Overdrive is usually a naturally occurring clipping of the signal. It is often created by turning the volume up too loud on the gain stage of the amp, or by using a gain-boosting pedal that makes the signal too hot going into the amp or another pedal. This will oftentimes drive the later stages of the amp too hard and the signal will begin to clip, or chop off the parts of the signal that are too loud. This distorted sound is oftentimes a warm, pleasing tone that also adds a little compression to the signal. Continue reading “Distortion – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
Distortion is a type of overdrive, or more accurately, overdrive is a type of distortion. Usually, when we talk about distortion, we’re talking about overdrive with a very high gain that’s very fuzzy and compressed. It’s a different, more controlled sound than FUZZ though, and it’s created in a different way as well. Continue reading “What are the Best Guitar Distortion Pedals?”
As the name suggests, the Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion has three modes of operation: True Bypass, which is designed to keep your signal clean and uncompromised on its way to the amplifier; Rhythm, where you can adjust the distortion, mid range, and output levels; and Solo, which optimizes your sound with increased control and sustain. Continue reading “Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion Pedal”
In discussing the differences between distortion and overdrive, what creates them, and how they’re used, we’ll begin with the relationship between a device’s maximum signal level and its threshold.
Every device in your guitar rig, or your home recording studio, has been designed to accept a maximum signal level. The maximum signal level that a device can accept is called that device’s threshold. If you introduce a signal to a device that exceeds the threshold, the parts of the signal that exceed it will get “clipped” (like tall grass), in various ways. Often, when a signal gets clipped, additional frequencies get created and added to the signal, as a sort of by-product of the clipping. These additional frequencies are known as overtones and harmonics.
Sometimes, the way a signal gets clipped sounds musical, natural, and warm, while at other times it sounds harsh, brittle, and as though there was something wrong with your equipment. Clipping the signal adds a “buzzy/crunchy” character to the tone, and that buzz is what we call distortion. Distortion is everywhere — on TV, in radio, etc. and it is rarely a good thing. Luckily, however, guitar players have found a way to make it work for them.
Continue reading “What is the difference between overdrive and distortion?”
Catching That Wave
The “Holy Grail” of overdrive pedals is a lot like that perfect wave that a surfer desperately seeks. Well, good news folks; I think I may have found it! The Fulltone OCD is one hell of a little pedal. Granted, there are other ones out there that offer an actual 12AX7 tube, and pretty serious tone-shaping (for example, the Radial Tonebone), but the OCD is just an incredibly simple little pedal that delivers; it sounds great anytime, anywhere!
That Perfect Driven Sound
One of the things that seems to be particularly high on the list of priorities for guitarists is how to achieve the perfect driven sound. There are so many overdrive / distortion pedals out there. You could spend all day and night just trying them all out, to see which one sounds best. Although guitars, amps and even pickups are often candidates for “Best of the Best” ranking among guitarists, the overdrive pedal seems to hold a special place in our hearts, as a critical component to our sound and an item that we keep ourselves in an unrelenting search for.
Continue reading “The Fulltone OCD – In Search of the Holy Grail”
OK, this MXR M78 Custom Badass thing is pretty good. The kicker is that it retails for under $100. At that price range, true bypass and warm analog distortion is definitely a feature set that should impress anyone. Of course this is all very subjective. You have to factor in your setup, taste, and playing style. That said, all things considered, it’s a strong pedal. I’m not too sure what the ’78 stands for. I guess I don’t really care, but I am curious.
Continue reading “MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion”