Category Archives: Effects

How To Chain FX

Rule Number 1 — There are No Rules

BOSS effects pedals

Free BOSS mobile phone wallpaper—choose from 10.

So you decided to play electric guitar. Once you get a guitar and an amp, the next step is to explore effects. Effects pedals can be separated into groups based on their functions. Understanding the different pedal groups is the key to getting the best sound when chaining them together. The largest pedal group is probably overdrives and distortions, and BOSS currently makes 16 different pedals in this category. For our example pedal board, we’ll pick the ST-2 Power Stack. Another category with many choices ismodulation.These are effects like flanger, phaser, chorus, tremolo, and others. Let’s use the most versatile of these—the BF-3 Flanger. Another group is ambience effects, such as delays and reverbs. We’ll use one of each: a DD-7 Digital Delay and the FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb.

There are some pedal effects that can add notes or alter the pitch of what you’re playing. For want of a more esoteric name, we’ll call these “pitch-altering” pedals. From this category, let’s throw in a BOSS OC-3 Octave. BOSS also has a few

BOSS ST-2 Power Stack guitar effects pedalpedals that make your instrument sound like some other instrument. The AC-3 Acoustic Simulator will do the job. Some effects change your sound with filtering. This effect type can be used in different places in the signal path, so we’ll use the GE-7 Graphic EQ. A few BOSS effects defy categorization, but are nevertheless very useful in any signal path. The most common of these is the CS-3 Compression/Sustainer. Loopers fall into this category also, so let’s add an RC-3 Loop Station to the mix. And you might want the NS-2 Noise Suppressor to kill the noise in your rig, so let’s add that in, too. What about a tuner? The TU-3 is the most popular pedal tuner in the world.

So, where does each pedal go in the signal path? Here are some tips to keep in mind before you start plugging pedals together:

How to Chain Your Guitar Effects Pedals – Part 2

Rule 1—There are no rules. The sound you’re after might not be made by what we could call the appropriate or logical signal path, but that’s not always the issue. The issue is this: what does it sound like? If it makes the sound you’re after, then it’s rightalthough, you may have to do something about the noise. Traditional pedal board arrangements were designed for certain reasons, and keeping the noise down is one biggie. Following the principles of how sound is made in physical space is another (see Rule 4 coming up). But the final choice is yours. As a very wise man said: if it works, don’t fix it.

Rule 2—Some pedal types work better in certain parts of the signal path than in others. Octave pedals or tuners, for example, don’t work as well with a distorted signal as with an undistorted signal, so they should be placed before the distortion.

Rule 3—Noise can be a problem, particularly with high-gain distortion sounds. Pedals that can add volume—such as compressors, wahs, EQs, and overdrive/distortions—will also amplify any noise created by the effects placed before them.

Rule 4—Taking sound-making devices like stompbox pedals out of the equation, there’s an order to the way sounds naturally occur in physical space. For example, guitar amp distortion is made in physical space by turning an amp up enough to cause its circuits to overload, and any echo you might hear happens after the distorted sound hits walls or ceilings and bounces back to your ears. Therefore, logic says that your reverb and/or delay pedals should be last in the signal path, since that is how the sounds they produce actually occur in three-dimensional space.

BOSS pedal board signal flow

In keeping with these rules—okay, they aren’t really rules, so let’s compromise and call them “guidelines”—here are some essential concepts for lining your pedals up:

  • Pedals that amplify or add noise should go near the beginning of the signal path. This includes overdrive/distortion effects, compressors, and wah pedals. If they’re later in the signal path, they will amplify the noise of everything before them, which can be difficult to control.
  • Pedals that produce tone go before things that modify tone. This is logical, because you want to create your basic sound first, then tweak it with some kind of modifying effect. For example, this means that overdrives go before chorus effects.
  • Pedals that create ambience go last. This goes back to the “how does sound actually occur in physical space” idea. So, delay and reverb should go after all other effects.

We will continue this conversation soon. In the meantime, click on the image below to experience BOSS effects connected to each other.

JamUp XT Review


JamUp XT Review

Post Image

Hallo guitar fans. This month I am presenting JamUp XT Pro iOS app developed by Positive Grid. This is not only one of the best guitar amp simulators out there in my own opinion, it is much more than that.








JamUp XT review by Daddo Oreskovich


Some time ago, with the appearance of the first iOS apps for guitarists, iPad, iPod, or iPhone were merely a tool for great practice, warm-up or hotel room jam. Android is still not even close to iOS because of its latency issue.

