Which Effect Pedals Do You Use?

GF2

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I'm interested in trying out a bit of amplification and I'd love to know what pedals other players are messing around with, and what people would consider the essential pedals.

I guess I'm thinking about 2 groups of pedals - first, the group that help boost the natural sound of the ukulele, and second, what other less natural effects work well/do people like.

First off I guess it'd be good to know what people are using to boost the natural sound of the ukulele - it seems the key for natural sound is using these on some of their lowest, most subtle settings....

From my reading, the group seems to be:-
  • Pre-amps: Budget - Behringer ADI-21, Upper end- LR Baggs Venue DI Pre-amp
  • Reverb: Budget - JF-317 Space reverb, Behringer DR600, TC Electronic Skysurfer Reverb, Donner Verb Square, Mid - TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb, Upper End - Boss RV-500, Keeley Nocturner Reverb
  • Delay: Budget - Behringer VD400 Vintage Delay, TC Electronic Echobrain, Upper End - Jam Pedals Delay Llama, Boss DM-2w Delay
  • Compression - TC Electronic HyperGravity Compressor, Behringer CS400 Compressor/Sustainer, Mid/Upper - Keeley Compressor Plus
  • Chorus: Budget - Behringer UC200 Ultra Chorus, Upper end - BOSS Waza Craft CE-2W Chorus
Are there any others I've missed?

And then what about the less conventional pedals? Anyone got any favourites?

I'm just starting out and don't have spare cash for this new hobby. Behringer seems routinely the cheapest option (here in the UK - almost all pedals seem £20), and have consistently good reviews, so I'm considering getting the ADI21 preamp and the DR600 Digital Reverb.

From reading on the subject, Delay seems like the next most popular/essential option. I can't see a decent out-and-out digital delay option in the Behringer range. They offer a FX600 Digital Multi-FX, which has delay as one of 6 effects, and that has an appeal for the experimentation it offers, but I don't know if there's a better option out there. I'm not sure whether analogue delay might be the way to go (ie, the VD400 Vintage Delay). The next cheapest options are twice the price.

The last pedal I was thinking of getting early on is the CS400 Compressor/Sustainer. Most articles suggest Chorus is more popular, but I'm not convinced I like the sound. I've heard negatives about compression, but from what I hear, I think I'll like it if I use it sparingly.

Chorus might be one I get at a later date. Another (not so subtle one) is some sort of overdrive fuzz.
 

ikimiki

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I think the specific combination of pedals depends on the characteristics of the sound(s) and effects you're aiming for.

For uke specifically, I have found Hal Brolund's videos to be very useful.


 

GF2

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I think the specific combination of pedals depends on the characteristics of the sound(s) and effects you're aiming for.

For uke specifically, I have found Hal Brolund's videos to be very useful.
Oh wow! Thanks. I will have a watch.

You made me realise I should probably share the info I found already...

Here's a video of Jake Shimabukuro On Making a Ukulele-Focused Pedalboard:


His pedals:-
  • Keeley Nocturner Reverb
  • Electro-Harmonix Micro POG
  • GigRig QuarterMaster QMX8
  • Jam Pedals Delay Llama
  • Tech 21 Richie Kotzen RK5 Flyrig
  • Honda Soundworks Spice pedal
  • TC Electronics Ditto
  • Fulltone Secret Freq
  • Jam Pedals Tube Dreamer
  • Sonic Research Turbo Tuner
  • Hilton Electronics Standard Volume Pedal

Here's a vid from Baz Maz - It's not tailored to the Uke, but many pedals seem suitable.


His pedals:-
  • LR Baggs Venue DI
  • Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
  • Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
  • Electro Harmonix Op Amp Big Muff Pi
  • Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
  • Boss BF-3 Flanger
  • Boss CE-2w Chorus
  • Boss DM-2w Delay
  • Boss RV-500 Reverb
  • Boss TR-2 Tremolo
 

ikimiki

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Oh wow! Thanks. I will have a watch.

You made me realise I should probably share the info I found already...

