Best Multi Effects Pedal – 2021 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Last update on 2021-03-07 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Guitar players looking to revolutionize their game might find what they are looking for in a multi effects pedal. This tiny device impresses with different controls, modes, effects, and advanced features that can help you play epic music.
It’s so popular that many manufacturers have launched their own pedals. Obviously, each brand claims theirs is the best, so how can you choose unless you’re an expert? Luckily, we did the hard work for you. Our recommended multi effects pedals are here to change your musical life. Check them out…
- Our Top 10 List – Multi Effects Pedals in 2021
- 1. ZOOM Multistomp MS-50G
- 2. BOSS GT-1 Multi Effects Pedal
- 3. Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 Multi-Effects Pedal
- 4. Zoom G1X FOUR Multi Effects Pedal
- 5. Line 6 HX Stomp
- 6. MG-100 Professional Multi-Effects Pedal
- 7. Zoom G3Xn Multi Effects Pedal
- 8. MOOER GE200 Multi Effects Pedal
- 9. BOSS ME-80 Multiple Effects Guitar Pedal
- 10. Eventide H9 CORE
Our Top 10 List – Multi Effects Pedals in 2021
Zoom’s MS-50G MultiStomp is a groundbreaking multi-effects pedal; it was the first to house an entire effects processor in such a small stompbox unit.
It comes with 47 effects and eight modeled amps to combine for the perfect tone. Amongst these effects and amps, 30 preset combinations are ready to go right out of the box. There is also space for 50 user presets so you can save and recall your favorite patches easily.
The professional-grade effects range from lush choruses to concert hall reverbs. Any effect can be used on its own or in a chain of multiple effects that you can put in any order you like.
As well as modeling some well-loved modern and vintage amps, the MS-50G allows you to choose the speaker cabinet. It even goes as far as letting you choose the cabinet size and amp functions.
The footswitch has multiple functions; along with turning on/off presets or the built-in tuner, it has a tap tempo function. Tap tempo can be used to set delay time or the speed of modulation effects like tremolo. You can even program the order of your patches; for example, put together a selection of your favorite patches, and the footswitch will cycle through your selection only.
Despite its small size, the MS-50G has stereo outputs that can feed two amps or be used for direct recording.
Everything that’s going on can be seen clearly via the large LCD screen; there is some menu-diving initially to set up your signal chain, but once you’re ready to go, it’s a breeze. No doubt, the Zoom MS-50G is a pocket-sized powerhouse!
The Boss GT engine is famous for its effects and amp modeling, and the GT1 Multi-Effects Processor delivers the highest quality professional sounds.
It comes with a built-in tuner, looper, and expression pedal that controls adjustable effects like wah. The looper also opens up a whole world of performance possibilities.
The GT1 is suitable for both beginners and pros; it has some great presets that will get you up and running in no time. Creating and saving custom patches is easy, too. It’s done by activating the effect you want, tweaking the effect parameters with the 1,2,3 knobs, then saving it to the presets bank.
You can even activate more than one effect at a time to create multi-effect patches. Effects include various types of compression, overdrive, delay, reverb, distortion, and more.
One of the most fun aspects of the GT1 is that if you get stuck for inspiration, you can try out patches from other users. Connecting the GT1 to your computer via USB gives you access to the Boss Tone Central app, where you can download presets created by users around the world.
USB connectivity also makes recording with the GT1 a breeze by using it as a plugin in your favorite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). For sure, the Boss GT1 is an extremely user-friendly bit of professional gear.
The Tech 21 Fly Rig v2 is the equivalent of a whole pedalboard in a slimline, ultra-portable unit. It can easily replace your pedalboard for most gigs and give you a lighter load to carry to the venue.
It’s packed with high-quality, delays, reverbs, overdrive, and more. Starting with the delay section, it offers everything from short slap delays to long trailing ambient tails.
The great thing about the delays is that the Fly Rig v2 has a dedicated tap tempo footswitch. This means you can easily adjust your delay tempo on the fly without any menu-diving or messing around. To go a step further, the 8th button changes the delay timing from quarter notes to dotted 8th notes. If that’s too much work, get on the drift control for some random modulation to create exciting rhythms.
Reverb types range from small rooms to large halls and just about everything in-between.
Overdrive comes in two forms, Plexi and Cali-style, both offering a unique flavor. Plexi brings that aggressive crunch, detailed mids, and punchy low-end, while Cali-style delivers a high-gain West Coast-inspired sound. Enhancing the overdrive is 12dB of clean boost so you can solo in complete saturated, overdriven bliss.
