If you already own one, you know the DigiTech Whammy Pedal is one of the greatest tools a guitarist can buy. They’re incredibly versatile pedals that allow you to create some pretty cool sounds and express sonic ideas.
You can do even more with the upgraded version of the pedal, the Whammy Droptune. They’re definitely worth the money, but that said, you can run into problems. While I’ve personally never had to calibrate the pedal, some people have. So how do you do it?
To calibrate your DigiTech Whammy Pedal, unplug the power adapter. Press and hold the foot switch while plugging the power source back in. When the Effect LED flashes red, rock the expression back and forth to calibrate it. The process is the same for versions 4, 5, and the Whammy Pedal Droptune.
As I was saying a moment ago, I’ve never – not even once – had to calibrate the DigiTech Whammy Pedal. Maybe I’ve gotten lucky. Although, judging by the views on YouTube videos showing how to do it, it looks like not many others have had to do it either. Regardless, let’s dive into the process a little bit more in the sections down below.
How to Calibrate A DigiTech Whammy (v4 & v5)
1) Unplug the Power Supply
The first thing you want to do is unplug the power supply. On the older version 4 Whammy Pedal, the power adapter is an AC to AC adapter. This means it supplies alternating current from your power outlet to the pedal.
The latest versions of the pedal, version 5, use direct current (DC) instead, which is much better, in my opinion, because most power supplies these days only supply DC. I know that my MXR Isobrick, for instance, (my guide on it here), delivers DC only.
2) Hold Down the Foot-Switch
After you’ve unplugged the device from the power supply, hold down on the foot switch – the primary switch that you use to engage the Whammy Pedal.
3) Plug the Power Supply In While Holding the Foot Switch
While holding down on the foot switch, plug the power supply back into the device, and you’ll notice that the LED light flashes red. This indicates you’re in calibration mode, and the pedal is ready for you to set it up the way you want.
4) Fully Rock the Expression Pedal Back and Forth
If I were to set mine up, I would have it set so the expression pedal is fully responsive while rocking fully back and forth. Some people don’t like to do it this way though. It may not be clear to you what I mean.
By “fully responsive,” I mean, for example, that you can set it so there is leeway before the pedal begins to pitch shift, harmonize, or drop-tune the guitar signal.
In simple terms, the calibration feature on the DigiTech Whammy is a tool that allows you to adjust how much you need to move the expression pedal, open or closed, in order to fully engage the effect.
You can read more about the calibration feature directly in the Whammy Pedal owner’s manual at this link here (version 5). After you’ve calibrated the pedal, you just have to press on the foot switch again to resume its regular function and purpose.
How to Calibrate A DigiTech Whammy Pedal DT?
Calibrating a DigiTech Whammy Pedal Droptune is a bit different than the regular version 4 and version 5 Whammy Pedals. But it isn’t terribly different, as the process follows the same fundamental principles. There’s just a small change and two additional steps.
1) Unplug the Power Supply
The first thing you want to do is the same thing you did before. Disconnect the power from the Whammy Pedal.
2) Reconnect the Power While Holding the Whammy Footswitch
Hold down the Whammy foot switch – which is the foot switch on the left-hand side of the device – while reconnecting the power supply to the device.
3) After The LED Flashes Red, Rock the Expression Pedal
When the LED begins to flash red, rock the expression pedal back and forth so it’s fully closed or fully open. Or, if you want, you can make it so the expression pedal needs to be halfway open before the effect begins to engage as I explained earlier.
That’s what the feature is for. It’s for deciding just how responsive the expression pedal actually is in practice. After you’ve done this, you have the press the Drop Tune switch, and not the Whammy Pedal switch.
The reason we’re doing this is that we want to ensure the Drop Tune section of the pedal has been properly calibrated as well.
4) Press the Droptune Switch
Press on the Drop Tune foot switch after you’ve rocked the expression pedal back and forth one time. At first, it’ll turn a bright red color, but then it’ll turn green which lets you know it’s in calibration mode.
5) When the Drop Tune LED Turns Green, Rock the Expression Pedal
Now that the Drop Tune light is green and it’s in calibration mode, you can rock the expression pedal back and forth at least two times. The light will oscillate from the bottom of the Drop Tune LEDs all the way to the top. This means it’s calibrating as it should.
6) Press the Whammy Footswitch Again to Finish Calibration
And finally, press on the Whammy footswitch on the left side of the device once again to finish calibrating the pedal. And voila! You’ve officially calibrated your DigiTech Whammy Pedal version 4 and version 5 and the Drop Tune version.
For more information, you can check out the official owner’s manual for the DigiTech Whammy Drop Tune here. Also, if you need more help on how to set it up on your pedalboard, I’ve got a guide here.
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Important Things to Note About Calibrating A DigiTech Whammy Pedal
1) You Probably Won’t Have To Calibrate The Pedal Often
As I was saying at the start of the article, I’ve never had to re-calibrate the expression pedal on the Whammy. That doesn’t mean I won’t have to someday, but after almost 15 years of owning this thing, I still haven’t had to do it.