In the creation of music, it is as important to always search for cost-efficient ways to fulfill your creative needs, as it is to be creative with your creation. The multi-effect guitar pedal is one such tool that will enable several paths of creativity while retaining the cost-efficient part to a certain limitation and without actually burning a hole in your pocket.
What is a multi-effect guitar pedal?
Well, just as the name itself suggests, the multi-effect pedal or processor is a device that brings along a large amount of variant electronic sound effects. It also enables access to presets, which, without any doubt, are extremely timesaving and in turn gives out great results.
Majority of the guitarists find this to be an extremely useful component. Even those who have the best guitar available in the market. While it is great to have a huge stack of sound effects of your own, adding up to the list never harms, right?
Apart from that, technology is advancing with every passing day. And even this sector of music creation using multi-effect pedals have also been vastly affected. Thus, whether you are starting your musical journey or well ahead in your way, this is a perfect fit for anyone and everyone.
How to choose the best guitar pedal for yourself?
Now the matter with this kind of equipment is that there is always a plethora of options available in the market for you to choose from. Starting from the rather small ones, consisting of only the most valued and essential effects to something an all-in-one sort of product that will serve your every need. Even though it mostly depends upon your budget, according to which you should always detain your course of action. However, there are a few parameters that you might want to consider before investing in a multi-effect pedal/processor.
Now, this is a tip mostly concerning the beginners: analyse before investing. Do your research. Know your type and perhaps even the effects that you are going to use most, or perhaps all of the time, and invest accordingly. The studio-in-box sets can be exhilarating; however, there is no need to get overwhelmed. Think with your brain and not with your heart. You can always invest the extra money into some other necessary accessory. Most importantly it is about getting the efficiency at an affordable price.
That being said, on the other hand, this is also true that these studio-in-box sets can arguably give rise to your creativity. Being exposed to so many different sound effects can play with your ideas and insist you in thinking in variant ways. It can also open up a new arena of ideas.
These devices are also USB enables, so anytime you want you can plug it to your laptop and double up with your Digital Audio Workstation and use it for recording purpose and for audio production.
Now all that being said, let’s not waste any more time and jump right into the actual list of the 10 best multi-effects guitar pedal/processor-
Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Guitar Pedal
- Has an easy to use knob-based interface.
- Huge arena of effects available.
- Range of 8 multifunction footswitches is available, along with an expression pedal.
The Roland Corporation has been a pretty well-known name in the music industry for a long period now. Boss, which is a division of the Roland Corporation, has also made a name for itself for putting across great guitars and bass instruments. The brand has come up with some pretty innovative and ahead-of-time multi-effect pedals in recent years.
The Boss ME-80 has proven to be one of the best among them. It puts all great tones into one single package. The battery-powered device is quite compact and consists of some of the best Boss effects and amps that make this multi-FX pretty ideal for all the musicians out there.
Along with the dialling-in sound feature, you can also access it through the knob interface. You can now also order multi-effects simply by the selectable sound modes. The old footswitches have traded place with new and modified ones. It allows you to have full control during real-time sound shaping, patch selection and reverberation switching.
- Some effects and high-gain distortions have a digital edge.
Line 6 Helix
- The connectivity is pretty comprehensive.
- Visual display pictures come across as an appealing feature.
- Great sound quality from the amp models and effects.
Helix is powered by dual-DSP and does an incredibly great job in the amp and effects model in a large rugged floor pedal. The presets are organised in such a manner that you will never to go through extensive soul searching to find out that one preset that will suit your purpose the best. Helix consists of 1024 preset locations in total. It has eight setlists, that consists of 32 banks and each bank have 4 presets. It will work great for sound creation, given that it has 16 mics, 41 modelled amps, 7 bass amps and 80 different sound effects. You can also load speaker impulse responses, which will be ideal for music creation.
If you don’t want to restrain yourself with the preset pack, then this device also has plenty of space for you to play around and make things work your way, which we think is an extremely appealing quality for any musician.
- The cost could be out of reach for players on a strict budget
- It takes time to learn your way around.
Boss GT-1000 Multi-Effects Guitar Pedal
- The amp models provided are pretty impressive.
- Got an ample amount of effects.
- The build quality cannot be questioned.
The previous processors by Boss that hit the market before GT – 1000 were a massive success. The GT – 1000 floorboard is a combination of the DD-500, RV-500, and MD-500 units. It looks classy and modernistic and as far as the working mechanism is concerned, well, let’s just say that it will never disappoint you in any given situation. Along with the great design and build quality, it has a range of inputs and outputs. USB recording, input for expression pedals, and jacks have been provided to connect with two mono pedals. You can also connect it with a stereo external pedal. Amp channel switching through nifty sending has also been included.
- Not particularly beginner-friendly. The patch-based system won’t be for everyone
- Small range of amplifier emulations with limited editability
- Less affordable
DigiTech RP55 Multi-Effects Guitar Pedal
- Comes with a pack of 20 studio-quality effects, amongst which 8 effects can be simultaneously used.
- The user interface consists of an LCD.
- The 24-bit analog to digital converters will make sure that frequency response never lacks.
DigiTech has been around since 1984 and the brand has always come up with something that does not quite resemble the face of traditional old-fashioned instruments. It has been innovative and experimental in its venture and always has tried to put across something new and futuristic. It has a vast array of products dedicated to giving wings to your imaginations, and help you make something that is going to outlive you.
