Multi Effects Pedals

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About Multi Effects Pedals

Multi Effects pedals are powerful units. They work by gathering together a large selection of effects, amp models and other tone shaping utilities. They then house them in a large rugged board filled with foot switches, buttons and a screen for editing sounds on.

With a multi-effects pedal, guitarists can write entire sounds that include guitar amp models and effects. These are all programmed to exacting values and can then be saved as ‘patches’ for later recall. This means that the player can, with a stomp of a foot-switch, go between a palette of massively different sounds, all within one device. This is an enormously powerful and liberating way to play. It is especially useful if you have a demanding set list of songs to learn, all requiring completely different tones.

Generally, multi-effects units are used either with the clean channel of an amplifier (the distortion comes from the unit) or direct to a PA system if the unit has amp modelling facilities.

The main players in multi-effects are Line 6, Zoom and BOSS. All three companies have a long history of innovation in this area and are extremely popular. The BOSS GT range has set the standard for many years and the Line 6 Helix is something of a game-changer in terms of realism and feel for the player.

At guitarguitar, we have a wide range of units by all of these manufacturers available to try in-store and to buy. Our staff are trained to take you through the operation of these units, so you need not fear! Most of them are actually extremely intuitive and user-friendly and all offer great ‘bang for the buck’. If you are interested in effected guitar sounds, you need to check these out! Come to any UK guitarguitar store or buy directly online and have your new unit delivered to you!

Frequently Asked Questions about Multi Effects Pedals

Yes! The following three units are dedicated to all things acoustic: Tech 21 Acoustic Fly Rig, BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer and LR Baggs Venue DI. It is also worth noting that most standard electric guitar multi-fx units will work absolutely fine with acoustic guitars. Just be careful when dialing in your sounds and avoid the heavy distortion tones!
Yes, certain models allow you to do exactly that. Units such as the Line 6 POD HD500X, the BOSS GT1000 and the Zoom G3XN all sport this useful feature.
Yes and in fact, companies including BOSS and ZOOM actually produce dedicated bass multi-fx units! Check out the ZOOM B1Xon and the BOSS GT-1B for good entry points into the world of bass multi-fx.
Yes, absolutely. Some multi-fx units may allow you to integrate and control external pedals from their software but even if that's not the case, you can still hook the pedals up in series or via an effects loop if the pedals are of the appropriate type (modulation and ambience pedals, basically) and you are not already using the FX-loop for your multi-fx.
There is but there is often USB connectivity too, meaning you can store thousands of patches on your computer, select the ones you want for your gig and download them back into the unit.
We would say definitely yes! You essentially need an entirely new sound for each song. How much more authentic would your set be if you could tailor amp models and effects to each sound specifically? You could save patches for every song so you don't have to reset any dial or other parameters. Simply save your patches in order of the set list and scroll through them one by one! Nothing could be easier! Also, if your band has a PA system, you can go fully digital and forgo your amp: one less thing to carry!
That's more the case with units from twenty years ago. These days, there is so much more integration and functionality regarding how you want to implement your multi-fx, plus the sounds themselves are in a different league entirely. Digital processing is more powerful than ever and is winning over scores of professionals so the results speak for themselves. If you use your multi-fx properly, there is no reason why it should interfere with your sound.