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Best Expression Pedal 2022: 10+ Pedals For Ultimate Control!

Do you need an expression pedal? Is it really necessary?

Getting your hands on the best expression pedal isn’t always easy – especially now!

See, with expression pedals being one of the most popular additions to a pedalboard out there, virtually every audio manufacturer under the sun has had a go at making one. Many of which are great, & many of which… leave a lot to be desired. Part of the reason being that not all expression pedals are created equal – SPOILER ALERT: they don’t all have the same purpose.

So while some expression pedals are indeed geared towards guitarists, other are more suited to keen pianists, those at the helm of a midi controller or even someone who occasionally plays the organ. All of which can make narrowing down the best expression pedal for you, not only a bit of a headache, but also quite treacherous.

Especially when you consider the impact this pedal has on your setup; expression pedals have a great deal of control over your final sound & are in many ways responsible for dotting the ‘i’s & crossing the ‘t’s. So with that in mind, is an expression pedal really necessary? And which is the best expression pedal you can currently buy? We reveal all that… & more.

After something specific about whether you need an expression pedal? Or just curious to see which we think is the best expression pedal for sale today? Use the menu below to find the answers you need, FAST…

The best expression pedals @ a glance…

10+ of the best expression pedals for sale today…

Consider that the expression pedal is basically the governor of your entire setup – i.e. controls your final sound, including all your effects – & to pick one out of thin air would be more than a ‘bit’ foolish. Do so & it’d be like a CEO choosing a new manager not based on performance, but instead an extravagant game of ‘ip dip doo’.

So to help you hunt down the best expression pedal for your setup, we’ve reviewed over 10 that we think have the credentials to be not just a good addition, but ‘the’ addition that elevates your sound. Keep reading for our full rundown…

1: BOSS EV-5 expression pedal

2: HeadRush expression pedal

3: AKAI Professional expression pedal

4: Mooer Expline (guitar expression pedal)

5: Zoom FP-02M

6: Sonicake Vexpress (passive expression pedal)

7: Moog EP-3

Want to see how this works with a synth? Check out this demo (provided by Moog themselves)…

YouTube video

8: Line 6 EX-1

9: M-Audio EX-P (universal expression pedal)

10: Korg XVP20

11: Fender EXP-1

12: Boss FV-500H (high impedance)

Here’s the best expression pedal for Boss Katana

NOTE: Pretty much every expression under the sun will work with the Boss Katana amp – even the entry level Katana 50. However, that’s not to say all pedals give you the same perks. In fact, you’d be silly to just pick one at random; your choice here can still impact your playing experience.

Exactly why when we came across the following pedal, we just had to single it out as the best expression pedal for the Boss Katana…

13: Jim Dunlop DVP5

The best expression pedal for HX Stomp/ Effects is…

Tricky one this.

See unlike the Boss Katana (above), the HX Stomp/ HX Effects aren’t what you’d call ‘plug-in-&-play’ when it comes to pedals. You have to be far more particular about what pedals you use; very few expression pedals cut the mustard.

But with that being said, we think we’ve found one that does. And nope, before you ask – it’s not made by Line 6. Quite funny considering that they’re the brains behind HX Effects, but anyway. Ask us & should you be after the best expression pedal for HX Effects/ HX Stomp, then you can’t go far wrong with this pick from Mission Engineering… FYI: it’s made specifically for Helix!

14: Mission Engineering SP-1 expression pedal for Helix

Try this! The best expression pedal for Quad Cortex…

Good news!

There’s a fair few expression pedals that work with Quad Cortex – far more than what work with HX Stomp. But with that being said, there are still a few that don’t. So if you’re buying an expression pedal for this very reason, then you want to be putting your money into one that you’re confident will work.

One of the best expression pedals for Quad Cortex that we found is the…

15: Electro Harmonix Single expression pedal

Enjoy this best melodica review & keen for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Piano & Keyboard Reviews + our latest News On Alternative Instruments. Recently, we also did a rundown of the Best Lyre Harps + another on the Best Baritone Ukuleles, which may also be a good read!

Or, if you’re here purely to learn more about melodica pianos, keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions…

The lowdown on melodicas, handheld pianos & more…

An expression pedal is an essential control set up on several musical devices, including pedal steel guitars, organs, and electronic keyboards. The musician can control many components of the vibration using the pedal, including the loudness. 

