#1
does anyone here know who the first person to use distorion/overdrive/fuzz, or who invented it? i think it would be cool to know, im guessing it was some time in the 50s or soon after the electric guitar was made popular by gibson and fender...
#2
I think it was a few really poor blues musicians (not sure of the time period) The distortion was due to crappy amps so it was kinda invented by accident.
#4
They say the first recorded distortion was recorded in 1951. It was produced by a damaged speaker. I can't remember who recorded it or waht the song was called....

Anyway, people started poking their speakers with pencils to make that lo-fi fuzz sound. Also, in the 60's people began to experiment, and realised that you get overdrive when you turn your amp up, like, REALLY LOUD.

Back then, you didnt' have multi-channel amps. You had to get drive naturally. Some say the humbuckers on a Les Paul were invented specifically for more output, causing more drive.

You get the point.

EDIT: the song was called Rocket 88, and it was written by Ike Turner. I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_88
Last edited by sashki at Aug 24, 2006,
#5
As far as distortion pedals, I don't know. And the person with the patent on the multi-channel amplifier, one that could distort without cranking the master volume but then have another channel for "cleans" was Randall Smith, the founder of Mesa/Boogie.
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#6
Dave Davies of the Kinks cut his speakers to get distortion. I doubt that's how it was invented but That was back in the early 60's so it was definitely the early days fo distortion.
#7
Quote by Dirk Gently
As far as distortion pedals, I don't know. And the person with the patent on the multi-channel amplifier, one that could distort without cranking the master volume but then have another channel for "cleans" was Randall Smith, the founder of Mesa/Boogie.


This is true.

But funnily enough Tony Iommi during the recording of Paranoid I believe went to some amp manufacturer and said "Can't we get something to let me get overdriven straight from the amp" and they just laughed at him.
haha
#8
Quote by MetalUpTheAss
This is true.

But funnily enough Tony Iommi during the recording of Paranoid I believe went to some amp manufacturer and said "Can't we get something to let me get overdriven straight from the amp" and they just laughed at him.

Randall Smith tells the story about when he brought his design to the patent office, the old guy behind the desk looked at the schematic and said "Nice, but this is going to distort." And then Randall spent the next half hour trying to explain to him how that was a good thing...
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#9
Quote by Dirk Gently
Randall Smith tells the story about when he brought his design to the patent office, the old guy behind the desk looked at the schematic and said "Nice, but this is going to distort." And then Randall spent the next half hour trying to explain to him how that was a good thing...




Gotta love it!

That rock'n'roll distortion ain't ever gonna last!
haha
#10
Quote by MetalUpTheAss


Gotta love it!

That rock'n'roll distortion ain't ever gonna last!


"We don't like their sound. Besides, guitar music is on the way out"
Said the ABC recording company, rejecting the Beatles in 1962.

You can't predict where rock n' roll is going.
#11
Link Wray invented distortion by cutting his speaker cone on "Rumble!".

I'm not sure about *real* distortion though.
#12
sweet, i bet the first person who "discovered" distortion did it by accident liek you said. its pretty cool i think to see how something as simple (and so wierd) as cutting your speaker cones and poking pencil holes in your amps can lead to such advanced distorion now. i guess sashki is right, you can never predict where music will go, and you never know how big of an impact something like cutting up your speakers can have on music. ok im done
#13
Quote by Danno13
Link Wray invented distortion by cutting his speaker cone on "Rumble!".

I'm not sure about *real* distortion though.


Yep, first properly deliberate use of distortion. There was another guy though, who f*cked up his amp by accident and liked the distorted sound that was the result, so didn't repair it, but still, Link Wray, deliberate distortion, right there.

I think the first distortion pedal was the Fuzz Face (I may be wrong), but I'm almost certain that fuzz pedals were the first actual distortion pedals.
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#14
The inventor died recently actually, I cant recall his name, but it was in Rollingstone. He stuck pencils into the speakers to get it to distort. And im pretty sure it was actually really early, like in the 40's-50s, but no one took it seriously considering the current music style.
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#16
Quote by sashki
They say the first recorded distortion was recorded in 1951. It was produced by a damaged speaker. I can't remember who recorded it or waht the song was called....

Anyway, people started poking their speakers with pencils to make that lo-fi fuzz sound. Also, in the 60's people began to experiment, and realised that you get overdrive when you turn your amp up, like, REALLY LOUD.

Back then, you didnt' have multi-channel amps. You had to get drive naturally. Some say the humbuckers on a Les Paul were invented specifically for more output, causing more drive.
You get the point.

EDIT: the song was called Rocket 88, and it was written by Ike Turner. I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_88


No, no, no! The humbucker was invented to "buck" the hum caused by single coils. A humbucker is actually two single coils "put together" to buck the hum from each other. That also gives more gain, but that wasn't the purpose.
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#17
P. Burlison (Rock and Roll Trio)may have been the first to intentionally use the sound on two 1956 recordings "Train Kept Rollin" and "Honey Hush"..He strumed the top and bottom string with his thumb and middle finger into an amp with a loose tube..Owen Bradley's sophisticated recording equipment at the Quanset Hut studio enhanced the sound to create an obvious distorted guitar on both songs..P. Burlison, having played with Howlin Wolf,..first heard the sound playing with his band..
Last edited by dburlison at Dec 13, 2010,
#18
TIME TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!
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#19
Quote by alliwant
It wasn't invented, it was discovered.

Yup.

It's just what happens when you operate tubes/transistors outside the are where input and output are linear. In other words, crank the sucker and see what happens.
#20
Quote by biga29
TIME TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!

That!

Also, YAY PLUM IS BACK!
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#21
Well I know that Dave Davis from The Kinks found out that cutting the front of his amp with a razor blade made the amp have a lot more powerful sound (a sound very similar to distortion) and that was the early 60's. (I should also mention that I didn't read any other post, so sorry if this is irrelevant by now.)