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View Full Version : Best effects pedals for worship guitar


beachbum205
09-17-2007, 03:53 PM
Perhaps my title is a bit misleading. I know there is no "best" pedal that will somehow magically enhance worship. Nor is there a pedal that would be used just for worship.

That being said, let me describe what I'm looking for. I play acoustic guitar on my worship team- some strumming, mostly a sort of hybrid flatpicking that sort of sounds like fingerpicking but is done with a pick.

I'm looking for something to enhance my sound, and allow me offer a slightly different sound from time to time. I'm not looking for heavy distortion, just something to add some variety from time to time, as opposed to the sound of just going straight into the PA. I have used a chorus pedal in the past, and it seemed to work well. Would a compression pedal be worthwhile? Would a DI make a difference in sound quality? Is there something else out there that you are using that you would recomend?

BTW I usually play a Taylor 110E or a 455ES through a Yamaha sound board.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Jack

SteveS
09-17-2007, 04:18 PM
The Yamaha AG Stomp is very versatile and offers a lot of different sound possibilities. If you like gear and a lot of options/knobs, that might be a great choice. You might like the Boss AD8 also.

If you want something simple, look at the Boss AD3.

ljguitar
09-17-2007, 04:22 PM
...I'm looking for something to enhance my sound, and allow me offer a slightly different sound from time to time. I'm not looking for heavy distortion, just something to add some variety from time to time, as opposed to the sound of just going straight into the PA. I have used a chorus pedal in the past, and it seemed to work well. Would a compression pedal be worthwhile? Would a DI make a difference in sound quality? Is there something else out there that you are using that you would recomend?
Hi Jack...
The two best enhancements to the guitar in worship are a good keyboardist and a great bassist...better than any pedal. A third enhancement is to sing in tune...I'm not kidding about any of the three.

Give me a good guitarist without effects if you have these three and we will create a dynamite sound! Pedals don't substitute for talent...

If I were forced to use a pedal it would be chorus or phase, and in that order. Perhaps a tiny bit of Delay (I own a Line6 delay for my electric and use if mostly for looping).

Are you looking for some fullness that seems to be lacking or motion when you are not busily strumming?

Compression won't do it, nor distortion for all-encompassing light pick-me-ups. Flanging and tremelo are very specific to certain sounds/songs and not universal tools.

Chorus is what most folks use because it can pretty much be turned on and forgotten and still sound ok.

SteveS
09-17-2007, 04:39 PM
Pedals don't substitute for talent...

Ouch, no need to get personal. :D

I like the AD3 a lot. It has chorus and reverb. It has feedback and tone controls. It adds a bit of warmth and richness to a pickup. Nothing fancy or hard to use, just a simple tool that makes your guitar sound better. No, it does not make up for lack of talent.

Taylorplayer
09-17-2007, 05:00 PM
Yamaha AG Stomp

That seems like a very popular pedal (which I think is no longer made?). Also, maybe consider a Line 6 Pod?

rileykill
09-17-2007, 05:09 PM
Has anyone heard beachbum play? Jeez. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I would agree that in a worship setting less is more when it comes to effects. I play off and on during worship and I don't use anything with electric or acoustic. Maybe a little reverb if the room is small (which usually isn't the case). I personally wouldn't want chorus or phase, but either would work I guess if they were added carefully. In a prior incarnation of our worship band I used some distortion on certain things, but once again it was highly dependent on the songs we were playing that morning (we were doing quite a few originals).

All of these comments are based on my individual taste, however. I may lose a bit of credibility with full disclosure ... I don't listen to any contemporary Christian music outside of church, so I'm not familiar with the recorded versions of the songs in most cases. For all I know they are drenched in effects like chorus.

jonlee
09-17-2007, 05:15 PM
at our church, usually we don't use any sort of effects pedal for the lead acoustic. we either plug into an avalon U5 or a LR baggs PARA DI. and when i use my 810ce, i'll plug straight into the PA. =)

Thundercranium
09-17-2007, 05:23 PM
I agree, less is more. Rather than effects, I would suggest a Baggs PADI in your signal chain.