In electronic music instruments, including digital amplifiers, rack effects, stomp boxes, MIDI controllers, and keyboards, expression pedals are used to manipulate changeable characteristics. The pedals connect to a device but do not produce sound directly; instead, they operate the connected instrument remotely. 

It might even be helpful for you to think of an expression pedal as a remote control with a foot switch. The features of the device an expression pedal is attached to will determine exactly what the pedal can control.

What is the best expression pedal for HX stomp?

In an incredibly small pedal, the HX Stomp multi-effects processor reproduces the sound of Helix amps, cabinets, and effects. Use it as a backup, travel rig, or tone expander when connected with other modelers, audio interfaces, and even guitars or bass rigs. Although there are many options of expression pedals for HX stomp, the best ones are listed below.

  • MeloAudio EXP-001
  • Dunlop DVP4
  • DOD Mini
  • Hotone Bass Press
  • AMT EX-50

Looking for the keyboard’s best expression pedal, we concluded that Boss EV-30 Dual Expression Pedal is hands down the best option available. People who have used it have given amazing reviews about it. 

Regarding pedals, Boss needs little introduction, and the EV-30 has every characteristic you’d want in a stompbox from them. The Boss EV-30 is ideal for busy pedalboards because of its small size and capacity to operate many pedals. 

The EV-30’s cast metal body gives it a bulletproof feel, and dependability is essential because you’ll be regularly resting your weight on these pedals while performing. For guitarists, having the flexibility to connect two different pedals is a godsend since you can manipulate settings both simultaneously and separately.

You may make use of a volume pedal the same way as an expression pedal if you have one lying around that isn’t often used or, even better yet, if you already have one on your pedalboard. It is known as a TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) insert cable, and its primary use is to segregate transmit and return signals from a TRS insert connector, which is frequently seen in mixers. 

This requires only one individual wire. Fortunately, we can use this wiring to transform our volume pedal into an expression pedal with a regular 1/4′′ TRS connector. Connect the TRS connector, the “ring” plug, and the “tip” plug of a TRS insert cable to the inputs of your respective volume pedals once you have one. That’s all there is to it! Simply put, you can now use volume pedals similarly to an expression pedal.

Pedals are frequently a source of confusion since hundreds, if not thousands, of different FX units, many of which have similar looks and even similar names. A volume pedal regulates volume, but an expression pedal may control any other factors depending on the use case. This is the major distinction between the two pedals. 

A volume pedal is always a certain kind of expression pedal, although not always. It’s fair that you could be perplexed by the precise meaning of an expression pedal, given the abundance of interchangeable words used by different pedal makers. 

Expression pedals take the linear signals of an effect and alter them with manual input from the guitarist, making them more expressive, just as bends and vibratos are performed with physical manipulation of the strings outside of a linear parameter.

Because the input and output jacks don’t match and the wah pedal uses a different progression, you cannot use one as an expression pedal. When an expression pedal is used, the sound signal is altered linearly, which implies that the sound signal is updated evenly across the pedal’s range of motion. 

For instance, when an expression pedal is coupled with a volume pedal, a 10% movement on the expression pedal will result in a 10% change in loudness. It is linear that 100% movement affects 100% of the volume. 

The wah pedal, on the other hand, doesn’t function linearly. The wah pedal will produce the most sound effects when moved in the first 30% of its range. More sound effects will be produced by pressing the wah pedal’s remaining 70%, although not much.

It would be best if you had an expression pedal to get the most out of your multi-effects pedal when performing live. Playing without one is not a good option after playing with one. You can always have reverb and then mix in delay on specific periods by controlling the Delay Mix using an expression pedal. 

Guitarists have traditionally employed tap tempo to change the delay duration amid a tune or turned time and feedback knobs to produce spaceship oscillations. In terms of delay pedals, expression pedals offer even greater parameter control. Consider the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man TT1100, for instance. 

It has a wide range of outstanding features, not the least of which is the ability to use an expression pedal to regulate Blend, Modulation Rate, Modulation Depth, Feedback, and Delay time. New opportunities are now available as a result of this.

The answer is yes! A USB connector is on the UP4 USB-Midi expression pedal. It is “class compatible” and operates without a power source or driver. It is perfect for all those instances when software is required to operate an expression pedal. Jacks are connected using high-quality, nickel-plated 1/4″ connectors, oxygen-free copper audio wire, and a tough, flexible PVC jacket. TRS (Tip Ring Sleeve) connectors are typically needed for expression pedals. These cables are created in the USA and are of professional grade.