Effect Pedals: Shape Your Ukulele Tone! Top 10 Picks (Buyers Guide)
In case you’re trying to discover the sonic potentialities of the ukulele, there are just a few alternative ways to go about it. You’ll be able to always get another ukulele to add to the collection, and no player would fault you for taking that route.
However, when you have a pickup installed in your uke, you may also use effect pedals to boost the sound, form the tone, or experiment with psychedelic sounds and warp the sound past recognition.
What are Effect Pedals?
First up – what are effects pedals? Basically, they’re a bunch of methods created by electronic circuitry often housed in a box that sits between your electric ukulele and your amplifier.
They’re often operated by the foot (therefore why people name them ‘stomp boxes’) and apply changes to your core ukulele output signal before it reaches the amplifier.
Generally, they feature onboard the amplifier itself (although we do personally favor a great-sounding amp and then apply the alternative of results afterward with exterior gear). Do you want them?
No, in fact not. However many players, particularly those that have grabbed ukes with pickups are eager to dabble and experiment. And earlier than the traditionalists go apoplectic, Jake Shimabukuro, James Hill, and Brittni Paiva have been recognized to use them.
Some apply totally crazy results to your tone, however, equally they can be utilized for very delicate changes without getting too far out. Most pedals permit adjustment of the effect so they aren’t merely ‘on or off’ and might create fairly a variety out of a single box.
The sorts of effects unit are nearly limitless, but the principle ‘key types’ can in all probability be summed up within the following groups.
Types of Effect Pedals
In case you’ve already bought an amplifier, the likelihood is that it’s got built-in reverb effects unit – so that you may not essentially want a pedal.
Nonetheless, some amps don’t provide the possibility of turning it off at will through a foot pedal. A reverb pedal mainly provides an echo effect and offers your ukulele extra weight. Consider the sound you hear if you walk right into a church or cave – a giant expansive sound that reverberates off the walls.
If you wish to utterly oversaturate your sound with reverb to sound such as you’re in a large cave, you may turn the reverb up all the way and engage it when the track requires it.
Of all effects, ukulele players are in all probability most used to listening to the pure chorus at their jam group. A chorus pedal recreates this sound by delaying the signal by just a few milliseconds and de-tuning and modulating the delayed track a bit.
It may be good for thickening up the sound, however probably borders on not-so-useful in an efficient setting.
Primary controls are:
- Effect level – The combo between the normal and modulated signal.
- Rate – Controls how quick the pitch LFO modifies.
- Depth – How much the pitch is detuned.
Delay pedals take your unique signal – a ukulele chord or note for instance – then play it back precisely how the pedal heard it the primary time. It will probably either play the note back once or a number of instances, relying on your settings. That is often known as “feedback time”.
Typically, you’ll see Digital Delay pedals in addition to Analogue Delay pedals.
The foremost distinction is that digital delay pedals will provide longer delays and a ‘cleaner’ precise sound, however, some ukulele players favor analog effects for the delicate nuances and unpredictability in tone.
Now we have probably the most broadly used and most helpful pedal ever created – the Distortion pedal!
If you’re questioning “what’s a distortion pedal?” – the clue is within the name. It mainly takes your signal (from the ukulele) and distorts it, including volume, crunch, and sustain to your sound. This effect is commonly used within the refrain of a few of your favorite songs for a contrasting sound to the pure tone.
A distortion pedal can typically be confused for a fuzz or overdrive pedal, however, the trained ear can positively hear the distinction. We won’t go too in-depth right here.
A distortion pedal will change the sound of your ukulele and respond in a different way relying on which instrument you use.
An EQ pedal has been designed to help you tune sure parameters of your sound such as the bass, middle and treble frequencies. They’re predominantly utilized by extra skilled players who need to add or take away particular bands of sound.
These are nice for ukulele players who need to actually increase the treble, bring out the bass or simply guarantee their guitar effects signal sounds as flat as possible.
Rest of the Effect Pedals
Overdrive is a milder type of distortion created by a tube amp. Fuzz is an aggressive kind of clipping that creates a squared-off waveform.
Tremolo fluctuates the volume making an uneven sound. Flanger is just like phaser, however with a shorter delay time and has an extra aggressive sucking sound. Phaser is the sister to flanger besides its frequency-based effect as a substitute of delay-based.
Pitch effects analyze the incoming sound and add a second note. A clever pitch shifter will observe harmony inside a set scale, a traditional pitch shifter will harmonize in straight intervals which could place notes outside of the key.
An octaver pedal immediately provides a reproduction of your playing an octave above or under (or both) the unique signal.
