A new addition to the arsenal available to guitarists and other musicians is the switching system. These systems essentially consist of a number of isolated loops that an effect unit or pedal sits in.
Imagine if your signal chain has 15 pedals in it. When you engage one pedal, your signal is still going through the whole chain. Not only does this create signal loss, but the opportunities for unwanted noise and artifacts is + 14.
With a switching device, only the loop for the one pedal is engaged, cutting out all of the others with their noisy issues and signal loss that happens with 30 feet of cable.
More on these devices next time.