Bad, vile and meaningless: Divine Distortion from Alan's clob

Divine Distortion -- I am a God

After puzzling over the distortion 2 effect for weeks I've finally managed to turn it to sound great. I own Boss's OD-3 pedal that is okay, if a bit on the dark and dull side -- it can't be said to be a distortion pedal, at most an overdrive and even then a bit soft one. Anyway, I managed to get that sound out of the effect now.

Wait a minute, I hear you say. You just said that the sound is dark and dull -- so what's the big deal? Well, unbeknowst to you, maybe, Boss's OD-3 is generally regarded as Boss's best pedal, and the OD-3 sound is not the only sound my effect -- I think it's my effect now -- is capable of.

You see, I introduced an additional pair of "diodes" into the calculation and then made it possible to "boost" all the diodes up a bit, that is, make them clip stronger with a slider, and boy that sound they make at the maximum clipping setting (which is currently mislabeled as "0 %") gives me no end of groove.

Now the thing can do two fairly different sounds with smooth variation between them: a soft fuzz / crunch that is great for neck pickups, and then at the other end there's the overdriven sound like OD-3, only a bit brighter and more defined. I'd like to think it's the digital precision of the effect, but of course that's just wistful bullshit. I simply found a few bugs, fixed them, and applied some random thoughts and kept the ideas that seemed to work best.

Here's the most important changes compared to 0.3.1

I might also try adding some of that asymmetry into distortion, in hopes that it would add some additional "warmth" or "fullness" to the signal, or get me more of that intermodulation stuff that sounds so sweet.

Please check out the CVS version of gnuitar. This distortion effect is just too cool to pass by; I think it might even be the best simulation yet of this type of circuitry. Maybe there's commercial offerings which can do it good as well, I wouldn't know. I'm fairly sure no free software distortion effect has ever been written that would do this half this good.


Incidentally, I opened up the OD-3 pedal and took a look at what's inside. It appears that OD-3 features no op-amp for the purposes of distortion. If I interpreted it correctly, there were two amplifying stages with two different types of diodes -- one small orange pair in glass enclosure and then bigger diodes in a cylindrical black plastic enclosure. The amplifier appeared to be just a transistor, in both cases. The diodes were arranged symmetrically, so the box should clip the negative and positive sides of signal equally (meaning it produces only odd harmonics in distortion).

There was an opamp, though, but I suspect it was used for output buffer. All in all, way too much electronics inside for my poor brain to decrypt, but at least I found the clippers (easy to identify visually as both of them were two diodes paired together).