What do you consider to be an effect pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Janforth, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Janforth

    Janforth Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    I have a I/O, Tuner, Noise Suppressor, Neve RNDI, ABY, all of which I don't consider to be an effect.

    Then I have a CAL Grizzly (for mild OD), and API Tranzformer LX preamp/compressor, both to help my tone sit better in the mix. I think of these two as sort of more like an amp sound to go to FOH, and not as effects.

    And a Micro Pog - definite effect.

    So... What do you consider to be an effect pedal?
  2. Moody Tuner

    Moody Tuner

    Jun 30, 2017
    There are utility pedals and effect pedals. The demarcation between them is obvious in most instances. But what do I know?
  3. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    If you step on it to turn it on or off it's a pedal.

    If it changes your sound in any way, its an effect.
  4. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    Something that affects your sound, making it diferent.
    alesreaper9, smogg, StayLow and 2 others like this.
  5. Janforth

    Janforth Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    I agree, these are all true. I know that I'm basically rationalizing.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Compressor/limiters straddle the line. Many of us attempt to use them transparently, same as recording studios -- "you don't know it's on until you turn it off" -- this usage is not an effect. Using a limiter to prevent transients from blowing your speakers or even overdriving your amp would not be an effect. Others deliberately use compression to change tone and dynamics (e.g. "squish") -- this would be an effect.

    One could argue that radical EQ usage is an effect -- most bass amps have the ability to dramatically reshape tone. I've done that before; wild processed tones can be fun for genres like metal, prog rock. Heck, dub bass tone could be considered an effect. But if you're playing a room with weird acoustics and you make some EQ tweaks to add punch or avoid boom, then I would not consider that an effect.

    P.S. As noted, effects don't have to be in pedal form.
  7. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    But, say you are on a ship at sea, and you engage your pedal just as you cross the international dateline, is it still in an effect?
  8. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I get it, but I’m not in. While I’m in alignment with the utility-effect distinction, I just don’t feel the need to attach labels to things. I mean, whether a tone shaper, compressor or mild OD pedal is an effect or utility doesn’t matter much to me. So, carrots. Of course, YMMV. Peace.
    alesreaper9, NOVAX and Moody Tuner like this.
  9. Perrygoround


    Jun 27, 2016
    Alien8 and Element Zero like this.
  10. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ

    I guess that quote could apply to effects pedals, too. :D
    monsterthompson likes this.
  11. ...and we have a winner! :thumbsup:
  12. Two basic classes for signal processing - dynamics and effects.

    Dynamics generally don’t add anything to the signal, just manipulate what’s there - gates, compressors, eq, wah, filters, (clean) boosts / gain etc.

    Effects provide more dramatic transformation and can introduce something new to the signal - reverbs, delays, phasers, chorus, octaves, distortions / overdrives, modulators, and so forth.

    You can definitely use dynamic processors as effects though.
  13. mobdirt

    mobdirt Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Knobs, switches, box - pedal
  14. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    If someone ever asked me how many pedals I had on my board, I always just counted everything on there. But there have been some straight and plain and very good definitions given here already. Effect- it effects/changes your tone/sound. a pedal is something that is more utilitarian. It can help aid you in preforming tasks and actions easier and quicker on a stage or in the studio.

    This also explains why Juan A's channel is called "Pedals and Effects" as opposed to just "effect" or "pedals". I see the light!!! haha
    Roberto Nunez and Janforth like this.
  15. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    So how many pedals does an Ms60b count as?
    andruca likes this.
  16. My delay def, my fuzz is pretty extreme so maybe the fuzz. The shure glxd (wireless/tuner) no, the Darkglass Alpha Omega I consider more like my dirty channel. I use an Avalon u5 and love it’s clean tone with the Warwick.
    2755F6EB-4094-412E-85F0-8BD38A8B071C.jpeg E024E557-3F73-4162-AB05-74DE56A2BAB9.jpeg
    hisdudeness and Janforth like this.
  17. Max Blasto

    Max Blasto

    Nov 29, 2010
    San Diego
    An effect alters your signal a little or a lot or anything in between.

    A pedal is a piece of equipment you activate with your feet.

    I hope that helps.
  18. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    There are:
    A) Effects.
    B) Signal processors.

    For me, an 'always on' pedal is not an effect. A flanger or phaser better fits that definition.
    Janforth likes this.
  19. What if my always-on pedal is a flanger?

    Is it then relegated to merely "signal processor" status?
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Thought about trying to answer, but what's the point? Call them whatever you wish.
    Stevorebob and Janforth like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 30, 2021

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