Pedal board setup: Guitar Effects Basics 101, Q&A

Hey guys, welcome! I’ve noticed A LOT of hits on my blog searching for pedal board setups and for effect chains. The probability you hit this page based on google is highly likely. So welcome, and lets see if we can answer your qs. Feel free to post questions at the bottom as many before have done. I’ll try to answer to best of my knowledge.

Okay, lets get started!

I have one video recorded of a ‘walk through’ of some sounds I think are important: scroll down and look for the red stars: ********

Here is a quick link to a post I thought was helpful as a “beginner’s board”. I hope it helps. CLICK HERE

As most guitarists do, I change my board about every 4 months. I get tired of the same sounds, same pedals and spice it up every now and then. But I always, always have my basics. I mainly play for worship bands for churches. So if I were to receive a call right now to play this weekend, I would set up my basics- my options that give me the most versatile sound. This the same topic as my first post, but I’ve changed a few things to flush out the topic more.

Follow the full article to view my “ever changing board”. Furthest down is my current board, while these first few pics are what my board was in previous years. You can see my change in thoughts, the “tone” fads, and what i kept on the board or what I always went back to.
Example: for better or worse, there is always a Tubescreamer or TS type pedal on my board. Either the TS, the Zendrive, or a Barber Electronics pedal.

I will discuss: 1) Basic Ideas on Effects Chain order and 2) My order and why I prefer this, and any other theoretical orderings that may be different. You will also see a short discussion of my acoustic board.

Here are the basic guidelines for setting up your board:

#1) Wah: this generally goes first due to the wah it affects the main overdrive unit and the next effects. Modern music definitely puts this first. You can also use a PHASER in this position if it is a deep effect. (I prefer in #6) Envelope filters are perfect here. Jimmy Hedrix put his wah AFTER the overdrive. Play around with that! (I still prefer here in #1 position)

#2) Compressor: as you want to level off your signal BEFORE it gets to the overdrive for equal toning and for a consistent volume. After the wah, it will calm any volume spikes your wah gives you. (If you use a compressor that is.

#3) Your overdrive: This is your main crunch! You can also place a dual overdrive around here as well. Generally in a multiple overdrive use, I do one of two things, 1): Fuzz -> low gain -> high gain. I use 2) Fuzz-> booster drive or high gain-> amp like pedal (controlled by guitars volume knob- more on that in another post coming soon)
This also could be your “amp’s overdrive” in the chain.

Now, if you want, begin the EFFECTS LOOP.  If you want to use your amps effects loop, this is what would go there. If you don’t have one, don’t worry! Ignore this and keep building your chain. As not all effects loops are equal, I would test IN the loop and IN FRONT of the amp to see what gets you the best tone.

#4) Equalizer: If you want, you can shape your tone here for the perfect pitch you are looking for. Generally this is after the overdrives to add a little bit of “Sparkle” (for modern rock) or to scoop the mids for some hard crunch (for you metal guys out there).

#5) Pitch Effects: Like vibrato, this is where your main sound created in the previous stages has the “effects” added to it. If you don’t like your tone here, the change one of the first 3 options. This is also where some ring mods would go, or weird octavers.

#6) Modulation effects: chorus, flange, phaser, tremolo, octave. Again, these affect the main sound you already have.

Note: 5 and 6 can be switched…. sometimes a flange INTO a ring mod sounds best. These effects all depend on your rig!

#7) Echo effects: Delay, usually followed by reverb. The ending point.

My pedalboard

My pedalboard

I generally use these rules. My current chain (April ’08) is: 1) Crybaby wah to 2) CMATMODS Ross Compressor Clone, 3) Analogman Modded TS9 Overdrive, 4) Analogman DS1 modded distortion, 5) Dan Electro Tremolo, 6) Boss DD3 delay, 7) Line 6 Verbzilla, 8-> volume pedal with bypassed tuner. Between my overdrive and distortion sometimes I have a Line boost which just boosts my sound. That way If i don’t want a crazy distorted lead, I just click and boost my clean sound or lightly overdriven sound. See my post (coming soon) on dual overdrive for a better explanation.

The main differences you will see are:

The wah AFTER the overdrive: this is the more classic “Hendrix” wah of playing. Gives a great sound. Check it out to see if it works better for you.
The overdrive BEFORE the compressor: this keeps your sound even. You will be mostly at the same volume level when you kick on the the OD. This smooth transition gives a true studio-sounding professional sound. I used to play this way until I got a new drummer. Now I placed my OD after the compressor (classic setting) so the volume boost is heard so I can be heard when the drummer kicks it up a bit on the choruses of our songs.

Basically there are no RULES, just a preference for settings. Think simply about WHAT you want your sound to do. If you want a nice overdrive that you can click on and make louder- dual drives or an OD pedal in front of your overdriven amp is the way to go. But you want delay- you want it at the end so your total notes are echoed on. Delay into reverb so it sounds like your echos are going down halls. But don’t let me convince you. I change mine every 4 months or so to experiment.

I also change my effects regularly. That is, I use the same TYPE of effect in that setting, but a different one. Like I change my TS9 with a modded Boss SD1. Same type OD pedal, just the Boss has less midrange than the TS9 and has a different clipping distortion (more harmonics, less cream), or I use a modded Blues Driver here- tighter, cripser, lots of harmonics, but no cream at all. I switch my DS1 for a Big Muff Pi for a lead boost. I want to take out my Tremolo and replace it with a Line 6 ML 4. But again, not changing my order.
The only thing I change is my compressor type and placing of it, depending on my roll as a player. For leads, I use a Ross type compressor into my ODs for some beautiful sustain, very forgiving compression. For rhythm I use my Boss CS3 mod with the overdrive running into it for a smooth transition. The compression here is a little tighter and makes strumming great, with a hint of growl in certain settings. Its a very static, sterile sound which does not compliment my leads as much, but gives nice definition on all my rhythms.
The main point I want to make about my boards is the VERSATILITY, which one in a church setting with differing songs needs to have. This setup is not MY setup if I were to perform, its what fits best with WHO I am performing with and for. Most of our questions are self-answered by the simple “Who is my audience?” and then figure what they want.

Again, experimentation:

My acoustic pedalboard:

For Acoustic work, I use my Tuner (anywhere in the chain) to tune and for a Mute button, 1) BOTH compressors, the Boss for rhythm followed by the Ross set with a higher volume for leads/boost, 2) chorus pedal (optional, not a big fan of chorus) and 3) delay. This is the “classic” acoustic type setup, unless you need an EQ or want to follow with a bit of reverb. I found my acoustic in the church hall doesn’t need more reverb, but delay gives a nice effect. edit 9-14-08: I have decided that my Verbzilla really flushes out my acoustic sound with a hint of reverb. This really adds depth to my sound/tone. It is now one of my “essentials” for my acoustic board.

I’m amazed at how flushed out my tone is with a compressor and an acoustic. Really, a professional sound.

Board update:  10-26-08



So my new chain (Oct 08):

1) modified Jim Dunlap Crybaby with True Bypass Mod (By CMATMODS)
2) Boss TU2 Tuner
3) Barber Tone Press Compressor
4) Ibanez TS9- 808 brown mod by Analogman
5) Hermida Audio Zendrive
6) Boss DS1 Analogman mod
7) Electro Harmonix Lil’ Big Muff
8 ) Boss DD20 Giga Delay
9) Boss RT20 Rotary Sound Processor (wannabe Leslie effect)
All wired with Visual Sound One Spot, but strategically so no buzz happens. The reason some people get buzz is they put too much demand on these things. I have never had a problem, even with “problem makers” such as Line 6 stuff etc… ) Be smart people!

Reasoning: I decided I need a couple of ODs, a low, low gain for a hint of sparkle. I also need a slightly heavier drive for riffing and such and then a drive with compression and smooth distortion for a lead boost. Then the Muff for crazy stuff that springs itself at random- usually in the Spanish service. It and the wah mix great. I use the RT20 for various things, the Leslie simulation, a tremolo sound, and an interesting chorus-type sparkle.

I removed my volume pedal because I rarely do volume swells with the style of music we are doing. The Verbzilla is an excellent pedal, but I discovered my amp has a pretty decent reverb (Verbzilla’s is better though) and again, at this moment, I do not have a need for crazy reverbs. Maybe again later, but the DD20 into the RT20 give me enough ambient-type effects that I should be good for awhile!

Update 3-24-09

Here is my  current rig:

Cuz we have to turn off the lights and get a shoe as cool as a Converse in the pic...

Cuz we have to turn off the lights and get a shoe as cool as a Converse in the pic...

First I set my basic tones– guitar to amp, then guitar and overdrives to amp. I set my guitar’s volume pot to about 5-6 and then my amp for the loudness/breakup I want. Then I set my overdrives just a tad louder than that base amp sound, and turn the gain to where I want it. From there, I can just tweak my volume up to 10 on the guitar for my lead/solo boosts.

So here we have my chain:

1) Crybaby wah (true bypass mod)– first in my chain because it affects ALL the components after it. If I find I am not using wah, I replace this with my compressor (Barber Tone Press).

2) Ernie Ball Volume Pedal with Boss TU2 on tuner out.

3) Zendrive for low gain sounds. Its just a hint of drive to stand out and “sparkle” at normal guitar volume. When I crank the volume, it offers a little crunch for power chord work, or light leads.

4) Fulltone OCD: for more distortion, and gainy, sustainy type leads.

5) Lil’ Big Muff- for volume swells. I’m thinking of replacing it with the Hartman Ge Fuzz, but Fuzz is temperamental and doesn’t like the humidity here. So what works in my room does not work on stage.

6) Boss DD20, my staple delay pedal. Set for 1- delay with modulation, 2- tape echo w/ 2 tape heads (for dual delay type needs), 3- Analog delay dotted 8th, 4- Analog delay quarters, 5- Long delay quarters with modulation for swells.
I have found that the “dual delay” setting in this thing just doesn’t cut it… but for some reason the tape delay 2 heads gives 2 distinct echos at different times that fits perfectly. I cut back on the “tape warble” settings to make it more clean. Works great.

7) Line 6 Verbzilla: puts the finishing touches on the overall sound. I tend to keep it on “hall” which is a longer decaying, thick reverb. Sounds great in leads and also is nice to “finish” swells.

Notice– most are True Bypass, there are no loopers, and I run straight into my volume pedal (which does suck some high end). I’m not too worried about the dreaded “tone suck” as compared to rig-amp vs guitar- amp.
See, I’m from Nashville where our heroes rode in on a horse that had been drinking beer (men get whisky mind you) and latched together rubber bands on brooms and blew in jugs to create music. Some of the best songwriters and players I know do not have loopers and do not care about “tone suck” as much as some of us less than pro players do. (I’m speaking of Willie Nelson and all the other local heroes.)

I took these lessons to heart– if the tone coming out of your amp is what you want, then don’t change. As in, I know I loose some high end on the volume pedal, so I dial more in on the guitar and more in on the amp. Sure, it still sounds different from the rig versus if I went straight to amp from guitar, but the tone out of the amp is still sweet, beautiful clean. That’s all that matters.

Your end product sound is more important that quality/purity of signal, true bypass, or George L cables throughout. If you close your eyes, is the tone you hear clean, pure and natural?

*****************************************Stop here for video!!***********************************************

Here is my walk through: (better audio this time, video quality a little off… still trying! :) )

And on top of all I discussed in the vid- i love a light tremolo in sine wave form (soft wave). A small soft wave gives a nice shimmer that sounds like chorus. Except I don’t like chorus– but this is nice for slow picking.
Also, slow tremolo into quarter delay is marvelous. Mmmmm

Another change as of: June 19, 2009:

Like many other gear-heads, I change my pedalboard about every 3 months. I never know why, it just happens.

For those following the blog, I really didn’t change any of the effects, or even the chain- I just made the whole thing simpler. This allowed me to fit effects that normal I just “rotate out” when I don’t need them (compressor, wah).

My main motivation was putting effects that I stomp on the most to the bottom level of my board where I could get to them easily. I used to have the delay on the top level and my overdrives on the bottom level. But I realized that while I may use two overdrives for a song, I only click once to turn on/off and then click the other on. I may use 2 delays or more, throw in some tap tempo and tremolo: I’m really dancing around.

