Boost pedals are one of those effects that not everyone uses, but those who do tend to benefit from them in a variety of ways. These are some of the simplest effects pedals you can get for your pedalboard, but they have so much to offer.
If you’d like to know how boost pedals work, check out our piece that deals specifically with that topic ‘Boost Pedals Explained’. When it comes to describing what a boost pedal does for your signal chain, most guitar players will give you that simple explanation that says boosters are just another volume knob for your guitar.
This is definitely true for the most part, but to fully understand the scope of this effect we need to dig a bit deeper than that. Today’s topic is going to be about the use of boost pedals, and how one of these effects can help you achieve a better tone. We might show you some reasons you were already aware of, but there are probably going to be some which are new to you.
Why Use a Boost Pedal?
Boost pedals are among the oldest forms of guitar effects pedals ever made. They are older than overdrives and are considered to be their predecessors. Even though their circuitry is rather simple, boost pedals are incredibly versatile pieces of gear.
Their use was initially meant to be limited to adding more gain to the signal chain, without changing the timbre or nature of your signal. However, over time people have found new ways to use boost pedals, which partially brought them back into relevance.
So what is a boost pedal good for? If you have a more complex signal chain, you have probably noticed that the integrity of your guitar’s tone begins to suffer as you keep linking different effects to the pedalboard. This can also happen if you use longer guitar cables to reach your amp.
One of the main reasons for this phenomenon is the lack of true bypass in some of your pedals and the fact that signal becomes weaker when you push it through longer patches of cables.
A boost pedal gives you that additional gain that reinforces the signal and allows all of your gear to perform the way it was meant to. With that said, some models work better than the others. Fortunately, there is a wide range of great boosters available today.
Cut Through The Mix When It Matters
If you are the lead guitarist in your band, you probably know that sometimes those solo sections just can’t cut through the mix with enough intensity. A boost pedal will solve that issue with a press of a single button.
Best of all, you won’t lose any of your tonal quality, nor expression. On the contrary, your signal will be more defined and much clearer. This type of effect is one of the main reasons why most guitar players insist on having a boost pedal in their setup, especially for frequent gigging.
Induce Natural Overdrive
Even though there are many great overdrive pedals out there, there are guitar players who still prefer to use boost pedals instead. When paired with a tube amp, a boost pedal is capable of delivering sufficient amounts of gain which will overwhelm the tubes and push them into natural overdrive.
The tone you get this way is not as aggressive as the one an overdrive pedal produces. With that said, not everyone has a tube amp. Even so, you can use a boost pedal to enhance the quality of your overdrive by placing it near the beginning of your signal chain.
The truth about boost pedals and boost effects in general is that you need to know how to use it in order to get the best results. Luckily, all of this is common knowledge, and as soon as you understand the full potential of this pedal, you will realize just how much it can do for you and your tone. Being so simple, investing into a boost pedal can be pretty cheap. There are models out there which cost no more than a lunch in your favorite fast food joint.
At the end of the day, boost pedals are definitely the unsung hero of many great performances and recording sessions. These pedals are not as popular some, but they definitely deserve recognition. If you have never heard of boost pedals, or you are just trying to understand what these things are all about, we urge you to try one out. It might just be exactly what you needed to complete your guitar setup. If not, chances are that boost pedal is going to be something you can find useful in at least one situation.