So, you’ve chosen a chorus pedal and you obviously want your pedals to sound great together. The order you place them in can have a dramatic effect on your tone. Chorus in particular has its own special place in the signal chain.
Does the Order of Guitar Pedals Matter?
The short answer is that yes it does matter but whether it matters to you and your particular situation and sound you are trying to create, is another thing.
There is a standard approach to effect arrangement and I’ve highlighted it below. Follow this order but don’t be afraid to try other things.
We can place them in five groups – here they are in order that they should be in the signal path to form the perfect guitar pedal order.
- Dynamics / pitch (compressor, pitch shifter, octave)
- Gain / Tone (distortion, overdrive, fuzz)
- Modulation (flanger, phaser, chorus)
- Time based (Delay, reverb)
Delay should really go before reverb and if you have a looper then that goes right at the end of the chain.
For more information about gain pedal placement with a chorus, check our article Chorus Pedal Before or After Distortion
Chorus, Flanger, Phaser Order
OK, so we know that chorus is modulation and that generally sits after any gain pedals. But how does chorus sit with other modulation pedals?
It might well be that you are unlikely to have more than one of these on simultaneously. In which case order obviously won’t matter.
For those that might want to run more than one at a time then ordering them by delay time is probably the best option. So, Phaser would come first then flanger followed by chorus.
One exception is some people prefer to place their phaser pedal before any gain. This is down to personal taste and it’s an experiment worth doing.
Remember that rules are made to be broken and you should have fun experimenting with placement. These aren’t hard rules that must be stuck to but they are good general guidelines.
Still undecided about getting one? Then read: Do you really need a chorus pedal?