7 Essential Pedals For Indie Rock (+ Video Reviews)


Many guitarists are familiar with this situation, seeking for the exact sound they want, yet striving to produce it.

When it comes to indie rock, it is the genre that has a dozens of sub genres in itself.

Therefore, it is not that easy to describe the characteristic sound of it. Still, I’d like to give a try in finding the best pedals for this purpose.

There are many ways to get the sound you want. One of them is by owning the proper equipment. To get the sound you want, it is crucial to have a good pedals.

In this article, I’m going to present to you the best pedals for indie rock and post punk genre. With those pedals, you’ll be able to perform the indie rock sound you want, without problems.

Best Pedals For Indie Rock

This sub-genre of Alternative Rock has a very subtle Lo-Fi feeling. For indie rock, it is the best strive for a low-budget, affordable pedals.

However, this doesn’t suggest the pedal you require has to be a bad quality pedal.

The effects this genre needs can be performed with Overdrive and Delay Pedals. Let’s go!

BOSS Super Overdrive Guitar Pedal (SD-1)

  • Price: 49.94 $
  • Rating: 4.5 / 5

This pedal produces a warm, soft sound, allowing for some rich harmonic overtones without dimming the nuances of your picking.

It’s also a long lasting overdrive pedal that comes with a 9-volt battery. I’d recommend you to turn the drive knob at three o’clock and the Tone knob to be at 10 o’clock.

This setting will allow you to perform an Indie sound with the company of your Delay pedal.

PROs

Warm, dirty and yet gentle, non scratchy overdrive sound. Perfect for playing power chords. All tones are nicely blended into one. It’s great to pair this pedal with others.

Great for soloing, as it gives you that dirty, modern garage rock sound popular with a lot of today’s indie rock bands.

CONs

Knobs can be little tricky and misleading. It takes a time for a beginner to get used with it. However, this is a minor problem, considering the advantages this pedal brings.

See this pedal’s performance.

Get yourself one from Amazon, here.

Electro-Harmonix Memory Toy Analog Delay

  • Price: 110 $
  • Rating: 3.9 / 5

I strongly recommend using this pedal if you like to play with clean tones. It produces a very melodic sound from the moment you plug it in. It has a range of 30 to 550ms (milliseconds) of delay.

One of the great things about this pedal is the fact that you can make the delay effect very subtle, non-invasive, and yet you’d heard the impact it haves on the sound.

It has a MOD switch that makes a difference at the flick of a switch. It’s easy to use, and has a battery included.

It is best to put it at the end of your pedalboard, before your amp.

PROs

This pedal is great for beginners, as it has very simple board with three knobs.

It gives you a great, subtle delay. I’d say minimalist delay, as it won’t catch up a lot of unnecessary frequencies. It sounds very roomy and yet you get that feeling of distance.

CONs

One of the drawbacks of this pedal is the durability. There’s a good chance this pedal will stop working after a few years of use. Also, there’s a chance of getting some white noise if you like to play loud.

You can hear how it sounds like.

Anyway, get yourself one from Amazon, here.

Ibanez TS808 Overdrive Pedal

  • Price: 156 $
  • Rating: 4.3 / 5

This legendary pedal has remained an essential tool for many guitarists over the years. It provides its unique sound.

This great pedal sounds the best with tube amplifiers. The ideal knob setting to make your guitar sound considerably Indie is to turn the Overdrive to eight o’clock to the Tone to 11 o’clock.

PROs

Tube Screamer provides a big boost in MID frequencies. It is versatile pedal. You can play almost any genre with this pedal, including indie rock.

This particular pedal is perfect if you’re striving for that slightly fuzzy, overdrive sound characteristic for modern rock bands, like The Darkness.

CONs

The price. 156 bucks may sound too expensive for a lot of guitarists out there. If you’re on a low budget, I’d recommend you to keep reading, as there are other great pedals for much more affordable price.

Hear how this pedal works.

Get yourself one from Amazon, here.

MXR Sugar Drive

  • Price: 119.99 $
  • Rating: 5 / 5

The MXR Sugar is a new breed of Overdrive pedals made in 2018. It’s for players who seek the sweet balance between their electric guitar and their amplifier but want a transparent boost and smooth saturation.

It has a buffer bypass switch. Its double voltage increases overall headroom for a wider palette of tones. This is a compact pedal + is quite affordable.

You can turn the drive knob to seven o’clock, have the buffer ON and then set the tone at 12 o’clock for best experience.

PROs

Size of this pedal is perfect. It is long and yet narrow. Perfect for every pedalboard. It doesn’t take up much space.

