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Placing Effects Pedals in a chain

Here is a forum for everything between the guitar (here) and the amp (there). If you want to know about cables, effects pedals, multieffects, noisegates, line drivers, phasers, distortion post your questions in here.

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Postby moriondor » September 21st, 2007, 1:00 am

Hi all,

I haven't posted for some time as I have been working my backside to the bone. I have some spare time on my hands now so I'm hoping that I can post regularly. Since I last posted a few months back my setup has changed a lot. I have a new amp and guitar and also introduced a bunch of pedals in to my setup. After looking around on the wonderful intermaweb I found a few small guides on the correct (or suggested) order in which you should setup your pedals. This is the conclusion I came to with the pedals I use:

1 Tuner

2 Compressor

3 Distortion

4 Octave

5 Delay EH-1

6 EQ

7 Noise gate

8 Volume Pedal

Would anyone have a different idea? Have I got it spot on or completely wrong?
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Postby Ignar Hillström » September 21st, 2007, 1:28 am

As the overdrive/distortion amplifies the base noise level I'd put that before the OD. No noise into the overdrive means no noise comes out. Easier to filter before then after, too. EQ is up to you, depends on how well the EQs on the other pedals function. Delay is fine but can also be placed pre-gain, sounds a lot different so experiment with it.
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Postby moriondor » September 21st, 2007, 1:47 am

Thanks for that.

If I where to drop a phaser into the chain, where would be the most logical placement? I had an idea of putting it infront of the Octave but not to sure. I have tried it in a few different places but don't seem to get the sound I was looking for. Just comes out a little messy?!
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Postby Ignar Hillström » September 21st, 2007, 2:24 am

It's really a taste thing but personally I'd put a phaser before the OD and a flanger after. Phasers typically work better with cleaner settings whereas flangers are better for gainier stuff.
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Postby scr@tchy » September 21st, 2007, 10:25 am

I love a Small Stone phaser after my distortion, rotary type effects I like after distortion because it swirls whatever you put into it. I put wah after pedal distortion too, but that really depends on the distortion box, some really don't like wah after them.
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Postby moriondor » September 21st, 2007, 11:19 am

I was also told to be careful with the placing of the Noisegate with other effects such as reverb. Is it true that a noisegate slamming shut can cause a problem if you place a reverb before it? Would this be the same with say a delay?
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Postby Ignar Hillström » September 21st, 2007, 2:18 pm

Reverb typically goes at the very end of the chain and having aggresive noisegates after them is kinda odd. Cant really say for sure what will happen but I can imagine the reverb gets cut too, if it falls below the treshold.
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Postby scr@tchy » September 21st, 2007, 11:14 pm

That is exactly what happens, the reverb gets cut off. And delays as the repeats get quieter, if you have it set that way. You could probably balance 2 - 3 repeats if they weren't fading too fast... but really put those pedals ofter a noise gate. Or you could always experiment... maybe a cool sound would be to have the reverb before a a hot gate and then have a delay set afterwards. So when the reverb gets cut off, the delay will make repeats of the what that sounds like, could be cool. Now I want to try that... but I don't use a gate.
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Postby moriondor » September 22nd, 2007, 4:03 am

Well I set up my chain this morning. I set it out as the list I posted to start this thread. Took me a while to get the EQ right but it made all the difference as I noticed the first few pedals where sucking some of the natural tone of the guitar even when switched off. I tried the delay after the noise gate and it works nicely, seems to stop most of the undesirable noise and lets the delay repeats continue. Thanks everyone for your help and advice.
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Postby Wes Inman » September 22nd, 2007, 11:34 am

There is no right or wrong to pedal chain setup, it's good to experiment. Here is a good article about effect's chain setup I have found useful.

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/fx-order.htm

I pretty much follow this advice and it has worked well. I place phase before distortions, distortions, eq, modulations like chorus, and delays and reverbs last. Works well.

I will sometimes use a Wah and contrary to usual advice prefer to have it last in the chain. So everybody is different and looking for different sounds.
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Postby stratman_el84 » November 11th, 2007, 7:06 am

Here's a really excellent guide to amps and effects. There's a crap-ton of info here, but don't get intimidated. Take what you need. And after all, the amp and effects are half of the instrument we call an "electric guitar", and look how much time we invest in learning to play the first half. Only makes sense to learn how to play the other half, as the amp + effects has more to do with your sound than the guitar does. You can plug the finest guitar on the planet into a crappy or badly-set-up amp/effects rig, and it'll sound like crap. You can plug a $99 Squier into a decent-quality well-set-up amp/effects rig, and it'll sound darned good.

Amptone.com: http://www.amptone.com/

Cheers!

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