I remember almost two years ago when I bought my iRig audio interface. I downloaded free AmpliTube app and I was amazed with an opportunity to practice virtually anywhere without harassing my neighbors with Progressive Metal and Rock music by turning my amp and the full gear on 🙂 The sounds were decent and the app served its purpose -> to be used as a practice tool.

jamup xt pro


After I found out about JamUp, honestly, I thought this is just one of the many variations of the same thing. I was so wrong 🙂 It is not only the perfect practice tool, it is truly every guitarist’s “Swiss army knife” app. All magazines like: MacWorld, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitarist and Premier Guitar were reviewing the app with high appraisals, introducing the best seen symbiosis of Apple iOS and actual musical instrument.

What is JamUp? It is guitar amp and FX simulator, multi track recording device, loop/phrase sampler, guitar tuner and professional backing track player with tempo and pitch tweak possibility. What makes possible using this app live is ability of pairing with a third party MIDI controller pedals.

Amp simulators

jamup xt pro

Virtually almost every amp is emulated here; Fender, Marshall, Messa Boogie, Orange, Peavy, Laney are just to name a few. Regardless of what version of JamUp you downloaded (free or pro version), all additional amps and stomp boxes can be obtained through the “in app purchase”. There are 3 categories of amps: acoustic, electric and bass guitar amps.


Stomp boxes

jamup xt pro

There are 6 stomp box groups in JamUp:

  • nosie gate FX
  • modulation FX (chorus, flanger, wah, phaser…)
  • reverb FX
  • delay FX
  • EQ
  • Compression and overdrive/distortion group

All effects and amps can be moved in the signal chain order. For example, you can drag the Tube Screamer stomp to be the first in the signal chain, Noise Gate on the last spot, etc… like the “real-world” pedalboard. All parameters are very easy and straightforward. Just use your imagination and tailor to your taste. All settings can be configured as a “patch”. There are 4×16 patch slots including factory presets. Each slot and patch name can be renamed of course.


Jam Player

jamup xt pro

Jam player is professional grade audio file player. You can import your favorite guitar backing tracks and regulate their tempo and speed. This comes very handy if you have string lock on your guitar and the backing track is half step down for instance. Just raise the pitch parameter half step up to “1 o’clock”  and you can jam without retuning your instrument. Very cool. This is also great aid for singers. Not every male singer has a vocal range of David Coverdale or Bruce Dickinson, so backing track pitch comes very handy -> great karaoke player as well 🙂

If you are “one-man-band “, it is great to control both your guitar sound and backing track in the same app, without a need for a separate CD/Karaoke player. Both volumes (guitar and backing track) are controlled separately.


Phrase sampler

jamup xt pro

Let’s say you are on a guitar clinic or you have your guitar solo section on the gig. You can record and loop a phrase, and then play over it. You can also load a drum loop from your iPod library and jam with it and also save it for later exploit. Loop and instrument levels are controlled separately.


8-track recorder

jamup xt pro

One of the best tools in JamUp. I use it frequently when filming lessons for Live4guitar. I record video on the HD camcorder, I play backing track on iPad and record live guitar track on iPad. This eliminates dragging the computer to the best spot in my apartment for video recording.

Lets say you have your ProTools or any DAW session. You can export each track and the drums stem, and import into 8-track recorder for better control. You can also copy audio file from another app such as Garage Band as well. You can also record your guitar or bass in another app on the same iDevice using “Audio Bus” app. I briefly explain it how in the review video.

Many, many possibilities and options. This is why I claim JamUp to be the “Swiss Army Knife” music app.

Tone/Patch sharing

jamup xt pro

This is one of the unique features in JamUp. You can share your patches on-line with JamUp community. People can like or comment your patch.

I am truly honored to be chosen by Positive Grid as their featured artist. You can download and jam with my signature “Preset Pack“. More about my Preset Pack in this video:



Using JamUp live

jamup xt pro - controler

There are vast possibilities of connecting your guitar to JamUp and your iDevice to your pedal board. I am using Griffin pedal controller with JamUp. You can configure 4 different stomp switches from the app. This controller also has an expression pedal input, so you can control volume and Cry Baby wah. At the time of this writing, Positive Grid is developing emulation of Digitech Whammy so stay tuned for that one 🙂 There are many different third party external MIDI pedals that can be used with JamUp. For complete list visit 

In the next video, I’m showing my Griffin controller and talking about my hybrid pedalboard in details.



