If you play guitar, then you know well that most of your sound comes from the unique combination of effects pedals you use.
Over the years, you have accumulated many pedals that alter your sound and bring your playing to life. However, sometimes even experienced musicians wonder about the correct connection and the order of guitar pedals.
This should be figured out, and this article is just about that.

Categories of effects

First of all, it is important to distinguish the affected families of our beloved electric guitar effects pedals. Usually, three are counted.

  • Effects influencing the gain: here, we are talking about pedals that increase the amplitude of the signal sent. Among these, we will find the tuner, distortions, overdrives and fuzz, the compressor, the Wah-Wah, and the Octaves, pitch shifters, and Whammy, and finally, the equalizer.
  • Modulation effects: these are the pedals that will give “color” to your sound. There are the Choruses, Flangers and Phasers, the Tremolo, and the Volume Pedal.
  • Time effects: they correspond to the delay/echo pedals and the reverb.
  • Plugging order

    Plugging order

    The Tuner Pedal

    This pedal-style, like many guitar effects, is usually True Bypass. This means that when the effect is off, the signal passes through the effect as if it were not there. It is therefore advisable to place this pedal at the very beginning of the chain before the signal is modified by an indelicate effect.

    The Compression Pedal

    For this effect to give you the best possible effect, it is best to place it just after the tuner so that it receives as little signal change as possible.

    Saturation pedals

    Here we place the overdrive, distortion, and fuzz pedals. These pedals are best put on at the start of the chain, as they don’t like being the last to come on the scene. Indeed, at the end of the chain, they will generate parasitic noises, such as hiss, for example.

    The wah-wah pedal

    Its place is reserved, just the first of saturations.

    The Octaver pedal

    It is preferable to place this effect after the wah-wah pedal.

    The Delay Pedal

    Many guitarists place the delayed guitar effect at the very end of the chain.

    Modulation pedals

    Such pedals, given the sometimes profound changes they can make to the original signal, it is far better to place them after overdriven sounds (and even after the delay).

    The Tremolo Pedal

    Here’s a pedal that is best left at the end of the chain, after all the other effects have done their job.

    The volume pedal

    The location of this effect varies from guitarist to guitarist. Indeed, placed at the very beginning of the chain, it will have the effect of reducing the volume. This is the same as turning the volume potentiometer on the guitar itself. Placed at the end of the chain, it will act as a general volume knob just before entering the amp.

    The reverb pedal

    It is not essential because often present on guitar amps, this effect plays on the final signal, giving it the desired amplitude.

    The sampler looper pedal

    This effect, which is used to record loops of sound, is placed at the end of the stroke so that it can take all the desired effects when you use it.
    Guitar effects pedals can be combined into very different options. So feel free to experiment from time to time to see what happens. Be creative, test, experiment, and you will get a hit.