Whats the diff bet distortion and overdrive?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by ambush, May 15, 2006.

  1. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    So whats the diff between distortion and overdrive

    I triend out the 2 effects with guitar pro and both sounded similar
    Can anyone Tell me songs where the two are used

    And i dont want the technical stuff
    jus keep it real simple
  2. jocelyn

    jocelyn New Member

    Overdrive is very very light distortion.. Its like a notch up on clean guitar sound.... I tell you what go to the boss website or the digitech website listen to the clips of a distortion and overdrive . You wil understand... Overdrive pedals are nice I own a Bad monkey.. It gives me that subtle distortion without colouring the natural tone of the guitar.
  3. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    thanks for tha links man
    i also have one more quetion
    will i be able to get tone anywhere close to that with a marshal 10 watt amp with the overdrive channel
  4. cronix

    cronix New Member

    Hey i Didnt know that either.... Thanks!:nw:
  5. jocelyn

    jocelyn New Member

    Marshalls amps are generaly LOUD....they tend to have a natural Driven sound..... I would personaly stay away from any 10watt amps... higher watt amps have more clear tones, and more "head room. "

    To ans your Q yes it will, but you may not like it if you dont always play distorted sounds.... atleast you wont like it with a 10watt amp.My friend picked up one of these when he was in the UK. He did not even get time to try it out he picked it up the day he was leaving for Mumbai. when we tried out the amp it was nice.. but to our horror we could not play "clean"... the amp did not sound clena even after turning of the Overdrive... Thats what I mean when i cal Marshalls "LOUD". Marshalls are great amps.....realy nice if you want driven sounds... But I like cleaner tones ( just my prefrence).
    I suggest get a seprate overdrive pedal if you realy want a Overdrive tone, so you can switch it off too. Ask ronnie to tell you about his TUBE SCREAMER..
  6. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    Thanks for the tips
    was really helpful
  7. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Well technically speaking, those overdrive pedals from Boss or Ibanez have fuzz circuits.

    Ambush, for understanding terms overdrive and distortion and fuzz (add that too), yoo should know what happens when you play thru a tube amp.

    Tube amps have a characteristic that they donot reporduce the exact input as output at large amplification levels.
    This introduces some slight hazy/warm etc characteristics to the tone.
    Think of it like comparing flute to saxophone.

    Clean electric guitar ~ Flute
    Electric guitar thru tube amp ~ Saxophone

    This overamplification is known as overdrive.
    Overdrive = driving the amplification past the faithful reproduction stage.

    Distortion is usually when you boost the input signal to tube amp so much that the instead of mere change in wave characteristics, the wave also starts getting clipped.
    Hearing a distortion will sound like an extremely powerful overdrive.

    Fuzz is a term which denotes tonal cahracteristic of wave which sounds like what it would if the speakers are defective or slitted.
    The resulting sound is almost buzzy or fuzzy like Drone of Honeybee or chainsaw.
    LOL I mean similar.
    How it is done is by using diodes to clip the top of the wave signal.

    Mathematically speaking, Overdrive and Distortion have almost equal even and odd harmonics of the fundamental note in the wave
    Fuzz has mostly odd harmonics.

    Getting back to stomp boxes.
    Most of the overdrive are actually fuzz circuits. However, the fuzz is so slight that it doesnt sound buzzy or harsh.
    Most of distortion circuits use OPAmps to simulate the tube amp behavior of distorting the waveform.
    Fuzz circuits use diodes or OPAmps to clip the wave and get the fuzzy tone.
  8. UjSen

    UjSen *#!EVIL*!!

    how come wen i asked this question i never got any straight replies!!!!!:mad::cry1:
  9. AceRoom

    AceRoom Future Grammy Winner

    In simpler terms, if you want to hear heavy distortion, visit a headbangers ball. That's all you'll hear. Distortion is also used in almost all solos. Distortion cuts off the extreme highs and lows giving you a distorted sound. You can't really hear chords that well on distortion. Except for power chords. Distortion is used in Punk, Grunge, and Heavy Metal. Rarely in Rock.

    Overdrive re-creates the natural warm sound of a vintage tube amp that is being "overdriven" or is breaking up. When chords are played, they can't be heard but don't have the clean feel. Overdrive is used in blues and classic rock.
  10. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    @Jocelyn, your answer is not correct...

    MXR Distortion has a very slight dirty sound like slightly above the clean sound but that's not an overdrive pedal...

    Overdrive means, driving an amp hard which means increasing the input signal voltate to the amp. When you overdrive an amp beyond it's capacity, by the nature of the tube beyond a certain input level, the output volume starts becoming constant but the distortion in the sound or the noise in the sound increases which adds to the sustain... Overdrive pedals try to emulate such a thing even though it uses artificial methods like clipping. There are true overdrive pedals too where the the gain of the op amp is increased beyond the operating range, so that the output gets distorted..In Distortion pedals, the input signal is amplified and it is clipped of the signal is kinda chopped to get the desired effect...

    There's nothing to do with the amount of gain or graininess in a tone that could differentiate distortion or overdrive...
  11. jocelyn

    jocelyn New Member

    Ronnie I understand what you mean by saying pushing the amp Harder...for example a high out put pickup will push an amp harder to produce a driven- distorted tone. The out put woud be the same in a given amp, but distorted - or driven. Input is increased in a given amp,( say a nice 80watt amp) but the output would remain the same (80watt) but get distorted. cause the input is pusing the amp harder.
    I always thought Distortion was heavier/dirtier signal then an Overdrive.... guess I am wrong. I always thought the amount of dirt/ driven/ distortion increased gradualy from Overdrive to blues distortion to Hard distortion-metal .
    GUESS I am wrong...
    I stand corrected. However I do like a Overdrive tone . to Distortion. I dont lie to much dirt.
    ambush likes this.
  12. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    thats a lot of detail
  13. Iraqita_EP

    Iraqita_EP New Member

    cud sum1 give me the links of the digitech and boss thingy's to
  14. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

  15. jocelyn

    jocelyn New Member

    Dont just rely on the sound clips that you hear, but use it as a "starting point" rembber they are using very good gear to make those sound clips, also you computer speakers and sound card need to be of good quality to realy make those sound clips sound good. Also keep in mind you wont be using the same guitar amp with any of those pedals. Just use it as a staring point and general refrence. I gave ambush those links so that he could tell the diff between what an Ovedrive and distortion should sound like.
  16. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    But strictly speaking I can getter better sounds that those clips using Tri-AC coupled with cheaper guitar and direct line-in recording.

    Moral of the story: get a good stomp box.
  17. Iraqita_EP

    Iraqita_EP New Member

    ^^^how do i play the sound clips?:p:
  18. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    I dont have a PC...Can I download those sound clips using my stereo player...I dont have an MP3 player but I have an FM radio. Can this FM Radio play those sound clips.

    Does these companies give a free home demo like they do for Vacuum Cleaners..
  19. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!


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