#1
now im not stupid but id like to know the differance in sound between these two effects

overdrive and distortion !!


x
#2
Overdrive is distortion that occurs when valves are pushed hard.

Overdrive pedals are distortion pedals that try to emulate this distortion.
#3
nothing, they so the same thing, there is a generally accepted idea that distortion adds more gain, while overdrive has less gain, but typically color your tone less, making them good for slightly amplifying your guitars natural signal to make your amp's tubes break up sooner/more.
#4
You can overdrive an amp into distorting. This is what OD pedals help to do. Or you can distort the signal before it gets to the amp. This is what distortion pedals do. Most OD pedals give a light crunch and can be used to simulate low gain breakup, but mostly they're designed to push the tubes. The most common use for an OD pedal is actually to tighten up a tube amp though, rather than driving it harder.
#5
Quote by kurtebirdi
nothing, they so the same thing, there is a generally accepted idea that distortion adds more gain, while overdrive has less gain, but typically color your tone less, making them good for slightly amplifying your guitars natural signal to make your amp's tubes break up sooner/more.


they don't do the same thing at all...

overdrive is when your signal is made so loud that it causes your amps SPEAKERS to distort naturally. this can be obtained by turning your tube amp up really loud, or by using an overdrive pedal that boosts the signal before it reaches the power amp stage, simulating the effect.

distortion is when your guitar's signal is processed through a specialized circuit which modifies the actual signal, adding and/or taking away from it.

neither one is "bad" per se, but they certainly aren't the same thing.
#6
Quote by cutslikedrugsx
You can overdrive an amp into distorting. This is what OD pedals help to do. The most common use for an OD pedal is actually to tighten up a tube amp though, rather than driving it harder.

That's what OD pedals are often used for, but that's not what they were designed for - that's a boost pedal's job.

There just happened to be a level control on the popular ODs.
#7
Quote by frigginjerk
they don't do the same thing at all...

overdrive is when your signal is made so loud that it causes your amps SPEAKERS to distort naturally.

It's not just the speakers, its the power amp too. In fact I have never seen a pedal which attempts to model SPEAKER distortion, OD pedals typically aim to recreate the harmonic distortion of the power amp (or any other valve stage).
A metal band?
Gear:
A Guitar with an LFR > Korg Pitchblack > Behringer EQ > Hardwire CM-2 Overdrive Boss SD-1 > Hardwire CR-7 Chorus>
Orange Tiny Terror >
LzR Engineering 212 cab

My other amp can run Crysis
#8
Generally distortion pedals have more gain, otherwise they're the same.

Quote by frigginjerk
they don't do the same thing at all...

overdrive is when your signal is made so loud that it causes your amps SPEAKERS to distort naturally. this can be obtained by turning your tube amp up really loud, or by using an overdrive pedal that boosts the signal before it reaches the power amp stage, simulating the effect.

distortion is when your guitar's signal is processed through a specialized circuit which modifies the actual signal, adding and/or taking away from it.

neither one is "bad" per se, but they certainly aren't the same thing.


This post is full of utter bullshit.

Generally overdrive refers to the soft clipping (distortion) you get from turning a tube amp until it "breaks up". Generally. Overdrive pedals were made to simulate that sound. THEY WERE NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO OVERDRIVE AMPS. They can overdrive an amp, but so can any other pedal that can get past unity gain, like a compressor, or even a wah. Don't believe me, see what maxon (creator of the most popular od ever) has to say: http://www.maxonfx.com/Reissue_OD808.php Read the first sentence.

Usually when someone talks about speaker distortion they tend to call it speaker distortion.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#9
Quote by Kevin Saale
Generally distortion pedals have more gain, otherwise they're the same.


This post is full of utter bullshit.

Generally overdrive refers to the soft clipping (distortion) you get from turning a tube amp until it "breaks up". Generally. Overdrive pedals were made to simulate that sound. THEY WERE NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO OVERDRIVE AMPS. They can overdrive an amp, but so can any other pedal that can get past unity gain, like a compressor, or even a wah. Don't believe me, see what maxon (creator of the most popular od ever) has to say: http://www.maxonfx.com/Reissue_OD808.php Read the first sentence.

