Guitar effects are unique and alluring. Today, we find a large number of guitar effects. Previously, such effects would not available for guitarists. It took decades in the development of guitar effects.
However, there is still the oldest guitar effect known as the tremolo. These devices are used for modulating the volume automatically as they come with a built-in amps feature. This effect had been used in the past significantly.
With time, the fist tremolo pedal was introduced in the market. The device allowed the guitarists to emulate the effect on any amp. Today, tremolo is considered the most used guitar effect as it is affordable and plays a vital role in creating enticing music.
In today’s article, we will talk about the best tremolo pedal. The list contains 5 tremolo pedals chosen carefully using specific criteria. Read on!
Top 5 Best Tremolo Pedal Picks of 2020
- #1 Voodoo Lab Tremolo
- #2 Boss Audio TR2 Tremolo Pedal
- #3 Red Witch Pentavocal Tremolo
- #4 JHS Tidewater Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal
- #5 Seymour Duncan ShapeShifter
What is a Tremolo Pedal?
Tremolo pedals are devices that create guitar effects. These devices have been available on the market for quite some time now. Tremolo is the oldest guitar effect, which is used by many guitarists today. Also, many people call it the “boss” of all guitar effects. If you are a guitarist, you must get a tremolo pedal.
In simple words, a tremolo pedal is a device that produces a modulation effect that not only manipulates the signal’s volume but it can also produce a wide variety of tremolo effects. We mean to say is that there are many options regarding the use of tremolo for changing the signal.
Having said that, there are a few specs or characteristics, which are consistent throughout – for instance, all tremolos use LFOs. The purpose of this is to create waveforms for adjusting signal volume.
It is one of the oldest effects in use – and most of these devices come in analog forms. There are many types of tremolos. These tremolo pedals – in general – tend to be simpler – although there are many models available on the market, which have a much more complex structure and function as they can generate a lot of effects. It is because of the pedal’s nature that analog works awesome for the tremolo.
You just have to manipulate the tone’s volume – you don’t need a complex analog circuit to start with. Analog tremolo pedals can bring the organic sound, which is appreciated by many guitar players.
In contrast, you can also find a large number of digital tremolo products on the market. In general, the digital ones are more affordable and they also come with more advanced and aggressive features. Digital tremolos are impressive and can take on any tremolo with an analog pedal. It still depends on your personal preference to choose either the analog one or a digital one.
What is a Tremolo Effect?
When it comes to the tremolo effect, we can say that it is one of the oldest and simplest effects for the guitar you can find today. The entire concept of the tremolo effect is based on the regulation of volume.
The circuitry decreases and then brings back the intensity of the signal of your guitar. A guitarist can achieve this by rolling the volume knob – and this can be done fast. On the other hand, this is not a practical idea – therefore, the best tremolo pedal is a great way to accomplish a consistent effect.
Many old tremolo pedals allow the guitarist to choose the effect’s frequency and the dips’ depth. When you play around with frequency and depth, you can get a wide spectrum of effects. On the other hand, modern-day tremolos come with many controls – so, you can adjust things like the signal’s waveform, etc.
The Benefits of Tremolo Pedals
Back in days, tremolos were used by guitarists to create effects. Although it is true that previously, there were only a few options. Today, they are the most practical devices you can use to create a wide range of guitar effects.
Unlike modern modulation pedals, tremolos are still used today even though they create simple guitar effects. So, this means these devices can’t be phased out by other pedals available on the market.
This shows the incredible practicality of tremolos pedals. Today, these devices are even more practical and relevant to guitarists and musicians. If we carefully look at the concept, we know that people use trem pedals in all music genres.
When you manipulate volume over specific intervals of time, it is a good idea for adding some good flavor to the tone. So, if you have just started to create your pedalboards, you can take advantage of the best tremolo pedal since it is one of your first modulation pieces. Having said that, we recommend you to take the simplicity of the best tremolo pedal.
Another advantage of the tremolo pedal is that you can modulate the pitch above as well as below zero. The action of the trem is likewise nice – particularly if you are using a tremolo bar to enhance the chords.
