Dynamics-and-gain are the most basic of guitar effects. They deal with Volume, and they’re designed to help control how loud or soft your signal is. The Volume control built into your guitar might not seem like it, but it fits into this category. What might seem like it fits this category even less is your guitar’s Tone control, but believe it or not, it actually adjusts the Volume of your guitar’s high end frequencies. Continue reading “Dynamics and Gain – Understanding How Guitar Effects Work”
The Electro-Harmonix Hot Wax Multi-Overdrive is a combination of two other pedals that the company created, and it is also one of the few that is designed to sound good on bass as well as electric guitar. The right side of the pedal is the Crayon, which is a full range overdrive, different than most overdrives that emphasize the mids. Continue reading “Electro-Harmonix Hot Wax Multi-Overdrive”
The Pigtronix Fat Drive pedal is designed to have a tube-like overdrive. It creates a modern, 100% analog style overdrive by using multiple gain stages that round and compress a signal in each stage, as it begins to clip. As a result, it more closely resembles the way that tubes operate, thus giving this pedal a more tube-like sound. Continue reading “Pigtronix Fat Drive”
The Fulltone Full-Drive2 MOSFET is a two-channel overdrive pedal housed in a very sturdy, powder-coated Blue 16-gauge steel enclosure. The first channel is Overdrive, giving the player a clean boost, or light to medium overdrives while retaining your guitar’s tone. The second channel is the Boost, with its own separate distortion control and delivering medium to higher gains, and adding sustain to the signal. Continue reading “Fulltone Full-Drive2 Mosfet Overdrive Pedal”
The original Ibanez Tube Screamer is one of the most popular and imitated overdrive pedals of all time, and the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer reissue is made in the same factory, with the same parts, to get the same tone. This pedal has three controls to help get the tone you need. Continue reading “Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer”
The Soul Food Overdrive is yet another great effect pedal from the people at Electro-Harmonix. This is their representation of the KLON CENTAUR overdrive pedal, one that can cost thousands of dollars. Continue reading “Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Overdrive”
The TC Electronic MojoMojo Overdrive is designed with extra headroom and precise control in mind. Made in Denmark the pedal features an inner circuit that boosts the voltage three to four times the amount of most overdrive pedals. Continue reading “TC Electronic MojoMojo Overdrive”
The Electro-Harmonix Crayon Full Range pedal is designed to overdrive the full frequency range of the signal, unlike most overdrives which concentrate on the midrange frequencies. Continue reading “Electro-Harmonix Crayon Full Range Overdrive Pedal”
The Outlaw Effects Deputy Marshal has three control knobs for fine tuning your sound. With Level you adjust the overall volume, which is in great abundance in this pedal, unity being achieved around the 9 o’clock position. Continue reading “Outlaw Effects Deputy Marshal”
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?”