Usually when someone talks about speaker distortion they tend to call it speaker distortion.



riiiight... overdrive, in it's classical definition, has to do with the power amp putting so much signal through the speakers than they distort at loud volumes.

that's the sticky area... overdrive causes a different kind of distortion than a distortion pedal. an overdrive pedal is meant to create distortion from a pedal that simulates speaker distortion (aka natural overdrive).

ps, i wouldn't say my post was full of BS... i'd say you just need to vent some frustration or something... or go **** yerself, i don't really care. also, the first sentence of that link only describes how well the maxon pedal has sold, and that it has nice tone.

let's make is clear that there are three kinds of OD / distortion:

1. actual amp overdrive, where there is no pedal, just a loud signal through a loud amp.

2. overdrive pedals, which, though they function the same as distortion pedals, are specifically designed to mimic natural overdrive.

3. distortion pedals, where the signal is simply modified to be distorted.


anyways, i'll let whoever quoted me there get the last word in; i'm sure it means a lot to him. peace y'all.
#10
sorry frigginjerk, but you're wrong about both how an overdrive pedal works and about how an amp overdrives.

Quote by frigginjerk
riiiight... overdrive, in it's classical definition, has to do with the power amp putting so much signal through the speakers than they distort at loud volumes.
Uh... no, overdrive in it's classical definition in the context of a guitar amp is basically any distortion you get from a large signal being clipped. So overdrive, at least, when it occurs... "naturally" can occur at your amp's second gain stage, or third gain stage, or phase inverter, or your amp's power section. And when your signal coming out of the amp pushes the speaker too hard, it too will break up and you will get some speaker distortion.

that's the sticky area... overdrive causes a different kind of distortion than a distortion pedal. an overdrive pedal is meant to create distortion from a pedal that simulates speaker distortion (aka natural overdrive).

ps, i wouldn't say my post was full of BS... i'd say you just need to vent some frustration or something... or go **** yerself, i don't really care. also, the first sentence of that link only describes how well the maxon pedal has sold, and that it has nice tone.

kevin saale is pretty much spot on here and if you're going to try to be condescending, at the very least, make sure what you actually know what you're talking about first.

let's make is clear that there are three kinds of OD / distortion:

1. actual amp overdrive, where there is no pedal, just a loud signal through a loud amp.
Look at an amp in terms of individual gain stages, you do not need the amp to be loud for the amp to overdrive. If your amp's gain is up and master volume is down, you're still overdriving the gain stages in your preamp, that very gain you're getting is by increasing the signal that goes into the second gain stage, which will clip and distort. That's still overdrive.

2. overdrive pedals, which, though they function the same as distortion pedals, are specifically designed to mimic natural overdrive.

3. distortion pedals, where the signal is simply modified to be distorted.
These two do not even make sense, you are ambiguous in your definitions and it is very obvious that you don't know how these work.

My bigger problem though is with this post...
Quote by frigginjerk
they don't do the same thing at all...

overdrive is when your signal is made so loud that it causes your amps SPEAKERS to distort naturally. this can be obtained by turning your tube amp up really loud, or by using an overdrive pedal that boosts the signal before it reaches the power amp stage, simulating the effect.

distortion is when your guitar's signal is processed through a specialized circuit which modifies the actual signal, adding and/or taking away from it.

neither one is "bad" per se, but they certainly aren't the same thing.
You seem to be indicating that an overdrive is going to push your power amp tubes, it does not, it will only push your preamp, as the overdrive pedal (when being used as a boost) only boosts your input signal.

However, like Kevin Saale said, just about any pedal, effect, etc. that has. 100% of pedals that are advertised as overdrive pedals have their own clipping circuits inside. They add distortion within the circuitry of the pedal.
Last edited by al112987 at Aug 28, 2009,
#11
Quote by frigginjerk
riiiight... overdrive, in it's classical definition, has to do with the power amp putting so much signal through the speakers than they distort at loud volumes.

