Do you need BOTH overdrive and distortion?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RevMike, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    You don't NEED anything unless it serves some purpose for your playing. I'm reasonably certain I could get by with just an OD and reverb. For that matter sometimes I go straight cord into the amp. But I like having a delay in addition to the reverb. And I like having both an OD and a Distortion each set not more than half way up. This gives me three options for additional drive: OD alone, Distortion alone, or stacked. I suppose I could accomplish that with two ODs set at different levels, or two distortions.

    And of course there's always the volume knob method. It all depends on what works for you in your context.

    What are you playing that makes you think maybe you should have an OD?
     
  2. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    I think having both is good, but I also have five dirt pedals on my board.
     
  3. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Four for me, but one of them has two separate switches and voices. A friend of mine uses only one dirt box - an old MXR Distortion + - and he sounds great. I guess when you only have one you can master it. I haven't figured out any of mine fully yet.
     
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So RevMike, what makes you wonder about an OD pedal? It seems that if you just want to be adventuresome, the answer is throw a dart and go for it, but if you are yearning for a specific sound, it would be helpful to try to define what you are after. Your amps can give you ODs very easily at volume, so is this for a room at home sound that you want at lower volume?

    Bottom line is it is all about what you want out of your rig.
     
  5. Stratburst

    Stratburst Friend of Leo's

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    When I'm using a single channel amp, I like having a dedicated OD and distortion. I have the OD (WHE Green Rhino) set for a gritty, jangly sound that gets some nice sustain when I dime my volume control.

    As for the distortion (Bogner Ecstasy Red), it's set for maximum gain for the sustain and easy access to feedback. Sometimes I'll stamp both if I want to get completely out of control.
     
  6. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    No OD or distortion pedals needed, built in boost.

    [​IMG]

    As far as distortion, if I want distortion I plug into the Micro Dark. Set it up to just the point of break up and if I want full on distortion all I got to do is hit the boost. If I want clean/crunch its the Morpheus. Same thing, I crank it to where it starts breaking up when I dig in. If I need full on crunch I hit the boost. I don't really need access to crunch and distortion at the same time.
     
  7. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

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    All you need is your fingers, and some practice...
    ...just kidding.
    I prefer 2 overdrives (at least 1 being a TS808), a clean boost, a distortion box, a Metal Distortion (if you play X-Treme Metal), & a Fuzzbox...or 2 (one germanium). But that's just what I like. Some people just like a RAT.
    Honestly...much of the time, I only use my CMAT Mods Signa Drive TS808 & back off my volume knob a bit for less gain. Then I stomp on my Germanium Fuzz set as a cleanish boost or my Joyo Sweet Baby for added edge. My tube amps are very responsive, so when I dig in with my volume knob maxed, it can really roar.
     
  8. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well it's like this. As far as my typical method goes, for me less is more. I'm not gigging regularly these days. But I'm hoping that changes soon. Working on a songwriting project with a writing partner.

    In the past working with party bands, a super clean tone, a crunch tone and a little dab of chorus and delay here and there were all I ever needed. Bar gigs most of the time I'd show up with a Tele, an amp and maybe the rat. In those cases I used the volume knob all the time. I also own a Boss ME70 for times when space was so confined that I went direct into the board. When I moved back to NC and stopped gigging as much, I sold all my tube combos and kept just my Roland JC77.

    What I'm thinking now is until I get into another band and decide to get another tube combo, I'd like an "in between sound" somewhere between clean and a full on heavy rock sound.
     
  9. jaycoyoyo

    jaycoyoyo Tele-Meister

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    I usually run both an OD and Dist on my board. I like having a Distortion pedal that does not clean up much, so that I have a lower-volume dirt when needed. My OD pedal is usually a tubescreamer of some sort and is used as a booster. I also love me some fuzzzz.
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Okay RevMike, here you go. Watch this very well done OD/dirt comparison on YT. Hamlin has a RAT in the line up to compare with. This should give you quite the classic assortment to start out with:
     
  11. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

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    I'm currently using a Zendrive and a Dover Drive through an A-B-Y switch. The Dover Drive goes through a volume pedal. That gives me either with A-B, or in Y mode I can pan in some heavier tones by adding the Dover. I'll switch up the Dover with a RonSound Hairpie once in a while too.