Notice I pretty much just moved my bottom row to the top, and pulled the top row to the bottom. This allows fast, easy access to the tap tempos of the DD20 and the Tremolo. Playing with it last Sunday proved it to be the right decision: so easy to use. And as I stated, I now fit my compressor and my wah on there as well. The only thing I need to play with is the placement of the tuner. When I clicked it on I completely moved 2 of the knobs on the Small Fry which gave me a very interesting lead sound I was not prepared for.

MMMmmm, gear. I never get tired of looking at it!

MMMmmm, gear. I never get tired of looking at it!

So my chain:

Crybaby with True Bypass mod (CMATMODS) >
Barber Tone Press (compressor)>
Ernie Ball Volume pedal with Boss TU2 tuner in the tuner out>
Barber Small Fry (high gain, or lead boost)>
Fulltone OCD (Mid gain rhythm, tight/sharp soft sounding leads)>
Hermida Audio Zendrive (low gain and ambient type leads)>
Electro Harmonix Lil’ Big Muff (for volume swells/violin sounds)>
Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter (tremolo)>
Boss DD20 digital delay with tap tempo on out>
Line 6 Verbzilla (reverb)>  AMP

All powered by Visual Sound 1-Spot and held together with George L cable.

I have been rotating a few pedals in and out for the dirt pedals. The Zendrive is being tested against the Hermida Audio Nu-Valve, and the Nu-Valve is showing some promise. I also have thrown a Barber LTD (mod with 2x the gain) in that sections.  The OCD is being switched with the Hermida Distortion, Mosferatu, or Analogman DS1 whilst the Small Fry…. well, for some reason I just can’t get rid of the Small Fry. I don’t exactly love this pedal, but it sounds so good in a live setting. Incredibly good. That Barber guy… wow.

The Muff gets changed for a Fuzz… but Fuzz is too temperamental here with all the humidity and rapid weather changes. Muff generally stays.

If you notice, even though I still rotate the dirt boxes, its still the same order: lead boost into a high gain, into a low gain/amp type sounding pedal. This really works for me.

This page will be “EVER-Modified” as I will edit and re-edit as I change, learn and as you ask your questions. If what you are seeking is not posted here, ask! I will answer, give advice on what I would do with your particular effects etc. This page is ever evolving and I want you to be able to use it! I hope I can provide what I wanted to see when I was a beginning guitarist!

edit 4-2011: This page is constantly getting questions– therefore I have to keep it cleaned up. If you have asked a question and come back 6 months later and your response is not here– I have deleted it. I’m sorry, but I have to do housekeeping and keep this page clear for everyone to ask!


157 Responses

  1. need advice: I’ve got peavey 6505+amp.,jackson guitar with EVH humbucker installed(bridge9 angus young humbucker (neck0 any way sounds good when i play directly into the amp,,but when I put it through the effect boxes some thing goes wrong,,first the volume gets lower,,,Iplugged guitar to MXR EQ 10 band>ibanez turbo tube screamer TS9DX>MXR90>MXR Flanger EVH>Boss chorus ensemble>boss digital delay DD7>MXR carbon copy>Boss noise suppresor NS5.>front plug of the amplifier,,is that wrong?(trying to get EVH sound)..if I plug guitar,tube screamer, to front amp…then from the back SEND phase,flanger,chorus,delay carbon copy,noise suppresor,to RETURN does’nt work,,,I need some technical advice

  2. hey! Great post… very informative, even though sadly, lots of it is over my head. I’m a worship leader at my church and I’m just slightly transitioning to my electric guitar as we’re doing more of the upbeat Lincoln Brewster type songs, and I’m using a Korg multi-effects processor pedal thing… and I just don’t see many people doing that, and am guessing I can tweak the sounds to my liking a little better using a train of pedals? Honestly I’m just trying to find that ‘appropriate’ church distortion/groove sound that is still hard core and sounds good, but isn’t the metal blasting away everyone kind of sound.

    I guess I’m asking what you think a good set of pedals (from scratch, including tuners/volume, etc.) would be to get crackin’ at finding a good mix of acousticy/strum sounds, with some good distortions and choruses as well?

    Also, I know this sounds silly… but I don’t see how people transition so well between one song and the next, say you need to adjust your distortion… if you’re using say, the SD-1, then you’d have to bend down, turn the dial to crank down the distortion, and hope it’s right… that just doesn’t seem to be what people do, what is normal practice for getting different sounds throughout a set w/out literally tweaking the pedals between songs? Or do you just find a distortion that seems to fit them all?? Thanks in advance!


  3. walter:
    First, if its not working in the loop of your amp, you might need an amp tech to check that out. Personally, I don’t dig amp loops, but thats just my biased opinion- alot of guys get great things out of them. As for the rest of your chain- you have 8 pedals in a row, and not all are true bypass, so you have some buffers affecting you sound. I also want to know what cables you have and power source you are using? The cables are generally responsible for most of the problems you listed: lower volume. I would check first with getting some great cables. You don’t have to spend alot, just don’t be like me and get those 10 for $4 colored cables. You can get decent cables about $6 from main retailers. I use George Ls (which you put together yourself in a kit- super easy, and can mod them to the lengths you need!) which ran about $8 a cable. After that, I would use a reputable power supply. I currently use the realitively inexpensive “1Spot” power, which in a kit is about $35 bucks and will run 8 pedals. The better alternative is Voodoo Labs’ “Pedal Power 2” which is much better, but also cost more.
    On a side note: regardless of what you do, that many pedals will have some sort of volume drop etc… when compared to a straight-to-amp sound. I would use the TS9 to gain the sound you want, and then roll back the volume on the guitar for more “clean” sounds. With an overdrive on it should be enough to PUSH that signal to the amp so its not sounding lifeless.

    Hope that helps! Feel free to hit me back with any questions.

  4. @Nick:
    On the multiunits: yeah, I don’t like them. Did once, but they just don’t respond/breathe as well as actual analog effects do! The difference is astounding if you were to A/B them. That said, the newer “multi’s” that I would recommend is the Line 6 M13. This little guy can be tweaked quite well, and responds mostly the way an amp/analog effects do. I have been impressed with the tones I’ve heard from this thing. That said, my ear can tell some difference between a stomp box overdrive and the M13 overdrives, but the other effects (delay, modulations) are fantastic. Of course, as soon as I said I could tell the difference, a buddy of mine tweaked his to a point that sounded great and proved me wrong. So if you are on a budget, I would recommend the M13.

    The best part of pedals is you have exactly what you want! You can add, remove etc…. and you get what you need! I’m assuming you are doing Lincoln-type music and maybe some Hillsong stuff. It helps to know your guitar, but we’ll just talk about the basics here and follow-up on the others.
    If I were leading with an electric guitar (as now I play lead and sing background) I would reduce my current board and probably use something like: compressor, 2 to 3 overdrives, tremolo, delay. Boom. That is all. Maybe a reverb. But thats pushing it– KISS method: Keep It Simple Sucka.
    If I have to sing I don’t want to have to switch out so many effects, and I won’t be performing as much as I would be concentrating on Rhythm and staying on-key vocally!

    So for me, the actually pedals I would use would be: a smooth compressor (my fav: Barber Tone Press), high gain overdrive (my favs: Barber Small Fry, Fulltone OCD, Visual Sound Hyde, Hermida Audio Mosferatu) followed by 1 or 2 low gain drives (favs: Hermida Audio Zendrive, PaulC Tim, Barber LTD, Analogman Tubescreamer mod) then a tuner of your choice that mutes when you step on it, then a tremolo (preferably with tap-tempo) and a delay(with tap tempo, my favs: Line 6 Echo Park, and Boss DD20).
    As for finding your “place” in the distortion/overdrive: Here is how I approach it.
    1) I have 3 ODs on my board. Each is a different flavor. Each handles a different amount of gain. Boom, problem solved. I use this way sometimes. I also make sure the pedals (like the Zendrive) have a lot of headroom- where they aren’t too compressed and retain dynamics of playing. As in, hit a string soft, they are soft sounding, low gain. IF you hit the strings hard, they ring back hard, medium gain. This also makes stacking drives (like my Small Fry INTO the Zen) sound incredibly good, smooth, and natural.
    2) Lately I have been using the “classic method”. (which is what I would do if I were leading). The classic method comes from a time where no one used pedals, only amps for the drives. What they would do is set up their amp’s distortion with the volume on the guitar turned about halfway. Once they found that spot, their rhythm was set. Less volume would mean less drive, and a more clean sound. If they cranked the guitar’s volume, you had more gain/volume- thus a lead sound.
    I do this with the pedals with a lot of headroom (Zendrive, Analogman TS9 and SD1 among others…). Set to a nice rhythm with you guitar turned down. Nice light gain sounds. When I go into a heavy chorus/bridge, I only need to turn up to get harder/more gained sounds. If thats still not enough, I punch another “light” gain drive to boost it in volume and gain. Instant lead sound. I do the same thing with the high gain pedal: use it at 1/2 volume for the good crunchy stuff, more guitar volume for even heavier stuff or a lead sound, and if I need more, I boost with another low gain (this time the low gain is in the front, instead of pushing into the pedal).

    Hopefully that makes sense!

    But eventually you’ll find a pedal that fits almost everything. 80% of what I do (or have done) I used only an Analogman TS9 or the Zendrive (and now the Tim). The other 20% was clean (compressor usually) or heavy gained (which the TS9 and Zen couldn’t really do so well).

    Good luck!

  5. Hello.
    I just stumbled on this treasure trove of info doing a google search, and I’m still trying to take it all in… I have a few questions…
    I have a boss BCB 60 pedal board that I haven’t even had for a week, and I’m really not liking the size of it. Does anyone recommend any bigger boards with out paying $400 for them? I’m hoping to get something with stirdier latches, maybe a metal shell instead of plastic…
    2. I am still adding on to my board, so I don’t have much at the moment… I have a dunlop 535 Q Wah, Boss mT2 Metal zone, and an ibanez Tube screamer pro… I am wanting to get a chorus, volume, compressor,and a delay… Any suggestions?
    and finally: I was in guitar center looking at the boss DD20 Gigga delay, and I couldn’t figure any of it out… I love the features on it, I just can’t use it because I am blind, and therefore can’t see the whole digital bit. I’m not sure if its possible to memorize what is what, but what I’m trying to ask is are there any boss delays that are analog and still have the capability to do a tap tempo?
    Thanks alot for your alls time…
    Chris Harrington

  6. For a good board that won’t break the bank, I use lytboards. Here is a link to the one I selected:
    There are also many other products to check out there. The board and carrying bag is awesome, I love it.

    Suggestions? For the MT2, check out Analogman’s mod. I think you’ll really love it. For a decent chorus, the Boss CH1 is a pretty decent chorus for the money. Others that sound better are 3 times the cost! (and I personally don’t like chorus!)
    Volume pedal i would go with Ernie Ball VP Jr 250K.
    For a compressor, I would use a Barber Tone Press.
    For Delay… well, I think you hit the right person as I am finishing Optometry school and am dealing with Low Vision patients! I would probably get a Line 6 Echo Park which would give you a dotted 8th note easy as well as several other sounds. It also has built in Tap Tempo so you don’t have to get another pedal. The DL4 by Line 6 I don’t think is as good… but it would be pretty easy to tweak after some practice. Due to the DD20 having everything on screen and some portions of the screen being extremely small, I doubt it will be friendly to you as the others. As for wanting an Analog delay– none that I described are analog, but the Echo park (and DD20) is pretty convincing at concert volumes.
    Please stick around, I’ll be posting (in a week or so!) a story how to buy pedals less than retail. I think It will help you out.

  7. Larry,

    Thanks for your help! Everything works well now! Good call on putting the Big Muff out front, it sounds soo much better than in the effects loop.thanks again!


  8. Cool blog page.
    I play Sunday morning worship, 3 services.
    I used to run a pod xt live into my vox ac 30ccx and use the Lincoln brewster patches.
    I have recently changed back to pedals. Been building my set up. No longer modeling, using the real deal now. So far this is what I am running.

    Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus, with the Line 6 x2 wireles into. Morley Bad Horsie 2 contour wah
    then to a BB preamp set just enough for slight break up, to a Boss BD2 w. H2o Mod, Set at 12 for medium drive, into a BOSS sd2 moded, set heavy, ( to be replaced by an ocd ) to my Ernie Ball vp, line out to boss tu2. From the vp to the Boss Ch1 chorus, it splits to a stereo signal, wich I run stereo into my Line 6 Dl4, Left side out ot my marshall Plexi MKII 1987xl ontop of my Marshall 4×12 1096 a tall vintage, Rt side into my Vox ac 30. I want add a Hardwire Reverb after the delay so I can have reverb into both amps and add a empress tremlo so I can have tremlo on both rigs. I am running stereo right now. I may change the chorus to a hardwire so I can run the chorus,delay and reverb thru the effects loop and then put the gain section into an aby switch. I use a pedal snake to run my signals ot the amps, all of this sets on my pedaltrain pro hc, powered by the voodoolaps pp2.

    Any imput about the reverb pedals and chorus pedals that my work better than the afore mentioned?

  9. @T: Wow. I prefer a slightly simpler setup. But I am extremely jealous of what you have going on! Very nice.
    To tell the truth, if I ran stereo, I honestly would want one amp completely ‘dry’… maybe only drives going into it. Maybe have a volume pedal on one of the amps to ‘buffer’ in and out the sound you want. For example: tremolo and reverb on the vox, and then increase the volume of the overdrive Marshall to get a great blend of sounds- like 2 guitars. You can also take a the stereo delay- and put the volume pedal on one of the delay outs to achieve this, of course you would probably have to have an always on delay.

    I’m not a huge fan of Hardwire pedals, but if you are, go for it! I have no reason to not like them other than I just don’t. Honestly 🙂
    I love the Hermida Reverb pedal, its super deep and natural sounding so I recommend it. For spacey sounds I do like the Verbzilla.
    When you get the OCD, run it at 12v from the PP2, I guarantee you’ll like it better.

    Man, nice setup. The only thing i would play with is splitting the signal as I stated 1) dry/overdriven, 2) effects… then putting a volume pedal on one to add/take away that particular sound. Its incredible. Which loop to put it on is up to you. Let me know if that helps and if you do and what your results are!
    God bless,

  10. Thanks for the tips. I will play around with that idea. And the only reason I was interested in the hardwire was the ability to use between both amps. Right now the tremlo and the reverb on the vox sound good. and I Run it very clean and the marshall a little dirty, that way when I use a drive pedal I get that effect. The vox reverb and trem sound great. Other reason for adding a separate reverb pedal was so I could get the additional types of reverb going on. Once I get the ABY switch I could then have the option of having reverb and tremlo thru the effects loop if the need or desire arised. Right now, the rig sounds simply amazin. I get so many positive comments after worship service.
    It is such a good rig, trying to fine tune with the additions. I have been very blessed. If you think of any thingelse feel free to pass along. God Bless

  11. Hey Larry, So some changes in my board,. Took some of your commendations.
    So I went with the verbzilla as you mentioned. I got one on ebay for $76. that was a deal. I happened accross a great deal on an Analogman King of Tone, So I went with that instead of an ocd, and I added an Exotic BB preamp set clean just for volume boost. I incorporated a second delay in the rig as well, a line 6 echo park, put it infront of the DL4, allows me to do a bit more Edge like stuff. Running stereo, Still have not incorporated the ABY yet. Heres a photo. I do like the octo setting on the verbzilla, and for more bluesy.classic rock stuff the Ducking setting is nice, not muddy at all. The jury is still out on the echo park.

  12. hello sir i’m kind of a beginner to pedal board. you said wah goes 1st here is my set up
    electric guitar – rocktron black cat mon wah –
    ibanez ds7 – ibanez ts7 – ibanez cf7 – ibanez de7 – ibanez lu20 – micro amp
    is this right? please sir help me..

  13. @t: Board looks great! The Echo Park is a bit “stronger” (to me) than the DL4, and will take some tweaking to run into the DL4 as a dual delay setup. But give it time! I still have an Echo Park as a backup!

    @Banjo: Your chain looks great to me!! I personally prefer to run the distortion AFTER the OD…. As I would have the TS set to decent gain for crunch, then the DS set to a little gain (10-12 o’clock) so I can ‘boost’ my signal from the TS for a lead solo.
    However, that is just my opinion on how I approach. If you like your setup, don’t change it, it looks fine!!!

  14. Hello, and nice job with the site, very informative!
    I recently made up a pedal board from scratch and it works great. However, I am just unclear to what order I should have my effects in. The effects I have are a Dunlop Zakk Wayle wah, Vox satchurater, Boss Metal Zone, Danelectro Chorus, Digitech Digital Delay, and a BBE Boosta Grande. I am just wondering what particular order would work best, especially with the BBE Boost, I was told to throw it in the effects loop, but I really like to stay clear of that because sometimes there is an unwanted noise. The amp I am using to run these effects is a Randall rx120rh head through a 4×12 cabinet. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

  15. Was looking for some advice on my pedal set up my gear is a fender Highway 1 Tele – Vox 845 wah- Big Muff Pi with tone Wicker- TS9- Marshall Guvnor 2- Boss DD7 into a Vox AC30. The problem iam having is that when i turn my ts9 on for a boost with the big muff i get feedback constantly, i tried switching the pedals around but when the ts9 is before the big muff it alters the tone from the ts9 sounds like there is no pedal turned on. Any ideas on how to solve this should i get a noise compressor or other pedal that can help??

  16. Hey Larry like the site!!!!
    Look I’m using a half stack : A head crate 1200g and behringers 4- 12″ speakers 400 watts
    my pedalboard order is:
    1) Crybaby model GCB-95
    2) Behringers Compressor / Limiter CL9
    3) Behringers Vintage Tube Monster VT999
    4) DOD Equalizer
    5) Behringers Chorus Orchestra CO600
    6) Behringers Ultra Flanger UF 100
    7) Behringers Ultra Tremolo UT 100
    8) Digitech Digital Reverb
    9) Behringers Digital Delay DD600

    As you can see I usually use Behringers Pedal..
    My question is Are my pedal orders r fine ? Do you have any suggestion for me? I would be grateful for any changes.
    Thanks for your time!!!!

  17. Winston: I like the chain you listed! I would throw the Boosta Grande either after your drives for a solo-ish boost, or if you leave it on to “”cook” your amp, the drives can be fed into it without sacrificing guitar-drive tone. I prefer to put it before my mods/delays. However, a lot of people like it last in the chain where it boosts even the delays.

    KevinP: Wow, i hate when that happens! The Muff in general has a lot of feedback associated with it! Whats happening is the TS9 is amplifying ALL that feedback and going out of control. I for one do not like noise suppressors, and feel you should be able to fix without them. If you want your muff boosted, then try to use the ts9 with gain LOW, like below the 9 o’clock range and then use it as a clean-ish mid boost. I think you’ll have much better luck. Generally when you chase ODs, the second one is lower gain. Try that!

    Eduardo: Your chain looks fine. The only thing to consider is if you want your reverb last or as you have it. Reverb into delay will give you a great smooth ambient effect….. light and airy, but the delay into reverb will sound more deliberate, and natural. I think you’ll probably like the delay into the Verb. But hey- if you are playing shoe-gaze rock or ambient stuff, leave it as is!

    Sorry about the late reply guys! Been busy!

  18. Hey Larry Thanks for the reply. You know what I do Have the reverb last . I just wrote my orders wrong. Bt I do have my reverb last, my bad but thanks for the suggesting. What do you think about the Behringers Pedal although I know they r cheap but they fine, should I give my board a UPGRADE SOME SUGGESTION?

  19. hi,

    i have an rc-50 fronting my amp, then i have; line 6 m13, boss me-50, and then a dd-20. everytime i record with the rc-50, depending on the distortion, the looped sound i recorded cuts out when i overdub it with another guitar piee. is it because i should be putting effects first, and then rc-50 looper??? also, the dd-20 has a lot of hiss coming from it when i plug it in(last in the order). is it because of cheap cables? i have a multi-ac adapter which connects the rc-50, me-50 and dd-20. maybe that adapter is not an adequate power source for all of them?

    thanks for such a great website! very resourceful!


  21. Masa: Normally the Looper should be last! The very last effect before the amp. If you have it going into a distortion and then play with it into the distortion, then alot will be lost!!
    For the DD20 hiss, I would check your connection cables, but also is the hiss there with the overdrives/distortions on? That hiss is normal, just turn it off. If there is hiss when off, then it could be all the buffer and power. Usually, more than 3 or 4 pedals with buffers (all Boss pedals have buffers) cause some noise.

    Kotipelto: I would put the Wah first-> then the Compression->octaver-> Tech 21 GT2 (the drive!!) -> then the Chorus-> and finally Delay.
    With that rig, you should be able to cop some of the sound that Satch has!

  22. Once Wes Borland when playing in Limp Bizkit set his board with 3 boss reverbs in line…the three efects were the same… WHY???

  23. Alexander: Man, try it!!! You get a very nice ‘cushion’ of a reverb that is reverbing a reverbed reverb!!!! It feels like a sonic cloud, and barely sounds like a guitar. It creates ambience.
    Some people do something similar when they create a multi-delay by delaying a delayed signal!

  24. Hey Larry,

    I need a little insight on how to sey up my pedal board. I have a Furman SPB-8c board and the following pedals.
    1. Dunlop Dimebag Wah
    2. Boss tu-2
    3. Boss Acoustic Simulator
    4. Boss chorus
    5. Line 6 DDL
    6. Boss flanger
    7. Boss Phase shifter
    8. Boss dd-3
    9. Isp Decimator
    10. Boss Eq
    11. Boss compressor/sustain

    I run my rig guitar to board direct to amp input. I have a randall rm100 and marshall mode four cab. How should I arrange my pedals?

  25. Hey Larry, Ijust did a new setuo to my pedalboard in this way;

    1) Wah -wah Crybaby (GCB-95)
    2) Behringer Compressor/Limiter (CL9)
    3) Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive (TO800)
    4) Behringer Super Octaver (SO400)
    5) Behringer Distortion-X (XD300)
    6) DOD Equalizer
    7) Behringer Ultra Shifter/ Harmonist (US600)
    8) Behringer Ultra Tremolo (UT100)
    9) Behringer Ultra Flanger (UF100)
    10) Behringer Chorus Space- C (CC300)
    11) Behringer Digital Delay (DD600)
    12) Digitech Digital Reverb
    13) Behringer Noise Reduction (NR100)

    What do you think about this order? Some Suggestion will be glad to hear..

  26. @Rob:
    Boss tu-2-> Dunlop Dimebag Wah, Boss compressor/sustain-> Boss Acoustic Simulator-> Boss chorus-> Boss Eq-> Boss Phase shifter-> Boss flanger-> Boss dd-3

    Which leaves us with: Isp Decimator and the Line 6 DDL.
    I’m sorry, I’m not sure what the line 6 DDL is! As for the ISP noise reduction, I would see if you don’t need it first. Only REALLY heavy gain would need a noise reduction if there is significant buzz. I think the noise reducers kill too much tone… But if you need it, i would put it after the Eq in the chain i mentioned. Generally, place it after the gainy type effects so it doesn’t do anything to the modulation or delays— you want to save that natural sound.

    Try this:
    1) Wah -wah Crybaby (GCB-95)-> Behringer Compressor/Limiter (CL9)-> Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive (TO800)-> Behringer Distortion-X (XD300)-> DOD Equalizer-> Behringer Noise Reduction (NR100)-> Behringer Chorus Space- C (CC300)-> Behringer Super Octaver (SO400)-> Behringer Ultra Shifter/ Harmonist (US600)-> Behringer Ultra Flanger (UF100)-> Behringer Ultra Tremolo (UT100)-> Behringer Digital Delay (DD600)-> Digitech Digital Reverb

    Like I said, I would put the NR after your gainy pedals to let the modulation shine through. IF YOU NEED IT!! 🙂 Try to get along without it first.

    To both you guys….. I would see if you can get similiar sounds out of a couple of pedals: flange and phase can be very similiar, depending on what you are going to do with it. See if you can use 1 pedal to do 2 things. Saving space on the pedal board and getting pedals out of your chain will preserve your hard-worked tone!!

  27. Larry thanks for those details. You’re the Man jajaja.

  28. Ok so basically, i’ve purchased my first pedals, a boss BD-2 blues driver, and a Line 6 ToneCore Echo park, which is a delay pedal. I was wondering how to power them, as the delay especially seems to eat batteries extremely quickly.