Filters are fancy EQs that move robotically like an auto-wah, Q-Tron, or with a foot rocker pedal like a wah-wah.
Well, all of these types of effect pedals can be used on a ukulele as well. We highly suggest for you try to use them and open up a brand new horizon to playing your ukulele. There are various combinations that you can go for in order to achieve something really unique and get the best out of your instrument.
We just want to let you know that we’ll list these effects pedals in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.
Listed below are our Top 10 Guitar Effects Pedals used on Ukulele for 2021:
1. Walrus Audio Eras
Simply as the tusked marine mammal can manipulate its vocal cords to create all kinds of sounds, this ‘five-state distortion’ presents a number of flavors of high-gain dirt through a rotary mode switch discovered between the bass and treble controls.
It does additionally feature mix control for dialing some of your clear tones back in – probably helpful if things begin getting a bit too wild. The opposite two knobs are for output volume and gain, which hardly need any explaining, however, before we saddle up the raging bull of rock we must always take a more in-depth look at what that five-way swap is definitely doing.
The primary two settings are both described as ‘tight’ modes with a slight cut to the midrange, the first utilizing LED hard clipping and the second silicon; mode three is LED and silicon mixed. Modes 4 and 5 are beneficial for rhythm playing, with an extra pronounced mid-scoop and the identical selection between LED and silicon clipping.
In design terms, this is clearly a sister pedal to the Walrus Audio Ages, an overdrive with an analogous control array together with a dry mix and five-way mode swap. It’s called “an interesting toolbox of high-quality filth”, so the Eras is actually not short of pedigree.
- Five selectable modes
- Controls: Volume, Blend Gain, Bass, Mode, Treble
- LED: Effect On
- Footswitches: Effect Bypass
Walrus Audio Eras Info
2. Strymon ZelZah Dual Phaser
The Zelzah is made up of two impartial phaser sides, a 4-Stage, and a 6-Stage. Each feature control sections appear comparatively easy, however, when you dive right into a Strymon pedal, you recognize you’re in for a treat.
Plenty of hidden gems lurk beneath the surface right here, together with a plethora of beautiful, high-quality phaser sounds that can leave your jaw on the ground. The 4-Stage aspect boasts a wide selection of basic sounds, whereas the 6-Stage portion allows you to get even phasier, together with creating chorus, flanger, and vibrato tones in a snap.
Other than the unimaginable list of modulation sounds you possibly can create and discover, there are the always welcomed Strymon extras! On the Zelzah, these embody True Stereo routing (inputs and outputs), MIDI management through TRS or USB, and Expression pedal management.
The high-quality audio contains a premium JFET analog front end, excessive efficiency & extremely low-noise 24-bit, 96kHz A/D & D/A converters, a 480MHz Superscalar processor, 32-bit floating level processing, and 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response.
The hidden control assists you to fine-tune your phasing machine, by adjusting Stereo Spread, signal routing, polarity, MIDI clock sync, input degree, and more.
- Classic (traditional rise-and-fall LFO with voicings
- ‘Voice’ control morphs between phasing and flanging/chorus
- EXP/MIDI: Connect a Strymon MiniSwitch
3. Catalinbread Epoch Box SE Set
Catalinbread Epoch Box Set is a novel and limited version box set containing the Epoch Boost and Belle Epoch. Only 500 are made, every with a novel serial number. The Epoch Boost is a lift/buffer with the precise EP-3 preamp specs. The Belle Epoch is an EP-3 type tape echo.
The Belle Epoch was modeled after the EP-3 and the preamp is an approximation of the Echoplex preamp and it sounds really close. The Belle Epoch Deluxe, nevertheless, will not be an approximation; it has the precise EP-3 specs in it–utilizing the “later” mode preamp circuit.
The Epoch Boost additionally has the precise EP-3 specs, however makes use of the “early” mode pre. The “early” and “later” mode variations are slight however they’re noticeable, one with a flat frequency response and the opposite a brighter one.
One of many superior things in regards to the Belle Epoch Deluxe is that you could pop it into trails mode and have the preamp on all the time, sweetening up your tone even when the delay is bypassed. Wherever the Belle Epoch Deluxe lives in your chain, the delay and the preamp live together and can’t be separated. That’s where the concept for this box set comes in.
- Catalinbread Epoch Box SE Set
- Limited special edition box of two pedals
- Delay time of 80ms -800ms
- LED: Effect On; Footswitches: Effect Bypass
4. Vox V845 Wah-Wah
Vox has by no means failed to offer its clients excellent quality. It doesn’t matter what unit we’re speaking about, as quickly as we see the label of this model we assume that we are looking at a spectacular device. V845 is rather like that.
