You may have the impression that effectors are something that changes the sound.
It is true that some effectors for electric guitars can make the sound sound like a different instrument.
On the other hand, some effectors do not produce any flashy changes, but they do improve sound quality and expressiveness.
Effectors used on acoustic guitars and electric acoustic guitars are often used for the purpose of improving expressiveness .
So, what kinds of effectors are there for acoustic guitars?
Also, is there a difference from effectors for electric guitars?
This article provides an easy-to-understand explanation of the types of effectors for acoustic guitars and how to use them .
▼Types of effectors used in acoustic guitars
The following are the main types of effectors used on acoustic guitars and electric acoustic guitars.
They can be categorized into preamps and compressors that shape the sound, and spatial effects such as reverb, delay, and chorus.
This effector amplifies the signal from the acoustic guitar pickup and adjusts the sound quality. Required when connecting directly to an amplifier or connecting to a PA system. Many preamps are equipped with features that optimize the tone according to the guitar's body type and material, as well as features that prevent howling.
This effect suppresses variations in the volume of an acoustic guitar and creates a stable sound. You can balance the volume of chord strokes and single-note leads, and adjust attack and sustain.
This effector adds reverberation to the sound of an acoustic guitar, making it a glossy and loud sound. You can adjust the room size and reverberation time.
This effect adds echo to the sound of an acoustic guitar, creating a spacious and deep sound. You can adjust the number of echoes, time, and volume.
This effect adds a slightly pitch-shifted sound to make it sound like multiple guitars are playing at the same time. You can adjust the depth, speed, and volume of the chorus.
▼Differences from electric guitar effectors
When you visit a music store, most of the effect units you see are for electric guitars.
If anything, there are fewer effectors for acoustic guitars, and there may be fewer options.
For this reason, some people connect an electric guitar effector to their acoustic guitar.
What difference is there actually?
# Difference between electric guitar and acoustic guitar
First, there is a difference in the effectors installed.
Acoustic guitars don't often need to distort the sound like electric guitars, so they often don't have distortion effects like overdrive or distortion.
Next, there are differences in circuit design.
The design and circuitry of acoustic guitar effectors are optimized to accommodate the wide range of acoustic guitars.
# Is it okay to use an electric guitar effector?
Even if you connect an acoustic guitar to an electric guitar effector, there is no big problem.
However, depending on the effector, the sound quality may be impaired or howling may occur, so it is best to judge by your own ears.
In particular, when using a distortion effector on an acoustic guitar, there is a high possibility of howling, so be careful.
However, there are some effectors for electric guitars that can produce flashy effects , such as those made by Electro Harmonix .
You can get a unique sound by connecting such an effector to an acoustic guitar, so it might be worth giving it a try.
▼What kind of sound do you want in the end?
Since you are choosing an acoustic guitar over an electric guitar, you will most likely use an effector to bring out the unique charm of an acoustic guitar.
However, what kind of sounds are appealing to different people differs from person to person, so in the end, what is important is what kind of sound you personally want.
# Don't need chorus or delay?
Generally speaking, effectors are often used to reproduce the sound of a live acoustic guitar in a good way, or to reproduce the live sound of a high-quality acoustic guitar. For such purposes, chorus and delay may not be necessary.
Especially for the chorus, the more you apply it, the more it tends to sound like an electric guitar than an acoustic guitar.
# The key is a light compressor and reverb
If you're aiming for a natural acoustic guitar sound, a compressor to shape the sound and a reverb to add spatial spaciousness may be all you need.
In particular, the impression of an acoustic guitar performance changes considerably depending on whether or not there is reverb.
When you hear a sound with good reverb, you feel like you've been transported into a big, fantastical space .