Vibrato / Univibe Pedals

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About Vibrato Pedals

From a subtle, vocal glide to a cartoonish wobble, there’s a certain, simple charm about vibrato pedals. They are one of the most basic types of modulation, bending a note in and out of tune in a steady, continuous way. Every human voice has natural vibrato, so this effect used subtly gives your guitar tone a warm, organic sound. It is also reminiscent of the slightly wonky sound of old tape used in tape machines. Players also enjoy cranking the effect to create wild, synth-like tones.

Vibrato pedals and chorus pedals often come in the same unit. This is because they are essentially the same effect except that chorus includes the dry, unaffected signal as well. Pedals that include both effects allow you to select waveforms. Vibrato pedals tend to use the subtler sine wave and chorus pedals tend to use the more pronounced triangle wave.

Popular vibrato pedals include the TC Electronic Shaker and the Dunlop Univibe.


Why Should I Choose a Vibrato Pedal?

  • Give your guitar personality
  • Vibrato guitar pedals often include chorus
  • Subtle glide to cartoonish wobble

Frequently Asked Questions about Vibrato / Univibe Pedals

Question: What is the difference between a tremolo and vibrato pedal?
A tremolo modulates volume, a vibrato modulates pitch. Unfortunately, Leo Fender got them the wrong way round which is why we have a ‘tremolo arm’ in guitars (which creates vibrato) and ‘vibrato’ in Fender amps (which is actually a tremolo)!
Question: What type of guitar player needs a vibrato pedal?
Vibrato pedals are particularly popular among indie and alternative players who enjoy the wobbly, imperfect sounds that they can create.
Question: How do vibrato pedals work?
Vibrato pedals modulate the pitch above and below the actual note. You can control how fast the modulation is and how far out of tune it goes!
Question: Where does a vibrato pedal go in the chain?
Vibrato pedals are most commonly placed after overdrive pedals but before reverbs and delays.