What are Overdrive Pedals?

  • November 2, 2021

Don't be intimidated by the sheer number of overdrives available. The majority of overdrives are derived from a few classic circuits and designs. These circuits have been modified over time and used as the basis for companies' unique-sounding stompboxes. You can also get in touch with us with us if you are interested in learning more about overdrive pedals.

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This guide will highlight key pedals that inspire so many breakdowns and their tonal characteristics to help you find the perfect overdrive. 

What does an Overdrive pedal sound like?

Overdrive adds grit and amplitude to your signal. It's similar to a crank amplifier near the edge of breaking up. Overdrive pedals produce a pushy, clean tone that can sometimes turn to a crunch depending on how the settings are adjusted and how hard you pick your strings. This can be a crucial factor for players looking to find the perfect overdrive. Many prefer one that responds to playing dynamics and cleans up when you lower the volume.

You can dial in some overdrives to get a full-on saturation of distortion. Many pedals can be found in the middle of the spectrum, helping to bridge the gap between distortion and overdrive thanks to their many gain controls. 

Overdrives can boost your signal, increase your amp's output and volume. Overdrive pedals can be used to play leads or help solos in live performances.