A lot of cool stuff can be done using creative pedal routing. A common sonic technique employed by U2’s The Edge among others is “The Shimmer,” an effect that creates an ethereal string-like reverb under your guitar’s regular signal.
I set this effect up by taking a “dry out” from my pedalboard, running that through a volume pedal (in this case a Ernie Ball VP Junior) and then into patch 117 of a Digitech IPS 33 Intelligent Pitch Shifter – a harmonized delay.
The output of the pitch shifter will then go either into a separate amp or direct into the PA.
If you don’t have a dry out in your board you can use a standard A/B switch engaging both the A and B outputs. You can also use the “Octo” setting on a Line 6 Verbzilla pedal in place of the Digitech but I don’t think it sounds nearly as cool.
Play single notes or any arpeggiated pattern and slowly bring in the “Shimmer” with the volume pedal for a spacey celestial effect.
Of course the configuration of “The Shimmer” can be used for any other dramatic swelling effect, and it works particularly well with delays and reverbs. – Vinnie DeMasi