Overdrive pedals are not scarce on the marker like people claim they are, and arguably, overdrive pedals are the most popular types of pedal which tone chasers are particular about. With so many pedal brands making various kinds of overdrive pedals, factors range from affordability to features, and the various types of overdrive pedals on the market can make buying one a bit overwhelming for anyone. We have brought you this guide on “what does an overdrive pedal do”, so stick around. Firstly, let us talk about what overdrive pedals are.
What are Overdrive pedals?
Despite the various types of overdrive pedals available on the market, you shouldn’t feel intimidated when shopping for one. There are several overdrive pedals that features a handful of design and classic circuits, but the difference is several companies have experimented with these classic circuits and designs, ensuring that the overdrive pedals have their specific unique sound. Overdrive pedals has inspired a lot of musicians and sound engineers, and being able to break down the tonal characteristics of an overdrive pedal helps in finding your right flavor. If you are able to identify a seller’s selling point, you will feel comfortable making a decision on what overdrive pedal you intend going for.
What Does An Overdrive Pedal Sound Like?
Adding grit to signals is the first thing an overdrive pedal does, providing users with a sound similar to that of a cranked amplifier. Being able to produce a push clean tone capable of stretching to a crunch is what an overdrive pedal is also capable of, but providing a push clean tone depends on picking hard guitar strings and how overdrive pedals are dialed in. Picking hard guitar strings and how to dial in a pedal are some of the factors that come into play when searching for the best overdrive pedal, and several people prefer an overdrive pedal with the ability to react when playing dynamics. Other people prefer overdrive pedals that are capable of cleaning up tones, when lowering a guitar’s volume control.
Providing full on saturated sound is what you will get when you dial in some overdrive pedals, while there are several pedals that meets in the middle. When overdrive pedals meet in the middle, bridging the gap between distortion and an overdrive is what happens next, and bridging this gap is made possible using their wide ranging gain controls. Increasing overall volume and boosting signals is another role an overdrive pedal plays, and it is also good at boosting an amplifier’s output. All of these possibilities of using an overdrive pedal explains why overdrive pedals are used for playing leads. When using an overdrive pedal in a live performance, they aid solos cut through any mix.
What Does An Overdrive Pedal Do
You can use an overdrive pedal in front of an amplifier, meaning running your guitar through an overdrive’s input is a possibility. If you have constructed a pedal board that hosts a variety of pedals, where you place an overdrive pedal is fairly subjective. Most players tend to place their overdrive pedals after wah pedals and tuners, while other people might decide to make use of an overdrive pedal that has a clean channel amp. Making use of an overdrive pedal that has a clean channel amp delivers raucous and crunchy tones, and this explains why so many blues players make use of their overdrive pedals to push their amp speaker’s front end.
Overdrive pedals are also capable of providing tones with enough punch, and they improve width of sounds and sustain. Overdrive tones are found under certain genres like indie, rock, and other contemporary styles, and you can use overdrive pedals with an amplifier distortion channel. Metal players have adopted the method of combining overdrive pedals with amplifier distortion channel, because overdrives helps in tightening sounds and providing more focus. Few players setup an overdrive pedal with low volume and drive, resulting in the production of slight gain that will not go out of control.
Having a slight gain that will not go out of control introduces sustain and saturation, leading to the production of chunky tones. However, most guitar players especially the newbies do not know what they want from an overdrive pedal. You need to know what you want from a pedal, because the information you gather about pedals will come in handy when you decide to shop for one. Overdrive pedals provide guitar tones with boost. Sometimes, what you need is a touch of boost that will spice up and add color to your tones. Furthermore, guitar players also use overdrive pedals to compliment an over-driven amplifier.
A reason why overdrive pedals are used with an over-driven amplifier is to add color and boost signal, while another reason could be focusing on various frequencies to generate better sounds. Obtaining intense and bigger sounds might be the reason a guitarist makes use of an overdrive pedal, and an overdrive pedal provides intense and bigger sounds by adding new gain to signal chain. In other cases, guitarists makes use of an overdrive pedal so they can hear good tones and sounds when they play the guitar. We call this approach ‘the plug in and go approach’, and to obtain good sounds, setup you amplifier and tweak your overdrive pedal the way you want it.
If you intend amplifying dirty tones, you have to stack your overdrive pedals. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you are playing, and it could be metal, blues, or rock. Creating harmonic and dynamic sounds is what comes with stacking overdrive pedals, and by stacking various overdrive pedals, you are bound to create limitless sounds. Before stacking pedals, knowing how to control pedals to obtain a focused drive tone is something you need to learn how to do but let us explain what we mean by stacking.
Stacking means the placing of similar pedals on a pedal board and stacking is done with overdrive and delay pedals. When you stack pedals, they create unique and strong sounds, and you will find out that so many guitarist have resorted to stacking pedals in various genres of music except metal, punk, and rock genres. If you want to discover new sounds, then you need to start stacking pedals. This is a cost effective approach because you do not have to buy additional pedals to get new tones, stacking offers users total control over drive sound. Lastly, stacking provides users with two equalizer options that helps in adjusting tones.
My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.