What Are Volume Pedals?
For starters, there are two different types of volume pedals: Active Volume Pedals & Passive Volume Pedals. Passive volume control means that you don’t need to power this pedal. Active volume pedals would be just the opposite, it would require a power source, typically a 9V battery or a 9V DC power supply. Depending on where you put it in your chain you can get different but equally useful effects with them. These are a fun addition to any pedal board. Control your volume on stage while adding dynamic depth and expression to your performance. Drop back a bit behind the vocals. Go full-throttle for that shining solo. Smaller units fit in a pedal board, larger models offer stability.
What Do They Do?
At the back end of the signal chain the volume pedal acts as a master volume and just controls the level or output of the guitar. It does not affect anything on the front end in the effects loop. This allows for convenience and control so you can use your feet allowing your hands to focus solely on playing.
At the front end, the signal hits the volume pedal than gets delivered through whatever effects you have in your rig. This than controls the level of the effect and the presence. For example when you are using Delay or Reverb and cut it off or pull back the volume will cut from the guitar signal, but you still get the trail of the effects in the chain. You can also use them to get a classic swell effect, or a manual simulated tremolo.
How To Do Swells?
All you need is a delay pedal and a volume pedal. There are a few key factors that play into doing a swell: the repeats, the delay time and the mix. When swelling you want the mix to be up, because that is the level of your delay. This is what people will be hearing after you swell out. With the repeat turned up you can get a very long and ambient sustain that will really ring out. You can really get some cool tones out of this combination.
Guitar volume pedals are a very interesting piece of gear and are no doubt fun to experiment with. You can use it to boost your level or to tweak the intensity and volume of your effects. You can put it at the front, at the back or in the middle of your signal chain and it will just control different parameters of your tone. With advances in technology, they now have full size like the Dunlop DVP3 and mini volume pedals like the Dunlop DVP4 Volume X Mini if your pedal board is a little tight for space.
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To learn more about pedal order and controlling the flow of your signal click Here
For tips on dialing in great tone with a Flanger pedal click Here
For tips on dialing in great tone with a Delay pedal click Here