#1
Will someone kindly explain what clean and dirty sounds are?

I've googled it but all that comes up is porn and literally clean and dirty guitars, nothing about sounds or anything like that.

I'm guessing these have something to do with the amp?
#2
Clean sounds are quite literally a clean guitar signal, no distortion or effects (although you can slap some delay and reverb and get all Edge'd out and still some people will consider it clean)
Dirty sounds are basically just distortion. Some nice crunchy distortion of a wacky fuzz. It's called dirty because it's just guitar slang
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#3
Clean is not overdriven.

Dirty is anything from lightly distorted through metal type high-gain through to completely fuzzed-out tones.

Also: this is not a technique, should be in the Electric Guitar forum.
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#4
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Also: this is not a technique, should be in the Electric Guitar forum.

Obviously false! We all know that 90% of your tone comes from your fingers, so if your tone is distorted, it's because you've figured out how to distort your fingers. If your tone is clean, you've learned the ancient technique of washing your hands.
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Last edited by AeolianSeventh at May 28, 2012,
#5
Clean is a guitar tone that is not powerful enough to cause clipping or distortion in the power tubes of an amp. A dirty tone is more powerful which causes the power tubes to struggle when reproducing the signal going through them, so it comes out distorted. Generally they chop off the highest and lowest peaks of the signal making it sound compressed and less dynamic.

Easiest way to tell is plug in any guitar into a tube amp. Keep strumming a note while increasing the volume of your guitar and then the amp. Eventually it will start to distort.


Generally amps will have a clean and od channel. You know that hopefully. Solid state amps often have ways to make the circuits mimic distortion (though to some peoples ears it always sounds fake and tame compared to power tube distortion). You have distortion pedals that obviously give you that tone. They are useful for amps that do not have an OD channel. Also you have overdrive pedals that boost your signal forcing the tubes to distort with less input signal required(you can get the distortion without having to dime your preamp and rape everybodies eardrums).
Last edited by BlackVoid at Feb 6, 2012,
#6
While that is mostly correct, it is the signal waveform that gets clipped, introducing higher order harmonics, and, as you said, compression. Also, rather than a clean signal being too weak to overdrive an amplifier (it is true, but an awkward way of saying it), it is rather that if a signal is too large (for example, boosted by an onboard active signal boost, or a booster pedal, or any other gain stages) for the amplifier to amplify at the ratio it does without clipping.

Hopefully you can make sense of that, I'm not very good at explaining my thoughts.
#7
Quote by bastards
Clean sounds are quite literally a clean guitar signal, no distortion or effects (although you can slap some delay and reverb and get all Edge'd out and still some people will consider it clean)
Dirty sounds are basically just distortion. Some nice crunchy distortion of a wacky fuzz. It's called dirty because it's just guitar slang


I always considered your definition of Clean to be "Dry" but thats also including removing reverb too. Dont mean Dry in a bad way, just not touched up with any effects etc. Most of my cleans have a hint of slow Flange and verb.

But people have different ways of calling things, not saying you arent right

I've always called Dirty Crunchy....so i dont end up with nasty google search results lol.
#8
Well, here's a YouTube clip that I think does a very nice job of explaining what Zaphod_Beeblebr posted above:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28ENKXgW3ck

The first 3 1/2 minutes of the clip features the same riffs played clean, with overdrive, with distortion, and with fuzz - and with both single coil and humbuker pickups.
#9
Quote by AeolianSeventh
Obviously false! We all know that 90% of your tone comes from your fingers, so if you're tone is distorted, it's because you've figured out how to distort your fingers. If your tone is clean, you've learned the ancient technique of washing your hands.


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