Here's a quick reference to 10 of the most popular guitar effects. We'll cover other effects in later articles.
1. Chorus creates a copy of the original signal and delays it, then mixes the delayed and original signals and modulates one or both to produce a "spacious" or thick sound.
2. Compression is an automatic level control often used in recording to make instruments and vocals louder or softer in order to emphasize or de-emphasize them. It is used with a guitar to increase sustain.
3. Delay is an echo effect that samples a sound and then replays it one or more times.
4. Distortion changes sound harshly or pleasantly by generating increased odd or even harmonics through overdriving and/or clipping.
5. Flanging samples the original signal and alternately slows and speeds it up, changing the pitch, then combines the result with the original signal to produce a whooshing sound.
6. Fuzz is a fuzzy sounding overdrive and distortion effect produced when harmonics are raised to extremely high levels.
7. Overdrive produces the clipped sound of an overdriven amplifier.
8. Reverb creates the effect of the multiple sound reflections that would naturally be produced in a playing environment.
9. Tremolo modulates the signal, similarly to turning the volume rapidly up and down.
10. Wah produces a wah-wah effect by moving a peak in the frequency response up and down.