Some distortion effects provide an “overdrive” effect. Either by using a vacuum tube, or by using simulated tube modeling techniques, the top of the wave form is compressed, thus giving a smoother distorted signal than regular distortion effects. When an overdrive effect is used at a high setting, the sound’s waveform can become clipped, which imparts a gritty or “dirty” tone, which sounds like a tube amplifier “driven” to its limit. Used in conjunction with an amplifier, especially a tube amplifier, driven to the point of mild tonal breakup, short of what would be generally considered distortion or overdrive, these pedals can produce extremely thick distortion sounds much like those used by Carlos Santana or Eddie Van Halen. Today there is a huge variety of overdrive pedals, and some of them are:

  • Ibanez Tube Screamer
  • Boss SD-1
  • Line 6 Crunchtone
  • DigiTech Bad Monkey