  29. Hey Larry is it ok to put these 3 pedals in this order
    1)Vintage tube overdrive
    2)power overdrive
    3)distortion pedal

  30. @Neil: yeah, any digital ‘depth’ pedal eats batteries. Delays and Reverb will drain a battery super fast.
    For starting out, I recommend the One Spot daisy chain. It fits almost all effects and will be with you as you build your board.

  31. Hi larry,
    I was hoping that you could help me put my pedals in order from front to back. I’m using ( in no piticular order ) a ernie ball volume pedal, a line6 m13 ( only for the delays and mods ), boss tuner, bbe sonic stomp, boss dd7 with the boss fs-5u foot switch and a blackstar ht-dual distortion all on a diy pedal board ran into a vox ac15.
    Also, I was thinking about getting or replacing my blackstar with a fulltone ocd and a xotic ac boost. is it better to have two individual overdrive or one pedal that can do both?
    BTW-this is the best site i’ve come across on dealing with pedal setup. keep up the great work!

  32. so what do ya think ? I have a 5150 combo .. (1) Ibanez wd7 wah (2) turbo tuner st 200 (3) mxr super comp (4) cae boost line driver (5) mxr phase 90 evh (6) mxr stereo chorus (7) mxr evh flanger (8) ISP G string decimator,and lastely just picked up a cae 403 power supply, now the big question, in what order do you think ? I’ve bitten off a little more than I can chew for the moment lol ! I numbered the pedals to make it easier for you,rather than having to type everything out,really appreciate any input , Cheeeeers !!!!

  33. almost forgot ,mxr carbon copy delay , thanks !

  34. Nathan: I believe I would put the Tuner first into the wah, then the wah, the comp (which can help tame the wah), then chorus. I spoke before about how flange and phase can sound similiar, so I might figure out which I would use most and just tweak that pedal to cover my bases and put it after the chorus. Then I would put the delay pedal.
    Again, try your rig and see if you really need the noise reducer…. i ended up never really needing mine.

    as for the line boost— its up to you! I prefer either first in my chain to drive my signal, or last in my chain to push all the effects into the amp. Experiment and see which is best for you!

  35. Glad I found your site; VERY helpful! Look forward to following your pedalboard adventures as I begin mine. I have been using a monster rack set-up and needed to get put together a smaller rig for club use. Got a Vox AC-15 as my base amp…pedals so far are a Crybaby, a Washburn Blues Overdrive, and a recently puchased Danelectro Fish n’ Chips EQ (to punch up for leads) that is surprisingly quieter than I expected…one of the bands I play in does newer country so I guess a compressor will be next to get that extra snap out of my Strats.

  36. Hi Larry – great site, really helpful. I’m still building my effects so its not “complete” if that even exists. But I seem to have a similar problem to Walter (earlier on). I have a Peavey VK212 which actually sounds pretty great without any effects. However when I use the effects loop after a short time the signal dies and the amp kind of crashes. It’s a bit worrying so now i put everything before the amp. That is CS3>MT2>CH1>GE7>RV5>Amp. I have the foot switch for the VK and obviously like playing just the amp with all the pedals off. So far it sounds OK but if i want to use the Chorus I have to go completely clean and not use any gain on the amp which is a pity because i would like to use the Chorus and EQ after the amp’s own preamp stage (which gets a nice tone) but like I said the effects loop has problems. Is it OK to put everything before the amp? Surely I’m missing out on the nice amp tone? BTW MT2 is great but far too aggressive to use as an overdrive. Any recommendations on how I can improve this setup? My preference for playing style is something like Bill Nelson, Martin Barre, Peter Frampton etc. Thanks a lot!

  37. I have a WH-10 V2 wah pedal and I use a Big Muff Pi (USA) and a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion. I usually put the wah after my distortion (DS-2 —> Big Muff —> WH-10) and when I have it like that, the wah boosts the volume really high when I use it with the distortion on. How could I fix that ? Also, I’ve tried putting the wah before the distortion (WH-10 —> DS-2 —> Big Muff) and when I use the wah with the distortion, it sounds like the wah isn’t even on. Please help me. I’m at my wits end. Thank you.

  38. @Vincent: You’ll need to check the WH-10 manual. The WH-10 has a feedback loop in the pedal as well as a dry out control. I would check these levels—- obviously its too much when you add more gain/feeback from the distortion pedal, but not enough when its pushing the drives.
    Normally you would want the wah first, but in this case you may want to try another wah. (You are only playing 1 distortion at a time, right?! That could be part of it!)

  39. @CJ: I would check with an amp tech to make sure something isn’t going on with your amps loop there. I know what its like to have a sound you actually have but aren’t able to use it.
    There is no problem putting everything before the amp- lets try to get an overdrive that could work. For your style I would recommend Boss SD1, a Tubescreamer, or my favorite: A Zendrive.

    Put one of those in with your setup and see if it works. It mostly sounds like you need a small fix on your effects loop and you’ll be fine though!

  40. hi larry,

    thanks for answering my last question! i really appreciate the help and work you put out here on the website!

    another question i have is; i have a wah pedal, then line6 m13 and then line6 x3 live. when i use the wah, with the other boards, the volume jumps up. what do you think the problem is???

  41. Thanks Larry for the reassurance. I’ve read up about a good mod for the MT-2 (by Monte Allums) which I’m going to try so that I can have a less noisy and more controllable distortion. And I will see how to get around the effects loop issue. I’ve noticed the Boss EQ doesn’t cause any problems so thats a start. Thanks again.

  42. Hey!
    Hows it going? Great website man!
    Currently im using a Marshall MG30DFX amp

    And was wondering what setup i should use for the pedals…

    Currently its…
    From amp–> Rocktron Tsunami–> Boss DD6 Digital Delay–>MXR phaser 90–> Boss GE7 Equalizer–>Marhsall Guv’nor plus (GV-2)–> M audio Crunch Box–> Boss Overdrive Distortion (OS-2)–> Boss Acoustic Simulator (AC3)–> Jim Dunlop Slash Crybaby Wah–> Guitar

    What do you think about this order? Please let me know if you have an arrangement or anything that can help with the setup thanks!


  43. if I want to use the effect is about at what price?
    And what I’ll use the amplifier resulting sound can be satisfying, although everyone has different specifications?

    sorry I’m just a beginner, and want to learn,
    thank you.

  44. Hi!

    My name is Dylan i’m a 19 year old college student who loves playing guitar not only because music is a passion of mine but my true passion is worshipping God. Anyways, i noticed you said you play in a church setting as well & I was just curious if you would like to tell me your personal suggestions on certain pedals that would give a particular sound that different bands or worship teams have. If you don’t know the band don’t worry, I’m just getting different opinions from people as well as my own opinions to narrow down some gear searching i’ve been doing. So i will name the bands and feel free to get back to me

    Hillsong United


    The Desperation Band

    Jeremy Camp


    Jars of Clay


    Sanctus Real

    Tenth Avenue North

    These are just several of the bands that are christian that comprise the majority of my listening, however i have over 1,000 different artists in my itunes and well over 14,000 different songs, so i like to listen to music and all kinds of it just for versatility and to gain more atmosphere in my own playing. Also, if you have any broader suggestions outside of guitar, like what you would add to a band sound as a whole to gain different settings, mainly the likes of Hillsong United because that’s priorily what our worship team plays, such as piano sounds, synth sounds, loops, drum set-up’s, bass, etc. don’t mind telling me because i like to hear what others have to say.

  45. Ok so I just have a question on how I am setting up my pedal board:
    Guitar to cry baby wah > tu-2 tuner > EVH Phase90 > input of boss NS-2 noise supressor then out from the send from ns-2 from the loop to > boss compressor > TS9 Keeley tube screamer to VHT Pittbull CLX amp then out of the amps effect loop to the Boss NS-2 return loop input, then output from NS-2 to Chorus > DD3 delay > Line 6 Verbzilla > to return of amp.
    I would like to know if is this the best way to setup these pedals. I know most people like putting Phasers in the loop, but I personally like it before distortion and the preamp. Do not know if I should but the phaser after the NS-2 and before the amp? Thanks in advance for any ones input.

  46. @masa…. the volume “jumps” because the wah targets a select frequency…. and it really hits if you have an overdrive on. It takes practice to get it right!

    @Bryan– looks great there! I personally prefer the lighter drives AFTER the distortions, i think you get a nicer ‘boost’ but if you are happy i wouldn’t touch the chain.

    @melodicguitar- hello! Guitar effects range from $40USD to over $300!! I buy most of mine used, so its cheaper. Remember, the effect into the amp is based on what you want to hear. Don’t worry about my specifications- it may work differently with your amp!

    @Dylan: @Dylan- Wow, thats a huge range of bands and sounds. I recognize almost all of them, and understand what you are getting at. I’m going to answer generally- more toward your Hillsong sounds, but the same idea will work generally for all the bands listed.
    The style right now is generally a sparkley sounding amp/overdrive with delay and more delay! So I would start with a Tubescreamer or similar clone (I like the Zendrive) and a basic delay like a Line 6 Echo Park (I use a Boss DD20). That will give you several ranges for those tones you are hearing on a lot of records, especially Hillsong! The rest is just using other ODs that can give you another range of tones- I like the Fulltone OCD for a harder drive. I also use a Electro Harmonix Muff into a loooongish delay into a reverb and a use a volume pedal to swell a note into the 3….. gives some great violin/synth sounds. You have tons of choices!!

    @Robb: I personally do not like Noise suppressors…. they have a place, but I don’t think most people need them. I would place the phaser before the NS actually…. I agree, I prefer them acting on the distortions instead of the distortion pushing the phaser. You have a great setup there, good luck!

  47. Need some help with pedal order.
    Dunlop Wah/Vol
    Boss tu-2
    Danelectro DE-1
    Mxr Phase 90
    EH Small Clone
    Analog Man DS-1/Pro
    EH Big Muff

    into a Vox Night Train. Two other things : I have an 67′ Ampeg Reverberocket 3 that I’m thinking of running with my Night Train and was wondering about some good ABY switchers. I’ve been eyeing the Lehle Little Dual. Also I’m thinking about switching out the DE-1 any suggestions? Thanks

  48. Please can you help, if I switch from OD back to Clean on my Marshall JCM2000 TSL602 there is sound coming from the FX loop (delay pedal in my case) that gets louder then will completely drop out after 1.5 seconds. For example the second i switch to clean from overdrive there is a loud swelling noise then it will fade out. I currently have my delay pedal setup from the fx loop send and return into the input and output of my pedal. I can’t live with this because I often will turn on a long delay. I’ve done this on my other marshalls and had no problem. Does anyone know if this is something that is modifiable? Surely there is some tech around here who might know. Help is much appreciated.

    Many Thanks


  49. Hey man!

    My pedals are:

    Boss chromatic tuner
    Jekyll n hyde Overdrive/Distortion
    EHX Holy Grail Nano
    MXR Micro amp
    Soul Preacher Comp/Sustain

    What order do you suggest?
    Thanks a lot

  50. Can yoou setup this list of effects for me plss…

    My pedals are :: –
    (BOSS) ML-2 Metal Core
    (BOSS) DD-7 Digital Delay
    (BOSS) NS-2 Noise Suppressor pedal
    (BOSS) RV-5 Digital Reverb
    (BOSS) PS-5 Super Shifter
    Death By Audio Supersonic Fuzz Gun
    EarthQuaker Devices Black Eye Clean Boost Pedal
    Earthquaker Devices White Light overdrive
    Electro Harmonix Memory Man with Hazarai

    Trying to follow your steps, but i don’t have compressors, phaser, etc… i have only hi gain effects…. Soo if u can help me to setup my pedalboard that would be great =D

    p.s : do u recommend me buying more effect pedals… any opinion about metalcore…?

  51. Hey Larry check if my pedals in this order are fine and If I really have to put a equalizer and a compressor?
    1) Cry baby
    2) Tuner
    3)Vintage Tube Over drive
    6)Digital Delay

    Thanxs for ur time!!!!!!