    For lighter moods, I'll switch it up by replacing the Zen with an Archer or Timmy, and the Dover with an OD-1 or OD-3.
     
  12. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    Not wanting to have to change pedal settings between songs any more than absolutely necessary is part of it for me.

    I have a new distortion plus on my board, but I don't think it sounds good on it's own for anything other than like 80s thrash or maybe Ozzie covers. It does, however, sound great when you run a blue box into it or run it into a flanger.

    My band doesn't have a bass player, so I have two different overdrives, both with separate bass and treble controls (a bad monkey and a Dano Timmy clone). I have one set for a more normal bright sounding overdrive, and the other one set for cranked low end, depending on what the song needs.
     
  13. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lots of great advice here. I have to say I love my Rat. Over the years of using one, I've come to feel like its almost like its own instrument. I know all of the sweet spots for the different tones I want.

    Based on all of your advice, I think I am gonna go for 2nd pedal, to be used along side the Rat. Now, to decide which one. Tube screamer? A Blues Driver? Another Rat?
     
  14. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know if YOU need both an OD and a distortion, but I NEED both. I have a ZVEX Box of Rock and a ZVEX Distortron. Both distortion/od circuits are the same. I have the BOR gain set at 10:00 and the Distortron gain set at 3:00. I like that consistency in tone. In fact, I've thought about selling the BOR and getting another Distortron, but then the difference in color is a visual reminder of which box is which.
     
  15. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I don't use either. I set the amp loud enough to distort and ride the guitar volume to control the amount of gain/distortion. I do have a micro amp or similar boost on the floor to overdrive the front end of the amp when desired. This works great for me since we play blues/roots/swing/soul type music and don't have to cover anything that features heavy distortion or effects.
     
  16. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    "Lots of great advice here. I have to say I love my Rat. Over the years of using one, I've come to feel like its almost like its own instrument. I know all of the sweet spots for the different tones I want.

    Based on all of your advice, I think I am gonna go for 2nd pedal, to be used along side the Rat. Now, to decide which one. Tube screamer? A Blues Driver? Another Rat?"

    The video above gives lots of examples. I'd add to its suggestions the T Rex Moller, which is also a "Tube Screamer" type OD. I often use a T Rex SoulMate, which is four fx plus a boost in one box. The OD in the SoulMate is based on the Moller and I love it.
     
  17. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those T Rex pedals are expensive. More than I'd ever pay for a pedal.
     
  18. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    Because of this thread I thought I should buy myself a Rat. Looked at the reviews on Sweetwater for the Rat 2 and people seem to really hate it and recommend finding an old MIA one
     
  19. Horsefighter

    Horsefighter Tele-Meister

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    I think this question has been thoroughly answered but I'll throw in my 2 cents.

    It all comes down to what you need. If the music you're performing is pretty bare bones (clean/dirty/maybe delay), probably one dirt box and some volume knob control can do the trick, or one box with a boost option. For lots of kinds of music, a "little bit" and an "a lot" pedal is pretty standard.

    In my original music, texture plays a big part so I have a couple different flavors for variety.
     
  20. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What? No fuzz as well?

    Like many guitarists, I have a variet of dirt pedals: boss ds1, boss bd2 (my favourite), Marshall guvnor 2, Dunlop fuzz face mini, and a rock music death metal (which is a Thai copy of an HM2). I use the bd 2 permanently, the fuzz And the ds1 regularly and the other 2 when the gig calls for it.

    In short get what you need, what your budget can afford and what you have the time to learn to use.
     
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