Do you know the story behind Marshall Amps? If you’re a guitar player, that name has as much weight as Leo Fender or Orville Gibson. His name is written on shirts, hats, and of course some of our favorite amplifiers. Jim Marshall began as an average music store owner. However, due to a growing need for better and louder amplification, he started his amplifier company in 1962. Like many geniuses, Jim Marshall’s success was partly due to foresight and partly due to pure luck and necessity.
Powering a pedalboard’s worth of effects with batteries seems unthinkable. Why would you run each device on a dedicated battery when you can just hog tons of outlets or use a “daisy chain” style option like the One Spot? Well, if you’re concerned about tone and removing hissing and other DC-related noise, it’s time to reconsider how you’re powering up your pedals.
The chorus pedal was an eighties staple, and although it’s not as common today, it’s still a valuable addition to any guitarists’ arsenal. It’s designed as a replication of the sound of two guitarists playing the same piece – there are inevitably minor differences in pitch and timbre that lead to a choral, choir-like sound. To produce the effect with a solo guitarist, the signal is split into two: the original and a slightly delayed version of itself with a slight difference in pitch, which is modulated to finish off the effect. But how do you put it to best use?
Compressor pedals are disarmingly simple – they detect spikes in your volume and normalize the levels automatically. Fattening up your tone, boosting sustain and making your sound punchier are pretty much just possible side effects of the volume controlling process. It’s all a trade-off between the desirable and undesirable side effects, so to get the most out of any given pedal you need to understand the various controls.
When your pedalboard real estate is limited, adding a reverb pedal might seem like the last thing you want to do. After all, it’s just a replication of something the room will do for you anyway, right? Well, reverbs can serve more like effects too, and sometimes rooms just suck. Here are five ways to get the most out of a reverb pedal…
Do you know the difference between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz pedals? There are so many dirt pedals out there that it can be overwhelming for new guitarists even to know where to start. Each pedal will affect your tone in its own unique way, and one of the pleasures of playing guitar is the quest to shape your tone and discover your own voice. Before you start investing thousands of dollars into a pedalboard, however, it helps to learn how dirt pedals work.