  52. Where did you get your pedalboard from?

  53. Hey Larry, I’m using an egnator tourmaster combo and sometimes depending on the gig I use the combo and an egnator 4×12 cabinet with celestion vintage 30’s, My main guitar is a fender telecaster with high outputs di marzio pickups and my current rig stars like this (powered by voodoo lab pedal plus, George L’s patch cables; the amp effect loop’s cables and the cables that connect my guitar to the pedalboard and the pedalboard to the amp are gold Monster cables):
    Boss TU-2–>
    Boss NS-2—>which holds the next effect’s loop:
    Boss CS-3 (which I’m gonna replaced with a 4 knob keeley)—->
    Vox 847 Wah (Keeley MELLO MOD)—->
    JH V2(Visual sounds)—–>
    OCD (fulltone)—–>
    Big Muff PI USA (EH)—–>back to the NS-2
    From NS-2 Output —–>Keeley Katana —–>AMP
    AMP’s effect loop=
    Tremolo (Voodoo Lab)——>
    Boss DD-20—–>back to amp’s effect loop

    Now, I Know that you aren’t a fan of NS but some of my pedals (specially the CS-3 and Big muff) are really noisy and since I throw the NS-2 in the rig, it solved all noises and hum.
    Where should I place the katana?? Is the Tremolo fine before the delay?? Any suggestions for my pedal chain??
    The music style I play the most is a mix of disco-funk-jazzy-blues, a cross between jamiroquai and john mayer, stevie wonder and maroon 5, SRV and Scott henderson…well you’ll get the idea.
    Thanks for help man!!

  54. Great website!!!
    I am in the process of setting up my pedalboard that will replace my recently sold Line 6 floor pod plus and I would really value your input. I play lead guitar and sing classic rock/blues music. My guitar is a USA Standard Strat and my amp is a Fender Deville 212. Here is a list of the pedals that I currently own:

    Morley Volume Pedal – with min volume control T.C. Elecrtonics Polytune – Tuner
    Boss NS-2 – Noise Suppressor
    Boss CS-3 – Compressor / Sustainer
    Danelectro – Transparent Overdrive V2
    Line 6 – Crunch Tone
    Ibenez TS-9 – Tubescreamer
    Marshall JH-1 – Jackhammer

    I made a board that can accommodate these pedals and a few more if needed. I bought a kit that can daisychain the power and has different power adapters for reverse polarity etc. My patch cables are a mix of good and cheap( yes I will replace the cheap ones)

    The distortion pedals are listed in order of the sounds that I like best and I am also thinking that I might like a Fulltone OCD.

    I am also thinking aboud changing my bridge pickup to a humbucker. Thanks

  55. Hi there I am currently in the process of setting up my pedal board and I just have a quick question I thought you might be able to help with.

    Im using a Mesa Boogie Roadster and Cab. Up until now i’ve only been using two pedals but will be getting 5 in the coming months.

    Digitech Distortion,
    New Distortion Pedal (currently undecided) ,
    Bad Monkey Overdrive,
    G String Decimator,
    Hardwire Tuner

    The Roadster has it’s own 4 channel selection foot switch (Ch1-4, Tuner, Solo, Etc). I am looking to set up my effects board through the fx loop as I am only wanting the fx on my distortion channels and I use the clean channels straight from my amp. (mostly for use in songs for quick switches from distortion to cleans without having to change channel and turn of distortion pedal simultaneously)

    So basically at the moment im just stuck with a whole lot of cables.
    Guitar input into pedals (a must obviously)

    1.Fx Loop In
    2.Fx Loop Out
    3.Direct Bypass (guitar from decimator straight to amp)
    4. Cable from Mesa switchboard

    So I currently have 3 jack cables and 1 mesa pedal cable that will be running from my pedalboard. Basically was just wondering if you had any advice of an easier way to work this so I am not left with 4 cables running from my pedal board to my amp.


  56. I have a crybaby wah…boss compresor….boss blues driver ….then boss eq7 through a crate tube amp. I am usuing a strat guitar nad i am new to setting all this up. can u give me any ideas as what to set the knobs to. Also should i use the clean channel or the dirty channel on the amp? I play mostly lead but i have set these nobs a thousand times and still havent got the tone i am looking for. I know thats alot of stuff to throw out there but I really need some help

  57. Great site! I need some help with my set up. I have a Pedaltrain board w/ (2) Voodoo Lab Pedal Powers. I’m using all Monster patch cables.

    Not in order:

    1. Morley Volume Plus Pedal

    2. Morley Bad Horsie 2

    3. Morpheus Analog Guitar Drop-Tuning Pedal

    4. Boss TU-2 Tuner

    5. Boss CS3 Compressor

    6. Boss OD3 Overdrive

    7. Zvex Super Duper 2 Overdrive

    8. Banshee 2 Talkbox

    9. Boss CH1 Superchorus

    10. MXR Phaser EVH

    11. MXR Flanger EVH

    12. Vox Satch Delay

    13. Decimator G String noise suppressor

    I’m using (2) Marshall 410H amp heads. Sometimes, I’m using just one of them pending on the venue. I use the Decimator in the EFX loop of the amp & at the end of the pedal chain (the amp’s high gain channels can be quite noisey).

    Could you give me some suggestions on the pedal line up and if you would use any of these pedals in the EFX loop of the amp?

    Thanks for your help!!!

  58. Hey Shawn….let me ask you man….I’ve been thinking about the banshee talkbox….have you used for a long time??? Is it good??? how do you put it in your chain?? does it work fine with your other pedals??? true bypass??? tone sucking????……Thanks man

  59. I love the Banshee 2 talkbox. I had a Heil talkbox and I sold it immediatly after I got the Banshee. Much easier set up and I think that it sounds better. It has a true bypass and at the moment, I run it after the wah. Although, I haven’t tried it with the other pedals in line yet but I will this week and let you know how it works out.

  60. I’m old and played in sf in the 60’s. We used twin and super reverbs w/ double hookups (2 amps for one guitar). I used a rickenbacker 360 12 principally. . .anyway I have hooked up with some other senior citizens and have a question a little outside of the pedal stuff, but you seem to know something. I’m thinking of a 2X10 inch amp over a 4×12 box (for outside etc.) I would also like to replace the 2 bottem 12’s with a 15 for more bass. Am I completely stupid and out of date???
    Appreciate your time.

  61. I tried the Banshee 2 with my other pedals last week and it sounded great. This is just a follow-up from my last reply.

  62. Nice shawn…. Thanks for the tip!!!

  63. @Elijah: I’d run the Boss TU2 into the Volume/Wah, DS1, Big Mucc, Small Clone, Phase 90, then the delay. For the ABY check out I like that guy! As for the DE1, I’d get an Echo Park from Line 6 to get started. The tap temp is dead on to what most people need.
    @JOE: I think I would get a tech to check it out. Seems like there is a problem with your switch, and the delay picks it up and magnifies it through the effects loop. I’d take it to a professional!
    @Roks: TU2- Compressor- Jekyll N Hyde- Micro Amp- Holy Grail. See what you can come up with!!
    @Jake: I’d run The Clean Boost- The light overdrive- the Metal Core, the Fuzz- The Noise Suppressor, the super shifter, the memory man and then the digital delay. Hope that helps!!
    @Eduardo: Dude! Looks great. I might try the tuner in front of the crybaby if you have some tone loss, but if not, no problem. Thanks!
    @Michael Change: Pedalboard came from I love it!
    @Fausto: Looks like you have it figured out. Nice rig there. I like a boost like a Katana either in front of the gain pedals (to push them) or at the end of the gain pedals (to add grit and affect your amp). See which works for you!. I love tremolo before the delay- try it with different sounds. Its very wobbly/ambient in nature. I think you have it down-packed!
    @Byron: you seem to have a killer rig there as well. Fits well with the style of music you playing. I think You would love the OCD, great classic rock sound there. And the humbucker would def give you a lift/boost of sound.
    @ Luke: wow, for that setup, you’ll need 4 chords. The best way I can help is to tell you to color-code everything so it’s a snap to put together when you have a quick plan!
    @Jimmy: Wow, I’d need to sit at your amp and tweak, tweak, tweak… that’s how you get good tone! If I were you, I’d find a guitar player that’s experienced and just ask them to play through your rig, to make any adjustment to give it a feel…. That would give you a baseline to check out and lay your own tone on.
    @Shawn: for the loop- I’d try to put your phaser, flange, chorus and delay in there if it will work.
    I haven’t used the talkbox, so I can’t comment there, but I’d arrange the compressor, Drop Tune, Bad Horsie, OD3, Super Duper 3, and then the Noise compressor. Something like that. (I think I got all your pedals!). You seem to have a great rig as well! I’m sure you can get it to sound awesome!
    @Ron S: Keep rocking my friend! I hear what you are trying to do.. and it would work. I’m not sure why you would want more bass… If you are playing outside, I think I would want my rig a bit ‘tighter’ by the 12s, particularly if you have a bass player. I like a tight amp to help push that sound without it getting muddy! But don’t mind me. You are right, and that extra bottom end would complement the Rickenbacker. Keep me posted!

  64. […] suggestions and provides some tips on considerations when you set-up your pedal board. The article Pedal Board Set-Up: Guitar Effects Basics 101, Q&A is from the […]

  65. Hi dude, I got a distortion pedal not too long ago and I have been wondering how to incorporate it into my amp set up. I have a nice tube Crate VC50 that gets some pretty kickin amp distortion. It’s really clear, really naturally bright sounding. It’s a two channel, and has an equally clear clean channel that I love. My question is how would I want to use a distortion pedal if I already like my amp distortion’s clarity? I have tried a lot with my Lovepedal Superlead and it doesn’t quite seem to want to work with my amp distortion. On my clean channel it really gets a nice thick classic rock sound. Reminds me of Angus Young’s lead sound. Thing is, it’s pretty dark sounding when the volume is rolled off, so when I’m trying the clean channel all I seem to know how to do is kick the pedal on and off. But I like my amp distortion, so when I use it and change up my pedal settings I’m getting a really cramped, muddy sound, as if something is not able to breathe. I’ve been told to roll off the gain on my amp to let the pedal shine through, but that makes my playing sound a bit weaker when I do that. I understand this is all about personal taste and I don’t have too many things to work with yet besides the amp, pedal, and guitar (a Les Paul). So would you have any tips?

  66. Well,am a guitarist using Ibanez prestige rg 2620 electric guitar with Original Dimarzio Tone zone humbucker at the bridge and Original Dimarzio Air Norton humbucker at the neck position.
    Mypedal board consists of Steve vai morley bad horsie2 contour wah,electro harmonix metal muff,joe satriani vox satchurator,joe satriani vox time machine,electro harmonix nano clone chorus,boss od3,boss cs3,line 6 dm4 and sound -x volume pedal.
    so,kindly let me know whether these pedals are in good combination to hv agreat tone????
    and kindly advice how to place all these pedals in a proper sequence mode to have a great tone without unwanted feedback and noise.thanx.

  67. @Josh: Man you hit most of the points I would try- some amps do not like certain pedal types. Maybe try another different pedal? (like if you are doing a distortion, try an overdrive like a TS9).
    I would first try to use your amps distortion channel and roll the gain off the pedal to just “add” and push the distortion channel.
    Also, I see pedals as adding a new channel to your amp: 1) clean 2) pedal distortion into clean 3) lead channel/amps distortion.
    I hope that helps!

    @TRIDIP DEKA: I would set Wah-> CS3-> Satchurator-> Boss OD3->Metal Muff-> Clone chorus-> DM4-> Time Machine
    Try the volume pedal after the compressor and then after the overdrive/distortions to see where it works best for you. That’s how I would run everything! Best of luck!

  68. I use a Crybaby wah, A Dime Crybaby from hell, a Boss GT-8, and a Rocktron banshee 1. Where is the correct place ment for the Banshee when I run it like this: Guitar-Dime wah-crybaby original-Boss gt 8’s guitar input. effects loop not used. Do I put it in front like the wahs or use the effects loop, and if so how should i place it in the digital arrangement in the boss?

  69. I have two Boss effects, a DD-3 Digital Delay and a CE-3 Chorus. I keep them in the BCB-3 Boss box. I am adding a CS-3 Compression Sustainer to it. I normally run the two Boss effects through the effects loop on my Marshall head. I do not know enough about compression. Can I run it through the loop or do I need to run it into the input of the amp? I also run a Morley wah and an Ibanez Tube Screamer into the input of the amp.

