November 2, 2016

How to Use a Reverb Pedal

All Reverb Pedals

From time to time, we use reverb pedals in an attempt to improve the sound produced by our electric guitar. At times, however, it does not feel right. As someone who has tried your best, it is quite disappointing to put too much effort into doing something in order to play and use your pedals, and still end up with nothing.

In order to deal with these frustrations, I have come up with a list of ways on how to use a reverb pedal in such a way that can guarantee results. All you have to do is follow these tips and you will experience better results.

Implement Modulation on Your Reverb

A reverb that is modulated can turn out to be your best friend, especially if you are interested in producing unearthly, ghostly sound. In order to attain a unique experience while playing your guitar, use modulated reverbs, as it can create an effect that is delicate and special.

Pedals such as the Boss RV-5 model (check out our review here) may add some modulation on a reverb, thus resulting to one that does not just serve as an ambience builder. While these modulated reverbs can still establish ambiance, it is done in an unearthly fashion.

If you make it a goal to copy a Johnny Marr riff to its finest but are confused what is lacking in order to get the right match, then implementing modulation on you reverb is the trick.

By doing so, you are adding a touch of the sound movement, blending them well together.

Johnny Mar

Sustaining Your Sound in the Absence of a Gain Pedal

Before guitarists were introduced to gain pedals cranking the tube amp up and adding wet spring reverb on the tone was the only way in which sustenance is added to the sound. During those days, spring was the king.

In fact, there were some parts through the history of guitar when an effect and a player meant the same, until the famous Dick Dale, father of the surf guitar, introduced spring reverb in creating a wonderful effect. Since then, a lot of things have changed. Therefore, you can cut ties with your gain pedals, externally adding sustenance to the tone instead. Digital reverb pedals are great for this.

Dick Dale

The good news is that, there are a lot of amazing spring reverbs available now in the market. All you have to do is choose one. Even though you may not own a Fender amp equipped with a built-in long-tank reverb, you can choose from options such as Boss FRV-1, Malekko Chicklet, and others.

The next time you work towards achieving that sustaining, epic type of sound, why not replace your compressor or dirt box with a long reverb. You can see the beauty of doing so as it can easily make a difference on things and take things a level up. This is especially true if your listeners have high quality equipment - like the kind featured on Gadgets Page.

Distance and Depth Controlled

Controlling both the distance and the depth is actually quite an old technique introduced by the famous Jimmy page. The principle behind this technique is to close-mic the amp in a space that is undersized, while recording the very same source at the same time, using another mic at a distance.

What he used back then was bigger sounds by combining two different sounds as the mixdown happens. This proven approach is still known to produce amazing results. As years passed by, other names in the industry, such as Steve Albini has refined this mic placement. Fortunately for us, technology has allowed us to create this distance and depth sense by using a quality reverb pedal.

These days, modern models of reverb pedals come equipped with a pre-delay knob. By tweaking the feature in order to possibly delay the reverb onset up to a few milliseconds and setting to a minimal decay control, you can expect a good output. At the same time, if you already have tone control on your pedal, all you have to do is to tune your ‘room’ to either dark or bright in order to stand out or blend. Analog reverb pedals really excel at this.

Less Effect, the Better

Reality dictates that less effects on your sound is always better. Even a single touch on the reverb can already result to amazing output on the sound. One of the best ways in order to achieve the type of sound that you would want to see is by using a little bit of reverb only. Overdoing it may ruin the quality of the sound.

In fact, adding too many effects can result to a robotic and artificial sound. This is something that you have to know if you consider yourself as an acoustic guitarist. Make sure that you just go easy with the effects in order to achieve the quality of sound that you want to hear.

Use Some Room Control

Perhaps you have seen this feature on your reverb, but have never actually tried using it, have you? You can now change this practice if you want to see better sound results. This reverb is usually drowned over by the fame of other effects, but you can now start exploring on it more.

By using room control, you can come up with a reverb that is light to the heart. As such, get a good room reverb, and use room control on the tone. You can expect a sound that is better than what you may have imagined at first. Check out this video for more details:


Now, you have the basic ideas on things that you have to change, or features that you have to start using. By implementing these alternate options, you can create that perfect sound out of your own guitar. You will not really lose anything if you try each and every tip mentioned above. When you discover that they work for you, you will never have to deal with struggling for that perfect tone. On the other hand, if you notice that the suggestions do not work for you, there is no harm in going back to your trusted ways of fixing tone sound issues.

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