Distortion:  Distortion technically is anytime the input signal differs from the output signal.  The distortion effect was created to replicate the sound of a heavily distorted amplifier.  Distortion sound was created by increasing the gain of the amplifier and guitarist have called it a “fuzzy”, “growling”, or “dirty” tone.  The main difference between distortion and overdrive is that overdrive increases with increased volume and pic pressure, while the amount of distortion remains the same with volume, just gets louder.

Simplest Definition:  Sounds dirty.

Video Explanation:

Video: Distortion Effect Tutorial

Video: Using Clipping to Create Distortion, Overdrive and Fuzz



Effect Pedal Examples:  

ProCo Rat 2 Distortion Pedal

Electric Orange Pig Hoof MkII Distortion Pedal

Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal


Common Internal Components:

Toshiba TA7136AP pre-amplifier

Rohm BA728N op-amp

Mitsubishi M5223AL op-amp

New Japan Radio NJM2904L op-amp


Written Articles:

Article: The Difference Between Overdrive and Distortion Explained

Article: Distortion Effects Explained


Fifty Favorite Effect Pedals for Sale:


Categories: Effect Types