It provides a nice clean boost to the sound. That’s perfect when you blend it with the overdrive, as you don’t hear any noise, nor big dynamic amplitudes, no matter how hard you strum the strings.

Overdrive sound it provides is really pure and fresh. No unnecessary frequencies, no noise and no humming.

CONs

There aren’t any drawbacks when it comes to this pedal. It may be a little expensive for someone, though, but I still think it’s pretty affordable, considering what you get for the price.

Check the performance of the pedal.

Get yourself one from Amazon, here.

Fulltone OCD Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

  • Price: 127.20 $
  • Rating: 4.6 / 5

This short overdrive pedal makes your sound remain consistent, despite where you set it on your pedalboard.

Its buffer helps to reduce loading on the pedal’s hard-clipping stage, allowing more sustain of both the sound and the overtones.

It has the usual knobs; Volume, Drive, and Tone controls. This version also has HP/LP (High Peak/Low Peak) which spices up the overall tone.

It also has switchable Enhanced Bypass or True Bypass modes. For this pedal, you should try to turn the Drive down and turn on the HP switch to get the sound you need.

I suggest you to turn the Drive knob to nine o’clock and the tone knob to 1 o’clock for the best experience.

PROs

This pedal is versatile. You can play any rock genre you want with it, including indie rock. It’s great for doing solos, as it gives a nice layer of “dirt” to the tone.

You can hear the nice boosts it gives to the high frequencies of the tone. It goes right to the “bone” of the note.

Also, this pedal has strong durability.

CONs

The price may seem a bit expensive, but again, it’s what you get. Also, it may be not that INDIE, depending on the sound you want to achieve.

Anyway, take a listen to it, and then decide.

Get yourself one from Amazon, here.

EarthQuaker Devices Plumes Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

  • Price: 99 $
  • Rating: 4.7 / 5

If you’re looking for a hard, garage, bassy sound, this pedal is right for you.

The Plumes is an overdrive analog pedal that delivers a good gain. It was built upon the old classic tube overdrive norms.

It offers three distinct clipping modes known as Symmetrical LED Clipping for a more crunchy and compressed effect, No Clipping for a clean boost effect, and Asymmetrical Silicon Diode Clipping for a smooth loose effect.

All three clipping modes are brought to you at a tweak of a switch. This pedal has three control knobs: Level, Tone and Gain.

Each of them work like this: the Level is for volume, the Tone allows for more bass if you rotate it to the left plus for more middles in the middle and more treble to the right.

This pedal charges headroom and clarity that will push your amp over the edge, focusing on mid-range tones with thriving sustain.

The ideal knob setting is to turn the Gain knob at nine o’clock to the Tone to 11 o’clock and use the 2 clipping mode.

PROs

Great for garage indie rock. It sounds equally good both with clean and overdrive setup.

It provides loud, strong sound with the clarity of the tone and the notes you play. Whether you play chords or doing a solo, it will sound equally strong and clarified with its low frequency boost.

Also, the price is pretty affordable.

CONs

I can’t point out at any significant disadvantage this pedal have. It’s great for the price, and that’s it!

Hear this pedal at work.

Check it out in details on Amazon, here.

JHS Sweet Tea V3 Overdrive & Distortion

  • Price: 315 $
  • Rating: 4.6 / 5

If you’re looking for the crunchy, slightly undertone sound – this is the right pedal for you.

It is versatile pedal, so you can easily employ it to play any hard rock indie genre you want.

This two in one Overdrive/Distortion Pedal will provide you with rich medium-to-high gain tones. It has the circuitry from the renown Moonshine V2 on its right side, thereby allowing you to get neat mid-tones.

As you can see from the picture, it has a broad palette of knobs.

This pedal allows you to get heavier tones and. At the center of the pedal, you can find the switch that controls in what order both circuits operate.

The ideal setting to make your guitar sound considerably Indie is to use the Moonshine side turn the drive to eight o’clock, the Tone to 11 o’clock, and the Clean knob to one o’clock and finally having the proof switch to the – mode.

PROs

Roomy and crunchy undertone sound. No noise or humming. If you’re experienced with using various pedals, this is for you.

CONs

The price. It is the most expensive pedal on this list. However, you won’t experience any durability problems, and no noise (as it’s already been said).

Hear how it sounds like.

Get yourself one from Amazon, here.

Conclusion

I hope you’ll find a pedal you like in this article. Indie rock is specific genre of rock. It has that signature sound, and yet it is a broad genre. There are many indie bands that are very unique and different between each other.

If you enjoyed reading this article as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it, I’m more than happy about it.

Don’t forget to check other interesting articles from this site about various guitar topics and issues!

Cheers, and rock on!

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