The 10 Best Ambient Guitar Pedals of 2024

The 10 Best Ambient Guitar Pedals of 2024

Introduction

Recently, ambient guitar has been having a moment: players are more and more interested in generating innovative sounds with the instrument, whether it be drones, ethereal chords, or lush atmospheres. Ambient pedals have carved a unique niche in the industry, allowing musicians to create immersive listening experiences.

This year brings an exciting variety of new and innovative options, from reverb and delay to modulation. Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner, our curated list of the 10 best ambient guitar pedals of 2024 will help you discover the perfect effect unit to enhance your sound palette.

In a hurry? Check out our quick guide with the best ambient guitar pedals at the end of the article.

um close up de um painel de controle com botões

What is Ambient Guitar? - Understanding Ambient Effect Pedals

Ambient guitar, an intrinsic part of ambient music, first appeared in the spotlight in the 1970s, with proponents exploring new, creative ways of using the instrument. Mainly with the aid of effect pedals such as reverbs, delays, and modulations, this new approach completely revolutionized how the guitar is played.

Nowadays, this playing style has burst its bubble and is employed in several music genres, from worship to post-rock. If you think that ambient guitar is reserved for a niche, that couldn't be farther from the truth: you can employ those pedals in virtually any setup to give your tone some character.

Types of Pedals Commonly Used in Ambient Music

Of course, any effect can be employed in ambient guitar music, as the only limit is our creativity. However, three types of pedals are most commonly used in this genre: reverb, delay, and modulation.

Reverb Pedals

These are essential for ambient guitar. They simulate the sound of different environments, from small rooms to vast, open spaces, adding depth and dimension to the sound.

Delay Pedals

Delay pedals create echoes of the original signal, which can be adjusted for timing, feedback, and mix level. They are crucial for adding rhythmic complexity and a sense of spatial movement.

Modulation Pedals

These include chorus, flanger, and phaser pedals. They alter the pitch and timing of the signal to create a sense of movement and texture. Chorus pedals can make the guitar sound richer and fuller, while flangers and phasers add swirling, sweeping effects.


Top 10 Best Ambient Guitar Pedals of 2024

Reverb Pedals

OBNE Procession Sci-Fi Reverb 

Main Features

  • Three-way switch for modulation control (flanger, filter, and tremolo)
  • Modulation Speed and Depth knobs
  • Reverb knob for trail length control
  • Expression jack

The OBNE Procession Sci-Fi Reverb pedal is a great option to get started exploring time-based effects. It has several extra features that you won't find on a standard reverb pedal.

The Procession pedal is a modulated reverb. That is, you can blend flanger, filter, and tremolo into the audio signal to achieve otherworldly textures. Additionally, it features a built-in hold switch: when activated, the switch will keep the sound trail going indefinitely. An excellent feature for creating pads.

You can also plug in an expression pedal to control the speed or reverb knob on the fly, extremely useful for live settings. Despite having so many features, the pedal is quite compact and won't take that much real estate from your pedalboard.

Death by Audio Rooms


Main Features

  • Six pre-programmed reverb algorithms
  • Freq, depth, and time parameter knobs
  • Separate dry and FX knobs
  • Built-in ALT switch
  • Stereo and mono input/output
  • Expression input

The Death By Audio Rooms is a super complete reverb pedal with lots of versatility. It features six pre-programmed algorithms, each one with its behavior and intricacies.

The aforementioned algorithms are mind-blowing, as they go from classic room tones to filter resonance-controlled echoes. However, the one that caught our attention the most was the gong option: a sci-fi-esque reverb that blends aliasing with ring modulation. You gotta hear it in action to know what we're talking about.

The Rooms pedal also has more features than most of its competitors, for instance, stereo output and an ALT mode that can be activated on the fly. Despite its higher price, it will keep you busy for a while trying all the possibilities.

Wonderful Audio Technology Ancient Echos

Main Features

  • A combination of delay, modulation, and reverb
  • Built-in low-pass filter
  • Built-in footswitch to quickly turn the Reflections parameter all the way up
  • Expression jack

The Ancient Echos, by Wonderful Audio Technology, is a versatile yet innovative multi-FX pedal combining delay, modulation, and reverb. It covers anything from plate-style reverbs to physically impossible cavernous reflections.