Moreover, tremolo pedals allow you to achieve simple modulation effects. These devices work by varying levels of volume to achieve rhythmic changes. They can also turn the volume level up and down. So, playing with the wave oscillations and the rate allows for a wide range of effects to be generated.
How to use the Best Tremolo Pedal?
When it comes to using the tremolo pedal, many people have different thoughts and approaches. First, you need to understand that fatigue associated with tremolo pedal is real, which means that if you go easy on the device, you can create problems and the song won’t be accurately produced.
In this regard, if you want to prevent this thing, you need to take things carefully as well as start with small values slow and steady. In general, tremolo pedals are used in the same ways as vibratos. The basic idea behind this is to determine appreciation for both of these effects.
Rate and Depth
Almost all tremolo pedals you find on the market has two important control called “Rate and Depth.” Some models have even more control than these two. However, when you get a basic tremolo pedal, it will come with these two controls. When we talk about the rate, it defines the tremolo’s frequency.
In simple terms, it focuses on changes in volume to get in a specified amount of time. Likewise, different values of rate are used to get the benefit for different genres of music. Sometimes, experts recommend using a slow rate so that you can achieve the best possible results. Other times, experts recommend using faster rates, which is the way to go.
Here you need to understand one thing – i.e. you need fine-tuning to work with the rate. No matter if you are going slow or fast, the value of the rate must match your song’s tempo that you want to play. This way, you can perfectly achieve synchronization between your song and the effect.
Likewise, intensity or depth is a control used to find out the amount of volume required for reducing each frequency dip. When the values of depth are lower, you will get a more subtle effect.
Contrarily, higher values are dramatic – as there are no specific rules when it comes to dealing with the depth – because it depends on the situation. Typically, you must correctly read the song to figure out the kind of depth, which fits in the best.
How to choose the best tremolo pedal?
When it comes to choosing the best tremolo pedal, there are few factors you need to consider. They are:
Usage and type: First, you need to identify the use of tremolo pedal and for this, you need to define the basics. What kind of tremolo pedal do you need – for instance, digital or analog?
Features and Budget: Second, you need to find out whether the tremolo pedal you are going to buy comes with advanced features such as rate, depth, intensity, and other controls. Similarly, you have to buy a product that comes within your budget. A high-end product does not necessarily mean the best. Features are what you need to consider.
Tremolo Effect: Today, you will find a wide range of tremolo pedals, which come with built-in effects. You must familiarize yourself with the tremolo effect to find out whether or not it is ideal for you to go for a standalone pedal. If you want more advanced features and effects, you need to go for advanced and digital models.
Best Tremolo Pedals
Using the above criteria and considering the most important features as well as based on our personal experience, we have a list of best tremolo pedals. Continue reading!
1. Voodoo Lab Tremolo
- Authentic lamp and photocell tremolo circuit
- Slope control for waveform tweaking
- Ultra wide range of Speed and Intensity settings
Voodoo Lab Tremolo is one of the best products available on the product. The company has made substantial efforts to deliver rock-solid pedals, which are not unique but also provide the best effects.
The body of this tremolo pedal product is wider than other models. The basic idea is to have a lively graphic theme. It comes with a photocell circuitry and standard lamp, which is based on all tremolos effects used in the old days.
The company “Voodoo Labs” has reached an essential level of authenticity. This product can be hooked up with a guitar rig and you can also use it on the stage. The price of the product is affordable too.
2. Boss Audio TR2 Tremolo Pedal
- Dedicated "Wave," "Rate" and "Depth" knobs allow for precise effect tailoring
- Wave control alters LFO waveform from triangle to square
- Depth control determines the strength of the effect
Boss is another best brand available on the market and its product – i.e. Boss Audio TR2 is a cornerstone tremolo pedal for modern guitar effects. Many people use to go for this tremolo pedal is because of the high-quality material and technology used.
The company has won the hearts of many musicians by producing this quality tremolo pedal, which allows people to get decent performance at the most affordable price. It is a baseline tremolo with slightly extra on the top.
