We all love our effects pedals. The way they alter our tones and transfer us to the parallel universe often awakens our creative juices and lets them flow interminably. We spend hours and days perfecting our sound. What if there was a pedal that could make that process easier, a device that would let us take control and be pros at our music? I have a good news, my friend, there is one and it is called an expression pedal. This little unit will let you master all the parameters of your beloved effects without little to no effort. It will make sure that your every desire is satisfied, will read your mind and act accordingly. Gather up control-freaks of the universe and let’s figure out together, which one deserves the name of the best expression pedal on the market.
Top 5 Best Expression Pedals
|Mission Engineering Inc EP-1 Expression Pedal||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Line 6 EX-1 Expression Pedal||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Valeton EP-2 Passive Volume Expression Guitar Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Moog EP3 Expression Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
Expression pedals and their purpose
Let’s be honest – expression pedals fall into the category of overlooked units. Even though they are utterly beneficial and can assist you a great deal on stage, many consider them as useless and a waste of money. Why, you might wonder. Well, since they do not alter your tone or add any effect to it, the changes they make are less audible. Think of an expression pedal as a knob in the form of a stompbox. They give you a lot of control and allow you to shape your tone on the fly, without having to reach for the switches all the time. This guarantees hands-free operation and saves you from additional headaches on stage. In order to grasp the concept of these pedals, I will discuss their utilization and features in-depth and try to underline their importance as well.
Let me start off by saying that expression and volume pedals are not the same. At first glance, they might seem similar, but at core they do different things. Volume pedals solely control the level, while expression pedals can be used to modify any desired parameter. These two can be combined in a single unit, but that is a different story. As individual stompboxes, these two are far cry from each other.
Now, there are two basic types of expression pedals: passive and active. As with wahs, passive ones rely on potentiometers and do not require any additional power supply. This will save you from tangled cables and batteries. One drawback of passive units can be the fact that they might suck your tone a bit, but it still depends on the brand and the model. As for active pedals, you will need to mess with power to activate them. However, the chance of interfering with the strength of your signal is pretty low in this case. Fortunately, we are lucky enough to have an abundance of both types on the market. You can try each of them with your instrument to find out what is the best fit. Your music and techniques will define your choice as well.
Last but not least, there are several features that you should look out for when purchasing an expression pedal. Even though it is generally a one-trick pony with the mere mission of giving you additional control, certain units of this ilk have additional functions. Some expression pedals offer volume and polarity knobs. I will not be a broken record and will not start mumbling about the volume knob. I am sure you know quite well what they do. The polarity switch is where things get a bit more interesting. This is a little addition that makes your pedal compatible with others and makes sure that everything operates smoothly. After all, nobody wants to ruin their performance with a device that does not really like other members of the family. The other feature that you will come across with is the volume pedal functionality. This means that you will have two units in one. Could things get any better? I do not think so.
And we have made it to the end. If you have read this article carefully, you know what to pick up the next time you shop for an expression pedal. If you are still skeptical about this device, I will give you some time to contemplate. Sooner or later you will fall in love with the taste of extra control will not think twice about purchasing the best expression pedal. For now, I will consider my mission complete. Hopefully, I have given you all the information you needed. And one last piece of advice from me: be open to adventures and devices that make unimaginable things happen. Good luck!