Although its characteristic set will not be as diverse as with another pedal on the market, everything it packs works so properly that you’ll hardly consider the things it lacks. This can be an easy, simple wah pedal that accentuates all the good properties your signal possesses.
It’s fairly reasonably priced, however, none of its elements are low-cost or clumsy. Moderately, it’s constructed with prime quality materials and the inside is protected with a sturdy shell. Although it’s made out of aluminum, it’s nonetheless lightweight, which is always an excellent thing if you ask us.
The chassis is coated in black and exhibits the traditional design of the unique pedals. It proudly carries the label of the brand and catches your eye with every element. V845 could be very handy to use because it accommodates itself your preferences and needs.
- Power supply via 9V battery or power supply (both optional)
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 102 x 75 x 252 mm
- Weight: 942 g
5. tc electronic Hall of Fame 2
The brand new and improved HOF isn’t a whole revamp of the original, and that’s certainly not a foul factor. Players have grown accustomed to the pedal’s parameters and design, so when you’re already acquainted with its controls you’ll haven’t any drawback getting to know the brand new version.
And whereas it does all the things that the original did, it additionally packs some thrilling new options that’ll have you lined for a number of playing situations.
The innovative MASH technology primarily integrates all of the added fluidity of an expression pedal right into a compact format, which provides an entirely new stage of playability – and most significantly, musicality – to the Hall of Fame.
You’re in a position to control virtually every parameter possible through MASH integration, together with length and decay, which might all be altered in actual time on the fly. Paired with the luxurious, crystalline sounds of the shimmer function, you’re in a position to craft some ethereal dreamscapes and swells that sound completely three-dimensional.
- Controls: Decay – Tone – Level – Mode
- Foot switch: On/Off/Expression
- True bypass
- Power consumption: 100 mA
6. Boss GE-7 Equalizer
Boss has at all times been that go-to brand when it comes to first-rate effects pedals that can get the job done. You would say it’s the patron saint of guitar players all over the place worldwide. The one we’d wish to introduce you to as we speak is their EQ unit that goes under the name of Boss GE-7.
Whether or not it’s able to compete with extra refined boutique models relies on how demanding you’re, and how successful you’re at recognizing subtleties when it comes to tone.
This isn’t to say that it’s a crude device, however moderately an extra-strong resolution for individuals who are working on a tighter price range. It didn’t take long before Boss GE-7 grew to become one of the crucial popular EQ pedals to this point.
This considerably strong design presents an important efficiency that has been tried and examined in quite a few instances by now. The bands out there are fairly versatile even for extra aggressive genres of music, whereas they work flawlessly when you have to form the tone of an acoustic-electric guitar or ukulele.
Although Boss GE-7 isn’t actually that low cost, it’s nonetheless punching above its worth range with lots of headroom to spare. These in search of an easy graphic EQ are going to like this successful little white box to filter unneeded frequencies.
- 7-band EQ from 100 Hz to 6.4 kHz with / -15 dB each
- Measurements (WxDxH): 73 x 129 x 59 mm
- Power consumption: 10 mA
- Ideal for guitar sounds
Boss GE-7 Equalizer Info
7. Joyo R-14 Atmosphere Reverb
Joyo Audio has launched the Atmosphere reverb pedal, which packs 9 digital reverb sorts under one enclosure.
The brand new pedal covers all of the reverb’s best hits, together with a plate, shimmer, and spring, but additionally provides in some, um, distinctive choices, amongst them Comet, which Joyo describes as “if the comet orbits between your amp and guitar,” and Forest, which sounds like an “a sunbath within the forest”.
A unique characteristic of the Atmosphere reverb pedal is the TRAIL operate switch, which is for switching on or off the Trail function. The trail permits the effect tone to fade out and sound rather more natural between switching the pedal on and off. So you determine how you need it, you’ll be able to go for a natural fade or quick cut-off.
You should use the Reverb on more than simply electric guitar (ukulele in our case), use the reverb effect on acoustic guitar, traditional guitar, vocals, drums, keyboards & synths. You name it this pedal creates the ambiance you need, simulating a small room to being trapped inside a trailing comet.
- Controls: Mix, Decay, 9 Reverbs Type, Tone, Mod
- Buttons: Effect On / Off
- Switches: Trail Off / On
- Footswitch: Effect bypass
8. Nux Tape Core Deluxe
One of many latest Space Echo vintage homages, the Nu-X Tape Core Deluxe, is digital, but it surely convincingly performs among the Space Echo’s finest analog perks. It’s easy to drive a signal into analog-style delay-feedback or use the repeat management to transform the universe right into a collection of slapping oscillations plucked from This Island Earth.
