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Fuzz vs Distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Quap, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Quap


    Oct 14, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    I am new to effects but I want some texture to my sound for a punk band.

    What's the difference if any?
  2. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Tech 21 VT Bass does it all.

    Although if you're in a real punk band, how you sound/play doesn't/shouldn't matter.
  3. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    Here you go.
  4. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    For my own comprehnension, I always categorized dirt pedals this way:
    OD = light to medium saturation
    Distortion = medium to heavy saturation
    Fuzz = the hard stuff

    So it depends how you wanna go. Myself, I don't use a lot of OD/distortion/fuzz and use a small board, so I prefer to have a versatile pedal, one that can give me all 3, hence the Digitech Bass Driver. Other options for punk ? Boss ODB-3, Ibanez PD-7, ProCo Rat and I'm probably forgetting a boatload of'em...
  5. If you've never picked up a musical instrument and have no musical skill, you may already be overqualified to play in a punk band.
    fretless19 likes this.
  6. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    They're really 3 names for the same thing: clipping distortion. "Overdrive" is the most subtle and is meant to sound like an overdriven tube amplifier. Prime example: the Ibanez Tube Screamer. Typically the circuit is implemented with an op-amp chip wired for high gain, but with clipping diodes in the feedback loop.

    Distortion is a harder-edged sound, meant to sound like a fully-overdriven tube amp. The ProCo RAT and Boss DS-1 are common examples of a "distortion pedal". Typically implemented with an op-amp chip, but with the clipping diodes going to ground, so it's a harder more buzzy sound than an overdrive.

    Fuzz is the earliest and most primitive overdrive effect. Often the output of a fuzz circuit is non symmetrical - the top half and bottom half of the waveform aren't identical. They are typically implemented with a very simple 2 or 3 transistor circuit, and usually no clipping diodes. (The big muff uses clipping diodes though).
  7. For punk I think the VT bass suggestion would be good, or a B3K.
  8. Quap


    Oct 14, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    Sorry for not searching. On the smartphone and it's difficult at times.

    Ive been playing for twenty years. It's a Celtic punk band so I do a little more than eighth notes all the time.
  9. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    this will depend on how many pieces there are to your band...if you're running a small 3 piece, you can probably get away with a little more distortion/fuzz than you would be able to with a four piece or ska type band. You'll need to leave room in the mix for the other instruments while still maintaining the rhythmic foundation to the song/music. The more distortion you use...the more highs you're going to inject into the music, leaving less room for other instruments in that range. I find with punk in particular a slight OVERDRIVE to get a little grind on the tone is usually enough, especially with guitars that are already insanely distorted.
  10. Wow, there are some really ignorant people posting on this one. It should'nt matter how you sound/play. Punks can't play. Ever hear a band called Fugazi. Or The Clash. Or No Means NO. Some of the BEST players are part of the punk community. So thanks for showing your age/lack of taste and knowledge. Now go back to your boring Aerosmith records.

    PS. I believe Flea or John Frisciante said " If your playing in a rock band these days, and you fail to recognize punk as a valid form of creative music, then there is almost no doubt that your music sounds watered down."
    They could not be more correct.
    Oh, and buy a Oh See Demon from Fuzzrocious and your bass will sound amazing.
  11. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    For texture, distortion is usually the better choice. Fuzz tends to be much more smooth and compressed due to the higher saturation of the signal (though a fuzz with a clean blend can help return some of the dynamics and articulation). For punk, I think a Rat or Rat clone is a great choice. The VT Bass and Tronographic Rusty Box are two other great choices depending on the particular tonal profile you are looking for.
  12. I have a feeling you are referring to my post in the part I have bolded in your post. If you weren't so ignorant yourself, you would have recognized my post as a quote (as best as I could remember it) from the man himself, John Lydon.
  13. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    Seriously? The Sex Pistols were like the Monkees of punk, only 12 year olds take them seriously.
  14. Let's see:

    Red Merkin
    Joined today? YEP
    First post on Talkbass? YEP
    Throwing your opinion out there? YEP
    Putting down a band that someone else likes? YEP

    Off to a fine start Red.:meh:

    Anyways, back to OP's question, I personally use a FAT RAT in my three piece and I blend it about 50/50 with the clean bass tone for clarity/punch that has a ton of distorted goodness. Sits really well in a mix too. There are tons of good options out there OP and there are a whole bunch of great options mentioned already. Punk on man.
  15. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    I normally just lurk, but holding up the Sex Pistols as a good example of punk was so offensively ignorant I had to say something.
  16. xray


    Feb 15, 2009
    Kona, HI
    For that comment alone you should be banned from being able to play any instrument even the flute-o-fone. (Somebody created an alias account so they can be destructive.) Wouldn't it be great if we could figure out who these jekyll and hyde's are.

    OP: I'd go with the BK3 probably the best OD/fuzz out there. Many more options / variety than the VT.
  17. The Sex Pistols were a fine band. Malcolm McLaren may have been a manipulative entrepreneur more focused on money than music, but the lads in the band were real punks, no doubt about it. This is flameworthy, but IMHO I don't see The Ramones as significantly more punk or authentic, musically, than the Sex Pistols.

    I feel Johnny Rotten was wrong when he said punks can't play; reference The Clash and others, but no real need to go beyond The Clash to refute that point.

    And Fugazi is not a punk band, Minor Threat was the punk band. I mean I love Fugazi, one of my favorite bands, but that's not punk, it's post-punk. (Their wiki lists them as a post-hardcore band, and Minor Threat as a hardcore punk band. I can live with that.)

  18. I feel ya. But I do not agree. If wiki says it, im sure its true though. Haha, sorry. But really. Punk rock is and was an idea, not a sound. It was pushing against the norm and making creative statements outside of the mainstream. That said, Fugazi is more punk than Minor Threat. I think Ian has and would agree. Because they were pushing against the hardcore stereo-type. I agree that the Clash are the quintisential punk band. They played any and every style, especially on Sandanista!!. But the way Im talking about punk has nothing to do with the sex pistols or any halloween punk stereo type. JOHN COLTRANE IS PUNK, BOB DYLAN IS PUNK, FELA KUTI IS PUNK and FUGAZI IS MOST CERTAINLY PUNK (they turned down a blank check from David Geffen at their NYC show in 95,almost no one can do that). These artists are punk because they pushed and broke down boundaries and stereo types built by bull crap mainstream media. So, thats what I meant. Not ramones/ sex pistols. But they were nice rock n roll bands.
  19. MrPierre


    Oct 22, 2012
    Boy, that turned into a pissing contest really quickly!

    Overdrive, fuzz, distortion, whatever. Try a bunch of them, pick the one you like the best. Or get a tube amp and push the it to 11. Your neighbors are really gonna love the last option.
  20. We will have to agree to disagree. I cannot categorize that statement as anything but *completely incorrect*.

    You're thinking DYI, which was an important part of the punk ethic, but not punk in and of itself.

    I suppose if you consider Coltrane punk then almost anything can be punk to you. But I am talking about the music itself, not a philosophy or an approach to making music.