  70. @Andrew: Its completely up to you! The banshee is a “weird” effect and could go anywhere– do you simply want vocals? Put it at the end! Do you want your vocals overdriven/distorted too? Put it before the GT8. Do you want a tone sweep/growl to your vocals? Put it before the wah! Seriously, it all depends on your style/type of music. For me, I would put it after the overdrives, but before modulation/delays. So I have a semi-clean vocal sound but can put some reverb/delay on it!

    @Jeff: Your compressor is made to ‘balance’ out your signal. This works best at the beginning of your chain. However, most people prefer the compressor AFTER the wah, as it helps control some of that “spike” you get from wahs. If I were you, I would try it before the wah and then after and do what sounds best and feels best to your style. I would not loop it 🙂

  71. Hi I was wondering exactly what you did to get you swells to sound so smooth (in the video) did you just turn on some delay so that it kept going even when you toned your volume pedal down? I’m kinda new to the whole swell idea lol

  72. @Ty Cherry: Yeah, that is a couple of things: 1) Volume swell into a 2) Fuzz type pedal, into a 3) longish-delay with modulation (i used the DD20 and quarter notes with the mix turned up) and into a 4) Reverb pedal to also “smooth” out the ends of the delay… which leaves a cloud like ambiance and helps the swell from just dying out while you start a new one. Hope that helps!
    I have now switched for a Boos RV3 with a weird digital delay modulation that really helps everything float 🙂

  73. диета южный пляж что нельзянабор массажный гель антицеллюлитный роликовый гель плоский животиклисси мусса о похудениирисовая моно диетачерная редька и похудениекнопки в уши для похуденияможно ли употреблять мед вовремя диетыален кар как легко похудетькак похудеть на черносливекак можно похудеть с 54 размера на 48разрешенные продукты в диетологиитрех дневная диета жизель бунхентак я похудела на 10 кгскипидаровые ванны как средство похуденияпивные дрожжи с селеном для снижения весакак похудеть до нового годацентр стомед эндокринолог диетологблюда для беременных на диетекто пробовал препараты из серию диет плюслуковый диетический суп. кто похудел на этой диете

  74. HI Larry just need a little help here. Where should I locate my preamp booster before or after my distortion pedal, I want to use it for solos. Because we have two guittarrist in the band and I want to pump my solos up!!

  75. Eduardo,

    It depends on what you are trying to do. If you just want your tone, but louder, then put the boost post distortion. If you want to add more distortion/OD then put the boost in front of the distortion.

  76. Hey there I’m kind of a noob at getting the sound I want out of pedals. Here’s my set up: ibanez sa into: Ernie ball volume, boss od-20, boss ph3, line 6 dl4. I’m looking for more pedals to mess around with and love all kinds of sounds and working creatively to make amazing sounds (like a scientist) I play lead/filler stuff for my worship team and like that pure tube tone kinda bluesy but still be able to go to heavy metal if I want hence the od-20. But I’ve been researching and have narrowed it down some. The fulltone OCD, zendrive, and barber small fry have caught my eye for that lead boost when soloing. Also concidering ts808 reissue. Any advice also any other pedals to look at or ways to use the current pedals in do have? Thanks much God bless!

  77. This is the page that i’m looking for \m/ I’ve been playing guitar since highschool and have learned through self study, been in a band before but didn’t care much on the right effects to use since we got used to using DIGITAL EFFECTS only STRAIGHT TO WHATEVER AMP THERE IS ON THE VENUE. That was years ago and now I’m starting a new band and really want to get things right starting on the SOUND that i’ll produce. Now I want to start my own board but really don’t have a clue on where to start, at present I only have a Zoom g1xN and a Boston EQ200 7 band equalizer, and will be getting a distortion pedal later. I plan to get a high gain distortion to use on my solos, and to set the g1xn for a base CLEAN sound, and also for a nice defined mid gain DISTORTION for verses and riffs set on DIFFERENT PATCH BANKS. I’ll add Compressors and wah to the settings of the g1xn since I read here that it is set at the beginning of the chain. So basically G1xn>High gain dist>EQ. Is my set up ready for a gig already? Since we have one later and i’m really worried. Sorry for the long post and i would appreciate any reply from you and from all other peeps here. Thanks!


  79. @Eric: I love all those pedals you asked about– But I would probably get one that has a well-rounded side. Either the Small Fry or the Zendrive (Small Fry has a touch more compression available which makes leads soar a bit more.) My personal fav is the Zendrive right now. The OCD is awesome as well, but can get real heavy, so I’d rather err on being too bluesy vs distorted. But, you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

    @Daryl: I’d give a shot at what you said 🙂 I’d also play around with the Equalizer before and after the distortion to see what sounds best to you– you could probably use it as a “lead boost” if you turned it up! But you have the idea!!

    @Miguel: I’d put the boost after your favorite distortion if you want to “boost” to solo (if you have a tube amp). If not, I’d also try before your distortion pedals to boost them and drive them harder– giving you a thicker distortion with more volume. I think i’d start there! Remember, if you like the sound of it, you aren’t doing it wrong!

  80. Hey Larry, thanks for your reply! After our gig, my problem in my set up surfaced. My set DISTORTIONS on my g1xn have LOW VOLUME 😦 I’m barely heard, and my rhythm guitarist was louder than me, even if i pumped up my volume and gain settings, and he was using a Digitech Rp500. So I would like to ask: what stompbox would you suggest that I add to my starting pedalboard? I was thinking of buying a full metalbore mxr and use it as my main dist. The g1xn will be used to enhance it (is it possible?) and as a source of my clean sound and modulation. The eq will be used for boost or thick. Lastly, how can I achieve a bright lead distortion used by vai/petrucci/satch using stompboxes? So ill know which ones to buy. Hope you can help me! By the way,we play prog/rock/metal but not so noisy, just the right blend of the 3. Thanks Larry!

  81. Hello.Larry, you have a lot of pedal experience is a great fortune I looking for the old pedal from Digitec- name:TUBE BLUES.Do,you thing is possible to find it. please let me now,Ok thank You .My name is Emey I am from Mexico city, can you answear me please.

  82. Hi Larry,
    Very helpful site, though most is over my head. I play acoustic guitar on my worship team, plugged in through the sound system. Mainly rhythm strumming, occasional finger-picking, contemporary worship music. We have no lead guitarist. What pedals would be helpful to add some interest and variety to my sound? Can I use pedals even though I don’t have a separate amp? I’m a total beginner at this and need a starting point. Thanks in advance.

  83. To Pam: Get yourself a nice delay like an MXR Carbon Copy. That’ll do for a very first pedal that won’t hurt your budget too much, either.

    Just plug your guitar into the Input of the MXR and get another lead to continue out from its Output to your sound system. All you’ve done is to just inject the delay in along your normal line.

    Experiment with the different settings and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  84. Scuse me for butting in Larry! … I might’ve jumped the gun here (with my reply to Pam).

    Anyway, thanks for a very helpful site! I’m rearranging my pedalboard and your advice on pedal order makes sense – helped me get rid of some hum! Thanks, mate!

  85. Hello i’m only 13 so excuse my naivety but apparently the only way to use a loop pedal is with an amp, is this correct or not? thanks for a great blog anyway!

  86. @Emey: bro…. If the pedal is older, I’d keep searching ebay…. I’m sorry I can’t be much more help!

    @Pam: I would look into a delay with modulation, a phaser set lightly for some “movement” (a good cheap one is the Dan Electro brand), and maybe a reverb with modulation setting (Boss RV3 or 5). This will add an undertone of depth to the sound! and YES you can run those straight into the sound system.

    @Ben: Thanks for jumping in! And glad I can be of help! Keep us posted with your changes 🙂

    @Max: Yeah, most loop pedals you need to plug into something! They do the recording, but they have to play out of something too.

  87. Great page. Thanks. I’m planning on completely redoing my pedal board very soon. I am using one of mysquire strat either a double fat or a 3 single config. My current amp is a Fender FM212R. I have been running all of pedals straight into the front end of the amp, but my sound has been real mushy or grungy. Currently using the following pedals and in this order:GUITAR> Chorus> Boss DS1>DOD Tuna Melt>Grunge>Flanger>Slow Gear>Wah>Volume>Delay> AMP
    My new set up will be
    GUITAR >Compressor> Wah>Overdrive>DS1>Into AMP
    Chorus>Tuna Melt>Slow gear >Delay > through FX loop
    Do I need to move the slow gear to the front? It sounds like it just adds a little sparkle and slight comp. It is really to mimic an Ebow, but not so much. Any ideas you might have would be appreciated.

  88. @Dave: Yep! You are on the right track! I’d definitely put in in the front of the chain. I’d try this: Guitar ->Wah -> Slow Gear ->Volume -> Boss DS1 ->Grunge -> Chorus-> Flanger -> Tuna Melt-> Delay then Amp.
    That signal seems to make more sense to me 🙂

  89. Thanks, Larry. I found some new pedals on Ebay and now have two seperate boards.
    My main board is more “Blues/Rock”. I’m using an A/B box. A>tuner. Running out of tuner adds slight ground buzz. B> Behringer CS400 Compressor> Behringer SM200 Slow Motion> Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive>Boss DS1(clean boost setting) > AMP(instrument input). My Fender FM212R has an effect loop. Next, Preamp output>Danelectro Tuna Melt> Behringer UC 100 Ultra Chorus(slow sweep to fatten up tone)>> Behringer DD400 Delay> Power amp in. I’ve tried both ways with the fx loop and no loop, just straight into amp input. The loop really helped clean up my sound.
    I also have a “grunge/dreampop/punk” board. This one is wah>Grunge>Flashback Fuzz>Danelectro Chorus>Ibanez Phaser>Danelectro Hash Browns Flanger>Behringer DD100 Delay>Volume(to bring everything up or down-helps with noise)>AMP
    I have a 4×10 cab and a solid state head to use with this board . Now to find somewhere to play.

  90. Hi..Im 15 years old and i play lead guitar for my churchs worship band.They currently will not let me bring my own amp to play through and are putting me through their system instead(which i reall dont enjoy doing).I am starting a youth band to show them how much better it sounds through a amp and pedals..What are your suggestions for me to get the best pedals for my money(i am on a low budget)??I just need a clean sound with some good wah and something that will kick when i play solos..Thank You alot man.

  91. @ zach- as a former sound man, I know its hard to get a good balance between amps on stage, house speakers, and monitors. If the church uses in ear monitors, its a little easier to control the stage volume.They may not be disagreeing with you as to what sounds better. As a bass player/ guitar player, its nice to have your amp by you. But I have also noticed that when you get a little bit away from the amp, your tone gets lost. Perhaps you could compromise with a small combo that gets miked. That way you get your sound and your sound gets into the house sounds. As far as pedals, I would really listen to Larry’s advice and go with something really basic. Overdrive, clean boost type of pedal, Wah, and delay. Check craigslist & Ebay for used pedals. I have bought alot of my pedals off Ebay. There are multieffect pedals( all in one units), but most people prefer individual stomp boxes. If you hear about a pedal that you think you might like, see if you can try it out at your local music store or check out YouTube videos. That will get you a bit of an idea of what to look for in pedals. But most of your tone comes from you as a player.

  92. Thanks man..No we dont have in ear monitors but my youth leader is trying to talk them into getting them.Also i cant hear myself through the monitors we have now because if they turn me up any, everyone complains about it..thats what i was trying to say about my amp i guess..Have it miked..But thanks for replying man.I will talk to them about it,

  93. I just purchased a new amp and wondering if anyone had some suggestions on the order to run my effects. In reviews of my new amp I’m told that the model of amp I’m using doesn’t like effects in front of the amp.

    My main problem is that I use the Digitech JamMan Looper pedal and I want it to play exactly what I play. I need it to capture both my amps distortion and all of my effects. I got it to work before but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Any ideas?

