Soft clipping and hard clipping in pedal effects and how they affect your sound.
Many times in guitar shops, especially when talking about distortion or overdrive effects, we hear the terms hard clipping and soft clipping used to describe the different sound effects pedals create. It can be confusing if you don’t understand these terms or how they affect your sound. Continue reading “Soft Clipping vs Hard Clipping – What is the Difference?”
Shopping on a budget for a guitar wah pedal? This list features some surprisingly affordable choices.
The wah pedal is one of the best-known effects commonly found on a guitarist’s pedalboard. With its unique distortion capabilities, it is one of the few effects that is well known to even non-guitar players. It is expressive, giving the guitar an almost vocal-like quality, and guitarists such as Steve Vai have used the wah very successfully to simulate entire conversations. Continue reading “What Are the Best Budget Guitar Wah Pedals?”
Now that we've reviewed the components in Part 1, we'll begin the process of actually building our gain boost pedal.
If you are a guitar player looking to create your own unique sound, one of the best ways to do that is to build your own equipment from scratch. A good portion of “Guitar Electronics” is just very simple circuits that can be built and modified at home. Continue reading “Gain Boost Part 2 – Building the Pedal”
Pitch, as the name implies, deals with the pitch of a signal and its manipulation.
One of the easiest and most familiar ways to alter the pitch is to change the speed of the recording. Faster will increase the pitch, while slowing down the recording will lower it. Continue reading “Pitch – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
As the most basic of guitar effects, Dynamics and Gain deal with Volume, and they’re designed to help control how loud or soft your signal is.
Dynamics-and-gain are the most basic of guitar effects. They deal with Volume, and they’re designed to help control how loud or soft your signal is. The Volume control built into your guitar might not seem like it, but it fits into this category. What might seem like it fits this category even less is your guitar’s Tone control, but believe it or not, it actually adjusts the Volume of your guitar’s high end frequencies. Continue reading “Dynamics and Gain – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
When a signal is sent into a device, such as an amplifier, with too much Gain, the signal begins to 'clip,' producing that characteristic buzzing that we call distortion.
Overdrive is usually a naturally occurring clipping of the signal. It is often created by turning the volume up too loud on the gain stage of the amp, or by using a gain-boosting pedal that makes the signal too hot going into the amp or another pedal. This will oftentimes drive the later stages of the amp too hard and the signal will begin to clip, or chop off the parts of the signal that are too loud. This distorted sound is oftentimes a warm, pleasing tone that also adds a little compression to the signal. Continue reading “Distortion – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
Modulation effects are those that change over time. Parameters of the effect are tied to a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO).
If you don’t know what a Low Frequency Oscillator is, think of a clock and a light bulb. When the hand is on the 12 the light is all the way Off, as the hand moves past 1 the light begins to turn on; when the hand is on the 6 the light is all the way On and starts to turn off again as it moves past 7 back to Off at 12. This cycle repeats indefinitely, and you usually control how fast the clock spins. This is basically what is happening internally with each of these effects.
Continue reading “Modulation – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
Time-based effects relate mostly to a delay in a signal — for example, echo, looper, and reverb.
Delay is created in many ways, including electronically, using springs, (Bucket Brigade), in addition to tape (like in a cassette or audio reel).
Continue reading “Delay – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
Filter effects are a subcategory of Dynamics and they deal with controlling the volume of certain frequencies.
Equalizers are one of the most common effects in this category and you can find an Equalizer almost everywhere that you find a Volume Control. It is built into your amp, your mixing board, almost everywhere you look. EQs work by using different values of Capacitors to target a certain range of frequencies, and a slider or Volume knob to “Turn Down” (filter to ground) those frequencies. Most EQs are passive, meaning they can only turn down the volume of the frequencies that they target.
Continue reading “Filter – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
The Vox V846-HW Hand Wired Wah Pedal is a reissue of the grandfather of all wah pedals, the Vox V846. This classic was used by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and countless others.
The Vox V846-HW Hand Wired Wah Pedal, as the name suggests, is hand wired on a turret style board. Continue reading “Vox V846-HW Hand Wired Wah Pedal”