MusicRadar basics: how to set up a pedal board for your guitar effects

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Once you start using more than a couple of pedals you will need to consider the order in which they are laid out as this will have an effect on your overall tone.

Pedals react differently depending on what's coming into them, whether that's your pure guitar signal or the signal from other pedals, so we have to take this into account when lining up our pedals. This is often referred to as signal chain.

You won't damage your pedals if you put them in the wrong order, and there's no right or wrong way, but when you're starting out we'd recommend following this basic order:

Modulation effects (eg, chorus/flange)
Time-based effects (eg, reverb/delay)

If you're using multiple pedals then a pedal board would be a wise investment too. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs and most come either built into a hardcase or with a soft bag for easy transportation.

Whichever option you go for make sure you buy one that's big enough to fit your existing pedals comfortably and will accommodate more if you have plans to expand your set-up.

Once you're happy with the order of your pedals and they're securely in place, you'll need enough short patch cables to connect your pedals together, plus two longer cables to connect between your pedal board and guitar and between your pedalboard and your amp. Buy the best you can afford to get the longest life out of your cables.

When running multiple pedals you can, of course, power with batteries but you'll eat through them quickly. Alternatively you might want to try a multi-output power supply that will keep things simple and tidy. There are many standalone options, or you can opt for a pedal board with a power supply built in.

There's also the option of building your own pedal board from scratch at home. This can be a fun and satisfying way of getting your 'board set-up just how you want it and there are plenty of tutorials that show you how online.

Whatever works for you, a pedalboard is great way to keep your effects organised.

MusicRadar Team

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