Multi-effects pedal vs individual pedals: which is right for you?

Headrush multi-effects vs multiple pedals on a 'board
(Image credit: Future)

So where do you stand on the age-old argument of running a multi-effects pedal vs individual pedals? First we need a bit of a history lesson…

When you think about it, there's basically two main categories of guitar effect. There's effects that add gain to the signal. These generally increase the amplitude and in doing so add harmonic distortion. Enough gain, and the waveform will clip. If more clipping is desirable, diodes can be used to either 'soft-clip', or 'hard-clip' the waveform shape. This covers all boosts, drives, distortions and fuzzes.

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Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.