Volume & Expression Pedals

Volume & Expression Pedals

Volume Pedals

A guitar volume pedal can be a very useful device to add to your pedalboard. Giving you control of the output of your rig via a foot-operated rocking plate, volume pedals are great for creating ambient swells, especially when used in conjunction with reverb or delay effects.

Two types of volume pedals are available - passive and active. A passive volume pedal doesn’t require power from a PSU, and works in a similar way to your guitar’s volume pot (but in a pedal format). An active pedal however does need power, but will feature a buffered circuit to ensure that your signal remains strong with no degradation or loss of top-end presence.

The active Ernie Ball volume pedal is a go-to, however Jim Dunlop also produce the Volume X, which is a popular passive design. Both of these brands also produce mini volume pedal versions, which can save precious real-estate on pedalboards.

Expression Pedals

Similar aesthetically to volume and wah pedals, expression pedals are also operated with your foot. They are slightly more unique however, and are designed to essentially get the most out of other effects pedals. With many modern stompboxes featuring an expression pedal input, via the rocking plate you can control certain parameters of these effects on-the-fly.

You’ll find that many delay, reverb, modulation and multi-effects units will be compatible, with their mix or rate controls controllable with an expression pedal. Mission Engineering are a brand that create these specifically for certain units, producing a Kemper expression pedal and a Line 6 Helix version too.

For even more information regarding these pedals, check out our Ultimate Guide to Expression & Volume Pedals.