Cook Your Own Distortion

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

Later in the sixties, the first distortion effect boxes were made to simulate the sound of razored cones and overdriven amps. Now, most amps have a distortion control, but distortion effects are still popular. Now we`re going to discuss the methods of creating distortion with effect boxes. When talking about distortion, you can usually hear the words overdrive, distortion, fuzz and crunch.

Cook Your Own Distortion
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They are words describing the type of distortion an amp or an effect gives out. Overdrive is a natural and smooth sound, while a distortion is more rough. Fuzz is a metallic and very rough type of distortion that turns the sound of a guitar into a fuzzy sound. Crunch is not a specific type of distortion, but mild overdrive or distortion. Crunch has a sound that resembles the sound of breakfast cereals crunching combined to a guitar sound (I don`t mean snap, cracle and pop =). These don`t apply to all effects on the market, for example Craig Anderton calls almost all of his distortions "fuzz", no matter if it`s a distortion, overdrive or fuzz. For example Craig Anderton`s Tube-sound Fuzz is actually an overdrive unit. The ultimate distortion/overdrive comes from tubes which are overdriven so that it creates a smooth singing sound. Nothing can mimic tubes, although there are a million different "tube-sound distortions" available, they just can`t make the real sound of tubes (there are pretty good ones though). Usually distortion effects use solid state circuitry like transistors, opamps and diodes, but there are a few commercial tube overdrive effects available (like the Red Hot Chili`s Tubester or PAiA Stack In a Box Kit). Here are the most common distortion effect types: Just like overdriving tubes, transistors are being overdriven by setting them to run at the top of the amplification range. This creates nasty, distorted...

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