How to Link Guitar Effects Pedals Together

7th February 2009

How to Link Guitar Effects Pedals Together

How to Link Guitar Effects Pedals Together

You must learn how to ‘Link’ your Guitar Effects Pedals. You might think “an effect is an effect”, but this simply isn’t the case. The electronic circuitry of any effects pedal can add to, or subtract from your overall tone in the same way that the types of wood that your guitar is made of, or the pickups it uses, will influence your tone.
This is why you’ll see many professional players use a variety of effects pedals, and they will often have a favorite model for a particular type of effect.
There is a general set of rules regarding the placement of different types of effects pedals in a chain for the best ‘signal to noise’ ratio.

A Good Effects Pedal Chain.

Guitar — Wah — Distortion — Chorus — Amp + Delay (sent separately through the amplifiers effect loop)
Guitar — Wah — Distortion — Chorus — Delay —Amp.
As you may notice above, Delay is typically the last effect in any chain.
You will have to plug from the Delay (at the end of the whole chain) into your amp’s input jack if you are using a one-channel amp. For two-channel amps, it is generally recommended to plug your Guitar—Wah—Distortion—Chorus chain into the input jack, while plugging your Delay (separate from the chain) into the amplifiers “effects send and return” loop.

In general, you will find that the effect of yours is doing one (and sometimes more than one) of the following things to your guitar signal:

  1. Adding to it
  2. Subtracting (or ‘clipping) from it
  3. Modulating it

A distortion pedal, for example, creates noise (‘distortion’) by clipping the signal.
Imagine if you clipped off the tops of the ‘curves’, creating something closer to square wave? It’s going to sound harsher and ‘buzzier’. In other words, it’s going to sound distorted!
Likewise, imagine if you could modulate a signal so that the peaks and valleys (amplitude) were more extreme, their spacing (phase) less regular or the peak frequency response (tone) filtered in or out?
Again, this isn’t all cut-and-dry. Placement of effects is very much dependent not just on their type, but how many are involved. Figuring out what works so you can shape your sound is one of the most exciting stages of learning to play electric guitar.


Learn How to Build or Mod your own Guitar Effects Pedals CLICK HERE.

One Response to “How to Link Guitar Effects Pedals Together”

  1. Solo Guitar Players Says:

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