There are many features to explore within this pedal, but the most interesting ones are the modulation section, which lets you drastically alter the sound of the reflections, and the summon function: a footswitch that allows you to turn the reflections parameter all the way up on the fly.

We must also give props to Wonderful Audio for thoroughly explaining the high-quality dual reverb modules inside this unit, as it's always nice to see such transparency from pedal companies.

Delay Pedals

Cusack Music Tap-a-Delay Deluxe Pedal

Main Features

  • Digital delay with analog-like sound
  • Delay times of up to 750 ms
  • Brake Mode toggle
  • Built-in Float and Tap switch

The Cusack Music Tap-a-Delay deluxe is one of the most complete delay pedals on our list. Despite its compact size, it has several parameters that are rare to come across in other units.

With delay times of up to 750 ms, the main feature of this pedal that caters to ambient guitar music is the float switch: it functions similarly to a freeze function at low feedback settings. If you crank up the feedback, however, it will cause quicker runaway oscillation. This allows for easy drone and pad sounds with your guitar.

There is also an 8-position switch to select between various types of modulation, as well as a built-in tap footswitch and a three-way brake function.

Mojo Hand FX Octaverse

Main Features

  • Octave Down and Octave Up functions
  • Mix Control
  • Rate Control

The Mojo Hand FX Octaverse is a unique type of delay: it allows the player to give a unique flavor to their tone with an octave down and octave up function.

While this pedal is quite niche-oriented, this particular pitch-shifted delay effect was up until now only found in more expensive, multi-effects units. The octaverse allows you to achieve the same tone in a smaller, more convenient fashion.

Another interesting feature of this pedal is that you can achieve virtually infinite amounts of delay when the feedback knob is turned to the max. This will keep the effect going for several minutes without fading out, excellent for creating pads.

Modulation Pedals

Demedash Effects T-60

Main Features

  • BBD Time Manipulation
  • Chorus, Vibrato, and Flanger
  • Two Digitally Generated LFOs
  • Chop Function
  • Tap Tempo Function
  • Stereo Output

It's hard to categorize the Demedash Effects T-60, as it's a one-of-a-kind BBD time manipulation unit with chorus, vibrato, flanger modes, and unique features that can't be found in any other unit.

Inspired by the famous bucket brigade delay (while not being one), the T-60 is a unique modulator: it generates two LFOs while allowing you to control parameters like chop rate time and randomness amount. We highly recommend that you watch the demo video to learn what it's capable of.

We'd recommend the T-60 if you're more into a lo-fi ambient sound. Paired with a reverb or a proper delay, it sounds amazing and extremely innovative.

Mid-Fi Electronics Clari(not) 

Main Features

  • Lo-fi sound
  • Vibrato/chorus/wow and flutter simulator
  • Built-in octave modulator

If you wish to add some lo-fi grittiness to your ambient experimentations, the Mid-Fi Electronics Clari(not) is a great candidate. It aims to simulate the sound artifacts produced by vinyl and tape recorders from the past.

Featuring a vibrato/chorus/wow and flutter simulator, this pedal shines when paired with a standard delay or reverb, as it can make echoes and trails sound much more interesting. The pedal also has an envelope control that can modulate the sound over an octave.

The Clari(not) is one of the most interesting pedal options for lo-fi inclined setups, but it will also feel at home in a clean signal chain. We recommend pairing it with pedals such as the aforementioned Tap-a-Delay Deluxe.

Multi-FX Pedals

Schu-Tone Luna Obscura

Main Features

  • Multi-FX pedal with delay, vibe, boost, and fuzz effects
  • Chorus/vibrato switch
  • 4 delay head options
  • Expression jack
  • Send/Return jacks

With such a suggestive name, the Luna Obscura by Schu-Tone is inspired by David Gilmour's rig from the Dark Side of the Moon era. It combines several effects in one unit, including delay, vibe, boost, and even fuzz.

This pedal has such a great value for its price, with the many functions and versatility it offers. There are several parameters to adjust the many effects in the unit. Sound-wise, we'd say it's on the more psychedelic side (as made clear by its influences).

The Luna Obscura is excellent if you're still dipping your toes into the world of ambient guitar, as it isn't a "strictly ambient" pedal per se, but a complete multi-FX unit capable of covering any music genre or playing style.

