Overdriven vs. Distorted


Bazaa
Registered User
Joined: 01/22/05
Posts: 21
Bazaa
Registered User
Joined: 01/22/05
Posts: 21
09/07/2005 11:40 pm
I was reading in a powertab for Georgia Satellites "keep your hands to yourself" that guitar one is an overdriven guitar and guitar two is a distortion guitar. What is the difference or is there any?

Thanks.
# 1
Infectious
Mr. Hardcore Oldschool
Joined: 06/23/04
Posts: 177
Infectious
Mr. Hardcore Oldschool
Joined: 06/23/04
Posts: 177
09/08/2005 1:12 am
There really isnt a difference in my opinion. I'm sure others would debate that tho. I kind of think of overdrive as a light distortion. So full blown distortion would be overdrive on crack! Figuratively speaking. If that makes any sense at all. Pardon me...it's late.
# 2
CW14
Registered User
Joined: 10/01/04
Posts: 1,937
CW14
Registered User
Joined: 10/01/04
Posts: 1,937
09/08/2005 7:34 am
Heres how I see it...

Listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn - that's overdrive

Now listen to Slayer - that's distortion
BOL
# 3
scarface84
Registered User
Joined: 05/18/05
Posts: 242
scarface84
Registered User
Joined: 05/18/05
Posts: 242
09/08/2005 3:29 pm
They're the same except for one thing:

OD-soft/smooth sound
DS-sharp sound
# 4
aschleman
Registered User
Joined: 04/26/05
Posts: 2,051
aschleman
Registered User
Joined: 04/26/05
Posts: 2,051
09/08/2005 6:16 pm
The term "Overdrive" came first... when people started... well... overdriving their tube amps in the 50's and 60's with current they got the tone that is now known as "overdrive" generally warm in nature with a good bite to it. They dude this by over "saturating" the tubes with tone so they pushed way past what they could put out in a clean tone... this gave it the harsh bite... Then when solid state amps came along they were no longer "overdriving" amps... they were simply cranking the gain and presence and volume and finding that on the outer reaches of the amps power band they got a really cool "distorted" tone. Distortion differs slightly in my opinion since only true tube amps can obtain true overdrive (the best tube overdrive pedals have real tubes in them also)... Distortion is harsher and by far more "distorted" you generally get better crunch from distorion. Those are the main differences in my mind... however there are a lot of people that use the terms interchangably with no knowledge of the true origins... and the fact that there is a difference... To me, overdrive is a tube amp term... and a modeling amp term... distortion is a solid state term.
# 5
HDJ
Explanation: Southerner
Joined: 05/10/04
Posts: 1,445
HDJ
Explanation: Southerner
Joined: 05/10/04
Posts: 1,445
09/08/2005 7:54 pm
Overdrive is a type of distortion.....
I found this website that goes into detail....

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/ampovdrv.htm

I always considered Overdrive to be a natural distortion that comes from "overdriving" the tubes and Distortion as a "digital" form of overdrive.

Overdrive uses soft clipping.

Distortion uses hard clipping

Soft Clipping: This is usually marketed as "overdrive", where the gain is inversely proportional to the input signal level. This is typically produced either with back to back silicon signal diodes in the negative feedback path of an op-amp, or with germanium diodes or LEDs back to back in a shunt to ground.

Hard Clipping: Usually marketed as "distortion", where the signal level is restricted within a range. This is typically produced with silicon diodes back to back in a shunt to ground. This is the same as the circuit above, using silicon instead of germanium/LED diodes.
Check out my band:
Havoc Din
# 6
Bazaa
Registered User
Joined: 01/22/05
Posts: 21
Bazaa
Registered User
Joined: 01/22/05
Posts: 21
09/09/2005 5:43 pm
So when you get right down to it - its the physics of sound and electrical resistance. I'm going to mess around with my guitar and amp this weekend to see if I can hear these differences. http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/ampovdrv.htm is a very informative site.

Cool. Thanks!
# 7

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.