The Verdict

I am giving JamUp 10/10 points. This is universal “guitar Swiss army knife app” for every guitarist and bassist. It can very astoundingly emulate all vintage amps and stomp effects. It can be used for making music, recording and sharing the ideas and patches. It can be used as a source of recording in other apps via “Audio Bus” app, so you can use JamUp sounds in Apple Garage Band for instance. With third party MIDI controllers, it can be used live on stage.

What else one needs? It’s all in there, in iOS app called JamUp XT.

Download free version and see it for yourself. Here is direct iTunes link:


(by Daddo Oreskovich in Reviews | 08. 06. 2013.)

Gig FX Megawah Stereo Multi-Wah Pedal


One of the best wah these days is the Gig FX Megawah. Not only a wah, but it has also five other features.

Product Description

The Gig FX Megawah is much more than great-sounding classic wah. You can adjust the gain, resonance peak, bass response and trigger sensitivity to produce the ultimate in wah sounds. And with two independent channels, you can run your signal in stereo for one-of-a-kind wah sounds.

The Megawah is Six Wah’s plus a volume pedal
– Classic Wah: The original analog classic Wah sound, mono or STEREO in a lightweight, noise-free optically controlled package
– Mega-Wah: Gig FX took the classsic wah and put it on steroids. Tons more OOOMPH on the bass frequencies and a tooth-rattling upper end
– Trig-Wah: The Mega-Wah sound triggered by a note. Sounds awesomely funky
– Auto-wah: Auto-wah: Why buy a pedal wah, envelope filter and auto-wah? This…pedal does them all
– Stereo-Wah: Two circuits give twice the Wah and can be used in a stereo effects train
– Stereo-Reverse-Wah: Flick a switch and reverse one channel for a neat melodic effect
– Foot-volume control: At the flick of another switch, the pedal becomes a foot volume control

Fed up with trying to master the wah pedal? Turn it on auto-wah and set the tempo as you wish. Don’t want to be limited by tempo and want every note to be wah’d? Set it to trig-wah and every note will trigger a wah so you can fire your synth player.

Then you can switch it to become a volume pedal. Keep pressing and it adds up to 3dB of clean gain. Even the cleanest amp will start to rip and burn (with no loss of frequency response that distortion pedals give).

Bored with all that? Hook it up in stereo and switch to reverse the wah on one side…CHECK IT OUT. This is no ordinary wah. It is the ultimate in wah and volume / gain pedal technology.

For the most extreme wah tone ever, plug the output of the left channel into the input of the right channel and hear the most extreme wah sounds on the planet.

How it works
The Megawah has two entirely independent Wah circuits in one package giving stereo in, stereo out capability. The effect also will accept a mono input signal automatically provide a stereo output. If the pedal is stepped on and rocked from the off position (all the way back), the optical linkage will automatically and noiselessly turn the unit on and then provide the classic wah or wah of choice as pedal is pressed down. The resonance control allows adjustment of the peak value of the wah determining how much wah range the pedal provides. The gain control allows control over how much gain the pedal provides to allow soloing at higher volume levels.


(Author: zZounds)

Morley BPA 25/50 Bigfoot

It you ever thought that it’s impossible to integrate a complete amp in a stompbox. Well Morley did it in the late 70s: Morley BPA 25/50 Bigfoot. An amplifier with a power of 40 watts.
On the left side you will find the volume, treble and bass knob.
The foot switch is the master volume that responds fairly accurately.
Left of the footswitch you find the treble booster. Right is the bass booster built.

You plug on the right side of your guitar. You can also find the output where you speaker (cabinet) on can aanlsuiten directly. Furthermore, the pedal also an output to plug. Directly into a mixer

In the past, I even have my headphones connected to it.
If the amplifier is too warm for a longer period of time, then there will be a light bulb as a warning.

A wonderful piece of nostalgia, I’ve found after years of searching again back.

Rocktron Banshee 2 Talkbox

De meeste gitaristen kennen het talk box effect. Denk aan nummers als ‘Show me the way’ van Peter Frampton (Peter Frampton – Show Me The Way), ‘Sweet Emotion’ van Aerosmith, ‘Livin’on a Prayer’ of ‘It’s my Live’ van Bon Jovi of wellicht ‘Delilah’ van Queen.