Here's a video of Jake Shimabukuro On Making a Ukulele-Focused Pedalboard:


His pedals:-
  • Keeley Nocturner Reverb
  • Electro-Harmonix Micro POG
  • GigRig QuarterMaster QMX8
  • Jam Pedals Delay Llama
  • Tech 21 Richie Kotzen RK5 Flyrig
  • Honda Soundworks Spice pedal
  • TC Electronics Ditto
  • Fulltone Secret Freq
  • Jam Pedals Tube Dreamer
  • Sonic Research Turbo Tuner
  • Hilton Electronics Standard Volume Pedal

Here's a vid from Baz Maz - It's not tailored to the Uke, but many pedals seem suitable.


His pedals:-
  • LR Baggs Venue DI
  • Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
  • Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
  • Electro Harmonix Op Amp Big Muff Pi
  • Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
  • Boss BF-3 Flanger
  • Boss CE-2w Chorus
  • Boss DM-2w Delay
  • Boss RV-500 Reverb
  • Boss TR-2 Tremolo

I should have added that Hal Brolund's signal chain is tailored specifically to paying blues. Jake Shimabukuro is aiming for a completely different sound!

This just emphasises: so much depends on what type of music you want to play, in what style(s).
 
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GF2

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I should have added that Hal Brolund's signal chain is tailored specifically to paying blues. Jake Shimabukuro is aiming for a completely different sound!

This just emphasises: so much depends on what type of music you want to play, in what style(s).
Yes, that is really clear from the different videos.

For ease of reference the pedals Hal Brolund is using are:
  • TC Electronic Polytune Classic
  • Zoom A3 Modelling Preamp
  • MXR M102 Dyna Comp
  • Electro-Harmonix Soul Food
  • Mooer MPO4 Tender Octaver
  • BOSS RC-1 Loop Station
  • Electro-Harmonix Switchblade Plus
  • Mooer Reecho
PreAmp, Reverb and Delay are all seeming pretty vital. Interesting to see that he opts for a compressor (which I think I might go for too). Octavers look fun too (although the way Brolund describes his, it sounds like more of a pitch shifter, rather than what I understood an Octaver does).
 

Just a fan

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P1070087_opt.jpg

Here's what works for me. It's nothing too crazy (from right to left):

Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner - I use it as a tuner, as a mute switch when playing live and as an impedance matcher for my Kanile'a which has a K&K pickup

Boss AD-2 Acoustic Preamp - used to sweeten the sound, has EQ and a bit of compression, also (maybe most importantly) has a notch filter to kill feedback (also has reverb, but I use the reverb on my amp instead)

Fender Smolder Acoustic Overdrive - for when I'm feeling crazy

TC Electronic The Prophet - digital delay for fun and to fill out my sound (I like digital delay more than analog or tape delay, your results may vary - also, I try to set this to a pretty subtle setting)

Boss RC-1 Loop Station - I don't know if I'll ever use this live, but it's great for practicing solos - just record a loop and go to town!

All this gets plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge. That's where I do my EQ'ing which is good enough for my ukes. The amp also has really nice reverb and chorus so that's why I don't have pedals to handle that. The amp has a direct out and from there I can send a feed to a PA system.
 
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Brad Bordessa

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You can spend thousands of dollars on effects achieving absolutely nothing. I speak from experience.

Foundational step 1: Get a good active pickup and you won't need a preamp.

Foundational step 2: Get a good acoustic amp or PA. Many times these will provide delay and reverb and chorus effects to keep you busy for a while.

Since it doesn't seem like you know what you're trying to do, I recommend getting a multi-effects that does everything. Then you don't have to choose between thousands of hyped-up single pedals. A multi might be a little more expensive up front, but in the long run it's cheaper than buying individual delay, chorus, overdrive, reverb, wah, etc pedals when you want to sample them.

If I was starting over, I would save up and spend my money on a BOSS ME-80. It does everything and the layout is intuitive. Should be a really good baseline for anybody starting down this path. Once you've spent a year with it and you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can buy more specific stuff.
 

ukudancer

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I use the following:

BOSS FB500H volume pedal
DigiTech Freqout
wish.com Klon Centaur copy
EHX Soul Food (another Klon Centaur copy)
Walrus Audio Fathom
Malekko Omicron Tremolo
Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter tremolo
DigiTech SDrum
BOSS RC-3 loop station
Strymon Deco tape saturation and double tracker

I also have the following that I swap in from time to time:
MXR Phase 90
BOSS AC-2 acoustic simulator
Cooper pedals killswitch
Mooer E7 synth pedal
BOSS Harmonist PS-6
 
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Staredge

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Might be worth trying one of the apps or programs that have built in effects. Not the greatest, but would give you an idea of what each one does.
 