Sansamp is one of the first names in amp modeling with good reason. So, having a Sansamp analog preamp in the Fly Rig v2 is kind of a big deal!
On top of offering a vast range of amp tones, it has a 3-band EQ for extra fine-tuning. If you’re feeling brave, you can stack the boost and both overdrive types with the Sansamp and rock out till you clear the room.
The all-analog signal path delivers a professional sound that responds to the subtle nuances of your playing. Needless to say, the Fly Rig v2 looks cool, but it’s a monster at heart.
When it comes to multi-effects pedals, Zoom doesn’t do things by half. The G1X is everything a guitarist needs in one pedal.
Right out of the box, it has over 70 effect presets, from traditional to boutique as well as more unusual choices. You can use up to five effects at one time, chaining them in any way you like.
No doubt, this pedal creates endless possibilities for custom patches, for which there are a massive 50 user slots. The traditional effects include reverbs, overdrive, and chorus, the usual suspects.
If you feel more experimental, go for the ring modulator or pitch-shifting delay. The G1X has a very responsive expression pedal to control effects, or just get your 70’s wah going. Zoom added an auto-save feature to ensure you never lose any creations.
There are 13 classic amp and cabinet models to push those effects through to complete your tone. The amps cover everything from squeaky clean to high-gain chaos. Along with everything else, there are 68 built-in drum patterns with multiple time signatures. Now, the GX1 is a fantastic practice aid and songwriting tool. Throw in the 30-second looper, and you can put together multi-part arrangements. Furthermore, Zoom’s Guitar Lab software offers far more in-depth editing possibilities.
The 3-switch HX Stomp is a little brother of the multi-award-winning Line 6 Helix series. It utilizes the same processor as the Helix range, but it runs on a single processor as opposed to two that power the Helix. Don’t let that fool you, though; the HX Stomp packs a big punch.
It has over 300 amp, cab, and stomp models direct from the Helix family and Legacy Line 6 units. It’s massive 126 presets are arranged by instrument and application, so finding what you need is fast and intuitive. Creating custom presets is as in-depth as you like with up to six effects per preset.
The HX Stomp supports 4-cable amp integration. What this means is that you can separate stomps/effects that are best suited to the front-end and back-end (after pre-amp section) of an amplifier and load them accordingly.
Some of the stock presets are already preconfigured for 4-cable amp integration. These can also serve as a template for custom presets. The ability to adapt to any setup makes this one of the best multi-effects pedals for live performance.
It’s exceptionally versatile, doubling as a USB audio interface with re-amping and MIDI capabilities. The 24/96 HX audio engine delivers outstanding quality and very realistic modeling.
With true stereo performance from input to output, you’ll struggle to find a higher quality sound. If you are using it in conjunction with a pedalboard, true bypass switching removes the risk of any tone suck on your pedalboard. The HX Stomp is wrapped up nicely with a 2.4″ color display.
The NUX MG-100 is a bit of a budget-friendly all-rounder that offers a surprising amount of functions.
First and foremost, it’s a multi-effects processor with an expression pedal. It comes complete with a pleasing 58 onboard effects and allows the use of up to eight effects simultaneously. Amongst those effects are 36 stock presets and 36 user presets, all of which can be tweaked by a 6-band graphic EQ.
True Simulation of Analog Circuit powers the classic 13-amp model, covering a range of genres from jazz to metal. Every amp type comes with vintage 3-band passive EQ modeling and 11 cabinet models. It’s not the best amp modeling on our list, but it’s certainly versatile.
Expanding on that versatility, there is a built-in drum machine with CD-quality PCM sounds. The drum machine adds another dimension and takes it away from being just a guitar pedal.
The MG-100 also has a 40-second phrase looper that is great for building ideas into complete tracks. Visual feedback for everything you do comes from a large color LCD screen; in truth, it’s not the best quality, but it’s handy indeed.
The MG-100 isn’t ever going to compete with the best multi-effects pedal in our top 10, but its appeal is in how much it does, and how easy it is to use. For that reason, it’s our best multi-effects pedal for beginners.
You might notice that our top 10 list is fairly Zoom-heavy, which is a testament to how good these units really are. The Zoom G3Xn combines the power of a multi-effects unit with the functionality of a pedalboard.
It doesn’t do a million different things, but the things it does do, it does very well. Zoom has impressively modeled five classic tube amps and five-speaker cabinets, providing 25 potential amp combinations. Amp tones range from British stacks to American high-gain combos, so there’s something for all playing styles. Once you set up your amp, you can tweak settings in real-time with the G3Xn’s intuitive controls.
