Volume pedals are used for different reasons, including fetching organic sounds that mimic the human voice and adding crispness and reverb among other effects to the sound. They are important items for musical setups, especially for people wishing to perform live since they can mimic different effects. They also make useful items for studio sessions as they can be used not only for mimicking the effects but also for looping and focusing volume.
The volume pedals are used with pianos, drums and guitars and other musical instruments for the desired effect to be achieved. They generally make it possible to achieve the right sound for the desired play style. There are so many brands and models out in the market and to get the best you should consider a few factors that can impact how you end up using your pedal.
Are you looking for a stereo or mono volume pedal?
Most affordable standard pedals are mono with stereo models coming at almost double the price of a mono pedal. A stereo may be expensive compared to a mono pedal, but it has a number of benefits that make the prices worth. When you have a stereo pedal, you get the flexibility of enjoying more than just one instrument at a time. The unit will usually feature two ins and two outs so you are able to control more instruments at a time. Achieving panning effect is also made pretty easy by a stereo unit because it is possible to chain an entire signal chain in two separate amps.
Which is better, potentiometer or electro-optical circuits?
Volume pedals can use potentiometers or electro-optical circuits. Those that use potentiometers or pots to control volume wear out more compared to their electro-optical counterparts. They are however quite common and easy to find compared to the electro-optical pedals and they make standard pedals on the market. Electro-optical volume pedals on the other hand use sensors instead of pots to regulate the volume and determine attenuation to be applied. There is no wearing in these pedals so they may be a much better option if you can spare a good amount to get a durable unit at the end.
Is the pedal powered or non-powered?
Volume pedals needing more power will need more battery supply or a powerful adapter that is easy to plug into power. Most pedals will come with adapters, unique to them and they may come at a price. Powered pedals are definitely more reliable when you have a power source readily available, but if you are using in a remote area you may also want to consider a non-powered unit that you can still rely on with quality batteries and enough of them for that matter. When using powered pedals, you may have the possibility of working the minimum switch without power, but you will need to plug in to use the maximum volume switch.
Other things you should consider when getting your pedal are whether they are active or passive and whether it is possible to set minimum volumes to meet your preferences.