What is a Guitar Modulation Pedal? Various Modulation Techniques

When it comes to music production, there are various top quality options and equipment to consider for your unique needs. Perhaps one of the most notable effects would be the modulation pedal.

So what is a guitar modulation pedal? 

Modulation pedal allows users to alter the sound quality based on different design features for unique sound results. The added benefit of these tools is that they are in use since the advent of the contemporary music industry when Van Halen was known for top quality tunes.

These tools are primarily use to introduce new sound effects to music tunes and to perhaps alter the tone of general speech sound. More so, these things have evolved over the years to become central aspects for any savvy music producer who wants to make a good impression on their listeners.

What is a Guitar Modulation Pedal

A guitar modulation pedal can be used to alter various properties of the input signal of music such as frequency, phase, and amplitude as well. Whether its phase-shifting or perhaps orbital flanging, these tools work well for altering the sound quality of your guitar.

The level of modulation produced depends on the effect. Having said that, most of these modulation effects will alter the properties of the sound signal and the change is often determined by a preset modulation effect.

To help produce the appropriate effect, these pedals will often divide the input signal into two categories. The first one is dry and stays unchanged while the other is wet, which is the modulated sound. Both are then combined to produce unique and superior quality sound results.

Generally speaking, the process of modulation often involves the alteration of one key to another. On another level, modulation may use to produce various types of sound effects depending on the unique techniques used to produce the sound.

Various factors determine the effects of modulations. Simply put, the primary keys will produce an upbeat tone while the minor keys will produce downbeat tone when it comes to changing the key harmonically such as for smooth or abrupt changes.

Various Modulation Techniques

If you google the term modulation technique,you will find thousand of results.Let us recap some common modulation techniques:

Amplitude Modulation

Amplitude Modulation

Amplitude modulation is by far one of the earliest sound modulation methods. In fact, this modulation technique was significant for communications and was often used to transmit voice via radio signals.

Amplitude modulation involves the alteration of the carrier signal in relation to the message signal along with other factors such as frequency and phase remaining constant.

In most cases, the modulation signal comprises a lower frequency band, upper-frequency band, and carrier frequency components as well. This modulation technique often requires more bandwidth and can use in computer models to alter the sound of the music instruments.

Optical Modulation

Optical modulation

In this type of modulation, the frequency of the carrier signal is different with the message signal while the parameters such as phase and amplitude remain unchanged. Aside from being a common tool for music, this tool is also perfect for different applications such as radio and radar as well.

The technique used in modulation is also a common solution for broadcasting speech and music as well. The added benefit of using this type of modulation technique is that it provides excellent methods for controlling the noise emanating from a musical instrument.

 In fact, when the noise occurs, this unit provides excellent bandwidth to cancel the effects of noise for flawless sound results.

Digital Modulation

Digital Modulation

Digital modulation is the phase of the carrier signal varies in relation to the message signal. In fact, when the phase of the signal changes, this might affect the frequency of the unit.

As a result, this modulation technique can also be used to make changes to the frequency. More so, digital modulation works by transmitting waves of sound. Its an important aspect of various digital coding techniques that frequently use in the music industry such as electrical guitars.

​Single Pulse Width Modulation Technique

Single Pulse Width Modulation Technique

​This refers to just one pulse per half cycle, and the width of the pulse is altered to control the output voltage of the inventor. The production of gating signals of Single phase full bridge inverters compared to a rectangular reference signal of amplitude the features a carrier wave of amplitude EC. The basic frequency of the output is therefore influence by the frequency of the reference signal to produce, flawless sound results.

Modulation pedal brands

​Here are some of the common modulation pedal brands that you are likely to come across on the consumer market:


modulation pedal

Electro Harmonic focus on the production of high-end electronic audio equipment and music tools as well. Founded in 1968 by Mike Matthews, the company is best known for its vintage guitars.


DUNLOP MXR M169 Carbon Copy

​This is a company that manufactures music equipments based in California, USA. They specialize in the production effect units and several well-known pedal brands such as MXR, Way Huge and Cry Baby.


MXR M101 Phase 90

MXR is a company based in New York and focuses on the production of effect pedals. Founded in 1972, the company is now owned by Jim Dunlop and is specialized in the production of musical effect units.


All things considered, when it comes to producing the best sound effects for your music instruments, it's important for you to choose some of the highly rated equipment out there today.

Therefore, make an informed decision when selecting a modulation pedal by considering the information mentioned above. In this way, you not only receive the best value for money, but you also enjoy top quality music production and manipulation capabilities.

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