6. Guitar Applications
Many different types of guitar sound can benefit from the addition of reverb:
An ordinary clean sound can sometimes be a little uninspiring, and a dash of reverb often helps - its no accident that the spring reverb unit was one of the first guitar effects invented. Most guitar combos still use spring reverb, but the emulation offered by many pedals and FX racks can offer greater flexibility, allowing easy switching to other types of reverb for different sounds.
Distortion - Lead
Distorted lead playing can sound great with spring reverb, or with none at all the classic blues-rock sound of the 70s is surprisingly dry. However, for more modern-sounding lead parts, digital reverb comes into its own and the sky is the limit it just depends how much of the mix youre allowed to hog! Generally, simple motifs can sound fantastic if allowed to hang with large amounts of hall or church reverb, while busier parts should usually be kept relatively dry.
Distortion - Rhythm
Heavy rhythm parts can easily sound muddy with too much reverb, but again its a matter of taste and context. A single power chord left to sustain, for example during an intro, can be made to sound huge with an appropriate reverb effect.
In a simple FX loop, reverb should almost always be placed last in the chain. Experimenting with other positions can occasionally yield interesting results, but be prepared for some nasty noises along the way, for example if placing reverb before distortion.
In more complex setups, the wet reverb signal may be gated or compressed before being returned to the FX loop.