Musicians are constantly experimenting with new musical sounds in order to make their music more dynamic and inventive. Effects pedals have been increasingly popular in the last fifty years as a technique for artists to manually manipulate effects with their feet. Guitarists and keyboard players are the most common users of pedals. Sound is controlled via expression pedals, which are a form of effect pedal. They are most typically used to control loudness, but they can also be used to control other sound effects.
So, what are the best expression pedals on the market right now? This essay tries to answer this topic, as finding the appropriate expression pedal for your musical demands might be challenging. Dimensions, material, capacity, weight, and price are among the factors highlighted in the buying guide that we believe crucial in the process of acquiring an expression pedal. Before purchasing a guitar expression pedal or an expression pedal for another instrument, it is usually a good idea to read up and conduct as much research as possible. They’re complicated and temperamental machines that require considerable understanding to operate properly.
Boss FV-500H Foot Volume Pedal
- High-impedance Volume/Expression Pedal for Guitar or Other High-Impedance Instruments
The best expression pedals are those made by Boss. The Boss Volume Pedal is a high-end guitar expression pedal with excellent sound and long-lasting performance. The Boss FV-500H is one of the most durable expression pedals for guitar, made of heavy-duty aluminum with a die-cast body that accommodates a variety of foot sizes. The pedal’s surface is constructed of rubber, which is ideal for preventing slippage when playing. This is a typical problem with pedals, which can cause them to become ineffective or malfunction if the foot cannot secure a sufficient connection to the pedal surface.
The Boss includes two major expression effects: which produces a mono sound with high impedance levels and which produces a stereo sound with low impedance levels. The FV-500L, a stereo effect with low-impedance, is the other principal expression effect. The pedal’s action is quite well-designed. It’s silky smooth, offering players first and foremost a high level of comfort while also allowing for far greater control. In order for expression pedals to perform well, musicians must have faith in the pedal action. The musician’s control over their production is substantially hampered if there is unable rigidity or an insecure connection.
In terms of movement, the Boss FV-500 pedal is considerably superior to competing competitors. The pedal’s feel may also be modified, making it ideal for people who wish to customize their experience. The Boss also has a handy tuner-output jack, allowing guitarists to connect many instruments to the expression pedal. The Boss FV-500H is unquestionably a comfort and smoothness investment. Boss FV-500H Foot Volume Pedal is the Best Expression Pedal in 2023.
Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal
Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal is one of the smallest guitar expression pedals currently available, measuring 3-7/16” 7-7/8” 2-3/16”. The EV-5 is a wonderful and cheaply priced expression pedal for individuals looking to explore with sounds on the guitar or keyboard. It’s known for being useful with reverb and delay pedals.
The best guitar expression pedal is well-liked by artists, despite not being as durable or ergonomic as premium expression pedals from companies like Yamaha. The little pedal is more suited to studio use, as the plastic is unlikely to withstand the rigors of long-term touring. However, purchasers of the gadget have reported using the same EV-5 pedal for over 20 years.
The EV-5 may surely serve musicians for a long period if properly used and maintained. The pedal is pre-programmed with four preset expression curves. This gives you a good selection of expression effects to experiment with. If it’s being used with a keyboard, check sure the keyboard controller’s expression curve is compatible with the pedal’s to ensure a seamless connection. Although the EV-5’s plastic look may put some people off, it provides a reasonable choice for guitarists who are hesitant to invest large sums of money in more expensive expression pedals.
The EV-5 is designed to provide players with a less expensive option, and it provides excellent value for money overall. Because the design is made of plastic, it requires extra attention to ensure that it will last a long time. This is one of the Best Expression Pedals for Guitar in 2023.
Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal
- Brand: MOOG
- Product Code: ACCEP003
- Perfect weight and balance, along with superb craftsmanship
The Moog EP-3 is a multi-instrument expression pedal that works with everything from guitars and guitar pedals to keyboards and insane Moog synths. The pedal is housed in a rock-solid housing that can withstand the abuse of a touring performer.
Moog Music has a long history of producing high-quality products, and the EP-3 Expression Pedal is no exception. It’s well-made, with a novel and revolutionary cam mechanism that allows for incredibly smooth rocker action. A polarity switch and a scaled output knob are included.
When you turn the pedal over, you’ll notice a switch with two modes: Standard and Other. This allows you to use the pedal with any gear on the planet. A level adjustment control knob is located on the left side panel and allows the player to alter the range of motion. The switch makes it compatible with any type of gear, and the volume adjustment control knob is useful for fine-tuning the sweet spots. The pedal is extremely durable and suitable for touring.
In terms of control and durability, many expert guitarists believe the Moog EP-3 Universal Polarity Expression Pedal is the best mini expression pedal on the market.
