Multi-Effects Processors for Your Guitar

By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell, Hal Leonard Corporation

Individual pedals are a great convenience because they enable you to buy effects one at a time and use them in a modular fashion — you can choose to include them in your chain or not, and you can rearrange their order to create different effects. But many guitarists opt for a multi-effects processor, which puts all the individual effects into one housing.

Multi-effects processors are programmable, meaning that you can store different settings in the effects and recall them with the tap of a foot. Multi-effects processors, like individual pedals, also offer a modular approach to effect ordering, although they accomplish this electronically rather than physically.

Generally, a multi-effects processor can do anything that individual pedals do, so most guitarists who use a lot of effects eventually buy one. You can still use your individual pedals, too, by hooking them up with the multi-effects processor.

Most guitarists still keep their individual pedals even after acquiring a multi-effects processor, because the individual pedals are small, simple to operate and convenient. A guitarist may not want to lug the larger, more cumbersome multi-effects processor to a casual jam session when he needs only one or two effects. The price range for guitar multi-effects processors is $120 to $1,500. They can be found in a variety of sizes, including ones that come as apps for a smartphone or other mobile device.