If you'll excuse the expression, I wouldn't trade mine for God, love nor money!

PWoolson
09-17-2007, 05:23 PM
I occasionally run a Line 6 POD. LOTS AND LOTS of effects. A ton of stuff I'll never in my wildest dreams use. But the good thing about it is that you can download effects so you could set a whole bank with just various acoustic stuff.
It's also kind of handy when you don't have an electric guitarist. You can tap a pedal and bingo, you have one.

Rich G
09-17-2007, 05:35 PM
This isn't meant to be smart assy, though I am sometimes, but what about a delay reverb pedal from boss. Great stuff but a little pricey. I could play for hours using that thing. I never tried it with acoustics but I bet it would sound great, like the voice of God echoing down from the heavens.

Cornerstone Guitars
09-17-2007, 06:39 PM
I've seen the Line 6 POD used at my church ... great pedal.

willsing
09-17-2007, 07:26 PM
Best effects for worship guitar are none. You know, out on a rock looking over the ocean or in the forest with just you, your guitar and your maker out in nature. :D

JumpinJWilson
09-17-2007, 07:46 PM
I don't use any myself during our worship, but i'd enjoy a chorus pedal now and again. I do'nt think anything else would be appropriate for our situation.

Bluelew
09-17-2007, 08:06 PM
I'm only using the PADI myself, I got straight to the board, I like chorus too though but haven't used it in church yet, just my acoustic, pianist, bassist & vocalists.

Joe F
09-17-2007, 08:19 PM
I was using chorus for awhile, but the sound has gotten so overdone over the years that I decided I like the clean sound better. Sometimes just a touch of chorus to "fatten" your sound up is a nice touch. Any more than a touch though and it starts to sound like the overdone chorusy pop music of decades past...IMO.

One effect that I did like was the BBE Acoustimax. The Maximizer does not really color your sound. It just enhances certain frequencies to make it stand out more in the mix. I liked it very much. It's similar to the Aphex Big Bottom Exciter.

beachbum205
09-17-2007, 08:34 PM
Thanks much for the many interesting and informative replies.

I am blessed with a very talented bass player and drummer, and may be adding an excellent keyboard player soon, all of which (thankfully) cover up for my lack of talent.

But in truth, that has nothing to do with my question. I'm not looking for other players or a pedal to somehow make up for my lack of talent or to make me sound better. I'm just looking for a little variety in my sound, which I hope will make our total sound as a Worship Team a little more diverse, and a little more interesting.

I'll definately be doing some research on some of the suggestions that have been made. Also, could someone explain just what function a PADI has? Does it actually change the sound, and if so, how?

Thanks again,
Jack

vac4873
09-17-2007, 08:46 PM
If you are the only musical instrument, just clean guitar sound is just right. If the sound system only has 3 band eq., an eq pedal is good to pull down some of the mid frequencies with a little more precision (that way you don't have to bathtub the whole mid section, you can be selective. A chorus is ok for a tune that you want to "mellow" the sound on somewhat. If you are the only instumentalist, your job is to 1- support the singing, 2- deliver and maintain the groove, and 3 (and least important) add a little flavor.
If you are the second guitar or if another instrument (like piano or keys) is the main support instrument, there is a lot more room for different colors and textures, hence the use of more effects, and you can incorporate chorus. phaser, octave or harmony pedals, volume pedals, compressors, delays, overdrives and distortion pedals. You just need to answer the question: Am I to be the cake or the icing?

mikelhenry
09-18-2007, 08:30 AM
Best effects for worship guitar are none. You know, out on a rock looking over the ocean or in the forest with just you, your guitar and your maker out in nature. :D

Good concept.

While I am not leading worship at the moment, when I was earlier this year I sent the guitar signal to the board without any effects. I had total trust in the sound guy to color the guitar with reverb/delay to match or come in below the vocals. To me, the best pedal is the sound guy or gal who can make all the pieces match.

