Soft Clipping vs Hard Clipping – What is the Difference?

soft clipping vs hard clippingSoft 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?”

What Are the Best Budget Guitar Wah Pedals?

budget guitar wahShopping 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?”

Gain Boost Part 2 – Building the Pedal

gain boost part 2Now 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”

Dynamics and Gain – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

dynamics and gainAs 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”

Distortion – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

distortionWhen 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

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 – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

modulationModulation 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”