Effects Pedals and Rack Units

The moment you add a microphone (clip-on or otherwise) or a pickup (like the old Barcus Berry piezo units that mounted into a hole drilled in the mouthpiece) to a trumpet or other wind instrument, the entire world of guitar effects is open to you.  One of my favorite pastimes is to take my little black case containing my black pocket trumpet and a Barcus Berry-equipped mouthpiece into one of the local music stores (or a Daddys Junky Music or Guitar Center) and hook up to one or more guitar pedals.  Heads turn.  Eyes open wide.  People whisper.  ”What is that thing?”  ”Is all that sound coming from that little horn?”  ”Who is that guy and why won’t he go away?”

For ease in navigation, I’ve broken down effects devices into somewhat arbitrary categories:
  • Amplification (this includes preamps, distortions, fuzzes and the like)
  • Filtering (this includes wahs, envelope-controlled and triggered filters, and phase shifters)
  • Modulation (this includes choruses, flangers and ring modulators)
  • Range extension and pitch-shifting (this includes multividers, pitch shifters and “intelligent” harmony synthesizers)
  • Delays (this includes analog delays and short digital delays, “short” being 2 seconds or less)
  • Looping (this includes longer digital delays with sampling/overdubbing capabilities and dedicated loopers)