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rotary vs vibrato vs leslie


what the heck is the difference between these 3 things? all i know is the leslie is an amp with actual moving parts but is the sound different from the others? and what about vibrato and rotary?


You forgot Tremelo:
Vibrato is sort of frequency modulation of the signal (sometimes confused with tremolo).
Tremolo is amplitude modulation
Rotary (Leslie is the same) is Vibrato+Tremolo, also called Doppler Shifting.

(imagine a sound source coming with some speed to you: the loudness and pitch will increase while the distance decreases. If the source is going away, pitch and loudness will decrease.) Using rotating speakers simulate a periodic approaching and departing of the sound source (represented by the speaker).

Leslie cabinets use to forms: self-rotating tweeters and sort of rotating drum around the bass speaker (which were to heavy to be rotated).


so if my fender reverb deluxe already has a vibrato setting, i could get that 'leslie' effect by buying a tremolo pedal instead of a rotary?


Rotary is not that simple. The effect will only be useful, if the LFOs work together. It may be possible to get a rotary effect from separate effects, but it will need tough adjustments to get it right.
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