Nektar Expression Pedal (NX-P)
- Universal expression pedal
- Compatible with most expression pedal sockets
- Rubber feet for solid floor-grip and rubber upper contact surface
The Nektar NX-P Universal Expression Pedal will be a welcome addition to any instrument with a built-in expression input, whether you already possess a Nektar foot controller or not. The fact that this model has a polarity switch is maybe the most intriguing aspect. To put it another way, it may be used with almost any item that has an expression input.
The Nektar NX-P Universal Expression Pedal provides excellent performance at an affordable cost. Because it contains a polarity switch on the bottom, it can be used with almost any expression input. A sensitivity setting on the side allows you to fine-tune the reaction.
The NX-P does not disappoint when it comes to Nektar’s user-friendly controls. Players can easily modify parameters such as volume, pan, hold, and modulation. If you travel to gigs on a regular basis, a weight of only 0.7 pounds is ideal. Finally, a six-foot cable and a 1/4-inch TRS jack come standard with this guitar expression pedal.
The NX-P is a full-size pedal with a sturdy plastic casing that measures 8.3 x 3 x 2 inches. The rocker moves smoothly and steadily. The 6-foot TRS cable that comes with it is a tad thin. It should hold up on stage if handled with care, though you won’t be able to simply plug in a spare cable if it breaks. On the bright side, it’s a bargain.
These are some of the reasons why it is reasonable to conclude that the Nektar NX-P is the best expression pedal in terms of general instrument compatibility. Rubber feet provide a strong grip, the construction is robust, and the dimensions are simplified for convenient storage.
Boss EV-30 Dual Expression Pedal
- 2-channel Aluminum Expression Pedal with 1/4" TRS Cable
Have you weighed your light plastic expression pedal and discovered it to be lacking? Upgrade to the durable cast-aluminum BOSS EV-30 and say goodbye to your stage difficulties. The smooth throw of this hefty pedal allows you to precisely dial in pedal delays, keyboard filters, and MIDI controller parameters without having to use your hands. Its dual-output architecture makes it possible to
The boss expression pedals allows you to operate two devices from the same pedal, saving you a lot of space. Adjustable output ranges zero in on your preferred minimum parameter shift, and a channel-two polarity switch keeps the BOSS EV-30 compatible with all of your devices.
The Boss EV-30 Dual Expression pedal is small in size, measuring only 7.5 x 3.2 x 2.33 inches. Because to its revolutionary mechanical design, it has the smooth sensation of a full-size pedal. Die-cast aluminum makes up the chassis.
You can simply operate two devices at once with twin outputs, each with a switch to change the range. Ground loop noise isn’t a problem because the outputs are isolated. The EV-30 is compatible with a wide range of music gear since each output features a polarity switch and a calibration control.
Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer for Passive Electronics
The Ernie Ball VP Jr. is a superb volume potentiometer with a solid aluminum casing, developed specifically for instruments with passive electronics.
The Ernie Ball VP Jr. is a tiny and generally smaller volume pedal that will fit well on your pedalboard. There’s an inbuilt micro-taper switch on the pedal that lets you choose between two swell rates. The back panel of the pedal contains a tuner input (just above the line in/line out) so you can tune your guitar quietly.
Although many players are pleased with this pedal, many owners are dissatisfied with the mechanism due to its bad design. The potentiometer doesn’t last very long, and the string is easily snapped. This is not a good idea.
MeloAudio EXP-001 Foot Wah&Volume Expression Guitar Effects Pedal
- Ultra-smooth pedal movement for the utmost in comfort and control.
- Small size for better placement on the effector mounting plate
- The pedal shaft is designed with damping. When it is not stepped, it will stay at the specified angle
The MeloAudio EXP-001 Volume Expression Pedal is a low-cost expression pedal that meets the needs of the vast majority of guitarists. The comfort and control that musicians feel when utilizing the pedal in live or studio performance are among the most significant advantages of using it.
The extremely smooth design and thin size provide maximum comfort. The fact that the pedal is constructed without dampening is one feature that offers excellent control. This means that the pedal will not deviate from its set angle if it is not stepped on. This is especially useful for live artists who want to know that the pedal won’t change the sound if they don’t step on it.
The cast aluminum housing of the EXP-001 is renowned for its precision reaction when musicians apply pressure with their foot. One of the most prevalent complaints about using pedals in live performances is that they tend to wet up and make it difficult to maintain a stable foothold.