Het effect wordt bediend door met een slangetje in je mond. Wat er gebeurt is dat het effect de signalen die door het slangetje binnenkomen, vertaalt naar de frequenties van het gitaargeluid. Door te praten of te zingen in het slangetje verander je voortdurend de frequenties instellingen van het geluid. Het werkt hetzelfde als een equalizer, met dat verschil dat de instelling van de equalizer als het ware dynamisch veranderen door de geluiden die met de mond in het slangetje gemaakt worden. Daarom heet het ook een talk box. Je ‘praat’ met de ‘box’.





A Guitarist’s Guide to Effects

How to Categorize and Order the Boxes in Your Signal Chain

Most guitarists have an intuitive sense as to where basic effects should go in their signal chain. If you have two pedals, a distortion unit and a digital delay, you would naturally put the distortion before the delay (the guitar goes into the distortion, the distortion into the delay, and the delay into the amp). But the more pedals you use, the trickier it gets, and some truly bizarre gizmos—like a digital whammy pedal—might put you at a loss to explain just why effects go where they do relative to others in the chain.

Additionally some processors (such as EQs and reverbs) can go in different places in the chain, depending on the desired effect. And in one very famous example, the debate is still raging about whether the wah-wah goes before or after the distortion (Hendrix put his before, though conventional wisdom says the wah should follow).

Now, you might be thinking, “Gee I know in which order the basic pedals should go, but I guess I don’t really know why.”

Before we discuss which categories of effects go where they do in the chain, take this pop quiz (I hear you groan) to determine your effect-ordering mettle. Order the effects below from 1 to 10, with 1 being the first effect the guitar plugs into, and 10 being the effect whose output goes into the amp. Place letters next to the numbered slots to indicate which effect goes the proper order. No text-messaging among yourselves for hints.


1. __    A. EQ
2. __    B. Distortion
3. __    C. Chorus/Flanger
4. __    D. Noise Gate
5. __    E. Digital Reverb
6. __    F. Volume Pedal
7. __    G. Preamp
8. __    H. Compressor
9. __     I. Delay
10.__   J. Wah-wah Pedal

Here are the answers, showing the “correct” order of the 10 effects above: 1) G, Preamp; 2) H, Compressor; 3) B, Distortion; 4) J, Wah-wah pedal; 5) C, Chorus/Flanger; 6) I, Delay; 7) A, EQ; 8) D, Noise Gate; 9) F, Volume Pedal; 10) E, Digital Reverb.

Don’t deduct any points if you had the delay before the chorus/flanger; that one’s a toss-up. Also acceptable is to put the EQ just after the compressor. And really, the EQ in any signal chain is sort of a “free space,” so it can go almost anywhere.

If you got more than four effects out of order, or if you realized in taking this quiz that you just got lucky with the placement, it may help to break the above effects into categories and then explore why certain categories come before others in a signal chain. Roughly speaking, I name the categories as follows, in the order that the guitar signal encounters them:

  • Signal Conditioners
  • Time-Based Effects
  • Ambient Processors
  • Other Effects

Here’s what’s included in each main category:


Signal Conditioners. These include all gain-based and EQ-based effects. Conditioners don’t set out to change the basic nature of a sound, except to increase the gain, either in the signal’s entirety (preamps) or selectively (by frequency band, as in an EQ).


Preamps listen to the signal and boost it as faithfully as possible with as little coloring as possible—unless in the process of preamping the tone is changed naturally (as happens when, say, tube-based preamps are run hot). Usually preamps have EQ and other controls, preamps go first in the chain so they can receive a signal with the highest possible integrity, even if their purpose is to create a distorted sound.


Compressors reduce the dynamic range of a signal by attenuating levels that exceed a certain, defined point (called threshold). Guitarists often use compressors to increase sustain, but that’s sort of an “overuse” of the effect—though it sounds great!


The primary design of a compressor is to deliver a consistent, predictable level without significantly altering the signal’s tone. But with heavy compression, some high-frequency content is lost, which you can put back in with EQ (either on the compressor itself or with an outboard effect).


Distortion. It may be hard to imagine your Blues Driver (shown in Fig. 1) as a “mere signal conditioner,” because its effect is so dramatic. However, technically, its influence is limited to the gain stage of the signal. In other words, it doesn’t set out to change the signal, it just pushes its gain past the breaking point of the circuitry’s ability to reproduce it faithfully.


EQ, also known as equalizers, can also be though of as gain boosters, except that they apply their boosting to only a portion of the signal, defined by frequency or frequency range.


