What are effects??
Effects can be anything used to alter the pure sound of an instrument or voice. In early days outdoor theaters were designed in such a way that would give the voices or the music the most dynamic range of volume possible. This way a larger crowd could enjoy the music without amplification that did not exist back then.
When musical recording was in its younger days studios would use the room environment to create effects as well as manual manipulating tape as it played.
With the boom in digital technology today a small home studio can outfit itself with a mind boggling amount of different effects for a small price compared to 10-20 years ago when only multi million dollar studios could afford them.
One example of this would be an Aurial Exciter. Studios could rent this unit for about $10,000 a week. Now you can buy one for your home studio for about $200.
Now days you can buy a dedicated effects unit for one type of effect with multiple settings or a unit with multiple effects that can be chained together. Lets not forget about stomp boxes. They are small effect units themselves.
You cannot set up your effects in your practice area and expect them to sound the same in the club you will be playing at this weekend. Room environments change the dynamics of your effects. Allow yourself plenty of time to set up your equipment and tweak your effects at the club before you start playing. If you don’t you can have a disastrous show and may not be invited back to that club again. Remember that every club is a different room environment. It is best to keep a notebook on how you set up your effects at each club in case you play there again