#1
Ok, here's my next stupid noob question:

What is the difference, in sound, between distortion and overdrive?

I've found this explanation: "Overdrive is the distorted sound a guitar or any instrument produces when the volume of a tube guitar amp - either the preamp or the master or both - is turned up so high that it becomes overdriven.

Distortion includes overdrive, plus a broader category of analog and hard-edged digital effects typically used with guitar and other instruments."

That's all well and good but it doesn't give me any idea about what the difference in sound is. Can anyone describe it or possibly have a link to some audio files to compare?
#2
In a way overdrive and distortion are the same thing. The more overdriven the sound is, the more distorted it becomes type of thing.
#3
So, I'm thinking that if you have a tube amp there is really no reason for an overdrive pedal correct? Or does the overdrive 'sound' differ alot between a max volume amp and a pedal? And furthermore, there is no reason to own both a distortion and overdrive pedal? Or am I way off on my thinking?
#4
Overdrive is a type of distortion, but generally, overdrive has a much smoother and warmer sound than most distortion, and distortion is just a broad term used to define a fuzzy sound.


A good example of overdrive would be the solo from the Beatle's 'Let It Be' and a good example of a more distorted sound would be Crazy Train, or pretty much anything metal.
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#5
Well, it depends on the tube amp. If your amp has high gain already, then an overdrive pedal is not needed. If you find your amps gain isn't quite to your liking, you can use an OD pedal to boost it. As to owning both, its really up to you. Every pedal has a different sound, and if you like the sounds of the different pedals then go for both of them.
#6
Ok, I think that clears it up pretty well for me. Thanks a bunch for the quick feedback guys!
#7
Quote by furin121
So, I'm thinking that if you have a tube amp there is really no reason for an overdrive pedal correct? Or does the overdrive 'sound' differ alot between a max volume amp and a pedal? And furthermore, there is no reason to own both a distortion and overdrive pedal? Or am I way off on my thinking?



Not quite. An overdrive pedal simulates the sound of a tube amp turned all the way to 10, so they're really the same sound and you probably wont need an overdrive pedal, but you WOULD probably want a distortion pedal, because it will offer a different sound.
I recomend the Boss DS-1, but try a few and see what you think.
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Quote by imdeth
She looks like she has triforces in her eyes...

Quote by Nakon14
*sigh* yet again, only on UG would somebody rush to their computer to tell the pit when their lives or property are in dire trouble.
#8
Well in my experience, overdrive and distortion are pretty much the same thing. Overdrive has a softer and not so "heavy" sound compared to distortion

But what do I know
#9
overdrive pedals can be used with tube amps to give overdriven sound at lower volumes or just to help it sound more overdriven. I don't know about distortion, never had a distortion pedal or cared enough to use one.
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