#1
I'm a guitar newbie, so I don't know if this is really obvious but noone I've asked who plays guitar seems to know either....

What is the difference between overdrive and distortion?


Thanks Very Much,

yaffle
#2
overdrive is the natural crunchy warm sound produced when pushing valves harder than normal.

distortion is an artificial harsher overdriven sound made by distortion pedals and amps.
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Aria acoustic bass
#3
overdrive is the sound of amp tubes driven to the point where the sound starts to break up, distortion is artificially applied to the sound wave, I think that's a pretty close description.
#4
Its a pretty self explanitory thing really, Overdrive are tubes that are overdriven, or pushed to their limits and beyond. Distortion just takes that to extremes.
#5
overdrive = soft clipping, similiar to how a valve/tube saturates and clips

distortion = hard clipping, tops of the wave form are cut off, simliar to how a transistor clips

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#7
Quote by Erock503
overdrive = soft clipping, similiar to how a valve/tube saturates and clips

distortion = hard clipping, tops of the wave form are cut off, simliar to how a transistor clips


That's a very good explanation. A very bad and rough generalisation: Distortion is the metal/rock thing, overdrive is the blues/light rock thing.
Quote by freedoms_stain
overdrive is the sound of amp tubes driven to the point where the sound starts to break up, distortion is artificially applied to the sound wave, I think that's a pretty close description.

Artificial? Tubes aren't "natural" either, they're man made, so it's just as artificial no matter what (tubes or transistors) is doing the clipping.
Quote by Lunchbox362
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