The music industry is always moving forward and developing in countless ways. There was the time when only analog pedals were available, later on they were substituted with the digital ones and now the individual stompboxes are replaced with multi-effects pedals. They are becoming more and more ubiquitous and are convincing many guitar virtuosos to give them a shot. Multi-effects pedals can vary in shapes and sizes, the features they offer and the sound they produce. But they all have one thing in common: they are extremely versatile. The quest of finding the best multi-effects pedal can be filled with different obstacles, that is why we decided to make everything easier for you. This article contains the list of the best deals on the market and will help you choose the unit of your dreams. Keep on reading and figure out, what makes up the best multi-effects pedal.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Best Multi Effects Pedals
- 1.1 TC Electronic G-System Guitar Effects/Management System
- 1.2 Line 6 POD HD500X Guitar Multi-Effects Processor
- 1.3 Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth with GK-3 Pickup
- 1.4 Boss GT-100 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal
- 1.5 Zoom G5n Multi-Effects Processor
- 1.6 DigiTech RP1000 Integrated-Effects Switching System
- 1.7 Boss ME-25 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal
- 1.8 Line 6 Helix LT Guitar Multi-Effects Processor
- 1.9 Vox Stomplab IIG 2G Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal with Expression
- 1.10 Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal
- 2 Conclusion
Top 10 Best Multi Effects Pedals
|1||TC Electronic G-System Guitar Effects/Management System||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|2||Line 6 POD HD500X Guitar Multi-Effects Processor||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|3||Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth with GK-3 Pickup||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|4||Boss GT-100 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|5||Zoom G5n Multi-Effects Processor||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|6||DigiTech RP1000 Integrated-Effects Switching System||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|7||Boss ME-25 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|8||Line 6 Helix LT Guitar Multi-Effects Processor||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|9||Vox Stomplab IIG 2G Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal with Expression||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|10||Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
What the hell is a multi-effects pedal after all?
If you have been into audio effects for a while now, you probably already know how messy those pedals can be. You keep buying the units of your desire and connecting them to your setup. These creates a huge tangled ball of cables and makes it hard to grasp what is what. What if you could avoid this fuss with a single device? I am pretty sure you would rush out to purchase one. If so, I have a good news, my friend, such device already exists and it is called a multi-effects processor. To put it simply, it combines a number of effects and gives you the opportunity to have everything in place. It delivers the sounds you love in a single unit and allows you to be as versatile as possible.
A multi-effects pedal will be your best friend if you still have not figured out what effects suit your style. In the process of experimenting it is important to have all options laid out on the surface. This device does exactly that. You can choose between distortions, overdrives, reverbs, delays, tremolos, vibratos, choruses, pitch shifters and basically all the existing effects with just a twist of the knob or the press of a button. Multi-effects processors are relatively easy to use and give you everything you need. Plus, most of them are equipped with some additional features (more on that later) that eliminate the need to invest in various pedals.
The best thing about the multi-effects pedals is that they can emulate your beloved sounds. The majority of the models listed above can simulate those well-known classics. Not only that, but they can also be packed with amp variations, which means you can get the sound of a Marshall amp without investing in the unit itself. This makes multi-effects pedals worth the money and turns them into must-have devices.
The features that make up the best multi-effects pedal
It is always a bit hard to talk about the features of the best multi effects pedal. As much as we all have different requirements, the set of features that would be enough for me might be too rudimentary for you. However, there are some basics that even the simplest pedal should follow. Let’s discuss some of them together and figure out which features you will need in your multi-effects pedal.
- Audio Effects
This is probably the most obvious one. The core reason why you are even considering splurging on the multi-effects pedal is the effects. Now, this is the case where number does not matter, because, in most cases, you would not need 100 effects in your performance. Plus, some of them might not even be suitable for your genre. However, the more effects you have, the more versatile sound you can create. It might sound like I am contradicting myself, but I am just saying that the number of effects should not be the determining factor here. For instance, you should not choose a pedal that has 100 effects over something that has 80. The main thing is the range of effects a unit can provide. You should know what you are looking for and make your decision accordingly. You might want something that has distortions and delays, or you might be looking for the unit that also offers reverbs and choruses. One way or another, it is crucially important to know what effects this type of device offers.
