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Country Effects: Overdrive


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Country Tone: Effects

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Here we'll look at the basic function of overdrive. One of the most popular questions is "aren't overdrive and distortion the same thing?". The answer is no. Overdrive gives a warm, naturally "driven" sound. It's the sound of an amplifier with its valves being pushed hard. We use an overdrive pedal to keep from having to push a large amp to get to that point or from having to push a small amp to a range of overdrive that its small wattage was never intended to reach. Distortion is a more "full blown" breaking up of the signal that simulates a broken speaker to some degree.

Notice that some of my favorite settings don't give the tone a distorted tone at all. I merely add a little grit to the sound. That's the sound of modern country, especially players such as Brent Mason, Brad Paisley and many of the session greats.