Information on the Zoom Guitar Effects Pedal With Drum Machine

by Matt Gerrard

Zoom's "G" guitar pedals are range floor-mounted multi-effects units. Each of them includes the same built-in drum machine, which uses a set of digital drum sounds to play from a bank of prerecorded patterns in a number of styles. Each of the three Zoom models featuring the drum machine has an array of different features that accompany it. They also use varying methods of controlling the speed of the beat.


The G1 is Zoom's entry-level guitar effects unit. It includes 15 emulated amplifier sounds, mimicking the sounds of classic amplifiers from numerous manufacturers. There are 54 different effects that can be applied to your sounds, including chorus, flanger and wah. The G1 features a pair of push buttons for switching patches and tapping out tempos. Its sister model, the G1X, includes an additional rocker pedal for manipulating patch parameters in real time.


The next model up from the G1, the G2, can switch between amp and in-line output for live or studio use. The G2 is specifically geared toward the capture of high-fidelity sound for use in recording. Its 96kHz sampling rate and 24-bit analog to digital converter are comparable to many studio audio interfaces. It has the same selection of effects as the G1, only the G2 uses its 32-bit processor to render them at a higher resolution. The "Tap" footswitch, used to set the drum machine's tempo on the G1, instead uses the rotary dials on the G2.


The G3 is the most recent edition to the Zoom guitar range. It features a new layout design, meant to mimic a pedal-board with three separate stomp-boxes. Three small LCD displays represent the control panel of each virtual pedal, and a footswitch below allows you to turn each one and off independently. It includes a USB port, allowing you to use the G3 as a recording interface for a computer, and a balanced XLR port for connecting it to studio gear or live P.A. systems.

Artist Editions

There are a number of artist signature editions of the G1 and G2, each featuring custom effects presets and sounds created by the artist in his own style. The drum machine features are still the same in both units. Artist editions of the G1 are available with presets created by John 5, Michael Arnott from Carcass and Angra's Kiko Louriero. The G2 is available with presets by Dave Mustaine, George Lynch and Richie Koetzen.

About the Author

Matt Gerrard began writing in 2002, initially contributing articles about college student culture to "The Gateway" magazine, many of which were republished on the now-defunct Plinth blog. Since then, Gerrard has worked as a technician for musicians, educators, chemists and engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music technology from DeMontfort University.