BOSS US is doing a nice series of videos explaining what some of the basic effects do with demos by the most excellent Johnny DeMarco. It is called Effects 101 and can be found here: www.bossus.com/go/effects_101/. It is mostly aimed at beginners but more seasoned guitarists might like it too (well, I did).
As an example, here is the video about the overdrive effect:
The guys at MXR are on fire. They have released at the NAMM a host of very interesting pedals. MXR is known for pedals such as the Dynacomp compressor, used by almost everybody, or the Phase 90 phaser, used by Eddy Van Halen to create the “Ain’t talking about love” swooshy tone and lots of other swooshy tones.
First the M148 micro chorus was an 80s one button chorus. The Rate control is apparently enough to give you a wide diversity of tones. This 2010 version features the welcome addition of a true bypass.
Secondly, the M152 Micro Flanger is based on the M117 flanger model (so good that some people actually committed murder to get one, so I am told). It features two controls, Rate and Regeneration, as well as a true bypass.
Last but not least, the Phase 45 is a limited edition reissue. Akin to the much acclaimed Phase 90, it features a single speed control and has a hand wired circuit board.