Distortion – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

distortionWhen a signal is sent into a device like your amplifier with too much Gain, the signal begins to “clip.” This clipping gives the sound its characteristic buzzy sound that is what 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”

Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Pedal

dunlop gcb95The original Thomas Organ Cry Baby pedal is an American branded version of the Vox Wah. The Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Pedal is the modern version of the Thomas Organ Cry Baby.

This modern interpretation features several technical improvements over its vintage namesake and it was created by Jim Dunlop when he bought the Cry Baby brand from Thomas Organ in 1981. This Cry Baby pedal uses the legendary red Fassel inductor that was used in the vintage wah pedals, and combines it with a more focused high end, and a more aggressive and accentuated wah sound. Continue reading “Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Pedal”

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 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.

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Delay – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work

delayTime based effects deal mostly with some kind of delay in a signal. Echo and reverb are two effects in this category

Delay is created in many ways, including electronically, using springs, (Bucket Brigade), in addition to tape (like in a cassette tape or audio reel).

Delay/Echo

Delay is a very common effect that creates an echo of the original signal. Delay can often be set to very short time, creating a “guitar doubling” effect, or it can be set for very long times creating a “Grand Canyon” type echo. It can also usually be set for a single echo or “Slap Back,” or for multiple or even infinitely repeating echos. Take a look at the MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay, or Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal.

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EarthQuaker Devices Grand Orbiter V3 Phaser Pedal

grand orbiter v3The Grand Orbiter V3 from EarthQuaker Devices is a four-stage phaser that uses an OTA-based circuit to make it a 100% analog pedal. It features a three-way switch that allows you to select different modulation ranges

Grand Orbiter V3

Rate 1 is a slow sweep mode, Rate 2 turns off the LFO and lets you use the Grand Orbiter as a fixed resonant filter, and Rate 3 is a fast sweep mode. Continue reading “EarthQuaker Devices Grand Orbiter V3 Phaser Pedal”

Dunlop 535Q-B Cry Baby 535Q Multi-wah Pedal

dunlop 535q-be Dunlop 535Q-B Cry Baby 535Q Multi-Wah Pedal is the next generation of the original Cry Baby Wah pedal that has been very popular for decades

The 535Q has been designed to allow you to customize your sound and get the wah tones that you’re looking for. This wah pedal features a six-position switch that allows you to select from different frequency ranges of operation.

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