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HD500 Signal chain. Which pedal where?
by Gandalf5150 on 2011-11-20 02:15:30.3950

I'm trying to fine tune my patches by experimenting moving my effects around in the chain.

In particular, certain effects pre and post amp sim.

I confess I'm not the best patch builder and I'm struggling to decide what is best.

A little guidence would help.

Are there any golden rules to acheive the best results?

What order should I put my pedals for an average clean/dirty tone?

For example, I have always put the vol/wah at end of chain and have delays/verbs post amp sim?

Thanks in advance.

Re: HD500 Signal chain. Which pedal where?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-11-20 04:10:57.3900

Definitely no 'Golden' Rules and it is good to play.

WIth that said:  there are typical approaches to effects that are considered to be a balance of flexibility and tone, suited to most playerts.  Everyone has a few peccadillos of their own as to where they like things placed.

Generally with clean tones, placement is less critical. With dirty tones, there is a strong argument for delay and reverb based effects to be after the amp. as they are difficult to make sound good in front.

but I think the general approach is:

Before the Amp (PRE)

  • Noise Gate (only if it is really needed)
  • Compressors. 
  • Distortions/ODs.  Almost always sound better before the amp and are often used to shape the flavour of distortion when a high gain amp is in use. 
  • Wahs.  Can go either side of the distortion pedal for a different intensity of wah.  

After the Amp (POST)

  • Phaser
  • Flanger
  • Fancy effects (filters etc)
  • Delay
  • Reverb


  • Chorus.  Generally sounds more clear in POST but warmer in PRE.  For dirty patches, probably best to go POST but it is very much a taste issue.
  • Volume.  Some people have this at the front of the chain, where it can act as a variable gain effect.  Others prefer it near the end of the chain where it controls the whole signal.   Consider putting it before your Delay and reverb effects.  That way, when you wind the voume down:  you will still hear the echo repeats or reverb trail. Also, you can save an effects block by assigning the Expression pedal to the 'Volume' control on your modelled amp.
  • Harmoniser/Pitch Bend.  You need to make  sure that the signal is not too modulated or distorted before it hits these or they will not track well.  Probably best located before the amp.  
  • EQ.  Either side.  Can be used to shape the signal in both locations. Search this forum for more tips here.   Beware of too much boost/gain as it can cause unwanted distortion in some cases, particularly when located before modulation effects.
  • Tremolo/Vibrato.  Wherever floats your boat.

A clean effects chain for me might look like:

Guitar in --> Compressor ->  OD/Clean booster - > Chorus -> [AMP] -> Phase/Flange -> Volume -> Delay ->  Reverb -->  Out

A crunch/mid gain effects chain for me might be:

Guitar In --> Compressor -->  Pitch Shift --> Wah --> OD/Distortion --> [AMP] --> Univibe --> Chorus --> Reverb --> Out

A High gain effects chain for me might be:

Guitar In --> Gate -->  Pitch Shift --> Wah --> OD/Distortion --> [AMP] --> Flanger --> Delay --> Reverb --> Out

In each case: I would make most of the effects switchable with FS assignment and would not run all at once.   Try switching effects on and off and make sure that none of them make the overall signal significantly louder as this may cause unwanted distortion later in the chain,  Where a mix control is part of the effect parameters:  bear in mind that often a mix between the dry and effected signal can be much more musical sounding than the effected signal alone.

I want to stress that this is very much a starting point/guide.  Have fun.

Re: HD500 Signal chain. Which pedal where?
by Gandalf5150 on 2011-11-20 06:44:16.1560

Just what I wqas looking for. Thanks very much for taking so much time to put together a detailed answer.

Re: HD500 Signal chain. Which pedal where?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-11-20 16:20:04.6420

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.