We’re going to talk about effect switchers. Do you need one? Which one is right for you?⠀
An effects switcher is a programmable set of loops contained within a switcher with multiple foot switches that correspond to each pedal in the individual loops. These loops are typically true bypass and are often MIDI controllable. It’s possible to wire multiple pedals to a single loop in order to conveniently turn on multiple pedals with one footswitch.
For gigging/touring musicians and worship guitarists, an effect switcher would be feasible, as these musicians are typically playing from a setlist and play some of the same songs day in and day out. Effect switchers can be programmed by song or by set, and offers efficiency in this context. ⠀
For session/studio musicians, an effect switcher is a less efficient option because, typically, studio musicians need to be able to change sounds and settings on the fly. Wiring your pedalboard in-series (one pedal after the next) is a more feasible and efficient option in this context.
For hobbyists or “bedroom guitarists,” an effect switcher is optional. It’s easy to believe that you NEED an effect switcher or that it will make you play better, but an effect switcher can only offer convenience - less tap-dancing to turn your pedals on/off. Wiring your pedalboard in-series will offer the same results as an effect switcher. There is limited benefit for an effect switcher in this context.
Effect Switchers we recommend:
Boss MS3 // ES5 // ES8⠀
RJM Mastermind PBC/6X // PBC/10⠀
GigRig G2 // G3 // G3 Atom⠀
Electro-Harmonix Super Switcher