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guitar pedal chaining

So I found that all the articles explaining effects chaining were ineffective. So I decided to explain what I do because there is not something really good out there. I do use the effects loops on my amps for my modulation and time effects.


There is a basic order to pedals that will work but you will need play with this to find your sound. Music is an art not a science but there is a lot of engineering going into pedals now days.

  1. Tuner
  2. Modifiers -> Wahs, filters, Compressors
  3. Boosts -> Anything that will make it louder
  4. Gains -> Distortions, overdrives, fuzzes
  5. Gates -> Noise Gates
  6. Volume *
  7. Modulations -> Phasers, Chorus, Flanger, Vibrato*
  8. Time Delay Effects -> Delay or Reverb Pedals*
  9. Loopers -> loop effects*
* If you have an effects loop with your amp, attach these to that.

Tuner First

Why do you have the tuner first? Well it can cut off the sound to the rest of the pedals and amp so you can tune then you don’t have to disable any other effects.

Why Compression before Gains?

Well, you should put some consideration into this.Compression pedals can boost your signal. If you do this after your gain pedals, it can send increase that humming and ringing noise to your amp. You can reduce this by placing a noise gate after it. So it could require some rearranging, so just keep that in mind.

Example Board

What a better example to give then my own board. I spend more time recording tracks for other people now days with very little live gigs any more.

stained m3 holeyboard with pedals
* These pedals are on the effects loop of the MXR Noise Clamp.
** These pedals are ran through my effects loop of my amps.

All my pedals use the Walrus Audio - Phoenix for power. Isolated power supplies can be expensive but they are the best for keeping the pedal sound clean and not burning money on batteries. If you play as much as I do, it is cheaper in the long run and sounds better than daisy chaining.

I also use the Natural holeyboard from Chemistry Design Werks, which I stained myself. I can not speak highly enough about this pedalboard and it does not destroy your pedals. I love it and it is a reasonable cost.

I hope this was a helpful in pedal chaining but don’t feel limited to this. Move your pedals around and experiment. For example, looper pedals can go before your time effects or even before your modulation effects. I specifically use my Superbolt as an “amp in a pedal” so that is why my fuzzes and distortions go before it.

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