How to Put the Guitar Delay Pedal First with a Volume Pedal

Learn how to put the delay pedal first when using delay with a volume pedal from musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video about guitar pedals.


So basically one of the things that kind of confused me when I first started playing guitar was the order of pedals, and it's something that doesn't need to be confusing. It is something you can really experiment with. Depending on what comes first in the signal chain and what goes last, the guitar being first, the amp being last, and in between that signal chain you can place the order of the pedals in many different ways to achieve a lot of different kinds of sounds.

We're working with delay, so one of the things that we're going to talk about now is having the delay first, before the distortion. So what we have here is coming out of the guitar, we're going into a volume pedal, which we're going to use to add and remove the amount of guitar into the signal path. Next we have the delay. Then finally the distortion.

What that means basically is the signal coming out of your guitar is clean by default. It goes into the volume pedal, and you're delaying first. So the amount of delay in the clean signal, in the true signal is much more intense than if you had the delay last. So you're distorting your overall signal before it gets to the amp.

If you were to put this in a different order, you would be distorting your clean signal and sending that signal as the true signal into the delay. So you're going to get a much different sound. It's not wrong or right. It's just different.

So this is what the guitar sounds like if you have the distortion last, the delay first.

You can really hear the decay when I back off the volume pedal. It's a much more intense delay sound than if you had it the other way around because your clean signal is getting delayed before everything else. The true signal is hitting that first, and that means that all of your signal is being delayed before it ever even gets to the distortion pedal.

So experiment with that because there's a lot of cool things you can do. You can do all sorts of swells.

Working with the volume pedal is very cool for that kind of thing. So experiment with that and come up with your own order and come up with your own settings.

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