Posted: July 24, 2012 in Guitar, Music
Tags: , , ,

I’ve had this Zoom G2.1u processor for more than 3 years and I really like this multi-effects pedal. When I first started playing the lead guitar I used to use a Zoom 505 that I borrowed from a friend of mine. Since then I’ve really liked the sound that a Zoom processor gives. I’ve tried some other multi effects pedals like the Digitech, Korg and Boss but I’ve never really liked their sounds. But in their defense I actually haven’t had too much time to test them out. I’ve usually just tried some patches that friends of mine had already set in those processors and I always felt my Zoom sounded way cleaner.


I’m not too technical and am more used to setting things based on sounds I hear and how I like them. There are features I’ve never used in this processor. I just thought I’ll talk about some of the effects that I generally use. I mostly play only in Church so the drives and effects I use are based on that.

  1. The Drives: There are only two drives that I use. The first is BG Crunch (bC) – This is my standard distortion/overdrive sound. I mostly use it during the chorus of the song or the heavier parts of the song where riffs or general power chords are played. It sounds somewhat like the overdrive sound that contemporary Christian artists like Hillsong and stuff use. The gain is set to max. The second drive I use is US Blues (bL). I feel this has a better sustain so I use it to play solos. 99% of the time, I will turn on the delay while using this patch because I use this for soloing. I set the volume of the BG Crunch lesser than that of US Blues because when I go into the solo of the song it gives a volume boost automatically without me having to increase it with the pedal
  2. Clean tone: I always use the FD clean (FC). It gives a very nice clean tone for plucking notes during the quieter part of the songs.
  3. Noise reduction: I use this for the distortion/overdrive patches. It is always set to the max 16. It really helps to cut down the noise from these patches.
  4. Equalizer: This is really important when playing with a band. I make sure that the highs are increased and the lows are cut. There are no specific values but if the lows are increased then the guitar’s sound will be lost in the mix. I mostly play on the bridge pickup in Church because the sound from the neck pick up gets lost in the total mix when the other instruments come in.
  5. Delay: I really love the sound of a delay. I recently bought a TC electronic nova nd-1 delay so I’m now using that. But the zoom has its own delay options. I use the dL, which is the normal delay. The feedback is set to 20 and mix is also set to 20. You can increase both of this but the delay will become stronger as it’s digital. You have to be careful not to overdo it or the subtle effect will be lost. The first knob lets you control the time of the delay. It is measured in milli seconds, so increasing the time will result in longer time delay between each repeats. The delay tempo can also be tapped in with the tap button in the pedal or an external footswitch. I recently learned how to tap in a dotted eight note delay in the Zoom processor using a foot switch. It’s pretty cool. I sometimes set my Nova nd-1 delay to dotted eight and the zoom’s delay to quarter notes. The dual delay gives a really nice sound.
  6. The Pedal: The Zoom G2.1u comes with a pedal which can be used for Volume control, wah and many other effects. But I’ve only been using it as a volume pedal. An annoying thing is that if the pedal is set to wah for a patch and you switch to that patch, the overall volume suddenly goes to the maximum. So live it’s impossible for me to control the volume when I use this pedal for the wah. Recently I bought another boss FV-500L volume pedal. Now I can use the Zoom’s pedal for wah and still control the overall volume. So only now I’ve started trying to play some stuff using the wah. Still a long way to go for me there.
  7. Other effects: The pedal obviously has many other effects like the chorus, flanger, reverb, tremolo etc. But these are totally dependent on songs. I might use them for different songs. I recently tried using the tremolo for one of delirious’ songs – I loved how it sounded.

I really like this pedal and would definitely suggest it to someone who has just started playing the lead guitar. This model though is not manufactured anymore, it’s next version Zoom G2.1nu is available and is almost the same with some improvements. The pedal is very easy to use. You’ll definitely need to refer to the manual to know each option and how it can be tweaked. As I already mentioned, I’ve used it for more than 3 years now and carry it around a lot. I’ve had no problems with it till now, so I guess it is pretty solid. By the way, I’ve ordered a Zoom G3 and should be getting it in a couple of weeks. I’m pretty excited about that. I’m also in a dilemma if I should start buying analog pedals. But they are way more expensive and give you lesser options than digital ones. So for now I’m sticking to the digital multi-effects. If you want to know anything more about the Zoom G2.1u, do let me know.

  1. Joseph says:

    Hi there, do you have any patches that you use to play Chris Tomlin, Hillsong or Planetshakers Song.I am new in using pedal. Just bought this ZoomG2.1u as my teacher say is good for beginner start up

  2. Divine says:

    Sorry, I just saw your post now. It's definitely a good processor for beginners. Like I mentioned in the post, I use the bG Crunch for the drive and some delay with it. It sounds quite good to play contemporary christian music. You'll have to tweak around with the EQ a bit if you're playing with a band. Let me know if you need more specific information.

  3. Min Chuen says:

    Hi. Saw your write-up on the Zoom G2.1U. Recently got myself this unit and like you put it, it sounds great with so many options to play around with. In fact, maybe a little too many that some may find it overwhelming.
    I’ve been trying to find patches and learning which ones to put for Verse and Chorus and I find your article in Point 1 here somewhat helpful. Can you tell more about what the actual Zomm G2.1u settings are for the Chorus Part where you use the BG Crunch Drive? For example, the song Hosanna by Hillsongs, the Patch for the Verse part is here at (http://guitarpatches.com/patches.php?mode=show&unit=G2&ID=1147). What would be the settings for the part where we drive in the song? Is it as simple as using the same Verse Patch setting and just changing the Drive from ‘CA – Class A Clean’ to ‘BG Drive’? I tried searching the net but every patch I found was for the Verse part only. No one talks about the patch for the Chorus or “heavy” part of the song. Hope you can shed some light here. Many thanks.

    • Divine says:

      There are always two or more guitars in all of Hillsongs songs. So I guess if you wanna play the plucking type of parts which also runs through the chorus you can stick with the same patch which uses Clean.

      If you want to play the second guitar which plays the power chords, then use this, copy paste the previous patch and change these. Compressor (same as the previous patch), WAH/EFX:OFF, ZNR (Same as previous patch) Drive – BG (Gain:90 Tone:7: Level:This depends on how loud you want the patch to be), EQ (Bass:0 Middle: -2 Treble:4) Extra EQ/Cabinet & Mic: Et – Extra EQ (Low Mid:0 Presence:4 Harmonics:1) MOD/SFX: OFF, DELAY: OFF, Reverb (Same as previous patch).

      Some guitarists use some delay while playing the power chords too, but to me it sounds too messy, so I always turn off the delay while using the heavier patches. Hope this helps. Try these settings and let me know how it sounds.

  4. Min Chuen says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply. I’ll give it a try. I’m aware of the multiple guitars in the band but what I’d like to do is like what this guy is doing in this video with the same guitar.

    Of course he is using individual pedals and turning on the Drive pedal when the strong parts kick it. I’m hoping to understand and learn what settings to do that on the Zoom. Hope you understand what I mean. Thanks much for your help. God bless

  5. Divine says:

    With the Zoom G2.1u for the chorus you can use the settings I mentioned and it should sound good. He’s still using the delay even during the heavier parts, so you can turn that on if you like. With the delay it’s important to keep it on time. Tap tempo option is available so use that.

  6. Guitarhead says:

    m beginner using G2.1u..I really wanted to set my tones like of a black metal..like of a dimmu borgir feel.. if you could help me out with it I would b more thankful..
    .please reply me asap…thankyou

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