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Guitar Effects Signal Chain

Thought it might be beneficial to discuss appropriate guitar effects order and what guitar effects belong in the FX loop versus in front of the amp.

Always begin your guitar effects chain with distortion of overdrive effects adding these types of guitar effects after time based effects (delay, chorus, flange, etc) will only introduce unwanted noise and sound horrible. Additionally placing a overdrive before distortion is better as the overdrive can be used to push the distortion for additional volume or gain. Never place an overdrive or distortion effect in the FX loop of an amp.

Time based guitar effects (delay, chorus, flange, etc) are placed after gain effects to keep noise to a minimum. This also allows the effect to be placed on the signal after gain has been added. Time based guitar effects are perfect for the FX loop on an amp or between your preamp and power amp in a rack setup.

The last guitar effect is EQ which works both in front of the amp and in the FX loop. EQ also works well before gain stage or after and optimally in both position.

Place volume pedals first in the signal chain while Wahs can go before or after the gain/overdrive pedal depending on how you want to affect the sound.

Noise gates are best at the end of the signal chain and work well in the FX loop.

Volume --> Overdrive pedal --> Distortion Pedal --> Chorus/Delay/Flange --> Noise Gate
Volume --> EQ --> Overdrive pedal --> Distortion Pedal --> Chorus/Delay/Flange --> Noise Gate
Volume --> Overdrive pedal --> EQ --> Distortion Pedal --> Chorus/Delay/Flange --> Noise Gate

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