Matt Bellamy's Pedalboard: The Guitar Effects Pedals Behind His Sound

The main reason why rock music is exciting is that it went into so many different directions. The rise of progressive bands was pretty interesting, and the additional advancement of the so-called "alternative" rock in the '90s is also worthy of praise. While we're at it, one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, bands that came out of this movement is Muse. Fronted by vocalist and guitarist Matt Bellamy, we've got the chance to hear some pretty interesting guitar tones during the band's prolific career. Aside from the Manson guitars, the brand that he's known for using (and the one he now fully acquired), he has a whole bunch of different pedals and effects in his arsenal. We'll take the time and check out some of the most notable and interesting ones.

Let's start with some less exciting stuff. First off, he uses the TU-3 Boss tuner, a pretty popular pedal among professional musicians. He also has some volume pedals, like the Boss FV-500L or the Ernie Ball 6166. In addition, he also uses Boss' FS-5U footswitch as a "hold" control for some other effects.

Up next, we have EQs, something like the MXR M-109, which is a simple 6-band EQ pedal. He usually implements this one for boosting the mids in some of the songs. Matt also used the DOD equalizer, the FX40B which is kind of popular in his generation of guitarists seeing that guys like Tom Morello and Tool's Adam Jones use it as well.

As for wah pedals, he's been rocking the good old classic Dunlop Cry Baby, the GCB95 model. In addition, he also has the rack-mounted Dunlop wah, which is the professional-grade unit that has its own detailed frequency shaping, allowing players to have unique wah tones.

Going over to the more exciting part, overdrives and distortions, there are some pretty great pedals in his arsenal. You can find stuff like the Keeley Fuzz Head pedal, as well as the JHS Crayon Overdrive. Both of these are not exactly something you'll stumble upon so often but are pedals of great quality.

Matt Bellamy is another one of the famous guitarists who's into Zvex pedals. Although a smaller company, they are quite popular for their clean boosters and fuzz pedals. Matt uses the Fuzz Factory and the story even goes that some of his famous Manson guitars have this fuzz integrated into them.

As for other Zvex pedals, he also used the Wah Probe on some occasions. Now, this is a really interesting piece as it is a wah without the rocking part. Instead, the player controls the effect through a sensor, rocking their foot without moving any parts on it. Pretty wild stuff.

Another dirtbox that was seen in his signal chain is the Machsonic Thrust Drive. Once again, something that you don't see that often, proving that Matt's taste for pedals and effects is a bit unconventional.

Knowing that Matt Bellamy is one of a kind musician, it is only expected to see him using crazy stuff in his signal chain. The obvious pedal, in this case, is the very well-known DigiTech Whammy, the 4th generation model. This one saw some heavy use back in the time of "The Resistance" album tour.

The official sources also reveal another unusual pedal he used for the 2018 "Simulation Theory" album. The pedal in question is called Warped Vinyl HiFi, made by Chase Bliss Audio. Now, we all know how wacky things can get in Bellamy's music. This particular effect definitely fits his style since it (as the name suggests) emulates the sound of a warped vinyl.

The Muse frontman is also known for the use of delay pedals, like the classic Boss DD-3. There's also stuff like the Line 6 DL4 which is a delay modeler, giving numerous different mods to choose from, making this one a fairly versatile pedal.

There are also some modulation effects in there, like the TC Electronic Stereo Chorus Flanger. In addition, Matt also uses an octaver pedal, the classic OC-2 by Boss.

Getting Matt's tone

Replicating Matt's tone might not be the easiest task since he uses many unique pedals. Getting the same exact products that he has might be a bit too expensive for an average guitarist. If you want to get somewhat close to what he's doing, you can try by adding a quality fuzz pedal in your signal chain, along with a chorus, flanger, wah, and a delay. An EQ pedal might also be a good addition as he does like to gut through the mix in certain sections by adding a mid boost.

However, you need more than just buying some pedals to copy his tone. While Matt may not be the classic shredder type of virtuoso, getting the hang of his playing style is not that easy and would require a lot of practice. In addition, you'll also need to spend some time tweaking all the pedals to get close to what he's sounding.

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