    Here is my setup

    Guitar: Schector C/1 Semi Hollowbody
    Amp: ENGL Screamer 50
    Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
    Boss PH-2 Super Phaser
    Boss SD-1 Super Over Drive
    DOD Envelope Filter
    Boss HM-3 Hyper Metal
    Ibanez Sonic Distortion
    Dunlop Wah
    Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
    Digitech JamMan Looper

  94. @Zach, there are several great cheap pedals that will work: Boss SD1 is incredible for a cheap pedal and it can be modded later. Check out some of the Visual Sound pedals like: Openroad or drivetrain, or the Danelectro transparent overdrive. Try to set it to “unity”, that is- no big volume jumps when you stomp on the pedals!
    Trust me, i know its hard to figure out the volume issues, but try to help figure out the best alternative. When playing an amp, I found the best thing for me was to get an amp stand that angled up to my head– easier for me to hear, but no volume change! I also used a metal fold-up chair for this.
    Thanks Dave for saying other things I would 🙂

    @Ryan: that is one heck of an amp! 4 channels!!! I tend to disagree with any review without experimenting myself. I find that its not that amps “don’t like” pedals, it is just that they “prefer other pedals over some.” Although I don’t know if you’ll want to use the drive pedals with this amp (if you do, it’ll be on the clean channel, or to ‘push/boost’ one of the other channels).
    I’d try this based on your situation:
    Guitar-> TU3->Wah->Envelope filter->SD1->Sonic distortion->Metal->AMP.
    Amp FX Loop->phase->delay->jamman

    If you do that, the jam-man will also get your amp’s overdriven channels. And I believe you may not actually need to use those drive pedals 🙂 Hope that helps!

  95. @Larry,
    Thanks so much for the tips. You had the perfect setup, that’s exactly what I needed!

    So you’ve played the ENGL Screamer 50 before? I played it about 8 months ago in a shop and the guy at the store sold me on it. It’s a super diverse amp.

    The only thing is that it just has one channel for EQ’s. Do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions for a jazzy clean and a funk clean setting? I found a site that had settings for rock and metal but I want to bring out the best of the cleans as well. Thanks so much for the tips, that helps a lot, my pedal board is a lot more organized.

    Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll be getting rid of my overdrive pedals and replace them with something else.

  96. Thanks Larry.I will be looking into getting those pedals. I actually got to play lead for a song last night(i played intro solo and a outro) and they loved it so i think they are going to let me bring pedals and my own amp so i can get the best sound.. Thanks so much for this site it helps alot.

  97. can you get a pedal which gives the electric sound to an acoustic amp? If so, what types are the best?
    (I know it won’t sound as good as 2 amps with an A.b pedal but I’m trying to conserve the price as I’m getting a taylor t5)


  98. Hi Larry. Stumbled on your site from google. I think I’ve seen you posting quite a bit on Karl’s guitar for worship site. Well let me pose a question ( even though I know testing it is the only real answer ) 🙂
    I am trying to simplify, going from two channels ( using two PA channels ) to one and dropping the tube amp. Yeah I know that last one sounds bad but our church just isn’t big enough to tolerate the extra volume from the stage. So here is a rough idea of what I’m thinking of doing:
    CarvinAE185 guitar>Boss Compressor>RC Booster>Korg MFX producing modulated delay and some reverb using the acoustic simulator amp model ( sounds bad but sounds pretty good ). Previously that was the total of one of my signal chains. The other chain was all pedals into a separate PA channel. I could get a 2nd DI Box and keep the two channels, but am considering putting my Small Fry OD, EHX Memory Boy delay and DD6 delay after the Korg mfx. Nothing I own, outside the Korg, produces the sound I’m getting from the 3 items used in that mfx.
    I know this may not work at all, or may work with the pedals before rather than after the Korg. Sometimes I have a bit of acoustic guitar provided by another team member but my guitar is most of our band’s sound so I really can’t settle for something that is good for leads/fills only.

  99. @Ryan: for a good clean sound for jazz/blues w/ humbuckers (which should work for your amp), I usually go clean w/ touch of reverb and Eq mids about 2-3 o’clock, Bass about 1-2 and then Treble to taste. By that I mean you should have some treble in your sound, but when you turn back the tone pot on your guitar you have a fluid dark kind of sound.
    Basically though, you are basing it on a midrange and then finding the EQ that fits your amp for the smooth sound you are going for.

    @Luke: Acoustic guitar to acoustic amp? And you need an overdrive? I would try a basic low gain drive (Sd1 or tubescreamer). Just don’t put much gain on it. I’ve done something similar in the past… got a decent sound out of it.

    @Randy: If it sounds good… do it! 🙂 The only thing I would think about is maybe a more transparent compressor (Barber or Wampler Ego) to make sure your clean sound gets through. Dial in a good sound with the RC, and that should work! 🙂 You didn’t need my help, you had this one!

  100. I’ll try keeping the two signal paths for now with the RC Booster first in line and Boss CS-2 removed in the “pedal” chain. Maybe also try replacing the CS-2 with my Tech 21 Liverpool pedal

  101. Great information. I just got away from modeling and just picked up a Peavey Bravo 112. I now start on the road to pedals which I’ve been away from for way too long.

    I’ll be back to use some of these pointers.


  102. I just added a T.C. Electronics Corona Chorus to my pedalboard. However, after I plugged it into the chain with the One Spot I lose all sound when I turn on the Boss Compressor. It works fine with the Visual Sound Jeckyl & Hyde and MXR Delay on. What would cause this?
    Tom from Kansas

  103. whats the best order for these pedals dd-6 delay,ge-7 eq,ch-1 chorus,wah, hyper phase,constrictor compressor ?

  104. Hi,

    Great post and very informative, much appriciated! I’m doing a lot of bigger gigs in 2012 than I’ve done before, and also with a band instead of just myself, so I’ve decided to build a pedal board. As of now I have:

    Digitech Whammy Pedal
    Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff
    Crybaby Wah-Wah
    Boss Distortion (the orange one)

    In addition to this I’m planning on getting a tuner, a reverb/delay pedal, a compressor pedal and maybe a looper. (if I can afford it)

    Do you have any suggestions to what pedals I should get first?
    What order would you reccomend I put the pedals in? (The Whammy pedal and Crybaby say they have true bypass, but for some reason they never work once I plug them together in a chain…)

  105. @tom luxem: Sounds like a power issue. How are you being powered? The Compressor, TC pedal and delay are very power-hungry pedals. That is my first guess…. unless you have a bad patch cord!

    @Eric:I’d go with: Wah-> Constrictor-> Ge-> Phase-> Ch-> Delay. But thats just me. You could try the Phase after the wah, or switch it in order with the chorus. Depends on what you think sounds good 🙂

    @Haggi:Tuner first!!! If you can’t keep in tune, what’s the use of other pedals? I’d recommend a Chromatic Tuner, that way if you play in something other than standard tuning you can tune on the fly (I’ve had a Boss TU2 for YEARS!!!) Then I’d do delay as A LOT of modern music has delay. Even a simple slapback delay can thicken up rock sounds. Then a compressor… if you find you need it!
    I’d go Wah-> Whammie-> then play if you like the Muff going into the Distortion or Vice-Versa. Some good tones are in there. I’m not sure about why your pedals don’t work when you plug them in….. I’d like to check your power supplies and your patch cables. Best of luck with that.

  106. Hi Larry,

    I play lead guitar and have been in praise teams for many years. I have acquired some pedals and a board over the years and would greatly appreciate some input on placement. My board is a SKB Stagefive and I run the following:

    American Fender Highway One / For softer smoother sounds/ rythym
    Epiphone Korina Traditional Pro / For grunge and strong leads

    In order:
    Morley A/B switch – To change guitars
    Sonic Research TU-200 Tuner
    Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive Overdrive
    ProCo Rat 2 Distortion
    DL-8 Hardwire Delay
    BBE Boosta Grande
    BBE Sonic Stomp
    ISP Noise Decimator
    Boss FV-500L Volume pedal
    Egnater Rebel 30 amp running channnel 1 (clean)

    I can see how you feel about the ISP but it is necessary to get rid of some hiss. I just use it lightly. I do have an effects loop, but don’t like using it (personal preference, it didn’t seem to work well and changed my tone for the worse I thought). Running everything in front and I put the volume at the end so I do not change the tone coming from the pedals, just the volume. I noticed you have your volume in front but I find that when I place it there, it changes my tone depending on how low or high it is. I use the volume controls on my guitars to soften for rythym and turn them up to increase the overdrive or distortion. Would you change the placement of any of these? Sorry for this being so long but I would appreciate any input. Thanks.

  107. Hi, Larry,

    I have been enjoying reading through your website. Need some advise on the best way to hook up my pedal board to resolve hiss from my compressor without using a noise suppressor, if possible. Chain: guitar > Ernie Ball VP > MXR Custom Comp compressor > BB Preamp > Blackstar Stage 60 with 3 channels. I actually do not use the BB Preamp live anymore since getting the Blackstar amp – only use it for recording – it’s OD doesn’t sound as good as the Blackstar’s OD channels do live. My Boss DD-20 is attached inside the amp’s the FX loop, which I like a lot.

    As an experiment, I tried placing the compressor in the FX loop, which reduces the hiss to zero, but the compressor in the FX loop really effects the amp’s overdrive tone – thins it out – so I went back to placing it in front of the amp. I use two 20ft Monster cables: one from my guitar to the volume pedal and one from the BB Preamp to the amp. However, I am using lesser quality cables in between. Might these shorter cables be creating hiss, or is the MXR Custom Comp just a cheap compressor? When I play the amp at low volumes, there is no noticeable hiss, even in the high gain OD channels. It’s when I crank the amp up, and use the higher gain OD channels that the hiss becomes very noticeable. Thanks, Marv

  108. Hey, Larry,

    Forgot to mention, regarding the Blackstar amp and MXR compressor chain hiss problem, above, I have a Boss tuner hanging off the Ernie Ball volume Pedal. Thanks, Marv

  109. Hello Larry,
    Great article! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Maybe you can help me with my effects chain set up? I have:

    Peavey Classic 50 (w/ FX Loop)
    Dunlop Wah
    Original Big Muff
    BBE Boosta Grande – Clean Boost
    Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
    Boss TU-3 Tuner

    I’ve never really understood the FX loop… what order should I put these in? In or out of the loop? Will it make THAT much of a difference? Any help?

  110. Hi, Larry,

    It’s Marv, again, I went ahead a purchased an ISP Decimator noise reduction pedal, placed it right after the MXR Custom Comp, and problem solved. No effect on tone, or sustain, that I can detect. My rig sounds excellent now. Thanks.

  111. Hi Larry,

    After reading all the articles (boy have you helped a lot of folks), my new routing for my board is:

    Morley A/B switch – To change guitars
    Sonic Research TU-200 Tuner
    Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive Overdrive
    ProCo Rat 2 Distortion
    BBE Boosta Grande
    BBE Sonic Stomp
    ISP Noise Decimator
    DL-8 Hardwire Delay
    Boss FV-500L Volume pedal
    Egnater Rebel 30 amp running channnel 1 (clean)

    Just moving the delay made a huge difference in tone and my delay sounds so much better. Think I’ll save my pennies and get a docsanchez two-face OCD pedal next. That way I get the best of V3 and V4 sounds from the same pedal. Thanks for your dedication to helping us all out with our setups.

  112. Hey, Doc…I don’t know where you think you get off putting this info out in a blog like this, but….Thank you so much!…I’m new to electric, have a beautiful new Strat with no effects yet, and know idea of how to go about getting any…until I was lucky enough to Google across your site. Already, I have a bit of direction. Again, thanks! Very informative, straightforward.

  113. Hey guys! I’ve left everyone hanging. I’m glad many of you guys get a little something from my ramblings. I hope to be better at keeping up and answering questions. Thanks for your support!!!

  114. Where would you put a noise suppressor?

  115. i want to use my amps built in over drive how would i set that up in the signal chain with out having all effect altered? impossible?

  116. I find it goes perfect after your dirt-pedals (gain, like overdrive and distortions), but before you modulation/delays. Keeps your signal pure!

  117. This works great if you have an effects loop! Then you put your wah, boosts, and drive pedals (to push your amp’s drive deeper) into the amp and all modulation in the loop so they will act on your amps own sound.
    If you don’t have an effects loop, some people make a plug in box to give yourself one- google and see!

  118. Hi,

    I have these pedals:

    BOSS DD-6 Digital Delay
    BOSS AC-2 Acoustic Simulator
    BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
    BOSS CE-3 Chorus
    TC HELICON H1 Intelligent Harmony
    ISP TECHNOLOGIES – Decimator, Noise Reduction
    HARLEY BENTON PowerPlant
    Ebtech by Morley Hum Eliminator 2
    Visual Sound Pure Tone Buffer

    Would you be able to help me in getting them set up the best way please as things aren’t sounding right in some orders and others are and it’s getting silly..? Would hugely appreciate it!!!!


