Distortion: Introduction, types, and usage


What is the distortion effect?

To distort the sound, you can use the distortion effect. The frequency content changes when you distort the sound. Thus, the sound will become crunchy. You can also call it a wave-shaper.

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Distortion types

The types of distortion are like shaping functions. These functions show the mapping of the input signal with the output signal. There are parameters of these functions that define the application of these functions.


Clipping distortion

This type of distortion has two effects: soft clipping and hard clipping.

Hard Clipping

In this type of distortion, the peaks of the waveform are cut at the top and the bottom of the waveform. The peaks outside of -100 dB to 0 dB will cut off. The scale, on a slider, is logarithmic. And, this parameter is the clipping level.

The drive parameter amplifies the track by the value you select. Make-up Gain parameter amplifies the output of the effect.

Soft Clipping

The main difference between hard clipping and soft clipping is that the corners of the waveform are round. When an input is over the threshold, the gain reduces.

Clipping threshold is the level of gain reduction. Hardness sets the level of hardness of clipping. Make-up gain amplifies the output.

Overdrive Distortion

There are three options for overdrive distortion. The options are soft, medium, and hard overdrive.

Soft overdrive

To reduce the dynamic range, you can use this function. As it adds a minimum crunch to the sound. The distortion amount parameter displays the strength of the distortion. The output level sets the level of output, 0 means output is silent.

Medium overdrive

The distortion amount in this type is to set the amount of distortion. The output level sets the level of output.

Hard overdrive

You can use this effect for a heavy distortion effect. And, one can set the distortion amount from 0 dB to 100 dB. The output level parameter sets the level of output.

Harmonic distortion

The two parameters of harmonic distortion are the cubic curve and even harmonics.

Cubic Curve

This effect is applicable to distortion effects in electric guitar. The amount of oversampling in this effect is less. You have to use this algorithm multiple times to achieve strong effects.

The distortion amount can be from 0 dB to 100 dB. The output level parameter sets the level of output. You can repeat the number of processing using the repeat processing parameter.

Even harmonics

The distortion effect that this effect produces is multiple times the frequency of the original waveform. DC blocking filter parameter can block the DC effect. The distortion amount sets the amount of distortion. Harmonic brightness controls the number of harmonics.

Hybrid Distortion and Modeled distortion are also types of distortion. These types are more advanced compared to others.


Manage button on the dialog box shows details about this page. Many parameters set by default are in this dropdown menu. Start playback shows a preview of the effect. Skip backward and skip forward options are also available. And, the OK button applies the effect.


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