Lots of amps did overdrive their speakers when the amp was overdriven, but the majority of that sound is coming from the overdriven tubes.

that's the sticky area... overdrive causes a different kind of distortion than a distortion pedal. an overdrive pedal is meant to create distortion from a pedal that simulates speaker distortion (aka natural overdrive).

No, there's not different kinds of distortion. Distortion is distortion. Now, some distortion sounds different from other kinds, but to say it is inherently different, or is doing something different is false. ODs and distortion pedals clip (distort) the signal using the same basic methods

ps, i wouldn't say my post was full of BS... i'd say you just need to vent some frustration or something... or go **** yerself, i don't really care. also, the first sentence of that link only describes how well the maxon pedal has sold, and that it has nice tone.

Again, you're an idiot. Here's the first sentence: "Originally released in 1979, the OD808 was one of the first tube-amp overdrive simulators to hit the market." It says nothin about how well the pedal has sold. My point is overdrives aren't meant to overdrive amps, which your post implies, but to simulate the sound of an overdriven amp. Also notice how is says "tube amp overdrive simulator" not overdriven speaker simulator.


let's make is clear that there are three kinds of OD / distortion:

1. actual amp overdrive, where there is no pedal, just a loud signal through a loud amp.

2. overdrive pedals, which, though they function the same as distortion pedals, are specifically designed to mimic natural overdrive.

3. distortion pedals, where the signal is simply modified to be distorted.

Again, those are all still distortion. Saying they're somehow producing different kinds of distortion because the distortion sounds different is wrong. By this reasoning all tube amps produce different kinds of distortion since they all sound different.

Tube amps use tubes for distortion, SS amps and pedals use diodes, transistor and OP amps.



anyways, i'll let whoever quoted me there get the last word in; i'm sure it means a lot to him. peace y'all.


I'm in bold. Didn't mean to come off as an ass, but your info is just way off and I hate to let people read it and think its right.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#12
Kevin, I think you won the argument.

Anyway, I think you are way closer to being on the right track than frigginjerk. Actually I think you explained it about perfectly, but I still have one question. Does natural distortion sound any better than pedal distortion?
#13
Quote by pokeatthedevil
Kevin, I think you won the argument.

Anyway, I think you are way closer to being on the right track than frigginjerk. Actually I think you explained it about perfectly, but I still have one question. Does natural distortion sound any better than pedal distortion?

Eh... It's kind of wrong to say "natural" distortion, since what makes pedal distortion "unnatural"?

But anyway, there's no real answer to that. If you compare a 2000 dollar boutique head to a Boss Metal Zone, yes, the amp will sound better. If you want to play death metal and compare a Valve Junior to said Metal Zone, the pedal would be better.

I think it mostly comes down to "good" amps (even only talking preamps) costing multiple hundred dollars while even "good" pedals cost less than 300. Take a wild guess which will sound better.
Quote by Lunchbox362
This thread if fail in almost every way imaniganable.
#14
technically distortion is any unwanted signal colouration, overdrive being one of them - back in the '50s nobody liked it. When you overdrive an amp, it basically means the peaks of the sound wave have reached the maximum velocity and can't go any higher so they simply get cut off or pushed down, which alters the sound that comes out of the speaker. this is called clipping.

in guitar terms these days there is a distinction between distortion and overdrive however:

overdrive is soft clipping - the peaks are rounded off at maximum amplitude, producing a softer distorted tone which you traditionally get by overloading the tubes in a tube amp, and overdrive pedals are designed to try to emulate this tube tone with solid state components.

distortion is hard clipping - the peaks are squared off at the top, which is how transistors react to being overloaded. this is more like a solid state amp tone, and of course, distortion pedals. a fuzz pedal is also hard clipping but it's much less controlled than the hard clipping you get from a solid state preamp or a distortion pedal - it's more like the undesirable effect you get by overloading a solid state power amp, but since a fuzz pedals signal gets manipulated a bit by the preamp section it sounds decent, unlike when you've got the power amp signal clipping and going straight into the speaker.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.