When looking for a tremolo pedal, some of the things you should always consider are the sound, the build, and of course, the price. Read more to know some of the best tremolo pedal finds today.
Overview (Best Tremolo Pedals)
In the ever-so-evolving world of effects pedals, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the options available out there today.
If you’re a musician starting out, you may have a hard time choosing between a variety of brands and products, simply because there are just too many to choose from! Effects pedals have been around long enough for them to be an integral part of some of your guitar heroes’ sound.
You can never disregard the contribution of these stompboxes and multi-effects units to some of your favorite songs today.
Think Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and his trusty BOSS-DS 1. Think The Edge of U2 and his delay pedals.Think Tom Morello and his whammy pedals. And of course. Think Kirk Hammett of Metallica and his wah-wah pedal!
This just goes to show how big of a role a specific effects pedal can play in your tone. And for this specific reason, a variety of music genres has also emerged. Several different artists try to sound completely unique from one another.
One of the best ways to get a unique tone is through the use of effects pedals. Now, a lot of you may already know some of the most popular types of effects pedals available out there today. There’s your ever-so-reliable overdrive pedal. There’s of course distortion. Chorus and pitch shifters can also never be disregarded.
Delays and reverbs are also fairly popular! And of course, tuners and wah-wah pedals. But one of the often overlooked effect units is the tremolo.
Personally, what makes a good tremolo is its habit of making you explore your creativity even more. But thanks to a lot of manufacturers out there today, tremolo pedals have their one unique approach to that wavy sound. If you’re new to the world of pedals, chances are that no one would really recommend a tremolo right off the bat.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s not special!
In this feature, we’re going to talk all about tremolo pedals, how you can use them, and what are some of the best ones available on the market today.
Let’s get right into it!
What is The Best Tremolo Pedal & How To Use It
According to Fender.com, tremolo is a sort of modulation effect. It is characterized by having a sound that rhythmically changes the output or volume of your signal or sound.
It can produce a warbly sound, making it perfect for adding dynamics to your performance.
Interested in a quick trivia?
“Tremolo” is actually Italian for “trembling”!
The best tremolo pedal sound is characterized by having a wave-like tone from the notes or chords you play. You can notice this immediately after you crank up the volume knob of your vintage tube amp or even your classic vintage amp. You can use it to add a little bit of flavor to your rhythm or lead guitar playing.
Incorporating a tremolo can also make you cut through a mix, or help highlight a specific guitar part you want to let shine. Additionally, you can also use a tremolo pedal for a dramatic effect on your song’s intros.
You can also engage this effect for solos, and even outros! You can basically use it anywhere!For most musicians, they use it to add a certain texture to their guitar parts.After all, this is what makes guitar pedals (such as the tremolo pedal) exciting to play.
Sure, some of the best tremolo pedals can be a bit pricey, but the tremolo effect can even be achieved through your trusty vintage amp! Just mess around with the volume control of your classic tremolo or stereo tremolo and hear the difference!
Now you’re already aware of what a tremolo pedal is and how to use it, let’s proceed to the buying guide!
When trying out a new pedal or new guitar effects, there are always a lot of pending questions you have to consider, especially with the best tremolo pedal effects.
• Are you playing a tube amp?
• What price tag can you afford?
• Are you opting for the analog tremolo? Do you have specific preferences regarding the square wave?
• What type of guitar do you use?
• What tremolo sound are you aiming for?
• Do you have many effects pedals?
• Are you already familiar with tremolo sounds?
• What do you want most out of your tremolo sounds?
• Are you already aware of rate and depth and rate and wave shape?
• Depth controls?
• Are you opting for a harmonic tremolo?
• Will you be pairing it with an expression pedal?
• Are you a fan of the tremolo and reverb combination?
• Is it within your price range?
• Are you opting for more control over your tremolo pedal?
• Are you pairing it with a clean boost?
One of the most important things you have to consider when shopping for your new (or next) tremolo pedal is the type of sound you are looking for. Wave shapes and tones are some of the things you should listen to before deciding to purchase a specific pedal.
Next up is your budget.
Luckily for us musicians, a lot of companies offer budget-friendly alternatives to those who are intending to try-out the effect. It can also be a bummer to immediately spend all your hard-earned cash on an expensive unit which you rarely will use, right?
Pedalboard space is also something you have to consider. With today’s market, it’s fairly easy to find a mini pedal that can fit the precious available space on your rig.
Where does it go on a signal chain?
If you already have a guitar, a pedalboard, and you’ve already done your research, then chances are that all your overdrives, distortions, and fuzzes are all at the beginning of your signal chain.
Since your front end of the rig is already stacked with dirt pedals, it’s only fitting that you put your modulations and time based pedals at the end.
This goes the same for your tremolos. However, there is never really a rule on how you can stack your pedals. You can always try to experiment to see which sounds and tones best suit your playing style.