  119. Hi Larry, You have a Excellent site, keep it up. I’m putting together a pedal board for my Daughter ( Thats what Dads are for, LOL). Need some help on what should go where;
    Boss TU3 Tuner
    Vox Wah Wah
    Rat Box
    Boss RV7 Stero Reverb
    EH Memory Man
    Boss Phase Shifter PH3 ( i see no 9volt in it )
    JH Fuzz Box. ( Really dont hear any difference. When you kick it off, everything goes dead.)
    If you think I should get rid of anything or add, Please let me know. I have a store on Ebay.
    Her gear is a Marshall DSL 100. 1960B W/25’s and a 1960TV W/ 30’s in it, Yup, Dad paid for that too, LOL.
    Thanks for you time,

  120. I need some help if you could be so kind. I don’t have many pedals but what I have is sort of different.

    Ibanez screaming demon Wah
    Morpheus Droptune
    Ibanez Tube Screamer
    Digitech hardwire tuner
    Electro Harmonix electric mistress deluxe
    Digitech Istomp which I mainly use the boost, chorus, delay, phaser.

  121. I have a 50 watt fender silverface bassman with two 15 inch speakers, it’s a 1969 model, I just purchased a markbass compressore, as i might have rushed in buying it, I thought that i might get more info before i hook it up, my question is, what would the proper settings be and is it safe to run through the amp without blowing anything. I also play a 1969 fender jazz bass through it. I have always been ole school so i never used pedals, THANKS for the info. Tony. oh”” by the way I play in a CCR tribute band i’m trying to get a stu cook sound out of my gear.

  122. Hi Larry — Thanks for the great site and all of the info. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two. I need some help with a question that I haven’t seen asked yet — where in the pedal chain would one put a multi effects pedal? Due to the variety of music that I play I need the multi pedal but it doesn’t have all of the effects or sound that I want. I’ve tried numerous arrangements of the pedals but always seem to either suffer from signal/tone/volume loss or lots of noise when pedal(s) are turned on. Can you help? I’m using a Strat or Les Paul through a ’69 Bandmaster head (no fx loop) and the following pedals:
    ART Extreme Multi Effects
    Ibanez TS9
    CryBaby Wah
    Boss EQ
    Behringer Blues Overdrive
    Behringer Acoustic Modeler
    Boss Chromatic Tuner

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  123. I guess you dont answer anyone anymore. July 6th i posted. Have a nice day. I have better things to do than wait for you

  124. I saw your post for a reply and went back and saw this
    “Bill Kinzie, on July 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm said:
    Hi Larry, You have a Excellent site, keep it up. I’m putting together a pedal board for my Daughter ( Thats what Dads are for, LOL). Need some help on what should go where;
    Boss TU3 Tuner
    Vox Wah Wah
    Rat Box
    Boss RV7 Stero Reverb
    EH Memory Man
    Boss Phase Shifter PH3 ( i see no 9volt in it )
    JH Fuzz Box. ( Really dont hear any difference. When you kick it off, everything goes dead.)
    If you think I should get rid of anything or add, Please let me know. I have a store on Ebay.
    Her gear is a Marshall DSL 100. 1960B W/25′s and a 1960TV W/ 30′s in it, Yup, Dad paid for that too, LOL.
    Thanks for you time,
    I’m not Larry, but I would like to answer your question. I just went to the Marshall site and confirmed my thoughts. This model has channel switching and reverb. I’m not sure what kind of music your daughter would be playing, but I would try it with just the wah and the memory man. It seems like the other pedals would muddy up the Marshall tone. Set up 1 channel as a cleaner one and then Channel 2 as a heavy, dirty channel. I’m sorry but I’m not too familiar with the DSL 100, but I think they may have a “boost” or “more dirt” option on the foot switch. It sounds like the “fuzz box” pedal has some issues. Try running the guitar into the tuner and then into the amp. Use the FX loop for the wah and the memory man pedals. Hopefully this will help prevent any unwanted noise.

  125. Where’s my post?

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  130. On which position would you place a noise suppressor pedal?

  131. Hi

    Someone beat me to it!! I’ve a mxr noise clamp where in the chain would you put this? I’ve got the following pedals crybaby wah, holy grail plus, soul preacher compressor, DS-1, memory toy delay, and an octave pedal. I’m currently running guitar to noise clamp in, out to amp, send to my pedals then last pedal to noise clamp return. Should my wah be the first from my send from the noise clamp? Then compressor, DS-1, octave, delay, reverb, return to noise clamp, amp by the way is a Tiny Terror

  132. Hey my name is Chris, I have all been frustrated on where to place pedals. I asked a friend for help and I got a somewhat decent sound but now I got more pedals and I always seem to have feedback when jamming. The way my friend helped me set it up was from my Marshal MG 100 HDFX half stack to my Boss Equalizer, Boss Metal core, Dunlop Crybaby 535Q , Boss Compression Sustainer, Boss Digital Reverb, Boss Chorus Ensemble, DigiTech Turbo Flange and DigiTech Digidelay to my guitar which is a Epiphone Les Paul Custom which installed Gibson 57 plus and Gibson 57 Humbucker’s into it. Now I have got a Boss supper shifter and a Boss noise suppressor and also a Boss loop station the RC-3. Just to use all my pedals with the loop station I had to go from my amp to the loop station then all my effects, it was exactly like going backwards from how I had my pedal board setup. Anyway I was just wandering if you had any pointers for me on were to place my pedals. Especially the super shifter, right now I have it after my compression. Please help me if you can?


  133. Thank you very much for an open minded and flexible perspective on effects, there are so many rigid opinions that it is difficult for the newbie to feel comfortable with the advice given, and to feel that there is ‘permission’ to experiment. 🙂

  134. I’m thinking of using an Ethos pedal as a pre-amp to replace my amp’s pre-amp section, essentially going Ethos to power-amp input jack. BUT…in order to get some chorus/delay in the chain, how about putting the Ethos in front of effects then going to power amp? Any thoughts…anyone try something like this? I’ve read that Carlton runs guitar to Dumble / speaker dry, mikes the speaker, runs that signal to a personal mixing board where effects are added and then ran back to powered JBL’s next to his Dumble speaker so he gets both in his ear.

  135. […] I like this guy's blog on setting up a pedal board. http://lespaulplayerdoctor.wordpress…ts-basics-101/ […]

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  137. Larry,

    I’m tweaking my pedal chain and would appreciate your input. I have the following: Behringer Tuner – Boss Fender Bassman Pedal – Guv’nor 2 – TS-808 – CoolCat Fuzz (in that order). I power them with a Voodoo Lounge Pedal Power 2 Plus. The Guv’nor is plugged into one of the Voodoo Lounge lower power ports.
    I like to use the Cool Cat Fuzz by itelf for the most part (with the Bassman Pedal and Cool Cat engaged – no TS-808 and/or Guv’nor).
    I have been using the TS-808 through the Guv’nor – only turning the TS-808 on for lead. (The Bassman Pedal is always on).
    I have a Peavey Classic 30 and only use the amp’s reverb – no other amp effects (except that I will occasionally turn off all the pedals (except the Bassman) and use the gain on the amp just for a different sound).
    My Question: What’s your take on this chain and the way I’m using the pedals; and is there anything you might do differently? Thanks!hink of that sequence?

  138. hie…m Arvin from INDIA i m a new guitarist and i want to make a pedalboard but i dont have much knowledge …soo plz help me how to make pedalboard and how many pedals need in the beginning …

  139. Hi, where in the chain would I place a clean volume boost pedal?

  140. Simon, I guess it would be useful to know what you are using the volume boost for? Is the signal from the instrument too weak to drive the effects? If you are using dirt (overdrive/distortion/fuzz) they will often boost the signal and I have them early in the chain.

    If the signal is OK for the board, then the boost sounds more like a pre-amp and might do better at the end fo the chain. JJ

  141. Hi Jazzy J,

    Clearly I am new to this sort of thing, as an old fashioned blues player I used to have my old valve amp volume set not at 10 because that is not always when the amp is at its loudest. If you have guitar volume set at max and then slowly start turning the amp volume up, I often find the valves get saturated and around the 8 to 9 setting, especially if the amp you are using is an old style one channel configuration with minimal tone adjustments. Thus for clean I roll the guitar volume down to about 5 for loud dirty solos I turn the guitar volume up depending on the mix. I honestly assumed the purpose a clean volume boost, was so that my solos could be heard through the mix without adding too much dirt or alteration to my original amp sound.

    Hope you can clarify matters where to put this pedal if I only need it to boost solos.

  142. HI Simon, I’m hoping someone else can ‘chip in’.but what it sounds like is the guitar is producing a nice clean signal, which you currently can reduce (tech term is attenuate) to prevent the amplifier from distorting. My feeling is that any signal boost is not going to help, as the amplifier can only deal with a certain amount of signal which you already seem to have reached… if you boost the signal further it will just ‘overdrive’ the amp…same as before. I suspect you need a bigger rig… But I hope someone else can give a view as well. All the best, JJ

  143. Where in the chain would you place an in line voice box & noise suppressor?

  144. Hi Jim, Since no one has jumped in… I would think noise suppression as early as possible in the chain straight after the instrument, so that your signal is a clean before anything else is done to it. Likewise with your harmonizer/voice-box, these voices can be built on and added to the clean signal after the noise suppressor allowing them to be created before adding effects which will alter.the signal. Cheers, JJ

  145. Thank you!!

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  147. I need help with my configuration,
    wah, vol, od, booster, noise supp, delay, wireless

  148. Hey Jrok, Any specific questions?

  149. help.. i bought blackstar LT distortion,blackstar LT overdrive, when i plug it to my ibanez guitar,sounds great but when i plug it in my squire stratocaster doesnt sound good.. does my squire have faulty pick ups?

  150. Hi, I came across this blog while searching for a solution to my problem.

    I currently have the following pedals and would like to know what is the best arrangement as I seem not satisfied with the tone I have at the moment;

    Boss TU3
    Boss DD7
    Boss CE5, Chorus Ensemble
    Boss CS3 Compressor / Sustainer
    Boss NS2 Noise Suppresor
    Boss FB2 Feedbacker /Booster
    Digitech DF7 (Distortion Factory)
    Digitech Grunge
    Metal Muff
    CHF Dime Crybaby / Wah
    Boss GT10 Multi Effects pedal

    I had the distortion pedals on send and return through the NS2.

    I am also using a Behringer Pedal board (PB 1000)

    Can you give me some suggestions on what is the best Set-up for the above. I also want to use my Boss GT10 as I need to use some of its unique patches. However, I do not know where to place the Boss GT10.

    Any help/suggestion is appreciated.

    BTW, I have a Fender Frontman 212 R amp.


  151. Just remember – Hendrix’ amp was NOT clean, so strictly speaking he had his wah before *and* after overdrive, the main difference being the amp distortion was not switchable and thus was always on.

    Always try your pedals in all orders, or get one of those Joyo looper pedals that will do it for you 🙂

  152. Hey Brother, great video and information is really useful! I’m wondering if the same rules apply let’s say for a Line 6 HD500 pedalboard? I’m having a hard time getting a great tone from there… I was able to make a couple of distorts but I think the clean sounds are just not getting there… any thoughts?

  153. […] Pedal board setup: Guitar Effects Basics 101, Q&A … – So my chain: Crybaby with True Bypass mod (CMATMODS) > Barber Tone Press (compressor)> Ernie Ball Volume pedal with Boss TU2 tuner in the tuner out>… […]

  154. Can you hook pedals together with out a board

  155. Hey Thomas, Yes you can. Usually people either make or buy a board to help keep everything together. Generally running pedals on batteries can be a pain and expensive. So often adding a power supply to the board is handy, I use a ‘1 Spot’ supply. Due to the cables between pedals, the board helps keep everything tidy, robust and easy to move around. But to make a basic one, all you need is some wood, a few screw, some strong Velcro and cable ties. Jonathan

  156. […] Pedal board setup: Guitar Effects Basics 101, Q&A … – I generally use these rules. My current chain (April ’08) is: 1) Crybaby wah to 2) CMATMODS Ross Compressor Clone, 3) Analogman Modded TS9 Overdrive, 4) … […]

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