Clipping diode modification for heavy metal distortion - diyAudio
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Old 7th December 2009, 10:49 PM   #1
jyango is offline jyango  Philippines
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Lightbulb Clipping diode modification for heavy metal distortion

Hi guys i know diode can clip signal whether it is a soft clip or hard clip.. But i never tried hearing from these theories. Could anyone suggest what is the clipping diode for a more heavy metal sound distortion? and based on the discussion, is it a soft or a hard clip configuration?
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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Hard clipping I'd say, check out what the JCM800 uses. The voltage cut-off is where the clipping occurs (literally - it doesn't go by any more!) and it's why it sounds so hard.
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Old 8th December 2009, 11:31 AM   #3
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if you have an opamp and put the diodes in the feedback it's soft clipping.
if you put the diodes at the output to ground, it's hard clipping.

in both cases the gain determines the amount of clipping.
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Old 9th December 2009, 12:42 AM   #4
jyango is offline jyango  Philippines
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so the main thing about heavy metal sound is the hard clipping.. but do some here use another configuration about the diodes.. I see some designs that one diode in parallel with two series diodes. but on the other hand i never heard that configuration yet. I only experience the two diodes in parallel clipping the signal at the output. Would there any be diode configuration or what diode was used for a more heavy metal sound... By the way guys thanks for the reply.
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Old 9th December 2009, 11:00 PM   #5
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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If you want a good heavey metal sound try red led"s , you will get a lot more volume because the LEDs clip at 1.5v and regular silicone diodes clip at 0.7v and they sound great , bear in mind you will need more gain to get them to clip ......

Cheers
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Old 9th December 2009, 11:06 PM   #6
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:13 AM   #7
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Here is a valve typoe distortion circuit.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10th December 2009, 06:44 AM   #8
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The one with the transistors in the feedback is indeed a nice one. I once used something a little similar as soft-clipping circuit at the input of a power amp.

The topology with the single and double diodes paralleled (post #4) is intended to give some even order harmonics. Symmetrically clipping circuits (i.e. the ones with equal amount of diodes paralleled) will only produce odd order harmonics.

There are in fact tons of possibilities to combine resistors and diodes to generate whatever characteristic someone likes: Soft or hard-clipping, even- or odd order harmonics or a mixture of both.

A circuit like the last one could also be made in a staggered fashion with two or more pairs of transistors where each pair has an own pot and different sized emitter resistors. Eg first pair 470k, snd pair 100k etc. When the two resistors of one pair are not equal, one is also getting some even order harmonics. So if you use a 200k pot instead of a 100 k resistor for one of the emitter resistors you might also be able to play around with symmetry.

Regards

Charles
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Old 16th December 2009, 09:09 PM   #9
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Hello Jyango,
I will tell you what took me a long time to learn (in the pre-internet days) and what other had consequently told me. The type of distortion you want to achieve will be more defined by the type of equalisation you put on it (whether it be before or after, most often after the distortion circuit), rather than hard or soft clipping. Solid-state devices will generate tons of harmonics all over the audible spectrum, and that makes up for all the buzzy, tinny, ziiziziziy sounds you hear that just break my ears. You know icicles? Well, it would be sort of like jamming those in your ears.

Anyway, even after you build your circuit and you find yourself wondering "why doesn't it sound like I want?" (whatever that may be) remember, you need to tailor the distorted signal to remove the unwanted harmonics generated in the upper mids to the highs.

The only other way to get a decent metal sound is do what the pros do: Get a Marshall 50W non-master volume head and a 4x12 cabinet, Bass to 3, mids to 4, high to 5 and crank it up...

Wear earplugs too, if you want to conserve your ears!
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Old 16th December 2009, 09:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gain-wire View Post
Hello Jyango,
The type of distortion you want to achieve will be more defined by the type of equalisation you put on it

!
I found the soft clipping circuit required plenty of top so I added a presence stage.
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