Maneco Labs Grone Drone Pedal

Main Features

  • Synth function with MIDI connectivity
  • Four footswitches for adjustments on the fly
  • Oscillator control
  • Expression jack
  • Stereo output

The Maneco Labs Grone Drone is an experimental pedal that blurs the line between the guitar and the synthesizer. It can produce unheard-of soundscapes.

As its name implies, this pedal can produce a variety of drones, pads, and textures. However, the most distinguishing point is that the Grone Drone has a built-in synth that can be controlled by your guitar, with several parameters and endless experimentation. You can control everything, from the oscillators to the sample rate.

Just so you have an idea of the amount of possibilities within this pedal, its demo video below is over one hour long! While this unit isn't for everyone, the Grone Drone will probably conquer the hearts of the most adventurous players out there.

OBNE Minim Ambient Machine 

Main Features

  • Reverb, delay, and reverse paired together
  • Pseudo-harmonic tremolo with speed control function
  • Reverb modulation function
  • Expression jack

The OBNE Minim is a combination of reverb, delay, and reverse effects. This pedal is very minimalistic, but it features some interesting quirks, such as the pseudo-harmonic tremolo function.

The Minim also features a reverse parameter that can be activated on the fly via the footswitch, and you may set it to normal or double speed; As well as a chorusing effect modulation, which sounds ethereal and gives lots of character to the trails' sound.

This is a friendly pedal to get started with exploring ambient guitar, with its minimalistic approach and down-to-earth functionalities. We'd recommend this unit to players who are still dipping their toes in this playing style.

Bonus: Popular Techniques and Tips for Using Ambient Guitar Pedals

Layering and Looping

Ambient guitar artists often employ layering and looping as a creative method of music creation. Using a looper pedal, one can record several tracks with the same guitar and produce ethereal and ever-changing soundscapes.

You start by recording the first layer and then progressively incorporating more harmonies as well as melodies to this initial idea. Using this method one can form a dense wall of sound that is synonymous with the ambient guitar music genre.

Using Reverb and Delay Together

As reverb and delay are the favorite pedals of ambient musicians, the process of mixing these two effects will bring you an impressive result that can make any guitar sound like it has been played inside some huge space.

While reverb alone can add a sense of depth to your tone, pairing it with a delay will bring a rhythmic complexity that will give much more character to your sound. You can, for example, set the delay to repeat the trails of your reverb indefinitely to achieve a drone or pad sound.

guitarra elétrica vermelha no chão

Creative Modulation

The use of creative modulation is commonly employed in ambient guitar music. Whether you choose a chorus, flanger, phaser, or unique modulation pedals such as the Demedash Effects T-60, these pedals shine both on their own and when paired with time-based effects, for example. Since most modulation pedals feature a vast set of parameters, the possibilities of exploration are endless.

Using the FX Loop on your Amplifier

Most amplifiers have an FX loop insert. This function allows you to connect a pedal between the power amp and the preamp. It is a very common practice to connect reverb and delay units to the FX loop, as it can give you a cleaner tone (especially if you're using the distortion from your amp).

Here is a great video explaining in detail how the FX loop in amplifiers work:

Conclusion

These are the 10 best ambient guitar pedals of 2024, each offering unique features and capabilities to elevate your soundscapes. Whether you're a seasoned player or you're still dipping your toes into this playing style, these units offer lots of opportunities to explore your tone.

Effect Type

Pedal

Price

Reverb

OBNE Procession Sci-Fi Reverb 

$209.00

Reverb

Death by Audio Rooms

$395.00

Reverb

Wonderful Audio Technology Ancient Echos

$225.00

Delay

Cusack Music Tap-a-Delay Deluxe Pedal

$229.00

Delay

Mojo Hand FX Octaverse

$159.00

Modulation

Demedash Effects T-60

$300.00

Modulation

Mid-Fi Electronics Clari(not) 

$225.00

Multi-FX

Schu-Tone Luna Obscura

$349.00

Multi-FX

Maneco Labs Grone Drone Pedal

$465.00

Multi-FX

OBNE Minim Ambient Machine 

$249.00

Make sure to visit our website to discover our complete selection of guitar pedals!

Bonus: Use the code IASN10 at checkout for an extra 10% discount!

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