The Use of Distortion Effects in the Studio

- Oct 09, 2018-

The term “distortion” can be interpreted as any form of change to an audio waveform: even simply amplifying the audio signal can be technically distorted, including equalization, which affects waveform changes over a specific frequency range. . However, it is more common to input some non-linear devices like audio signals, such as full tube speakers or sounds from the front stage. In both cases, the signal is primarily altered in amplitude, but at the same time it also produces harmonics associated with the original audio signal in some way during processing into distortion. If you want to accurately record some acoustic instruments, you should try to avoid some obvious distortion, but the distortion has been widely and creatively applied in today's popular music.

Harmonics are part of the audio signal, which gives everything a unique tone. Harmonic distortion is a musical distortion caused by the introduction of additional harmonics, resulting in a change in tone. The harmonics of even harmonic distortion sound more affinitive, smooth and bright, and more malleable. Many simple tube circuits often produce distortions of this even harmonic. The sound of odd harmonic distortion (mainly produced by tape simulation) sounds relatively rough, harsh, sturdy or more marginal, and is often used to enhance the "fullness" and "depth" of some sounds.

The higher harmonics produced by analog distortion sound harder and fair to say that they are less musical, so we generally lower the high frequency part to make it more audible.

The easiest way to make sounds more organic and natural is to pick up the sound from the guitar speaker with a microphone, and then record the sound picked up by the microphone for downmixing. This technique is often used to pick up guitar or bass sounds. At the beginning, DI boxes were often used to process guitar/bass sounds. But now, this method of distortion processing is often used for drums, synthesizers, and even vocals to create some interesting sounds.



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