Digitech Whammy

Digitech Whammy updated, NAMM 2013

Who Uses a Digitech Whammy

  • Jack White

  • The Edge

  • Joe Satriani

  • Brendon Small

  • Dean Fertita

  • Buckethead

What Songs have a Digitech Whammy

  • Buckethead – King James

  • Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade

  • White Stripes – Most songs with a solo

  • U2 – Even Better than the Real Thing

  • Steve Vai – Touching Tongues


     The Digitech Whammy was first developed in 1991, and since has gone through five iterations. It uses advanced note tracking to calculate the output frequency.

Where to Place in the Chain

The Whammy should be placed as early in the chain as possible, or in the effects loop. It should almost always come before fuzz or distortion, because it needs a clear signal to effectively track notes, and distortion can severely disturb this process.

Using the Digitech Whammy

A foot switch is used to turn it on, and the expression pedal is used to vary the amount of tuning/detuning. Rocking the pedal forward increases the amount, and backward decreases.

Digitech Whammy Effects

The device can be set to tune or detune in the following ways:

  • One or two octaves up
  • One or two octaves down
  • A fifth up or down
  • A fourth up or down
  • A Second down

Harmony Effects

The harmony mode mixes the dry signal with one of the following harmony notes, and can be adjusted further with the position of the expression pedal:

  • One octave up to one octave down
  • A fifth down to a fourth down
  • A fourth down to a third down
  • A fifth up to a seventh up
  • A fifth up to a sixth up
  • A fourth up to a fifth up
  • A third up to a fourth up
  • A minor third up to a major third up
  • A second up to a third up


Detune mode

Makes a copy of the input signal, detunes the copied signal, then mixes both. Leaving the pedal up leaves the signal dry, rocking forward increases the mix. Shallow mode is a slight detuning, while deep mode is a more pronounced detuning.

Classic/Chords switch

Leaving the pedal in classic mode is best for playing leads or single notes, and the chords setting uses a more advanced polyphonic tracking algorithm to track entire chords.


Edwin Kohl

Edwin Kohl is main contributor on findingyourtone.com

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