Can you imagine a world without sound effects? What would our music be like if we did not have so many options on hand? I am pretty sure you are having a hard time picturing such kind of parallel universe. We are so used to having an abundance of choices that we often forget to appreciate how lucky we are to be alive in technological era. Sometimes we lose the ability of cherishing individual things on their own. Take a minute and think, if you had to choose only one audio effect, what would it be? For me, that would be vibrato. This will probably sound quite odd, because, let’s be honest, it is not a go-to-effect for many musicians. However, I fancy its somewhat unique and different nature and I absolutely love the way it changes my sound. If you have ever played with this one, you know what I am talking about. If not, then keep on reading, because I will help you find the best vibrato pedal, so that you can become a proud member of our modulation family.
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Top 5 Best Vibrato Pedals
|Diamond Vibrato - Analog Vibrato||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Boss VB-2W Vibrato Effects Pedal||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato Pedal||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|BEHRINGER ULTRA VIBRATO UV300||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
The difference between vibrato and tremolo
Music history remembers many misunderstandings. Sometimes unintentional mistakes turn into lingering conceptions that confuse even the professionals. A simple fallacy that supposedly started in 1954 (when Fender developed a Stratocaster and labeled it as tremolo system) had a great impact on implementing interchangeable usage of vibrato and tremolo pedals. At first glance, you might think that the difference between the two is not that noticeable and, therefore, should be ignored but in terms of sound and performance they are far cry from each other. I will discuss each of them and, hopefully, put an end to this unreasonable misconception once and for all.
Vibrato is a modulation effect which occurs when the pitch of the signal is altered periodically. To put it simply, it changes up the frequencies and mixes wet signal with your initial sound. This way a sort of “vibrating”, “trembling” tone is created. On the contrary, tremolo modifies the sound without interfering with its pitch. Rather, it causes the volume to fluctuate, thus, producing rhythmical repetitions of the notes. In musical terms, they both thicken up the tones and create an illusion of more than one instrument being played. If you compare them side to side, you will notice that vibrato is way more natural than tremolo and that their sonic characteristics are easily distinguishable.
Now that you know what the effect does, let’s move on to discussing the features that perfect vibrato pedal should possess.
Qualities of the best vibrato pedal
When speaking of musical devices and their characteristics, I always say that it all depends on your taste and preferences. What I mean to imply is that when it comes to determining the best features of a certain unit, your individual views come into play. The type of musician you are and the techniques you employ will define how you perceive each and every parameter. Whether you play in a band or solo will make a difference as well. However, there are specific features that even the simplest vibrato pedal should have in order to deliver the effect properly. Let’s dive into describing them and find out, what are the things you require from a decent pedal.
Since vibrato is a rhythmical effect, it hugely relies on the speed of pitch shifting. That is why even the most basic pedal will have a Speed (might be labeled as Rate) control. Due to its wave-like nature, the intensity plays a huge role as well. For this reason, Depth falls under the category of essential knobs as well. These two together provide you with rudimentary control that might be enough for many, but too basic for the rest.
The majority of fancy pedals offer the Rise control. This is where things get a bit more interesting. It allows you to set how fast your vibrato reaches the peak of its sonic potential. Rise adds texture to your sound and creates a whole new dimension. If you like to tweak even the minutia of your tones, you should definitely look for this feature.
Apart from main controls, a lot of vibrato pedals offer additional effects, such as chorus. This two get on like a house on fire and can provide you with ethereal performance. Having an extra effect on hand is always a good idea and gives you the option to step up your game in a blink of an eye.
In conclusion, choosing the best vibrato pedal is not that difficult. All you have to do is consider carefully the information I have provided. In the list above I tried to include all the best deals on the market, so that you would not have to. I really hope I have contributed to making this process easy for you, since I know all the head-wrecking even a single pedal can cause. Stop hesitating my friend, because the more time you waste overthinking, the less you have left on experimenting (but this does not mean that you should make a rash decision). Go out there, purchase the pedal of your choice and let the magic happen!