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GF2

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View attachment 135583

Here's what works for me. It's nothing too crazy (from right to left):

Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner - I use it as a tuner, as a mute switch when playing live and as an impedance matcher for my Kanile'a which has a K&K pickup

Boss AD-2 Acoustic Preamp - used to sweeten the sound, has EQ and a bit of compression, also (maybe most importantly) has a notch filter to kill feedback (also has reverb, but I use the reverb on my amp instead)

Fender Smolder Acoustic Overdrive - for when I'm feeling crazy

TC Electronic The Prophet - digital delay for fun and to fill out my sound (I like digital delay more than analog or tape delay, your results may vary - also, I try to set this to a pretty subtle setting)

Boss RC-1 Loop Station - I don't know if I'll ever use this live, but it's great for practicing solos - just record a loop and go to town!

All this gets plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge. That's where I do my EQ'ing which is good enough for my ukes. The amp also has really nice reverb and chorus so that's why I don't have pedals to handle that. The amp has a direct out and from there I can send a feed to a PA system.
Nice! Thanks for posting. That gives me more ideas to look into. That TC Electronic The Prophet digital delay pedal looks like a good suggestion. Thanks.
You can spend thousands of dollars on effects achieving absolutely nothing. I speak from experience.

Foundational step 1: Get a good active pickup and you won't need a preamp.

Foundational step 2: Get a good acoustic amp or PA. Many times these will provide delay and reverb and chorus effects to keep you busy for a while.

Since it doesn't seem like you know what you're trying to do, I recommend getting a multi-effects that does everything. Then you don't have to choose between thousands of hyped-up single pedals. A multi might be a little more expensive up front, but in the long run it's cheaper than buying individual delay, chorus, overdrive, reverb, wah, etc pedals when you want to sample them.

If I was starting over, I would save up and spend my money on a BOSS ME-80. It does everything and the layout is intuitive. Should be a really good baseline for anybody starting down this path. Once you've spent a year with it and you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can buy more specific stuff.
Ha! Thanks. That makes a lot of sense.

My reservations stem from the fact I'm just dipping my toe in the water at the mo, and I'm not sure whether this is going to be a long-term hobby or a passing fad. I know a good multi-effects makes sense compared to all the Boss-price-range equivalents, but right now I'm looking at an outlay of about £20 each for a pre-amp, a reverb, and a delay, that I can buy - and swap out - incrementally, compared to a lump sum £200 for something like the ME-80.

I use the following:

BOSS FB500H volume pedal
DigiTech Freqout
wish.com Klon Centaur copy
EHX Soul Food (another Klon Centaur copy)
Walrus Audio Fathom
Malekko Omicron Tremolo
Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter tremolo
DigiTech SDrum
BOSS RC-3 loop station
Strymon Deco tape saturation and double tracker

I also have the following that I swap in from time to time:
MXR Phase 90
BOSS AC-2 acoustic simulator
Cooper pedals killswitch
Mooer E7 synth pedal
BOSS Harmonist PS-6
Wow - interesting collection! That throws my theory (that everyone has a pre-amp, delay and reverb in their set) into some disarray.
 

GF2

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Might be worth trying one of the apps or programs that have built in effects. Not the greatest, but would give you an idea of what each one does.
Sorry - I meant to reply to you in the post above. Thanks - I had just been reading about this option and thought it sounded interesting - I received a £4 iRig from Amazon yesterday, and I'm going to try out Amplitube and Tonebridge later today. As you say, I'm not expecting fantastic results, but thought they looked like fun...
 

ukudancer

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Note that my pedals are oriented towards a pop / hard rock sound. I do have a reverb (the Walrus Audio). My delay is built into my amp, so I'm using that instead of having another pedal. It also has reverb and other effects, but I prefer having all of them laid out instead of hunting through menus.

A blanket statement "necessary" pedals would be an EQ, Loop Station, delay and reverb. And then you get into pedals that will give you different sounds (a flanger gets you sounds ranging from classic Floyd to EVH), my Shape Shifter tremolo gets me the Green Day Boulevard of Broken Dreams sound.

Definitely play around with your iRig / Amplitude to see what effects suits your playing. It took me a while to figure out the tone I wanted.
 

