Can You Use Guitar Pedals for Vocals?
Guitar pedals, or stomp boxes as some people like to call them, are most commonly used to modify the wavelengths and the sound coming out of guitars. Some models can work with other electric instruments, such as keyboards, bass guitars, and even drums.
You probably came here wondering whether or not can you use guitar pedals for vocals, since it's possible to combine them with so many other instruments.
This article will discuss what the best way to use guitar pedals for vocals is and which types of pedals are suitable for doing so.
Can You Use Guitar Pedals for Vocals?
So, can you really use guitar pedals for vocals? The short answer is yes, but it may depend on the type of microphone that you are using. After all, among professional singers, using a guitar pedal to add effects to vocals isn't the most prominent voice modification method out there.
But then again, there are some who did it throughout their whole career, simply because they were used to pedals and didn't want to move on to better alternatives even after becoming famous. One such singer is Bob Dylan, who used multiple stomp boxes chained together to add various effects to his impressive songs.
Tips to Setting Up a Guitar Pedal With a Microphone
The very first thing you should look out for is the jack compatibility. This is an important factor even when plugging a guitar into a pedal, but the jacks have become standardized during the years, so it's not much of an issue anymore.
Yet, microphone jacks tend to have various jack dimensions, ranging from a quarter-inch to a full two inches. If you encounter this problem, you should either buy a new microphone or a new guitar pedal so the jack and the cable can work together.
For this, we recommend getting a new pedal, as you can then choose a model that is specifically designed for both voice altering and microphone effects.
Next, you would also want to look at the voltage and the reach of your power supply. If your energy source is just barely strong enough to support your microphone, then it won't work with a pedal combined.
Why? This is because each electric device connected to it draws a certain amount of energy from the power supply. If your power source starts having more energy drawn from it than it can give, it will burn out and stop working.
Best Guitar Pedals for Voice Modification
If you aren't going to buy a unique pedal for your voice modification, then your choice is limited. Out of the commonly used guitar pedals, the only ones that won't make you sound funny are the boost, reverb, and EQ stomp boxes.
It is not recommended to modify your vocals using a distortion pedal or a wah pedal if you are going to play in front of an audience. Why? Well, let’s just say that they simply won’t do you any good.
Luckily, some pedals can be used for both guitars and vocals with the same efficiency. This is a huge category to explore, and we can't possibly talk about all the different models that are out there. However, we can advise you to look for a chorus pedal at first. Afterward, you can opt to buy a reverb/delay pedal or a looper one.
As we said at the beginning of the article, using a guitar pedal to modify your voice isn't exactly the most optimal, nor is it the recommended method of altering your voice. However, in modern music, there are some other choices that are ideally suited for singers of all genres who want to enhance or change their performance.
There are two routes which you can choose:
Mixer or Overall Sound System
The first one is getting a mixer or an overall sound system that has integrated voice effects. By doing this, you will be able to apply whatever effect you want to the vocal channel before starting a show.
However, the drawback to using this method is that you won't be able to interchange sound modes while singing. Why? That’s simply because it would be rather inconvenient to mess with a sound system in the middle of a show.
Soundman + Onstage Studio
The second route is a bit more expensive and more suited for larger shows and bands. It requires hiring a soundman and setting up an onstage studio dedicated only to modifying voice. This will produce the best results, and it's the easiest method to apply, but it will require a significant investment on your part.
Many singers and musicians wonder whether can you use guitar pedals for vocals. It is pretty simple to do so, and if you are lucky enough, you might already have a pedal and a microphone that are compatible with one another.
The only possible complication is your power supply not being good enough and being burnt out. Other than that, you will find that enhancing your voice with various effects will significantly improve your singing. Also, it's really amusing to play around with!