With countless digital plugins capable of conjuring up just about every effect imaginable, you really don’t need fancy hardware to make incredible sounds. But having some physical knobs at your fingertips can open up a whole new world of creative excitement and it can be easier than you might imagine to get started with hardware effects in your DAW by using something a little bit different – guitar pedals.
Despite their name, guitar effects pedals are certainly not only for guitarists. Thinking ‘outside the box’ could unlock a world of possibilities for your sounds.
For one thing, building a collection of effects is a lot more meaningful than downloading loads of plugins. In a similar way to how vinyl lovers will often go on about how owning a physical copy of the music gives them this sense of connection to music, the same is true of hardware effects. Instead of building up a library of 100s of different plugins, you might only have a small handful of effects that you really get to know inside out and become really familiar with how they work.
Back in the days of old-school recording, all of the effects you’d want to put on a track were analogue, bulky and, above all, expensive. Want some reverb on your voice? You’d be looking at a plate reverb costing thousands of pounds. Now we can get fantastic sounding units for a small fraction of the cost that fits in your pocket. You’ll still get this sense of a classic hardware workflow without breaking the bank.
So check out this video where UK Bass producer Hodge shows you how to experiment with guitar pedals and an old keyboard to conjure some completely new and unique sounds.