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distortion to bring out harmonics

Instruments and Gear
gx1327  
3 Aug 2011 12:59 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
can anyone offer insight on what type of distortion is best for bringing out a ringing harmonic?

i have two guitars, a strat and an ibanez semi-hollow. the ibanez has a really hot bridge pickup which naturally brings out harmonics better than the strat. i've quickly discovered that it's easier to hear harmonics ringing on the bridge pickups instead of the neck pickups.

obviously a gain channel will ring the harmonics louder. but now that i have a multi effect pedal i have several different distortion effects. some of them ring harmonics louder than others. any insight on to why this is?
macandkanga  
3 Aug 2011 15:25 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I'm not sure about why different types of distortion will bring out harmonics more than others but I do know a compressor will bring them out even more. Even with little to no gain.
gx1327  
4 Aug 2011 12:41 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
sorry i wrote this post in haste, i have my internet cut off at work at 1:00 and as you can see i posted this at 12:59pm (!!)

what i mean was that, on my multi effect board i have several "types" of distortion effects. they range from "OD-1" (a boss brand distortion pedal), "blues", "modern", "metal", "core", and also "fuzz". i haven't done a full experimentation yet, but i know that harmonics ring easier on some settings than others. it's hard to hear them on "fuzz" or "blues", but easier to hear on "modern" and "OD-1".

i think i'm wondering, what is it about these distortion pedals that ring harmonics where others don't?

and while i'm at it, my amp is a cheapo fender frontman. it's so old it doesn't even advertise how much power it puts out. i'm guessing 10-25w range. when using its gain channel you can get harmonics to ring very bright and sharp. but i have a harder time accomplishing that same effect using the drive channels on the ME board.

i guess i'm just curious as to what makes harmonics ring louder.

i rarely turn off my compressor since i got this pedal (which is an awesome pedal, by the way)
thatguitarguy  
4 Aug 2011 12:48 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
metal distortion brings harmonics out quiet a bit. blues dose nothing. I dont know about fuzz or modern. core sounds interesting. im not sure what that would even sound like.

I play through a line six spider IV modeling amp and it has the metal and blues distortion and I find that metal works best.
AlexB  
4 Aug 2011 16:02 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
Licks: 2
Karma: 23
metal/blues/british/OD808/etc are just names for a series of EQ/saturation configurations used in transistor pedals and stuff like that,solid state distortion will compress your siganl and amp it to achieve the desired effect,natural tube OD works bettter cause it does not crushes your signal

Anyways,a nice distortion pedal will do it,just be sure to have new strings,a good tone and good pups
macandkanga  
4 Aug 2011 18:20 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
What AlexB said! BTW Alex, I was listening to random songs on my iPhone yesterday on a long drive and this song came up by Alex Berserker called Stretched. I was like who's this? Then it dawned on me. Maybe it's AlexB from my guitar blog! Cool song. Still lives on my iPhone!
gx1327  
8 Aug 2011 12:50 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
i don't have the manual in front of me, but i think "metal" and "core" are opposites. i think metal had boosted highs and lows, and core had boosted mids. or maybe vice-versa.

i realize from experience that blues does not bring out harmonics as easily as "metal" does. i'm just curious as to why. what is different about the metal distortion that makes harmonics ring easier/louder/longer than "blues" distortion?

the instruction book is completely written for laymen, too, which bugs me. i understand terms like "warmer" but i would rather see a waveform so i know exactly what the pedal is doing to the signal..!
macandkanga  
8 Aug 2011 16:33 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
Blues distortion has less compression/gain/overdrive basically. This gives it a warmer sound. Metal distortion is higher in these three areas. When sound is overdriven or compressed, harmonics ring louder and longer.


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