wah next, then MAYBE the Bi-Comp. Then I'm done. Take it to the bank. Or to school. Or wherever.
But you're right... there is something that is magically satisfying about plugging straight in and loving what you hear. It's the basic relationship that has to be there, before you start "accessorizing".
If you don't like your girl buck-ass naked, you ain't gonna like her in her lingerie.
well written brother :dude:
 

screamingdaisy

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99% of the time I play dry, though I do keep a wah in my chain in the event that I want it and I have a Phase 90 that travels in my gig bag should I ever need a swirly sound for some reason.

I have no bone to pick with effects users. I think they're great and I'm glad that not every guitarist I see does it the same way I do it, otherwise I'd get bored of guitar pretty damn quickly.

I think it helps that I'm in a bar band and not a cover band... which means that I'm free in interpret songs any damn way I want.
 

cicone

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Once you play through an EQ, you will never go back. My MXR 10 band is the best pedal I own. Period.:slash:
 

kahauna

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Please let me start with a pre-emptive apology to anyone I might piss off in this post. IMO, you need to have your chops and 'own your tone' before you start pedaling up. How you get your tone is entirely subjective, especially if your tone includes distortion. Some folks use pedals, some use the amplifier, there are no rules there. I get the distortion from the amplifier and keep the guitar turned all the way up 90% of the time, picking hard, softly, anywhere in between as needed, but that doesn't mean I think players who use distortion pedals are cheating. I've got a wah, various phase shifters/flangers/choruses and digital delay. Sometimes I use 'em all, sometimes not. I am looking for a Leslie w/preamp, and that would be the last piece in the puzzle. Your hands are your most important component here, your touch. It's your signature, your fingerprint, your voice. Nobody can take that from you.
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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Once you play through an EQ, you will never go back. My MXR 10 band is the best pedal I own. Period.:slash:
Really? My 3-knob tone stack and the Presence control on my amp is already more than I really NEED. Add to that the Tone knobs on the various guitars, and it's plenty. I could probably get by with just a Tone knob on an amp, depending on the amp's voicing. Less can be more, depending on how much "less" is.
I should add that I've never played with an EQ pedal, and the experience could change my life forever. It's just that my ears aren't that sensitive (probably due to working in engine rooms my whole life), plus I don't know how much I would really notice the changes once the bass, drums, more guitar(s) and vocals are mixed in. I find that when I am tweaking my pedals before playing with others, the only thing that I really notice making any difference once we've started playing is the speed on my tremolo pedal. I love that thing, but it can really mess with drummers when it's set slowly, with enough intensity. All the other pedals just have to be "close enough", mainly the OD and delay. After all the tweaking, I can never hear the difference in a 1/16 of a turn on any of the knobs. It's still fun to do. I feel really cool doing it. I get to pretend like I hear something that nobody else does. :hmm: Joke's on them!!
Long story short... I can't imagine having to adjust 10 different sliders plus volume and gain before playing, but if you find a setting you like and super glue it in place, I can see that. Plus it would probably be great for recording. It really depends on what you do. It would probably be a lot more useful on a lone guitar playing.
Some would say to buy an amp/guitar that's voiced more to your liking, so you don't end up needing an EQ pedal. I would tell them to mind their f**king business, which is what you're more than welcome to tell me.
:naughty:
 

cicone

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...I should add that I've never played with an EQ pedal, and the experience could change my life forever.....Some would say to buy an amp/guitar that's voiced more to your liking, so you don't end up needing an EQ pedal. I would tell them to mind their f**king business, which is what you're more than welcome to tell me.
:naughty:[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't do that! I'm a tone freak--a certified(certifiable)audiophile and long time musician. What I can tell you is that in MY opinion and a number of my friends, as well, the EQ does some very nice things. I can't shape the tone near as well using the knobs on my JCM 900 MKIII 2500---nor can my buddy with his Fender Deluxe Reverb. I do pretty much leave it set in a frown shape. That's the way I like it. Of course, you could cut out all the midrange and play thrash metal, but I'm more into older rock---Zep, Trower, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughan,etc.... I look to be on this board for a while and soak up what I can from you guys. Nobody needs to validate my opinions. BTW, I haven't even started getting crazy. :dude:
 

Guitar Freak

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The whole reason people love eq pedals is because with an amp and guitar, you get selection of three frequencies, but when you add that to a ten band Eq, or even a seven band eq, you could end up with control over 10-13 frequencies. Placing them before just an overdrive or tube amp can completely change the mood of the pedals, as you can choose which frequencies to be distorted and which ones to stay natural(which is not always better!). Most people won't need 13 bands of equalization, but I think that even strict Guitar->Amp players should give it a go, since most of them don't color your primary tone, but add something extra. A man with that goes by a name with the first four letters of "Mook"(sorry, dude) made a whole thread on this subject and I can state that pedals are Absolutely necessary, but they aren't a "must have" or a "can't play without" kind of thing. THAT should be your amp and guitar, using pedals as a tool always results in tonal success! The real "Journey" is finding a nice tone with your guitar and amp, and then adding on to it with a few(not 20) effects. You probably will not end up liking half of the pedals mentioned(yes, you OP :D), some you may despise, some you may love, but I'm not showing hate towards anything, it's all a preference game that's all! Have fun with it, and most importantly, remember to actually play guitar every once in a while, ok? :D
 


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