What Are Different Kinds of Guitar Pedal Overdrive?

Learn about the different kinds of overdrive from Broadway musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video about guitar pedal effects.


So the different kinds of overdrive settings that I tend to use, let's start with the Fulltone OCD pedal. I like the sound of a cranked amp, so when I can't have a cranked amp at full volume, in a low volume situation, this the setting that I think gets me the furthest. And what that is is the drive all the way down, tone 12 o'clock and the volume just depends on the situation. So here's the clean sound I have going. This is with the pedal. It's a fantastic sounding pedal.

I try and max the volume clean with the pedal so that there's not a huge jump in volume, so that it literally sounds like the amp is cranked. Now one of the things you can do, very self-explanatory, if you turn up the drive, you obviously get more drive signal. More saturation, more compression in your signal. More distorted, but be careful with that term, because this is an overdrive pedal, not a distortion pedal. But it is distorting the signal, figuratively speaking.

So the other pedal that I like it use is the Ibanez TS9 pedal. I have a vintage one here that's modified. Classic pedal, Stevie Ray Vaughn is a guitar player that comes to mind that used it. Thousands of artists use it. It's very popular. Still popular today, does the same thing. Get's the sound of a cranked amp. In my opinion, some may argue, it colors the tone a little bit, but it's a great color. So it's not as transparent as the OCD pedal, but it adds a very cool color that's transparent enough that is still sounds like a transparent overdrive pedal. Here's what it sounds like.

It's got a very mid-rangy sound to it. Here's the clean with the pedal off. Here's with the Tube Screamer. It has a very cool narrow mid-range to me. To my ear, it does something very cool with the clean signal versus the drive signal, where you can still hear some of the clean coming through. So it colors it a little bit and gets a very, very nice warm sound, especially when you do like the neck pickup. So these are some examples of two very popular overdrive pedals on the market that do some very cool things that I like to use. Experiment with the settings. Experiment with the different pedals and find your own sounds that work with your guitar and your playing and your amp.

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