Onboard effects include 68 classic presets, and a whopping 150 user slots to save effect chains. Up to seven effects can be used at the same time, creating endless sonic possibilities.
Effects are easily tweaked on the fly using the built-in expression pedal, from delay feedback to fading reverb in or out. The layout of the G3Xn is clean and simple; the three large LCD screens and footswitches give an authentic stompbox experience.
The built-in 80-second looper is more extensive than that of most comparable pedals. Whether it’s practicing at home or performing on stage, 80 seconds is more than enough to build complex songs from scratch. Because the looper is so good, we would even go as far as saying the G3Xn is the best multi-effects pedal with a looper.
Zoom’s G3Xn is at home in the bedroom and on the main stage; it’s a pedal that will help beginners develop into pros, and help pros bring their A-game.
The Mooer GE200 is a high-quality, versatile multi-effects pedal for the series guitarist. Its sleek appearance makes it even more desirable, not that looks are important, but it doesn’t hurt, right?
The GE200 simulates a massive 55 high-end amp types, covering everything from Fender-like cleans to extreme high-gain brutality. The amp types can be tweaked in great detail with control over gain and EQ.
There are 26 impulse response cabinet models that can be paired with any amp type to find the ultimate combination. This number is infinitely expandable via USB, where you can load saved impulse responses onto the GE200.
Mooer packed this pedal with 70 premium effect types, including compressors, overdrives, noise gates, delays, and reverbs. Following suit from the amp simulations, the effects feel and sound very authentic. Internal memory is enough to store and recall up to 200 presets.
Clearly, Mooer doesn’t want to limit your creativity. That goes for arranging your signal chain, too, which is fully adjustable.
The onboard drum machine has 40 drum patterns and 10 metronome rhythms. The drum machine is ideal for practicing or performing as a solo artist or part of a duet. Creative performance is encouraged by the GE200; this is evident in the 52-second looper with half speed and reverse effects.
The GE200 integrates easily into any live setup and offers more than enough to keep any guitarist happy for a long time.
The Boss BE-80 utilizes Boss’ Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP) effects, and the result is a killer tone.
The first thing you notice about the BE-80 is that the top panel looks quite busy. That might be a bit distracting initially, but that kind of full analog control is more intuitive once you get used to it. It saves a lot of time and menu-diving when editing parameters.
In total, there are eight footswitches, 30 parameter knobs, and an expression pedal. The idea is that it gives you ultimate control in the most performance-based way possible.
To provide you with a sense of the huge number of effects available, there are 23 distortions alone. Whatever you need, this pedal has multiple variations of it.
The preamp section uses the same COSM preamp as the flagship GT-100 processor from Boss. It sports a very accurate 3-band EQ to dial in the subtle detail in your tone. All sections of the top panel are clearly labeled and divided into smart groups. For example, delays, modulation effects, and overdrive/distortion.
The onboard phrase looper has 38 seconds of record time, and like everything else, it’s effortless to use. Boss has created the BE-80 with performers in mind.
If that’s not enough, the Boss Tone Studio software not only lets you edit and organize tones easily, it also allows you to download presets created by other guitarists.
Building on the success of the very popular H9 multi-effects processor, Eventide released the H9 Core. The H9 Core is basically the H9 with fewer effects algorithms. What this means is that it delivers the same very high quality, but with less variation.
The upside is that all of the original H9 effects algorithms are available as in-app purchases. So, you can save money on the initial investment, then add more algorithms if and when you need them.
Initially, the H9 Core might not seem like the best value for money, but there are a few factors that might change that. If you buy it, it won’t be for its versatility; it will be because you love the specific sound it creates. In that case, you might purchase more H9 pedals, and any algorithms you buy can be shared between five pedals on your H9 Control app.
The H9 Core comes out of the box with 30 stock presets that come from the original H910 and H949 delay and pitch algorithms. It can also run algorithms from other Eventide pedals, including TimeFactor (delay) and ModFactor (modulation).
At first glance, the H9 Core is quite bare, but the buttons it has are multi-functional. The heart of the controls is the central oversized rotary knob that edits any parameters, with visual feedback on the LCD screen. Parameters are selected using the X, Y, Z buttons, and they vary depending on which algorithm is active.
Eventide’s H9 Core is a high-end pedal; it lacks in quantity (before you purchase more algorithms), but it excels in quality.