The EXP-001’s rubber top is properly engineered to avoid any slippage. The EXP-001’s usability is another outstanding feature. The pedal works with almost every well-known effects model and brand, including MIDI COMMANDER and TS MEGA. Purchasing the EXP-001 isn’t a big deal either; for the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Users can expect long-term performance because to the product’s exceptionally sturdy build. For individuals wishing to improve their musical tone, the EXP-001 is a good choice.
DigiTech Dynamic Feedback Guitar Expression Pedal
- Freqout natural feedback Creator allows you to get sweet, natural feedback at any volume, with or without distortion
- Perfect for situations where volume must be controlled like in the studio, with in ear monitors, or low-volume performance and practice
- Freqout can also be used at Gig volume to focus out-of-control feedback on a preferred harmonic at any stage position
The DigiTech Dynamic Guitar Expression Pedal is a finely tuned guitar expression pedal that provides genuine feedback from the strings at both loud and mild volumes. The DigiTech Dynamic Guitar Expression Pedal, which comes at a higher price, is known for preventing undesirable distortion when using the effects. It’s best for people who want to achieve a clean and crisp expressive impression.
The DigiTech Dynamic Guitar Expression Pedal is suitable for usage in a studio where the volume may be regulated in the same way as it would be with large studio decks and ear monitors. For players who wish to experiment with expression effects in a practice context, the pedal’s ability to produce high-quality low-volume performance is a huge plus.
The DigiTech Dynamic Guitar Expression Pedal is the greatest choice for studio recording, but it can also withstand the demands of live performance. No matter where you are on stage, the pedal can focus any out-of-control feedback and apply the best harmonics. With seven feedback choices and many onset delay and level balancing adjustments, the pedal provides decent harmonic capability.
The DigiTech Dynamic Guitar Expression Pedal is an excellent choice for artists wishing to improve their sound quality and variety by investing in high-quality gear. The pedal was created with guitarists in mind and offers a wide range of expression effects.
M-Audio EX-P | Universal Expression Pedal for Keyboards
- Express Yourself - Expand and unlock the full creative scope of your controller or keyboard with M-audio's universal EX-P expression pedal
- Control Anything - Manipulate any MIDI assignable control or parameter in real time, including volume, modulation, panning, filter sweep and more
- Universal Compatibility - Built-in and discretely located polarity switch for compatibility with most keyboards, controllers, synthesisers and effect...
The M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal is a budget-friendly expression pedal that, despite its lower-cost design elements, offers superb sound options for artists wishing to experiment with diverse effects. When pressure is applied to the plastic surface, it is smooth and sensitive, providing guitarists complete control over effects and loudness. If properly maintained, the molded construction is quite long-lasting.
Most effect variables are compatible with the M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal, allowing buyers to experiment with a wide range of effects. The pedal is designed to operate best with M-Audio products and may not function as well with other effects pedals. The cable is hardwired to the pedal unit, which provides strong connection stability but may be a stumbling block for those looking to experiment with non-TRS connections. The number of possible effects connections can be increased by using an adaptor.
The M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal is a really solid, economical alternative that generally works well, whether it’s used with a guitar or a keyboard. When the foot is removed from the pedal, the pedal may maintain a wide range of MIDI values and the location of a specific effect. The M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal serves as a volume adjustment controller for most instruments.
The M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal is a great expression pedal to experiment with for musicians. It’s simple to adjust to fit into your ideal musical setting. Many people think that this pedal offers some of the best value for money in the best expression pedal for guitar because of its low pricing.
Fender EXP-1 Expression Pedal
- Two modes: Volume and Expression
- Package Dimensions: 10.921 H x 25.907 L x 20.828 W (centimetres)
- Package Weight: 2.55 pounds
The Fender EXP-1 Expression Pedal is an expression pedal that works with Fender amplifiers and provides a wide range of sounds. The sound quality of the Fender EXP-1 is superior to many other expression pedals now on the market, despite the fact that it is exclusively compatible with Fender goods. The richness and variety of sound is especially noticeable when used in conjunction with the FUSE program.
The two modes of the Fender EXP-1 expression pedal are volume and expressiveness. It can also be a controller for reverb, delay, modulation speed, and gain levels, depending on the signal chain used to connect the pedal, providing musicians complete control over their effects. For the most part, the Fender EXP-1 is large enough to be operated with either the toe or heel.
To show which mode is being used, the red and green LED lights flash. This is an excellent feature to provide the player a visual indication of the mode, particularly when performing live since knowing which effect is on is vital in preventing playing the wrong effect at the wrong time.
The Fender EXP-1’s configurable features are the actual draw: the sound effects may be picked and tailored to your musical style thanks to its good connectivity to various signal chains. Purchasing the Fender EXP-1 is a journey into the world of effects, and it will definitely inspire more musical research.
