I can remember even having this argument with one of my good friends. I preferred single effect pedals over multi effects pedals and he was just the opposite. We debated the pros and cons of each for countless hours. So what are the pros of each which is right for you?
A single effect pedal has its rewards because they are typically of high quality, can be modeled after a famous guitar player’s set up, and have an exclusive sound, effect, or tone. The bad thing about them is often the cost. Single effect pedals can cost a fortune. The other negative is that people often grow tired of their new single effect pedal, and never use it again. Swooosh! Two hundred dollars of fine craftmanship down the drain.
Multi effects pedals have their pros and cons too. The pros are that they can be very cheap, sometimes less than a hundred dollars, and can sport a large array of sounds. The bad news is that a lot of these sounds are just garbage and useless as some of them are over the top. The good news once again is that multi pedal effect technology has improved, or at least been taken more seriously, and now most of the effects sound pretty awesome.
Another good thing about the multi effects is that there is plenty to work with to mix and match and create your own tone. These boards are also good for freeing up space, and are excellent for cable manageament.
Single effect pedals often have enticing graphics and overall design. If you’ve never tried a certain one before, then you’re going to be curious about it. Pedals unfortunately are designed to visually make your mouth water, and not necessarily perform. So, if your curiousity is driving you to make that choice, why not do it with a multi effects pedal? This way, you can be guaranteed that you will walk away with at least twenty or so effects that you do like, and you may discover great combinations in the future.
What I really like about multi effects pedals is that they arm you with the effects resources of a small studio. In the long run, your cup is quite full and you’ll have a vast array of sounds with which to experiment to create your own unique sound.