Graphic EQs are used for broad-band applications, while parametrics can be dialed in to very specific ranges (usually defined by parts of an octave), and even to a single frequency. Except in “severe” cases, like a wah-wah pedal and a phase shifter, EQs don’t dramatically change a signal’s overall sound, and are often used fore corrective measures (to rectify a frequency-reproducing deficiency in another component).


Wah-Wah pedals are active EQ circuits whose range is varied by means of a foot pedal. They apply a resonant-frequency peak that sweeps through the high-mid region (around 500 Hz—2 kHz), emulating somewhat the sound of a human voice.


BD2-0.jpgFig. 1: The Blues Driver is a distortion device, and therefore  goes right after a preamp or a compressor.


You can use a wah many ways: as a slowly opening and closing filter over a soaring lead solo; as the wacka-wacka disco effect popularized in the ’70s accomplished by rocking the pedal while strumming muted strings; as a gently undulating modulation effect; or as a filter, with the treadle held in a fixed position. An envelope-followed filter (called “envelope filter” or “envelope follower” and shown in Fig. 2) is an electronic touch-sensitive wah (play soft and it goes wohl, play hard and it goes whack), and so should go in place of or adjacent to the wah.


Fig. 2: This FX 25B from DOD is an envelope filter, or electronic  wah, and should be treated as a wah-wah pedal in terms of placement.


Wahs would typically go after gain boosters, but Jimi Hendrix put his first, so there’s a classic example of someone whose music wasn’t hurt by not following the rules. A wah is one example of an effect that some recording guitarists will use on a “re-amped” or previously recorded clean track. (For more on re-amping, check out Craig Anderton’s in-depth article “Re-Amping Basics for Guitar.”)


Tip: If you’re recording—and your foot-rockin’ chops are not up to snuff—consider recording a track of un-wahed guitar, then play back the track through the wah (focusing your efforts on just the wah—you can even use your hands) and record onto a new track.




A surprising amount of sonic variety comes from effects that alter a signal using time distortion. Time-based effects, by definition, combine the original signal with a time-manipulated version, and that’s why these effects work well in an amp’s parallel loop or from a mixer’s aux send jack.


You always want a portion of the original signal in the equation. Time-based effects take the original signal, sample it (through digital recording), stagger it in time, and combine it somehow with the original. You might not think of the swimmy chorus sound as being related to loop recording a la Brian May, but they’re two ends of the same spectrum.


Choruses/Flangers are interchangeable as far as effect-ordering. You probably wouldn’t use them both at the same time in orthodox situations. Chorus is the more subtle of the two effects, usually consisting of a delay of 1-50 milliseconds, and is often used in stereo. Flangers, like the one shown in Fig. 3, are more dramatic, whooshy and vintage sounding. Put these after signal conditioners but before the delay and reverb.


Fig. 3: Flangers and choruses are time-based effects and go after  gain-based effects.



Pitch Shifters are sometimes referred to generically as “harmonizers,” but that’s actually a trademark name under Eventide’s control. A pitch shifter actually takes the second signal and defuses it slightly in increments of cents (hundredths of a semitone). Mild pitch shift settings yield chorus-like effects; drastic ones come in the form of musical intervals, like 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths. Intelligent pitch shifters will alter an interval to fit a certain key or scale, so you can play in harmony with yourself (like the twin-guitar leads of classic southern rock bands).


Delay. With the advent of digital reverb, it’s important to distinguish delay as a rather artificial effect compared to the more natural-sounding echo that reverb produces. Delay is a discrete, or separate, repeat of the original signal at a specified interval (in milliseconds) after the original. Delay yields a spacious sound when used with times higher than 100 milliseconds or so. Settings of about 125 and above produce “slapback,” a popular rockabilly effect, and longer times (around 300 ms) yield a soaring, cavernous sound.


Also included on a delay unit are Feedback (how many times the effected signal is fed into the delay channel), Modulation (a filter sweep that adds a chorus-like sound), and, on a stereo delay, panning controls for a “ping-pong” effect. A delay goes at the very end of the chain, just before the reverb, unless it’s substituting for a reverb, in which case it goes last.




When used conventionally, reverb and delay (which serves double-duty as a time-based effect, described in the previous section) act as ambient effects, and so are placed at the very end of the chain. (Some pedals, like the RV-3 in Fig. 4, combine delay and reverb.) The reasoning is that this is the most natural way we hear sound-in an environment which these effects are simulating. It doesn’t make as much sense to add swirly chorus onto the tail of a long reverb as it does to add reverb to a chorused sound. If special effects are required, though—notably a rhythmic repeat in the delay or a gated reverb a la the Phil Collins snare sound—these units can be placed further up the chain.


