My top 5 best multi effects pedals & processors are:
#5- Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-Effects & Amp Simulator Pedal
Zoom guitar multi effects pedals might not be the most popular, but in my opinion they are one of the best for heavily distorted sounds. For heavy distortion I really like the definition that these pedals achieve and how efficient their noise gates operate. A couple of nice compliments in this pedal are 2 12AX7 tubes in the signal path, included drum loops for practicing, a USB audio interface for computer recording and a 3D expression pedal for combined control a various parameters of selected effects, among many other features.
#4- Roland Gr-55 Guitar Synthesizer
Even though this is technically a synthesizer, this pedal has made the issue of midi guitar so simple that I find it easier to use that some proper multi effects processors. As long as you can play in articulate way the sounds are very good and track really fast. Layered with an amp, or used in conjunction with a Boss GT pedal, super thick sounds can be crafted in no time. And for DAW users the USB port serves as an audio/ midi interface, making further sound layering very easy to attain.
#3- Avid Eleven Rack
Another multi effects processor that if you can afford an inexpensive midi foot controller I highly recommend to try. As a guitar player who also works with Pro Tools I’m very satisfied with the Elven Rack. Apart from being a great sounding multi effects, It’s a 6 channel DSP powered USB 2.0 recording audio interface. It’s also a very flexible re-amping solution that integrates with Pro Tools flawlessly. Monitoring the guitar sound while recording is latency free. The effects can be used for other sources like microphones or software instruments. And playing live with the exact sound you recorded in the studio it’s a matter of saving a preset.
#2- Boss Gt Multi-Effects Pedals
Every new generation of Boss GT multi effects pedals seems to have more and more features, but if you ever operated an older one you’ll get how to use a new one right away. And construction wise they keep being one of the most solid, making them a good choice for live use. While I really dig the FX choices and sound of the GT series, their amp modeling it’s not my favorite. That’s why I’ve always preferred to use these pedals layered with the sound of an amp through an FX loop. With amps that have parallel loops they get very good results.
#1- Line 6 Pod Hd500x
The Line 6 POD HD has become a staple of guitar processing, it’s very difficult to walk in a recording studio these days and not find one of these. And even though many guitar players keep going on and on with the argument of digital vs analog, Line 6 gear keeps popping at more live gigs. The HD series of pedals have powerful chips, with algorithms that model vintage gear in a more natural way this series did before. Line 6 gear used to take a certain amount of tweaking to sound good, but with these it’s become a lot easier. The presets are pretty good.
Thanks for reading!