The same can be said about the RP55 multi-effect guitar processor. It opens up an arena of new possibilities. It consists of 11 Amp models and 20 studio-quality effects. And, just as mentioned earlier, you can use 8 effects simultaneously and can go crazy with your creation.
- The build quality is not the best
- Difficult To Use for a beginner
- Not Responsive
- The portability of this device is what makes this a hit among musicians.
- Pretty easy to use.
- The fractal amp models and effects are undoubtedly great.
The core modeling engine used by the Fractal AX8 is the same as the AXE-Fx, and thus, the sound quality of these two is pretty identical. However, Fractal AX8 has a different CPU power and also provides a single apm blog in the signal chain. 512 presets have been included and you’ll find anything started from the most minimal effect to something pretty trendy. The presets are created using a series of blocks.
The build quality of the product is great and the amp tones are acutely realistic, which gives you the liberty to play around with your sounds. The device consists of 11 footswitches and all of them are aligned in a very convenient and easily accessible manner. These can be used for multi-tasking and are guaranteed to provide you with a great musical session.
- Bitmapped LCD screen
- No headphone jack
- Those who are not into navigating menus and buttons will also find the interface a bit bothersome
Zoom G1Xon Guitar Pedal
- It comes with 5 pedal control effects, along with a list of 100 reverberations.
- 5 effects can be used at once.
- Consists of 100 memory location where you can store your created patches.
Established in 1983, Zoom is a very experimental brand that keeps on researching about the audio industry and comes up with some pretty cool gadgets. It has been one of the most well-known companies and a big player in the market from the past 30 years. The best thing about their product is that it is not only innovative but also extremely affordable.
G1Xon is one of its kind. No other single pedal features as many effects as this pedal does. 5 sound effects can be used simultaneously and, in any order, as you may please. This not only makes the selecting and onboarding job easier but also the later steps also benefit from it.
- Since the exterior is made of plastic, it requires a bit of handling care
- The sounds may not be of the highest quality
NUX MG-100 Electric Guitar Multi-Effects Processor
- Comes with 13 classic amp models that are powered by Cherub’s TS/AC technology.
- Consists of 58 effects.
- Switching between presets is quite easy.
NUX has been around for the last 14 years. Throughout all these years they have been serving the needs of all the musicians out there. They have a wide range of product that encompasses everything, starting from analog to digital.
MG-100 is an ideal product for beginners. If you are just starting your musical journey you will find that every effect that you need in here. It is pretty compact and thus, affordable. However, no compromise has been made as far as the features of this device is concerned. The tonal options are indeed great, but apart from that, it has a pretty compact size that makes easier to even carry it around without any hassle.
- The only downside is that there is about 5ms of silence when changing effects
Line 6 POD HD500X Floor Multi-Effects Pedal
- The collection of amps will leave you in awe indeed.
- Footswitches come with a backlight for easy operation.
- Consists of more than 100 studio-quality effects.
The POD HD500X is the one-stop solution for every guitarist out there. Great amps and a collection of reverberations will provide you with anything and everything that you have only desired till now. The DSP power is something that perhaps breaths the life into it, and gives you all the liberty to choose how you want to characterized your musical imaginations. It will take your sound to another level with its 100+ studio-quality effects.
- Small power input
- The LCD Display is pretty useless, its barely readable
- There is no power button
Boss ME-50B Bass Multiple Effects
- Comes with dedicated knobs.
- Sound on sound recording.
- The solid metal case adds up to its portability.
This is for the ones who want to break the limit and go beyond. The bass effects that this instrument has got is just incomparable. All have been put together on a rugged floor with easy-to-use pedal control. Getting access to studio-quality effects is also extremely easy. Similar to its competitors, all the effects have been fine-tuned and put together onto a floor processor. It has two dedicated sections that feature the two most essential effects: EQ and compression.
ME-50B is an incredibly built innovative product that is here to change the dynamics.
- Far too large for most of the guitarists
- The bulky construct can make the pedal hard to store
- The amp modeling is great.
- Comes with a touchscreen.
- Acts as an audio interface as well.
The HeadRush Pedalboard can initially come across as bit pricey, however, the features completely make up for it. The DSP platform is powered by a quad-core processor. The user interface is extremely convenient for anyone to get a head start. It also allows you to load third-party impulse responses, which in turn helps to come with some unimaginably cool sounds.
However, the coolest and discernible feature surely is the seven-inch touchscreen, which is easy to make you get hooked to the device, mostly if you are a fan of technology. It consists of 12 footswitches with led highlighting the feature of each switch.
- Limited number of models/routing options
- 100-layer, 20-minute looper can only hold one loop at a time
- Limited selection of effects
Ans. If you want an all-in-one solution for a guitar processor that can produce any type of tone that you want then buy a multi-effect pedal. This is the best option for a session guitarist or guitarist in the cover bands. If you want to transition to a specific tone or effect and you’re not after any other sound effect then the single pedals are for you. Single pedals are mostly used for distortion purposes.
Ans. Personally, I think that the Zoom G1on is the best low budget and beginner-friendly guitar processor as I have used it myself in my initial days. In such a budget it provides enough effects and styles that can make your desired sound.
Ans. In your initial days, definitely no. Yes, the guitar pedal helps you create the sound according to your specifications and add to the tonal quality of your guitar in ways that your amplifier can’t but it does not mean that your guitar will sound good after you made your sound patch, it totally depends on your playing style, experience and practice. So buy a guitar processor, if you really need it.