You are here

Pedal Order

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

Pedal Order

Postby JRocker » Sun May 24, 2020 12:06 pm

Wanted to ask what was the proper order of placing guitar effect pedals. I have the following, I have read all kinds of different points of suggestion, so curious to see if there's any kind of 'right way'?

Overdrive pedal
Distortion
Noise Gate pedal
Compressor
Delay Pedal
EQ pedal
Chorus

I do know that a compressor never goes before any kind of reverb or delay pedal.
JRocker
Regular
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:42 am

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Dave B » Sun May 24, 2020 12:19 pm

Interesting. Whist I'm no expert, I would raise where the compressor comes in here - I thought that they typically went before the overdrive / distortion rather than after so that the signal was smoothed a bit before hitting the OD rather than levelling the OD output . I thought that the latter would potentially be more noisy.
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5505
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Pedal Order

Postby The Elf » Sun May 24, 2020 12:26 pm

The *real* answer is that there is no 'right' way. :lol:

But if it were me...
Noise Gate
Compressor
Overdrive pedal
Distortion
EQ pedal
Chorus
Delay Pedal

Reasons?

Noise gate to clean the source up before it hits any of the pedals - you could also add another gate before the delay pedal.

Compressor to give the rest of the chain as much signal to bite on as possible.

Overdrive and distortion early, since they would mask EQ and chorus.

EQ next to massage the tone before the wet/dry mix pedals.

Chorus before delay, so that the delay is an exact repeat of the rest of the signal chain, including chorus.

Of course you could message this order around specifically to not do any of the things i've suggested above!
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14557
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun May 24, 2020 1:20 pm

Back in the day my gut feeling was OD before Wah, until I tried it the other way around...... Much better sounding with the Wah first :headbang:

As The Elf says there is no right way, just what sounds best. I have wah>clean boost>overdrive>delay>tuner>chorus>looper>reverb.

The tuner is where it is for purely practical reasons, normally I'd put it first but that made the pedalboard layout less than optimal 'cos it would have needed to be where I could plug a guitar lead into it.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12791
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue May 26, 2020 4:22 pm

There are no really hard and fast definite rules,
if it is making the sound you wanted, the one you heard in your head and were aiming for , then it's right..... generally......

but from my perspective as an engineer , and a guitarist, seeking to optimise signal to noise ratios , and get the most controlled results... it's worth considering how each effect works, and what it may do in combination with others ,

my general thinking tends along the following lines..... some of which may sound a lot like fence sitting, but are in fact not......

Between Guitar and amp

Depends on purpose of gate and self noise of distortion,

to reduce hum from single coils , it might be,
Gate , (Wah) Compressor, (EQ) (Wah) Distortion, (EQ) Wah > Amp

or the Gate may go at the end of the chain to stop fuzzbox hiss being annoying in quiet spaces between things.

EQ can go almost anywhere, but is typically better after the compression, or the compressor may end up being driven primarily by the low end thump you tried to add to the basic tone, sucking out the power of the rest .

the other pedals

again depends on the application, if largely playing clean, then
I would normally use pitch and time based In the effects loop of amp ideally,
usually in the sequence
Pitch >Modulation > Time
in this instance
Chorus > Delay >Reverb


if largely playing distorted, i MIGHT put the chorus in front of the amp. and distortion pedal...
remember that the chorus effect will be applied to the whole signal, and if there's a significant hiss component, that hiss will have chorus applied after the fact , leading to an obvious swooshing noise when you're not playing (Carlsboro once rebuilt an amp for me to move the signal path to the chorus of my GLX150C, such that the gain happened after the chorus rather than before , so it was quieter when not playing a note.... ,. yes it meant a mono chorus rather than stereo , but it honestly sounded much nicer ) , or you need another gate in that point of the signal chain..... )

but if using say a harmoniser then , Harmony then chorus then delay and reverb, to give the pitch device the best chance of tracking the original signal well,

I would normally place a flanger in front of a chorus if using both , the flanger being pitch orientated, the chorus being very small delay orientated , but parallel also works well

you could add EQ at any stage to be fair , if your other fx don't allow sufficient spectral control of their contribution .


the exception to the general dual pitch signal rule being Octave pedals, they mostly seem best before the amp to me.... whether clean or dirty , perhaps because the spread is wide enough to preclude intermodulation effects when driving through an amp's gain topology, i find that if I place , say , a minor third harmony in front of the amp, it sounds shit, self intermodulation , a bit like trying to run two guitars through the same gain structure at the same time..... as opposed to the cleaner, more classic twin lead guitar effect when used in the fx loop


levels at all stages need to be paid attention to so you don;t end up with uncontrollable noise through driving pedals too hard, unless of course, that is the effect you were after in the first place..... see ... there are NO RULES>>....


