This article is focused on creative pedals that work well on synth and accept line in-level signal. You can find other great pedals for synths in our Creative Pedals Category.
Pedals and Electronic Instruments
Many creative musicians and producers who play electronic instruments or enjoy experimenting with outboard gear while mixing are attracted by the sonic textures offered by guitar pedals, which, in recent years, have grown to become extremely complex devices offering possibilities normally not found in a synthesizer’s effect section.
Line level and impedance Problems
However, most guitar pedals don’t work well with the higher signal level generated by electronic instruments or pro audio devices, which tends to be 20db louder than the one produced by guitars. This can cause distortion or unwanted noise.
Although there are simple fixes to this problem (like turning down the electronic device’s volume or using an attenuator between the two items) it might be just easier to purchase pedals built to that accept Line In signals.
Creative Pedals that Accept Line In Levels
There are several pedals out there that accept the hotter line in levels. Most manufacturers of creative stompboxes modify their devices’ inputs to work with the higher voltage of synths and other electronic instruments.
With the help of Perfect Circuit, a Los Angeles-based store specializing in both synths and pedals, in this article, we are highlighting a list of 12 of the best pedals for synth that accept Line-In levels and that are ideal to expand your synth’s sonic palette.
A compact, stereo grid of musical… anything! This pedal features virtual modules that can be used to construct instruments, effects, utilities. Save patches as supermodules to speed up creation or randomly create functions. Ongoing updates (new modules!) keeps it fresh. It includes MIDI i/o, CV & clock in and can send CV out on the ring of a TRS. There’s also a Eurorack version of it.
Poly Effects Beebo
A touchscreen-based multi-effect unit with modulation and synth algorithms that allows for different combinations, and orders, in series or parallel. Great for “Turntable” style stop effect. Includes Eurorack style effects, like slew limiters and LFO applications, all conveniently programmable by touch screen. It features four freely routable inputs and outputs, allowing processing of up to four instruments (!!) or creates quadraphonic effects!
Red Panda Particle V2
This feature-packed, stereo granular delay/pitch shifter chops your signal into small grains and rearranges, shifts, and mangles it. Five delay modes (random, density, LFO, random pitch, and reverse) and three pitch modes (detune, density, LFO) with shifting capabilities of +/-1 octave. V2 adds Tap Tempo and Presets.
A Stereo “reverberant synthesis workstation” that combines reverb, pitch-shifting, a resonant filter, modulation with multiple wave shapes (which can be routed to pitch, reverb or filter), and even a step sequencer! Three footswitches allow several functions including preset storage/recall, sequencer control and momentary effects.
Gamechanger Audio Light Pedal
The first “analog optical spring reverb,” called Light, where an optical sensor is employed to “harvest the timbral and harmonic range of a spring reverb tank.”This technology are a wider range of tones compared to a regular spring reverb, including some entirely new effects like Optical Reverb Tremolo, Optical Reverb Modulation and Optical Harmonic Shimmer.
Soma Lab Cosmos
A stereo pedal offering dynamic looping that evolves as you play and layer sounds inspired by the work of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. Four creative algorithms affect your sounds differently featuring a mix of delays, reverb, and a granular mode. The five footswitches control vital parameters crossfading between on and off states. Several knobs (Blur, Drift, Suppressor) offer extra creative effects.
A versatile effect machine with a unique combination of dual pitch-shifters with fine-resolution de-tuning, delay and modulation – including new positive envelope and negative envelope modulation sources. Tap Tempo and Midi-enabled, it can store up to 127 presets in memory, with 5 loaded for immediate access. It also offers multiple Bypass options: Buffered, Relay, DSP+FX or Kill dry.
Cooper FX Arcades
A four knob cartridge-based multi-effect pedal with Exp/CV In that can change personality based on the different cartridges available for $49, which currently range from Ambient, Experimental, Grain, Lo-Fi, Gen Loss, Reverse, Pastiche, Pitch, Reverb, Synth and Delay.
EarthQuaker Devices Rainbow Machine
This pedal employs DSP to create real-time pitch shifting using digital steps that are then repeated as in a regular delay. The Magic control adds increased ambiance, resonant, edge-of-oscillation pitch-shifting delays, etc, and can be triggered momentarily via the Magic footswitch.
UAFX Starlight Echo Station
A Tap-Tempo enabled, Stereo, digital, 3-mode (plus 1) delay/echo pedal with 3 variations for each mode, with preset. Six knobs control Delay, Mix, Feedback, Subdivision, Color, and Modulation. Modes include Tape EP-III, Analog DMM, Precision (digital) and a bonus Cooper Time Cube delay effect downloadable at registration.
GFI System Specular Tempus
A stereo, dual digital delay + reverb processor with tap tempo, 32 presets and 32 algorithms organizable in two banks triggered by separate footswitches. Pressing both footswitches turns on the Auto Knob Swell function which slowly sweeps an assigned knob to its maximum value. Free app allows fine-tuning of the settings.
Fairfield Shallow Water K-Field Modulator
A uniquely multi-faceted delay inspired by simulation mathematics (K-Field Math). It consists in a delay chip that is modulated by a pseudorandom signal. It can be used as a randomness controller, as an envelope follower and filter, or as a BBD-style delay or detuning/chorus. It can also produce pseudo-random tape warble & vibrato effects.
Other Creative Pedals for Synths that accept Line In
Relevant Videos about Synths through Pedals
Using Guitar Pedals w/ Synthesizers (Noir Et Blanc Vie)
How to Use Guitar Pedals for Synth (The JHS Show)
Using Guitar Pedals with Synths! (Andertones)
Mar 8, 2022
Great article but Shallow Water isn’t a delay, it’s a vibrato/chorus with a low pass gate.