I do own a chorus and delay pedal as well as an ancient Zoom pedal. I used to use the chorus, but stopped when I bought the Aura which has a microphone inside as well as the under saddle pickup. The under saddle pickups do not have the resonance of the live guitar since they only pick up the vibration of the strings, so I guess I was trying to make up for the 2 dimensional sound.

You asked if a DI would make a difference in sound quality and there have been numerous discussions about DI's and what they do for sound, but I use a simple passive DI that just converts the impedence so it can be run to the board on an Mic cable. I don't believe this has any affect on the sound. There are some high end DI's that boost the signal and do other things I don't have experience to discuss, perhaps others can help here.

martinedwards
09-18-2007, 08:44 AM
My Marshall AS50R has reverb & Chorus.

I use them both sparingly.

only a touch to fatten things up,

and yes, we have an excellent pianist, a great drummer and a bass player whos reasonable!!

JoeInOttawa
09-18-2007, 08:50 AM
Best effects for worship guitar are...a rock looking over the ocean or in the forest with just you, your guitar and your maker out in nature. :D

Maybe so, but it'll never fit in a gig bag!

:)

Joe

Health Freak
09-18-2007, 08:58 AM
For an acoustic, I think a small pedalboard is a good thing to have. I am currently measuring my layout so I can build (or have built) a nice board with a case.

I will have the following on my board (single source pickup system):

BBE Acoustimax (I have my Boss TU-12 on the mutable tuner output)

Keeley True Bypass Looper
Keeley Compressor
Line 6 Verbzilla
Boss DD-20 Giga Delay
Boomerang Looper

I use the BBE for a little EQ and feedback control and only use the sonic maximizer if the sound system I'm playing through does not have some sort of DriveRack-type system or FOH EQ in place.

The tuner is a must (for obvious reasons), and I like the fact that the BBE allows me to keep it out of the signal chain.

The Bypass looper allows me to use the pedals in the BBE's effects loop so I can sompletely bypass all effects without them sucking tone from the acoustic (more on the effects loop later*).

The compressor is there to help shape my signal a bit, but is mostly used if there is no signal processing at FOH (typical in smaller churches).

Same with the Verbzilla pedal. If FOH has reverb, then I won't use mine.

Delay is there for adding some flavor and dynamics. Let's say there is a bit of a vamp and some "free worship" breaks out of that. Simple chord progressions or fingerpicking can help support the environment when a little tasteful delay is added.

The Boomerang looper is for when it's a more contemporary service and more creativity is allowed (can also be used as a delay pedal). Also, if I'm leading an altar call or a coffeshop-type youth/young adult gathering, it allows me to play over myself or sing harmonies.

No DI as I use the DI on the BBE (remember, the effects are all in the effects loop).

* The effects loop will look different on my new board. I will have a bypass looper built that will work for each individual pedal rather than the whole entire loop. That way, I can arrange my pedals so that my BBE and Boomerang are right up front where I can access them and the rest of the pedals are tucked in the back out of the way while being activated by the bypass unit located up front with the BBE and Boomerang.

jyee
09-18-2007, 09:19 AM
unless you want to spend a lot of money, get a good multi-effects unit, like a pod. there's a time and place for lots of effects with acoustic (i usually use, delay, reverb, chorus, eq, sampler/looper and tremolo at various times)... a multi unit will give you almost eveyrthing and let you play with it.

going without effects might work for some people, but it can be a bit naive (again, depending on the situation). since i've played at numerous churches, i've found it's better to have them and not use them than to simply ignore them. most evangelical churches do the same guitar based stuff and no effects is fine... but if you find yourself in a church that is keyboard based (e.g. an african american gospel church or maybe your church starts to get eclectic and move outside the mainstream, suburban music), you'll feel a bit naked and out of place when they crank up the synth funk type stuff.