Three Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Guitar Multi-effect Processor

With the right setup and settings, you can sound like a guitar legend, even if you’re still learning to play.

Boss Electric Guitar Multi-effect Processor
Multi-effect processors aren’t complicated to use, but they can open up new worlds when it comes to your personal playing style and sound.Boss

You might not be able to play a guitar like Hendrix or Clapton but you sure can make it sound like theirs. How? A multi-effects processor is your best friend. This is never truer than if you’re the guy who has collected 45 pedals and custom-built a pedalboard that takes two guys to lift up! Swapping out your cherished pedal collection for a two-pound multi-processor seems like a no-brainer. Here’s what to look for.

Durability

Zoom G1X FOUR Guitar Multi-Effects Processor with Expression Pedal
This durable and compact processor weighs only two pounds, features an expression pedal and more than 60 pre-set effects, and offers power options including 4 AA batteries, AC adapter, and USB plug-in.Zoom

You might get away with a sensitive, lightly constructed multi-effects processor if it always hides out in your studio, but if you gig with it you need a reliable processor able to survive a six-foot drop or an inch of rainfall. It helps also to run on both batteries and plug-in.

Layout and Playability

VOX STOMPLAB2G Modeling Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal
This popular box features a highly visible display and easy to adjust buttons and knobs.VOX

A multi-effects processor is of no use if it’s not laid out in a playable manner. Stomp buttons should be placed for easy access and minimal confusion. The pedal should be lit well enough to see when standing in dark bars and gig settings.

USB/Midi Interface

BOSS GT-1 Guitar Multi-Effects Processor Bundle with BOSS Tone Studio
This compact processor features a USB connection for interface with your DAW.BOSS

A USB output enables interface with your computer or digital audio workstation (DAW) and a whole universe of opportunities for recording, storing and editing patches, and loading new sounds onto your processor.

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