Perfect Guitar Pedal Order with Steve Vai

Musician’s Friend Webinar Series: Perfect Guitar Pedal Order with Steve Vai

Musician’s Friend and BOSS teamed up to present an exclusive live webinar featuring guitar icon Steve Vai that takes the mystery out of guitar pedal order.

Filmed in Los Angeles, CA in July, 2014.

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Peter Gull says:

Why does it all sound so awful?

prolet kult says:

I would think that a good starting point would be to consider how these sounds occur naturally. For instance, flangers are a device meant to emulate a physical act of putting pressure on the flange (or edge) of the tape reel while recording, causing very slight speed changes which affect the pitch of the recorded sound. So originally, in an analog situation, the flange would actually be the last (modulation) effect added – whereas a chorus is meant to emulate multiple guitars (or whatever you’re putting into it), so would come towards the beginning. On the other hand, a delay is meant to emulate the sound bouncing off a hard surface (or multiple surfaces) and returning to its point of origin. So one would think the logical place for a delay would be at the very end of the signal chain. Of course, this is assuming you are using these devices to emulate naturally occurring sounds to begin with.

If, on the other hand, you are simply using the guitar as a sound source (think “oscillator” for you synth freaks out there) and all the effects pedals merely as “filters” with which to sculpt a final waveform, then “nothing is sacred, everything is permitted.” 😉

Turkey trail honey bee farm Georgia says:

3 pro’s 3 orders.

justin lloyd says:

ice pick in the forehead! lol

dijon streak says:

…for me, i let the Song ( what it’s about, content, style ) dictate the Sound that i want conveyed properly to the listener…i ALWAYS have The Listener in mind…….

Darius De Valera says:


PlusticM says:

Who the fuck is the guy sitting next Steve?

Butler Trugo says:

At 57:06 … the “M” stands for “MOD” right?

JRPowell3_Music says:

Finally saw this video. I like the part where the sound is finally in stereo. Delays in the loop. I like the comment about describing metaphorically the description of panning and eq. Then there was a mention about having more than one stereo guitar. You can if there is careful planning. For example guitar 1 in stereo could be dry in the center with stereo fx blend. Guitar 2 can have the dry panned over one direction slightly plus the stereo fx blend. I use a stereo Ernie Ball Musicman 7 string with magnetic and piezo. I have the piezo in mono, slightly panned with some delay/reverb. Not too much, but it is there. Also sometimes I may track in stereo and double the stereo track. It usually blends well.

EP & The Gates Of Dawn says:

Brian is tripping over his own words ….he is obviously a fan…. fun to watch. Thanks for the info!!!!

Hart Q says:

Vai is very humble!

Chris Peterson says:

Good to learn from the master himself, glad most of the artists don’t act like they have to keep their knowledge a secret to the masses. Thx Steve, seems like a genuinely nice person as well.

RDE Lutherie says:

Oh noooooooooo!!!!!!! He revealed how I make my spaceship sound!!!

Mike Fredensborg says:

4:20 -the moment every Vai fan dream of. Sipping coffee sitting behind Steve nodding while he talks guitar 🙂

Jonathan Jackson says:

Boss needs to bring back the PN-2 !!!!!!

Von Ehman says:

I like listening to these guys as they get older, you can see the wisdom has set in. I to do the “quiet time’ thing every night. His feeling towards the guitar/music is more like a mature love for your Wife, as opposed to an infatuation for your Girlfriend.  “I wasn’t a natural guitar player, I had to work very hard at it.” That was me also, I wasn’t a natural in terms of technique and being able to play what I heard correctly, but I had the soul, feel and inspiration, the other stuff, all over the place. It seems to me, these days way too much emphasis is placed on technique and gear. I was more destined/suited for the world of the spirit and  the creative life. I could never hack it as a note counter. Copying other peoples work is a good/maybe necessary way to learn/expand, but it should  never seen as a means to an end.

John Rowe says:

Guitar Player magazine published a fabulous instrument frequency chart showing: violin, guitar, bass, male/female vcls, etc that hangs over my studio board. (I never memorised it, so I have many copies as it does occasionally disappear from my desk wall – because people like it so much but have never bothered to learn manners — “Please” “Thank you ” ” May I have a copy?” …. it is definitely DEFINITELY worth looking up if it’s out there somewhere. I believe it was in the mid -90s-late-90s Guitar Player magazine. Thanks, Mr Vai for bringing up the importance of using frequency to separate the instruments from ea other! (Sorry, I just moved and am still unpacking or I would give you the date of the mag.)

David Courtney says:

Brill to know, thanks Steve.

T Bone says:

Ol Steve safe at all times with those safety glasses. He must be expecting his awesome playing to blow up one of those pedals and turn it into shrapnel.

Gabriel Tremblay says:

I thought i was drunk, but thats where my money went instead of a microtonal guitar

DogFaced Boy says:

I wish he’d play as well in his “songs!” Like fron 10:37 to 11:00 or so, he’s playing some very “normal” guitar that I’d love to hear him develop through his twisty mind. I love great guitar, but it seems like when it comes to doing an album, almost ALL these guys – Vai, Morse, Satriani, Johnson… they just end up re-writing the same seven or eight songs over and over. I wish they’d work in longer forms, and fully explore the weirdness in them. Aw well, the feast is over, they’re all just competing for the primo spots in Satan’s Little Band. Currently held down by Jimi and Duane, but here come de shred!

Nathan Brown says:

That was an interesting introduction. Also this seems like an odd video for Steve vai

Night Time says:

I’m not a huge fan of Steve Vai’s music. He’s an amazing player, but I typically like bands not guitar players. Anyways, the man absolutely gets it. The whole thing about finding your note is absolute truth.

Lonetholsskia says:

01:05:10 where have I heard that before?

Does someone know that song?

ferraufe says:

Vai es uno de los tipos mas inspirados ( e inspiradores) que existen…Incluso solo mostrándote como conectar unos pedales…El puto amo…

الشيخ عبد الرحيم says:

Steve Vai, thank you so much

T Bone says:

I bet he has flat nuts.

Frank Quinn says:

those boss pedal boards suck a huge amount of top end

Robert Boyd says:

Wow, Just found this. What an awesome video. Steve is such an awesome human being. It must be nice to actually know him personally.

guitawrizt says:

Steve looks fetal scrunched in that chair.

Wayne Timper says:

When Steve talks about the studio set up as far as splitting the guitar into one effect and amp or a different effect to a different amp it reminded me of Pete Townsend. I can’t confirm this, but back in the day it was said that he split his guitar dry to one stack of amps and the other through a fuzz box to another stack of amps. Can anyone confirm or deny this tid-bit that stuck in my head for 50+ years?

beatvampire says:

wise advice about criticism

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