#1
Hi, I've just got into making my own pedals and have just finished my take on EH's LPB-1. Now I want to move onto something more complicated but am unsure of what to aim for.
For instance, I could make a fuzz pedal, because I know that a fuzz effect basically squares out the input wave.
But I don't have much idea about overdrive or distortion pedals as I don't know what they look like, is it just a clipped sine wave? Something more triangular like a sawtooth wave?
I have the knowledge to make the transformations to the input, but don't have anything to aim for. Does anyone know any good videos or sites that can help?
Thanks in advance
#3
I have looked at distortion pedal waveforms. Simply squaring up the signal with hard clipping produces a harsh sound (predominantly odd harmonics), so many pedal manufacturers include various bandpass filters ("attack", "punch", "drive") to make the tone more pleasing. Many units simply overdrive an op amp, some use diodes to clip, and others use a combination of the two. I heard that a CMOS inverter logic gate creates a "warm" sound. It is said that tubes produce even harmonics, which sound "warmer". That gets more complicated to replicate in simple circuitry.

The catch is that it is difficult ("impossible") to look at a waveform on an oscilloscope with your eyes and see that the tone is good or bad. Guitar amplifiers sound good usually due to their transient response, which is even harder to analyze with lab equipment.

Modeling amplifiers are probably the best bet to replicate a "warm" tube distortion, but I have not yet heard one that quite does it for my ears (and one expensive unit had a noticeable time-lag latency that would make it useless for me because it would drive me nuts).

Bottom line: Creating a good distortion tone is not simple, nor observable. I would love to have one that sounds as good as my tube amplifier. The closest one I have tried is the Boss "Fender '59 Bassman", but it is still not quite good enough.
#4
You don't usually design a pedal from the waveform backwards. Especially if you haven't made many pedals before, you might be better off figuring out what you want your pedal to sound like, then researching previous similar designs to use, or as references if you want to design your own.

The waveform doesn't really tell you everything you need to know about what a pedal does. I'd start out by experimenting with existing OD/Distortion designs so you get an understanding of what works and why. It's great to know the more theoretical/abstract side of things, but it's probably time to start learning about the practical aspects of making pedals.
#7
Quote by Robi_g123
Hi, I've just got into making my own pedals and have just finished my take on EH's LPB-1. Now I want to move onto something more complicated but am unsure of what to aim for.


Go to Wampler Pedals and listen to the videos/sound clips there.

He was big into DIY pedals and the DIY pedal community (and he answers emails!) before he started his company (which started because there were folks who wanted DIY pedals but didn't want to put them together themselves). He's as big a pedal geek as they come, and if you haven't discovered all the DIY pedal websites, he'll probably point you at a few.