GF2

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Foundational step 2: Get a good acoustic amp or PA. Many times these will provide delay and reverb and chorus effects to keep you busy for a while.
I just wanted to come back and say thanks again for this advice.

I had a think, and a look around.

I was thinking of spending £20+ on each of a preamp, a reverb, and a delay, then possibly buying a chorus pedal later for another £20. I was just going to plug them into a portable speaker I already had. This was all just for fun and for messing around afterall.

I saw a 2nd-hand Blackstar ID Core 10 v2 amp which gets reasonable reviews, has those effects, and cost £50. It's not a world-enflaming amp, but it works out a fair bit cheaper than individual pedals and looks like it'll get me 80% of the way there.

Note that my pedals are oriented towards a pop / hard rock sound. I do have a reverb (the Walrus Audio). My delay is built into my amp, so I'm using that instead of having another pedal. It also has reverb and other effects, but I prefer having all of them laid out instead of hunting through menus.

A blanket statement "necessary" pedals would be an EQ, Loop Station, delay and reverb. And then you get into pedals that will give you different sounds (a flanger gets you sounds ranging from classic Floyd to EVH), my Shape Shifter tremolo gets me the Green Day Boulevard of Broken Dreams sound.

Definitely play around with your iRig / Amplitude to see what effects suits your playing. It took me a while to figure out the tone I wanted.
Thanks for this. That all makes sense. What I did notice was quite a lag running everything into the little portable speaker I intended to use for this experiment. Hopefully the cheap amp will do a job, and so will the amp apps on the phone.
 

Brad Bordessa

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I saw a 2nd-hand Blackstar ID Core 10 v2 amp which gets reasonable reviews, has those effects, and cost £50. It's not a world-enflaming amp, but it works out a fair bit cheaper than individual pedals and looks like it'll get me 80% of the way there.
Just note that this is an electric guitar amp. 95% of the time these models will make your uke sound thin and harsh. An acoustic specific amp will sound better if you want a natural ʻukulele tone.
 

GF2

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Just note that this is an electric guitar amp. 95% of the time these models will make your uke sound thin and harsh. An acoustic specific amp will sound better if you want a natural ʻukulele tone.
Hi Brad - thanks. Yes, I was a bit concerned about that. Unfortunately, any amp that has had "acoustic" slotted into its title seems to have had its price doubled and its features scaled back.

Baz Maz reviewed the newer version of this amp and mentioned the 2 clean voice settings it has which should be odd for acoustic instruments... we shall see. I'm coming in with low expectations, so hopefully I shouldn't be too disappointed.
 

mjh42

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This thread is down in the Audio/video section.

I've tried and am still working out with several pedal combinations. I tend to like individual pedals. I'm going to be changing out my Fishman ToneDEQ for a Fishman Platinum Pro soon. I'm really not using the effects on the ToneDEQ as I have other pedals for what I want. The ToneDEQ is a very good stand along unit.

Have not really incorporated the BeatBuddy and Looper yet. Still learning how they work, but the other pedals get used regularly.

Playing a Godin Multiuke into a Fishman Loudbox mini
 

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mjh42

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If your just getting into effects the Zoom G1X4 or Zoom A1X can be an inexpensive introduction. I had a G1X4 for a couple of years. Used it to find what I liked and did not like. I really did not like having to plug into a computer to make all the changes that I wanted to make. If you have a setup and your already using a computer it may be to your liking.

The pedal world in not for the faint of heart. There is a plethora of pedals with all kinds of nuanced verb ology that takes a while to wade through--muddle through the hype and reality -- find out what the pedal actually does --- how it might work with your set up. Most pedals are geared to the guitar/bass world so how they work with your pick up and amp will likely vary.

The Gear Page and the Acoustic Guitar Forum may be of help..........or add to the confusion???
 

ukudancer

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^ So glad to see you got a Beat Buddy and a looper! Those are solid additions to any pedalboard, imho.
 

Kenn2018

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The only pedals I use right now are a Boss RC-30 looper and an A/B switch.

My Boss Acoustic Singer amp has a built in pre-amp. 3 settings to adjust to give the most natural sound from an acoustic instrument. Some effects for the instrument. Plus some effects for the vocals. Including a harmony effect. Which can be a lot of fun.

Sometimes I use my large Peterson StroboPlus tuner inline. But to be honest, I think a dedicated tuner box would be more useful.