A reverb effect simulates the sounds that result from reflections of surroundings walls, creating ambience. Imagine being in a large hall with a guitar and an amp, and then hitting a note. The sound from the amp will echo off the walls, floor and ceiling, which would be heard seconds later – only more diffused, spread out and quieter.
Depending on the design of reverb effects device, setting the reverb at half intensity can give the impression of playing in a large room. Setting the reverb at full intensity can give the impression of playing in a large hall. Most inexpensive amps have a reverb effect built in. In our experience, most reverb effects work amazingly well.
A delay effect is similar to an echo but rather than producing a natural echo like a reverb effect, a whole chunk of sound is repeated instead in controlled time intervals over the main sound.
There are three main parameters of a delay effect, and these are: time (the length of the delay), feedback (the number of times to repeat the sound), and level (the loudness of the repeated sound). Most delay effects pedals have a 2000 millisecond (2 second) maximum delay which gives room for the guitarist to experiment with different delay settings.
A delay effect can be used to create an artificial ambience without drowning out other sounds in a recording. By lowering the level of the repeated sound and delaying it once a few milliseconds after the main, the result is a subtle echo that thickens the sound with a clean edge.
Here are two examples of a sound with and without a slight delay:
A chorus effect is when multiple copies of the original sound are playing alongside each other at slightly different pitches. To the user, the combined pitches sound like one.
Another way to describe it is similar to having another copy of the original sound being playing alongside to result in a harmonising sound. Similar to when you have a choir of people singing together and all the voices blend together into a fuller and pleasant sound. Another example is when you hear many violins playing the same notes simultaneously in an orchestra. The effect can give the guitar tone a ‘shimmering’ feel.
Some chorus effects units provide a stereo output so the effect can be further increased with stereo speakers.
Here is an example of all types combined together!
- Reverb simulates the natural ambiance of a certain environment such as a hall or stage.
- Delay repeats parts of what you played like an echo.
- Chorus simulates the sound of two or more instruments playing together.
- These effects can be combined.