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Footswitches are used by musicians to gain more control over their gear while playing. They allow us to steer different parts of our equipment just by the help of our feet. A different switch while triggered sends a given signal to our device, giving it a simple command to reach for certain actions and effects, like for example changing an amp channel or a preset. That way our hands remain free to play whatever we need at the time. Guitarist are the most frequent users of footswitches, but other musicians use them too.
If we intend to buy ourselves a footswitch, we should definitely get to know what different types of them are available on the market to adjust the right model to our own gear. There are different footswitches for amplifiers and for equipment with MIDI ports. Also, some producers add some extra features to their models, thus it’s worth getting to know if we’re going to need any of that or not, seeing as it could occur that we overpay for a product, which we use only partially. Let’s take a look into some basics:
• Single pedal footswitch – it’s the most basic construction with just one switch, allowing you to send just one command. It works well with for example changing the channel of your amp.
• Double pedal footswitch – we can easily explain it as two different single switches, placed in just one body of gear. Besides changing your channels it might allow you to add one more separate command, like and extra effect.
• Multi channel footswitch – gives you more switches and allows you to steer more and more devices or more functions.
Some producers have models which are waterproof or resistant to damages . There’s also some heavy-duty work on the switches, usually made of steel. It’s all better if you plan to use it on stage and in difficult conditions of playing live concerts.
Next thing we should look into while choosing the right switch for us is their reaction. There are two types – one leaving the switch squeezed into its construction after being pushed in, just until we press it again, whereas the other type will simply send a short impulse and get back up immediately.
It’s very frequent for footswitches to have cables with jack connectors. In case of having a double switch it might be for two mono cables or one stereo cable. Despite it being the most popular connector of the guitar world, there’s still some producers using their own solutions, what usually leaves us with no choice, but to use a dedicated footswitch only. Therefore, it’s important to check such technicalities in the gear we’re planning to control with our newly acquired footswitch.
What’s more, there are models which allow us to work wireless, and those are usually the multi channel ones. This solution is optimal for our comfort if we play live on bigger stages, and the distance between ourselves and our steered equipment might get problematic.
In our store you’ll be able to find some reliable products by some of the best producers, and we hope you’ll be able to find a model suitable for your needs, which will serve you for a long time without any failure.