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Swells without an expression pedal?

Denny99

Inspired
Always the good old fashioned way of just turning your guitar volume pot too......
It’s not just the same. Rolling off the volume pot decreases gain, and ultimately changes tone.
Volume swells work best when the volume pedal is placed after the amp and before time based effects, such as delays and reverbs. That way the tone is consistent throughout the swells, only volume changes.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Volume swells work best when the volume pedal is placed after the amp and before time based effects, such as delays and reverbs. That way the tone is consistent throughout the swells.
Matter of personal opinion. I like it at the front and it’s effect on gain
 

rushfan

Veteran
There are good reasons for both techniques of after the amp and before effects, or first in the chain to go from gritty to full gain.

I like both, usually the latter, but sometimes, in a song like Pink Floyd's "Empty Spaces", it's a full-on gain guitar buried back in the mix a ways for effect. I do it that way for a couple of spots at the end of the main solo in Pearl Jam's "Even Flow"
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Decades worth of classic guitar tracks were done with the age old method of rolling up the volume pot with your pinky finger while picking (works best with a strat of course, or a tele with a flipped control plate works too).

Certainly is a different sound that post amp block volume pedal, just like it’s different than a pre amp block pedal which is after other stomps. I’ve seen guys run volume pedals first, some last, depends what type of effect your after, do you want to adjust the level or the tone/drive etc ?

I have more exp pedals that I know what to do with but I still find I use the guitar volume pot more than anything else. Just feels the most natural after so many years of doing it....no matter the taper on an exp I always feel a little more awkward with the timing.
 

Bodde

Fractal Fanatic
It’s not just the same. Rolling off the volume pot decreases gain, and ultimately changes tone.
Volume swells work best when the volume pedal is placed after the amp and before time based effects, such as delays and reverbs. That way the tone is consistent throughout the swells, only volume changes.
I agree. For swells this is the best solution. But If you want it to control gain you placed it before amp and drive. I don't use it that way though. I also prefer using a pedal instead of the volume knob for swells. Makes it much more easy with chords and damping notes with both left and right hand. Also your volume pots can get noisy over time which disturbs swells.

Auto swell can be nice too sometimes but I still prefer a foot pedal. It's hard to exactly dial in auto swell and is very dependent of the speed that you play. Your foot gives you more control.
 

Denny99

Inspired
I agree. For swells this is the best solution. But If you want it to control gain you placed it before amp and drive. I don't use it that way though. I also prefer using a pedal instead of the volume knob for swells.
Absolutely! If a change in gain is what you’re after, then the volume pot is a great tool. I use it a lot, and I think I could never play a guitar without a volume pot.

But for swells, I feel placing the volume control after the amp gives better results. At least for the kind of volume swells I (rarely) use to play. If I were to play Cathedral by EVH, I would certainly use the volume pot because that’s how it was conceived and performed.
 

aftrshok99

Inspired
As far as volume swells in the way that I use them, either an exp pedal or setting up an auto swell would be the way I would do it. Guess I should just bite the bullet and get me an exp pedal.
 
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aftrshok99

Inspired
Auto swell can be nice too sometimes but I still prefer a foot pedal. It's hard to exactly dial in auto swell and is very dependent of the speed that you play. Your foot gives you more control.
I was wondering if it is hard to exactly dial in auto swell.
 
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