Video: The Basics of Using Pedals for Beats and Electronic Production

Need help setting up your effects pedals to bring life and flavor into your music? Our comprehensive guide can get you started on the right track. With a variety of effects such as reverb, chorus, delay, and overdrive right at your fingertips, you can create completely unique soundscapes using envelope filters, wahs, and dirt pedals in tandem.

In the video above, Fess Grandiose taps into creative modulation techniques using effects and explores a variety of techniques for combining pedals to create stunningly original sounds, tailor-made for electronic production.


Reverb allows you to sonically recreate your sound being played in a bigger environment. A reverb pedal is an excellent add-on for any hardware, check out a few of our favorites.


Delay, also known as echo, is an effect where your audio signal is copied and repeated over time. Delay effects can be either analog or digital, with the analog providing a richer and more degraded sound that fades after each replaying while the digital produces clearer tones that are often crafted to mimic vintage analog delay effect devices.


Roland’s renowned Chorus effect is a sonic staple that has been used for decades to add movement and dimensionality to pads, bass lines, and other sounds. By combining two slightly out-of-phase sources of the same sound which wobble in pitch but remain harmonious with each other, this gorgeous effect crafted some iconic tones heard on classic Juno synths.

Phaser & Flanger

Phasers and flangers are two different effects that produce very distinct sounds. A phaser filters signals using frequency-based delays, creating a series of peaks as it splits the sound into multiple paths. On the other hand, a flanger doubles your input signal and plays both back with time delay. If you want to add some interesting texture to any synthesizer, drum machine, or groovebox, then these two effects will be perfect to achieve just that.

Dirt Pedals

If you're looking to add an extra layer of aggression and intensity to your sound, consider using overdrive, distortion, or fuzz. But don't think these are limited to the electric guitar. When applied carefully, they can bring a lot more character and saturation to any instrument. From warm bass lines with overdrives, textured drums with distortion, and heavily distorted sounds for those who want something a little crazier.

Tremolo & Vibrato

Using an LFO, tremolo alters a signal's volume while vibrato modifies its pitch. Although these features may not be as attention-grabbing as others, having an extra of either or both can add considerable depth to your sound.

Envelope Filters & Wahs

An envelope filter (or auto-wah) mimics an early synthesizer pedal for guitars, detecting the sound and opening or closing a filter based on its settings. A great example is Stevie Wonder's clavinet in "Higher Ground." This same technique can be applied to drum machines too.

Plugging In: Hardware

Many effects pedals are mono or stereo with one input and output, but some have two quarter-inch outputs or a TRS output. If necessary, you can look into purchasing a stereo-to-mono cable for your setup; nevertheless be sure to always check the volume of your gear before plugging it in any type of pedal.

Plugging In: Software

For electronic music creators that typically use software and computers, you can still join the pedal party. As long as your interface is capable and you have a DAW, then using a re-amp box will be possible for you. This box takes line-level signals from the interface and converts it into something suitable for effects pedals to process.

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