With all that out of the way, let’s get into some of the top tremolos out there today!
Making its way to the top of our list is this trusty offering from the fine folks at BOSS.
The Tremolo TR-2 has been a staple to some of the most popular rigs of all time, and for good reason. This model from BOSS boasts their notorious solid enclosure built to last you generations. It’s widely considered an industry standard due to its simple controls and durable build. It’s also relatively affordable!
It boasts Rate, Wave, and Depth control, making it quite a versatile little thing. Thanks to its beginner-friendly controls, this has become one of the go-to tremolos for those who are just starting out in terms of this effect. Those who like to experiment will also find the TR-2 interesting. It houses different wave options that you can control and tweak via the onboard controls.
You can never go wrong with products from BOSS. The TR-2 proves just exactly that!
Some famous users of the TR-2 are Billie Joe Armstrong (of course, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams), Eric Clapton, Tom Morello, Jonny Buckland, Pat Smear, Noel Gallagher, and Dan Auerbach.
Source Audio Vertigo
If versatility and features are the main things you are looking for in a tremolo pedal, then this beauty from Source Audio might just be the thing you’re looking for!
With enough controls for even the most demanding of musicians, the Vertigo offers Depth, Speed, Shape, and Level controls. It also sports a three-way switch that allows you to choose from Normal, Harmonic, and Bias tremolo options.
One of the main things that make the Vertigo a cut above the rest is your access to additional controls and settings. Thanks to Source Audio’s Neuro Mobile App, you have the option of having access to their own library of patterns and effects that you can load to the pedal unit itself.
Pretty cool feature if you ask us!
The Vertigo is popular for producing Blackface Fender modulation called the “opto-trem”.
If you’re a fan of the ’60s style vibrato, the Harmonic toggle option tries to replicate the Fender Super’s Vibrato effect. To top it all off, it even offers something to the faithful followers of the VOX AC30, as it also offers the Bias sound – similar to the coveted amplifier.
What makes this even better is that you can store up to three presets in the Vertigo. This can be perfect if you want to incorporate different tremolo styles during live gigs or studio sessions!
Voodoo Lab Tremolo
If you’re under the impression that Voodoo Lab only makes great power supply units, then you definitely need to get out more. (Wear your face masks!)
The Voodoo Lab Tremolo boasts a simple yet very useful configuration – housing Intensity, Slope, Speed, and Volume controls. A no-frills type of tremolo, what sets it apart is the dedicated slope knob.
This allows you to change the waveform, and can produce quality tones. It also faithfully recreates the tone of a vintage amplifier tremolo that a lot of players seem to be a fan of.
If you’re after analog sounds that feel authentic to the ears, then this mighty offering from Voodoo Lab should do just the trick.
Jack White and Devin Townsend are some of the famous users of the Voodoo Lab Tremolo. You might want to try one for yourself, too!
Keeley Electronics KDYNA DynaTrem
Being the brainchild of one of the best pedal builders out there today, it’s almost difficult to not include something from Keeley Electronics!
The DynaTrem takes pride in being one of the most touch-sensitive tremolo pedals on the market today. Robert Keeley seems to pay homage to the ’60s, incorporating some of the most distinct tremolo tones of that era. This pedal offers Depth, Rate, Shape, and Level controls.
The DynaTrem offers 4 waveform options via the Shape knob- ramp up, sine, ramp down, and square. It offers true-bypass function, preserving all of your precious tone.
Behringer is here once again to prove that quality sound can come at a much more affordable price!
This unit pays homage to some of the classic tunes that made guitarists fall in love with the tremolo in the first place. The budget-friendly offering from Behringer houses simple controls such as Rate, Wave, and Depth. The UT300 does come in a hard-plastic like enclosure, but can withstand a fair amount of gentle stomping.
If you are looking for a tremolo that covers classic and modern tones, then definitely give the UT300 a try!
Diamond Tremolo TRM-1
If you’re the sort of musician who’s ready to take your playing to the next level, then this versatile and feature-packed unit from Diamond might just be the thing to complete your rig!
The Diamond Tremolo TRM-1 offers quite a variety of options for the user. It sports Speed, Depth, Volume, and a Mode control – something that makes it quite different from the other pedals in our roundup.
Another interesting feature is the built-in tap-tempo feature on the TRM-1. This allows you to punch-in your desired tempo, depending on the song you will be performing.
It houses four waveforms for you to choose from – square, chop, sine, and sharkfin.
If you have the budget, the pedalboard space, and the need for more options, then the TRM-1 is your champion.
The Wrap Up
Tremolo pedals can indeed add dynamics to your playing.
With the ever so evolving styles of guitar playing, it can be fitting to add a versatile effect to your rig, especially something as fun as a tremolo pedal! If you need to be inspired and add a unique flavor to your tone and sound, then feel free to choose one from our roundup today.
Have fun, and play on!