Tone Report Weekly Issue 115 - Page 25

Pedals and Processors: Order Out of Chaos I’d like to start by stating that rules are made to be broken. There is no such thing as “correct” effects routing. Some of the coolest tones ever laid to tape or DAW have been the result of either happy accidents, or deliberate deviation from “normal” effects routing. However, if one is new to the world of pedals and racks, this feature should lay down the general logical law and lay of the land, so one can make his or her own decision on whether to fall in line, rock the boat or just plain create chaos. I encourage all of the above, but it is good to know the general rules before breaking them; it makes the ripe taste of deviance all the sweeter. I remember when I was a boy and I got my first bow and arrow. My dad said straight away, “whatever you do, don’t shoot it straight up in the air.” Of course, the first thing I did was release the arrow straight up into the sun. After what seemed like minutes later, my grandma comes pulling up the driveway in her big brown Volvo, only to be greeted by a descending bolt of doom that penetrated straight through the headlight and through the metal to the fletching. Fortunately, in the world of guitar effects, the consequences of aiming high and releasing with reckless abandon are far less dire. Let us learn the general order of things and then create a little chaos. Frequency Shapers, Compressors, Fuzzes, Boosts and Overdrives Generally speaking, I like to run wahs and envelope filters before everything else on the pedalboard. I like to shape the core clean guitar input signal before anything else processes it. The logic here is that I am, as a human being, the start of the signal chain. My hands and feet provide the physical inertia that feeds into the chain reaction. Envelope filters respond to touch sensitivity, so it is important to me to have no barriers or translators between them and the fingers. The same goes for compressors or any other touchsensitive tone device. This logic can make decisions about routing for me. 25