Not only is this tremolo pedal practical but it is also very simple and workable. You can see that the controls of this device are simple. The company has used the vintage technology and blend it with a modern configuration with extra wave select knob.
So much so, if you are looking for a vintage yet modern tremolo effect plus affordability, there is no better product than Boss Audio TR2 on the market. It is indeed a perfect choice for both beginners and experts.
3. Red Witch Pentavocal Tremolo
The third best product on our list of best tremolo pedals is “Red Witch Pentavocal Tremolo.” This product has many features, which are unique from other types of products available on the market.
This is the oldest tremolo pedal with different controls such as wave shape, volume, depth, and speed. You can use these parameters for adjustment of the effect.
Also, you can choose from different voices – a maximum of five voices – this makes it one of the best tremolo pedals. Likewise, you can choose the frequency response easily. You just need to turn the rotary selector and set it to your desired setting.
When we talk about versatility, this product has a shimmery, delicate, flutter trem, as well as a low-pulse end throb. Moreover, the product can produce both classic and modern effects.
4. JHS Tidewater Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal
- Faithfully recreates some classic, beloved amp tremolos with a warmth and character you would only expect from a vintage...
- With simple controls and a small footprint, you’ll be sailing the high seas of tone
- The volume control allows you to set the overall volume at unity, below unity, or above unity for a boosted tone
JHS is another tremolo pedal product, which has three main controls. For instance, you can use the volume control to set the overall volume – i.e. above unity, below unity, or at unity for a boosted tone.
JHS Tidewater tremolo pedal has the best-added features – therefore, you don’t need to worry about having problems with volume drop after engaging with the effect.
Likewise, you have the mix control and the speed control – which makes this device on the of the most optimal tremolo pedals for use. The speed control allows you to control the speeds at the tempo moves.
JHS can recreate some of the most amazing amp tremolos. With a small footprint and simple controls, you can adjust many tones. For a boosted tone, the volume control is the best feature of this tremolo pedal.
5. Seymour Duncan ShapeShifter
- Shape Shifter is a stereo tremolo designed to deliver the classic textures you love with the capability to render...
- The Shapeshifted is true-bypass stereo pedal that conjures the classic tremolo effects you'd expect, but with complete...
- Designed and Assembled in Santa Barbara, CA
Although the manufacturing company is not popular for tremolo pedals, yet, the product Seymour Duncan ShapeShifter is selected to be included in this list. There are reasons for our selection.
First, the product comes with an attractive design and has high-quality components. It is highly versatile and easy-to-use, which means this is the best trem tremolo boxes on the market.
The best feature of this product is that it has five control knobs, which are CH, speed, shape, depth, and wave. It also has a rate, ratio, and phase switches. The product likewise has two-footswitches – i.e. one is used for activation and the other one for tapping the footswitch.
Like other tremolo pedals, the control knobs have the same titles, this product has many more options. For instance, the speed control knob offers two options – i.e. one for the use of speed regularly and the other one for tap tempo footswitch. The speed control knob acts as a mode selector after you engage the two-way switch.
Seymour Duncan tremolo pedal is a versatile product – especially in terms of trems – offering vintage sounding to sonic as well as spacey pulses. The ShapeShifter tremolo pedal is the best product for experts. However, some beginner guitarists want a simpler product.
So, the product is a great pedal, it has awesome design and unique operating options. It also has a strong casing and amazing sound. You can use it as a stereo pedal. Not only you can use it in the studio but it is also good for live playing.
Wrapping up, we are sure that you have grasp good information about tremolo pedals. They are not only simple devices but you can use them easily – and when you include a tremolo pedal, you can enhance the tone of your music and song.
Depending on your requirements, it is totally up to you to choose the number of controls and the complexity of the pedal. Some guitar players like to choose tremolos with basic configurations and others go for advanced speed and depth controls. Again, it all depends on your requirements.
There are many products available on the market. Some are pricey and others are cheap. Although it depends on your budget – we want to let you know that you choose a product that comes with an affordable price and yet offers you many features such as speed control, depth, rate, and other knobs. Make sure you choose a product that best fits your needs. Good Luck!