And through the use of an expression pedal with the Tape Core (not included), the magnitude of these oscillations turns into deliciously controllable and vintage sounding.
The numeric settings signify digital playback heads and varied playback sequences. Settings 1, 2, and 3 correspond to the three heads on a Space Echo, offering the Tape Core’s shortest and longest delays, which vary from 55 ms to 546 ms.
The opposite settings use multi-repeats to fatten tones and lend hints of Echorec and Copicat-style delay colors. Mode 4 blends head 1 and 2, mode 5 blends 2 and 3, mode 6 blends 1 and 3, and mode 7 makes use of all three. Mode four gives a fat, singing tone.
Popping a fuzz pedal in front of the Tape Core on 7 yielded appears like Sam Andrews’ sinuous tone on Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills. Generally, although, the Nu-X’s tonality is brighter and sharper than an actual Space Echo.
- Classic tape echo sound-on-sound tone
- 40 Seconds Looper
- Tone lock mode locks parameter setting during operation (1 preset)
- True Bypass bypasses the effect circuit
Nux Tape Core Deluxe Info
9. tc electronic Corona Chorus
In addition to all of the cool sounds you may get out of the Corona pedal (which is nice for many who like their chorus and want a number of differing kinds for the music they play), it additionally has TC’s Toneprint technology so you’ll be able to obtain the lush sounds created by a few of your favorite guitarists, direct onto your pedal!
Corona Chorus is your go-to pedal for all of your shimmering and warbly goodness. With two totally different chorus settings (the traditional world-renowned TC Electronic SCF pedal and a Tri-Chorus) and a customized TonePrint setting, Corona Chorus will stand by you no matter what scenario your playing may bring you in.
Corona Chorus options Speed, Depth, Color, and Level controls, true bypass design, a small footprint, analog-dry-through, easy-access battery hatch and is constructed from the highest-quality parts.
We got down to designing an ideal sounding chorus, and we now have made positive that the legendary TC Electronic high quality shines although in all of the available sounds, from SCF Chorus to the extra TriChorus L.A. session studio swirls and all through to more up to date chorus sounds.
- Mono/ stereo in and out
- Speed- depth – tone – FX level control
- True bypass
10. Electro Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi
The Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi begins with the very same analog circuit as the Bass Big Muff Pi—that is, its voicing is impressed by the tank-green Sovtek Big Muff Pi and USA Big Muff Pi pedals. Likewise, the Deluxe has the traditional Big Muff structure of quantity, tone, and maintain controls, together with true-bypass switching and the selection of battery or power-adapter operation.
The blend management means that you can exactly set how much dry signal you need to be combined with the distorted tone. (In contrast, the unique Big Muff had a 3-way swap for regular Big Muff tones, a 50/50 wet-dry mix, or a Muff-with-bass-boost mode.) There’s additionally a noise gate for eliminating hum from greater fuzz settings, and a -10 dB pad switch to assist the pedal to play nicer with active pickups.
Whereas all of those new options are welcome additions, the true deal with is the foot-switchable crossover, which employs variable high- and low-pass filters to actually tighten up the texture and tone. The high-pass filter works only on the distortion circuit, whereas the low-pass filter works its magic on the dry signal.
This makes the Deluxe Big Muff Pi not only a really helpful fuzz pedal but in addition an extremely practical tone-shaper for clear signals. And since the crossover circuit can have such an extremely dramatic effect on the tone, the sensible decision to make it foot-switchable successfully makes the Deluxe a 2-channel pedal.
- Distortion / Fuzz
- Crossover LPF
- Miniature switch (input 0 / -10 dB)
- Crossover switch
Besides the great looks on these 10 pedals, the effect they provide can be of benefit to every instrument plugged through them, and the ukulele is also one of them. From delay and reverb, tube screamer, overdrive pedal, classic distortion, bass amps unit to proper chaining and producing, the pedals are one of the greatest deals when it comes to the sound.
These are accessories that are also good when it comes to studio recording no matter if you are in need of a flanger, tremolo, or phaser. All of those could be found in a effects pedals option if you have a need for them. They have a very good price for such small gear units as well and could be used for ukuleles even if they are guitar effects.
We tried to stay in the line with news and offers about the ukulele accessories, and you will be able to find them on our website in separate blog posts. The power of sharing knowledge we used to serve you with something that actually will help you improve your audio quality in studio situations.