5 Reasons You Need a Digital Guitar Unit WiredGuitarist October 11, 2016 Articles, Uncategorized Are you someone who can’t live without their amp and pedals, but would love some of the features of digital multi-effects processors? You don’t have to sacrifice the gear and tone that you love in order to enjoy the benefits of this technology. Here’s 5 reasons to pick up a digital multi-effects unit and amplify your tone. 1. Noise Gates… Perfected If you play any kind of high gain music, you’ve likely used a noise gate at some point. While they are useful, and in many genres essential, any noise gate pedal is only going to have one setting available to you at any given time. This forces you to find a compromising setting, where you have to sacrifice your sustain, your tightness, or even both… … Your playing is dynamic, why shouldn’t your noise gates be too? Digital guitar processors allow you to, at the press of a single footswitch, go from loads of searing sustain with a laid back gate, to a robotically precise response reminiscent of a tightly edited studio track. You’ll never have to deal with that awkward middle ground of gating again. “One size fits all” noise gates are a thing of the past. 2. Surgical EQ for Studio Quality Tones With an analog setup, you’ve really only got the basic of EQ available: treble, mid, and bass. If you’re lucky, you might get a couple of extra controls as well. While these options may seem like more than enough for some, it’s only the beginning of what creates an amazing guitar tone. When mixing the balanced, punchy, articulate guitar tones that we all strive for, professional audio engineers reach for a wide variety of EQ options. Everything from removing excess low end with filters, to carefully sucking out tiny unmusical frequencies that get in the way of your guitar’s clarity and punch. None of these tools are available in your standard amp or pedal, but even the most basic digital effects units contain the EQ tools that your favourite guitar tones have been created from. With these features, your tone goes from raw and muddy to punchy and polished. 3. Perfect Timing (At Least For Your Effects) Nothing is more annoying than having to adjust your delay pedal in between songs, taking up time and killing the energy of your band’s set. With digital units, you can match your effects to any tempo, and recall those settings for all of your effects with a single button. If your band plays to a click, you can also sync many of these devices up via MIDI removing all your button pressing completely! Not only will your delays, tremolos, choruses etc. be in perfect time with your song’s tempo, but you can change those tempos on the fly thanks to the flexibility of digital processing. 4. Consistent Performance, Night After Night When you’re out on the road, any number of things can go wrong and ruin what could have been an amazing show. Having a digital unit can eliminate countless potential problem areas and make sure your live show meets your high standards every time. You’ll never have to worry about your knobs and settings getting bumped, a battery running out, or a pot getting scratchy with digital effects processors. These pieces of hardware are built with consistency at the forefront, keeping your troubleshooting low and your peak performance at an all-time high. 5. All-In-One Solution While we don’t always want to swap your awesome amp and pedal tone out for digital replacements, a multi-effects unit can still cut your pedalboard size in half without impacting your tone. With a single unit, you can replace a huge chunk of your board including multiple noise gates, compressors, EQ’s, and even a tuner all in a single box. Having all of these utilities at your disposal in a single unit allows you to control them all dynamically with presets, while freeing up space in your gear closet (or your pedalboard for that new toy you’ve been looking at). Not only do you get increased versatility in a smaller footprint,, but after loading in and out of venues night after night your back will thank you. So Which Unit Is Right For Me? Having trouble deciding? There are countless great devices out there in all price ranges right now including: – Line 6 POD HD Series – Line 6 Helix – Fractal Audio FX8 – Zoom G Series – DigiTech RP Series – Boss ME Series – Boss GT Series – Line 6 M Series – Kemper profiling amp And so much more… In any price range, there’s enough options to satisfy both your creative and practical needs. If you’re looking at some higher quality units, get the full story with our comparison of the Fractal FX8 and Line 6 Helix. Conclusion With artists like Jake Bowen of Periphery and Jeff Loomis pushing the boundaries of guitar tone and live performance, it’s no wonder they’re turning to digital processing to achieve their goals. These technological horizons are crafting new industry standards for live performance, and your music deserves to be heard in the best possible way. Your tone is your voice – one that took you ages to find – and going digital doesn’t have to change that. With increased flexibility, a small footprint, a treasure chest of new tools, and unbeatable consistency, it’s hard to turn down the power of a digital multi-effects processor. Going digital doesn’t mean sacrificing the holy grail of tone that you’ve spent so many hours dialing in with your amp and pedals, it means taking your tone, your performance, and your music to a whole new level. We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily! Also, we are a dealer for many beloved brands such as PRS, Ibanez, Mayones, Schecter, ESP, and more! Feel free to stop by our shop and we can help you find the right guitar for you at the best price possible. This article was written by Connor Gilkinson, our editor located in Canada.