SONICAKE VolWah Active Volume & Wah Pedal
- 100% Analog Volume/Wah 2 in 1 Pedal with a lightweight casing but yet truly Robust and Well-Built
- Active Volume Control can keep away from Impedance Mismatch Troubles
- Style Vintage Wah Sound
The SONICAKE Wah/Volume Guitar Pedal is a tiny, stylish mat black pedal with great sound possibilities for your pedalboard. The incredibly compact form is great for artists who already have a lot of effects pedals and need small pedals to fit on their pedalboard.
The volume dimension of the pedal is an active circuit, which is a fantastic advantage because it decreases the likelihood of having impedance or mismatch issues. The SONICAKE Wah/Volume Guitar Pedal includes a classic wah effect in addition to active volume control, which is appealing to players that enjoy the wah effect. This effect is perfect for funk artists and guitarists who want to take risks with their solos. The wah effect is modeled by the well-known Crybaby style, which is both responsive and lively.
The SONICAKE Wah/Volume Guitar Pedal is made of durable plastic that is covered by a thin, light case. Despite its small weight, the pedal is quite durable and well-designed. The materials’ robustness ensures that they can survive the wear and tear that comes with touring. Two LED lights indicate which mode the SONICAKE Wah/Volume Guitar Pedal is in, making it excellent for live playing. In the midst of the chaos of a live performance, it’s essential for players to have a visual indicator of which setting is being used to avoid confusion.
The SONICAKE Wah/Volume Guitar Pedal weights around 250g and requires a 9V DC power supply. This pedal is a little more pricey than other pedals, but it is a quality investment.
Dunlop DVP4 Volume X Mini Pedal
- Controls volume levels and FX parameters
- Low Friction Band-Drive for smooth, durable performance
- AUX output for switchable tuner/expression functionality
The Dunlop Volume X Mini is not only one of the tiniest expression pedals on the market, but it also packs a punch, as it can be used as both an expression and a volume pedal. It boasts an all-metal enclosure that is quite strong for its size, as well as rubber grips on the top and bottom for additional stability.
The top of the pedal has three jacks: an input and output for use as a volume pedal, as well as an Aux output for use with a tuner or expression pedal, which may be set through an internal dipswitch. The only enhancement I wish this pedal had is for the switch to be located on the outside of the pedal, so I could quickly route the pedal for volume or expression use and then make my settings with a flip of the switch rather than digging around inside the pedal. Internal dipswitches provide access to the expression and volume settings’ minimum and maximum values.
Line 6 EX-1 Expression Pedal
The Line 6 EX-1 is a great pedal to use with Line 6’s M5 Stompbox Modeler, AX2 modeling guitar amp, and other related gear. The output jack (oddly called “input”) has a 1/4-inch TS connection, which means it won’t work with other gear. The case is made of black plastic and measures 9.5 x 4 x 2.8 inches.
Source Audio SA161 Dual Expression Pedal
- Two Isolated TRS Expression Outputs – simultaneous control over multiple effect pedals or rack systems.
- Sensor Output - 1/8-inch; four conductor output compatible with all Soundblox, Soundblox 2, or Soundblox Pro pedals.
- Rugged, cast aluminum housing.
The SA161 Dual Expression Pedal from Source Audio may be the right solution for you if you have multiple guitar pedals on your board that you’d want to control with an expression pedal.
Two separate expression output jacks on the SA161 Dual Expression Pedal can be utilized to alter parameters on two different pedals at the same time. The “range” knob on the second expression output jack allows you to fine-tune the expression’s range to your desire.
The SA161 additionally has a 1/8″ expression output jack, which can be used to control pedals with 1/8″ expression input jacks rather than the standard 14″ jacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Expression pedal?
A treadle-style foot pedal that controls a parameter in an electronic keyboard, synthesizer, effects processor, or other device, such as volume, modulation, delay level, or any of a variety of other parameters. In some circumstances, the expression pedal directly controls the parameter; in others, the receiving device converts the expression pedal signal to a MIDI continuous controller message, which is then used for control.
Can expression pedal be used both with guitar and keyboard?
Yes, both your guitar and keyboard can benefit from the use of an expression pedal. However, be sure the pedal is both technologically and physically compatible with the keyboard and guitar. This is due to the fact that some pedals can only be used with keyboards and guitars from the same manufacturer.
What is the difference between the expression pedal and volume pedal?
The effects of other pedals are controlled by an expression pedal. It can adjust the delay pedal’s feedback level, whammy pedal pitch, phase pedal rate, and distortion pedal gain. It also has the ability to regulate the volume pedal. The volume pedal, on the other hand, is utilized to create a sweeping and luscious soundscape by controlling the loudness produced by the guitar.