Quote by luxeion
Which is better for rock? Which is better for metal?

'Distortion' is a very broad term.
'Overdrive' is a very broad term.

Sometimes they are used interchangeably even.

Quote by dullsilver_mike
Both can be useful in both genres! Hooray!

But basically this.
RIP Gooze

The terms are often used interchangably, but it also seems pretty convential for there to be an association in which "distortion" implies more gain and digital-ness than "overdrive", while "overdrive" conjures up something more vintagey and natural.

Nonetheless, there is no particularly meaningful answer to the question. There's no general rule that these things are associated with particular genres, other than the well-known fact that metal tends to be high-gain, but so is some non-metal and not all metal guitarists are gain crankers.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 27, 2011,
Thank you very much for your answers. Ahh.. So the pedals that say "overdrive" and "distortion".. they are basically similar?
Thanks, do you have any recommendations for a first pedal? I don't want anything expensive for pros, or too cheap that it will get wrecked after a day. I am interested in a metal tone. c:
I'm definitely not the right person to ask when it comes to metal (I'm the kind of person who largely doesn't like most of what passes for a metal tone, and uses a BB Preamp with the gain barely above 9 O'clock as their main lead tone), but given some safe assumptions I'd say that you want a pedal that has lots of gain on tap, capable of easily getting highly saturated.

My mind immediately went to the Suhr Riot (that's the high-gain box I use), but you might put that in the "too expensive" or "for pros" category, the pedal isn't explicitly for metal, and it probably is a bad idea to be immediately suggesting such a equipment to someone without too much of an idea of what they want. What I will do is warn you that the Boss pedals with "metal" in their name are no good - and I'm not just saying that as a non-metal player.

I'm certain that other posters here can give better suggestions for what suites your preferences.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 27, 2011,
Okay, thanks for the suggestion and for the warning. I hope to get more suggestions from people too.

This is kind of offtopic but your picture of a can of worms is really very disturbing.
Last edited by luxeion at Sep 27, 2011,
it depends on what you're trying to do with them, what the rest of your gear is, etc.

so yeah, we sorta need that information to give you any more help.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Overdive is a type if distortion. It usually has less gain than a distortion pedal does. For example; the boss ds-1 is a distortion pedal, while the ibenez tubescreamer is an overdrive pedal. Both can be used for metal, but if you want to use and overdrive pedal for metal, the amp needs to have a decent amount of gain already so the Terrence pedal can push it even more.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
Last edited by kutless999 at Sep 27, 2011,
Both very vague terms, and then theres fuzz and all the grey areas inbetween (e.g. Big Muff). I suppose I like the more aggressive sound of Distortion over overdrive, as it fits the music I'm into better. I believe it's subjective... very subjective.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
In black and white, Overdrive = rock, distortion = metal, but that's not always the case.

For example, if you have a super metal amp, with lots of gain and can get a really nice distortion sound, use an overdrive pedal as a clean boost, and your low end gets tighter, and more sharp.

OR, if you have a nice overdriven rock tone, but want just some more gain or tone for a solo or heavier rhythm section, you'd probably kick on a DISTORTION pedal.
- Yes, My name is actually Terran -
- Not just a Starcraft fan -

Terran > Zerg and Protoss
overdrive=distortion. They are both a type of clipping. One term is just used to describe a more dramatic clipping. That term is usually distortion.

More importantly, what's your current rig?
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
Soo.. distortion is like.. a heavier overdrive or somethin.

Uhm my first and only eguitar, ..is RJ (local brand..) .. it's jackson copy i think, ..and i bought it for aesthetic reasons n cuz it was 50% (originaly about 250 usd) off w/o prior knowledge wich i regrettd gettin a floatin bridge..