- Amp Simulation
The majority of the multi-effects pedals offer amp simulation. This once again adds up to the versatility of the device and gives you a wide range of sonic possibilities. The ability to deliver the sounds of your favorite amp no matter what the actual amp is can be the most practical thing. You cannot always choose the setup in your venue and sometimes you have to be content with the gear available. That is where amp simulation will be your lifesaver. Plus, it gives you the ability to touch up your sound with those sweet tube tones. This is not the most essential feature on earth, however, it can be quite useful if provided.
- Tone Shaping options
No matter what kind of pedal we are talking about, it has to have some tone shaping options. The level of your performance will largely rely on this feature. When you add so many effects to your sound, it is only natural that it will lose some sonic qualities. To avoid such unfortunate turn of events, you might want to invest in the multi-effects pedal that has tone shaping options. Simple three band EQ along with Level control will be everything you will need. Some models might be equipped with dedicated controls for the effects, which is great if you are serious about tailoring your sound to perfection.
- Presets (in-built and editable)
One thing that is common among all the multi-effects pedals out there is that they are hard to tweak. Since they offer so many features, it is impossible to have a dedicated control for each and every parameter. That is why all the footswitches and knobs are multi-functional, which also means that you will have to scroll through different settings to find the perfect sound. That is where presets come into play. They allow you to either use the provided patches or record your own. This way you will avoid the headache of constant tweaking and easily switch between presets during the gig. It is all about making things easy, is not it?
This one is more like an additional feature. For the classic utilization of the multi-effects pedal you will not necessarily need a looper. However, if you like to experiment with your sound, you will be quite satisfied with this feature. It allows you to combine different effects or create backing sounds. One way or another, a looper can make your music stand out and add versatility to it.
Tuner also falls into the category of additional features. However, it is one of the essentials. If your instrument is out of tune (if that is not what you are going for), anything you add on top will just sound wrong. Plus, it will be hard for the device to track your notes properly. In short, your tone will be ruined. That is why having a tuner built in your favorite device is always a good option. It provides you with accuracy and makes sure that your music sounds professional. I guess that is what we are all striving for, am I right?
The drawbacks of a multi-effects pedal
Let’s be realistic: we do not live in the perfect world. Everything around us has its advantages and drawbacks. This is especially true when it comes to electronic devices. No matter how good a unit is, it is always possible to find its faults. Knowing both pros and cons allows you to see the whole picture and figure out what you should expect. That is why I decided to list down some of the disadvantages of multi-effects pedals in general.
- They cannot substitute your favorite effects pedals
The simulation of something can never be as good as the original. Of course, it is possible to create the sound that resembles those well-known classics, but they will not be identical. This means that the multi-effects pedal cannot replace your favorite effects. If you mainly play one genre, I would suggest sticking to the pedals you own and trust. Or you can go for the multi-effects processor that has separate loops for your beloved pedals.
- They are hard to tweak
As I have mentioned before, multi-effects pedals are hard to tweak and take a lot of time in the process. Finding the perfect settings is sometimes quite difficult even with the four-knob stompbox. Imagine what it is like to tweak a device that could easily take up all of your pedalboard. If you are someone who loves simplicity, a multi-effects pedal will drive you nuts. But if you are up for a challenge, this device might be perfect for you.
- They are always digital
This is not necessarily a bad thing. The digitalization of the music industry is what has brought us to such high level of development. It allows us to create any sound and be as adventurous as we want. However, certain effects just sound better with analog circuits (for instance, delay). In that sense, a multi-effects pedal limits you in choices, but, if you ask me, it is a small price to pay for the results you can achieve.
Congratulations, my friend, now you have all the information you need to find the best multi-effects pedal on the market. I am sure you will choose something from the list above, since it has something for everyone. As for me, my journey ends here. One last thing: multi-effects pedals are for those who are not afraid to experiment. They require a lot of tweaking, which means you might discover something amazing along the way. Once you get your unit, scrutinize every single part of it, because sometimes the biggest gems are hidden in the most unexpected places. Good luck on your way to the universe of mesmerizing effects!