  Fig. 4: This RV-3 combines delay and reverb, and so should be   used  as an ambient effect—going after the modulation effects.


Tip: If you’re using reverb as a studio sideman, you must clear it with the recording engineer, in case he has his own plans for ambient treatment.


If you are recording yourself, try to add reverb at the midtown stage, as you may change your mind about the ambient treatment once all the instruments are in place in the mix. “Printing,” or recording, with effects can’t be undone once it’s on tape.


When recording, guitarists like to hear reverb to get the right feel, and most mixers allow you to “monitor” effects without printing them, which means you hear them through the headphones or speakers, but they don’t go to tape. If you have only one reverb unit but need to use two reverb programs simultaneously (e.g., small room on rhythm guitar, large hall on lead solo), you may have to print with effects when tracking.


There are other effects that may not fall neatly into one of the above categories, but we can at least place them in the chain. A phase shifter sounds a lot like a flanger, but is really more of an EQ-based effect than a time-based one. Nevertheless, it should go where flangers, choruses, and pitch shifters go—after signal conditioners and true EQ-based effects.


Octavers, or octave dividers (shown in Fig. 5), behave like doublers, except that the doubled signal is usually one or two (or both at once) octaves up or down.


An octave effect can be achieved with a pitch shifter, so put your octaver in the vicinity of other time-based effects. Exciters, such as the BBE Sonic Stomp, are EQ-based devices that are intended to sparkle up an entire sound, so put those at the end (but before the reverb to preserve the natural EQ roll-off effect programmed into a reverb’s algorithm).


Fig. 5: An octave divider was a favorite effect of Jimi Hendrix. It’s a popular way to fatten up single-line solo passages.


Tip: If you use heavy effects, though, exciters can sometimes sound too “steely” if placed after the time-based effects, because they interact with the chorused frequencies rather than the raw signal’s. If that’s the case move your exciter up front.


Noise Gates (or a “noise suppressor,” as the unit in Fig. 6 is called) are designed to shut down the audio path until a certain level is achieved. This keeps noisy guitars from buzzing through quiet or silent passages. These typically go just before the reverb, because you want your guitar signal to cut off while the last ring-out of the reverb is still trailing away. Placing the noise gate after the reverb might cause an unnatural shoop sound as the gate slams the audio path shut during the reverb tail. But again, you could use this unorthodox sound to your advantage. Phil Collins did it in the ’80s with his snare sound, and rap and hip-hop used it a generation later.


  Fig. 6: A noise gate, or noise suppressor, should come just before the reverb (if you have one in your chain) so that it can cut off the guitar signal but leave the reverb tail intact for a natural sound.




Figure 7 shows a typical setup of a few effects. This is an actual  promotional photo of a Boss multi-effects pedalboard. Note that  compressor and distortion appear first, and the time-based effects  appear last. In this setup, the EQ is in the middle, which shows that an  EQ can go anywhere. It’s the universal effects ambassador.


Fig. 7: This all-Boss-configured pedalboard shows gain-based, modulation, and time-based/ambient effects in the proper order. The EQ (in the middle here) can go almost anywhere in the chain.


A more comprehensive approach to effects is shown in the schematic treatment of Fig. 8. This is also the 10 effects featured in the quiz at the beginning of this article. Often you wouldn’t have two similar effects on simultaneously, but you might want to have them both available, so you can have both of them in the chain and swap their order without making a difference. Keep in mind, though, that placing all your effects inline, even when they aren’t active, can degrade your signal significantly—especially with stompboxes that don’t feature a hardwire bybass—so using a switcher (the employs a star network model, rather than a daisy chain, as an inline setup does) is worth investigating.


  Fig. 8: A schematic of the proper ordering of numerous effects of different types. This is the diagram of the answers to the quiz in the first part of the article. The dotted line shows that it’s okay to put the wah in front of the distortion (thanks to Jimi).




And as Jimi Hendrix showed us, you don’t always have to follow the rules. You can’t hurt anything electronically, and the suggested method only tries to protect the integrity of the original signal. But try out the “right” way first, and then proceed to mix and match your effects until you achieve the desired results—which may have nothing to do with preserving the signal.


(Written by By Jon Chappell at