Ask yourself..... is this the noise i WANTED to make ??

if the answer is No, then and ONLY then are you doing something definitely wrong.....
User avatar
Studio Support Gnome
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2913
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:00 am
Location: UK
Now available for consultations and audio engineering jobs .  Also guitar tech work , and “rent-a-shredder” sessions .  Oxfordshire based but can and will travel .  Email maxtech.audio@me.com

Re: Pedal Order

Postby SecretSam » Tue May 26, 2020 10:06 pm

That was so good, I bookmarked it.
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1506
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.

Re: Pedal Order

Postby JRocker » Tue May 26, 2020 10:41 pm

Thanks for the replies and suggestions so far. Isn't another way by using the amp's effects loop? I read that you can put any delay/chorus type pedals through the effects loop and then just have the compressor/noise gate/distortion etc going through the normal guitar - amp chain.
JRocker
Regular
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:42 am

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Funkyflash5 » Tue May 26, 2020 10:57 pm

I'll 2nd the "no right answer" answer, which is why i have an es-8 on my main board to allow order switching. However, my usual preference is:
Wah/envelope
pitch
fuzz
boost
drive
comp
eq/volume
chorus
trem
delay
verb

If using the loop on an amp, i'll either make the break before comp or after eq.
Funkyflash5
Regular
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:43 am
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Music Wolf » Wed May 27, 2020 8:19 am

If you have an effects loop then think about the guitar amplifier as being a pre-amp (which in simple terms is a type of distortion and eq) and a power amp (something to make everything louder) with the loop being the connection between them.

I would go from the last distortion / fuzz pedal into your (pre) amp in then amplifier effects send (pre amp out) > modulation / delay / reverb > effects return (power amp in).
User avatar
Music Wolf
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2054
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Exiled to St Helens

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Arpangel » Wed May 27, 2020 8:40 am

They’ll be a zillion opinions on this, and rightly so, but my favoured order is a compressor right at the end, no matter what’s being used before it, I like that lovely slowly rising noise floor with a long release setting, especially on certain solo notes, apart from that I think there is no right order, it’s up to you, unless you’re deliberately trying to copy or reference a particular sound,
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4290
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Hewesy » Wed May 27, 2020 6:56 pm

Absolutely no "right" way - see Tom Morello for a great sounding but not "correct" layout.

Personally I'd start with...

Compressor
EQ (to allow you to tone shape before the drives)
Overdrive
Distortion
Noise Gate pedal - if it has a loop put the OD and Dist pedals in there
Chorus
Delay Pedal

A tip I picked up years back was putting a tuner at the end of the pedal board. That way if you have any cable issues you can see if it is post board or not.

Hewesy
Hewesy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 769
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Pedal Order

Postby zenguitar » Wed May 27, 2020 7:10 pm

Auto-Wha
Chorus
Compressor
Delay
Distortion
EQ
Flanger
Harmoniser
Overdrive
Phaser
Reverb
Tape Echo
Tremolo
Wah

Alphabetical order, feels so much better now.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 10128
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Re: Pedal Order

Postby innerchord » Wed May 27, 2020 8:02 pm

I thought that one of the reasons behind having many pedals is that you can experiment with the order. There is certainly no right way. Also, most guitarists I know are more concerned with getting a sound they like, and then trying to fix any noise produced later on.
Just experiment and learn that way!
innerchord
Regular
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:00 am

 


Re: Pedal Order

Postby SecretSam » Wed May 27, 2020 10:41 pm

zenguitar wrote:Auto-Wha
Chorus
Compressor
Delay
Distortion
EQ
Flanger
Harmoniser
Overdrive
Phaser
Reverb
Tape Echo
Tremolo
Wah

Alphabetical order, feels so much better now.

Andy :beamup:

My mate claims to have CDO.

It's like OCD, but the letters are in the right order.

(You can use that if you like. No need to thank me.)
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1506
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.

Re: Pedal Order

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed May 27, 2020 10:45 pm

:bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12791
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Next