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Old 20th July 2004, 12:56 PM   #1
Barre is offline Barre  Belgium
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Thumbs up New look on simulating tube distortion!

Hi y'all,

I've come across a nice article in a book about simulating that 'tube distortion sound'.
What it does,is 'rounding' the soundwave instead of clipping.

I've build it, and it sounds nice...
Overdrive sound sounds OK,but the real metal-distortion (high gain stuff) still needs some work.

Any idea's on that?

Any idea's on how to run this thingy on a single voltage supply?
I really don't have the time to look for this now now, maby one opf you guys does have the interest AND the time.

Cher your thoughts on this baby, 'cause it really is a nice peace of work!

(voltage supply: dual voltage supply +/- 5V....+/-15V)

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Old 20th July 2004, 12:59 PM   #2
Barre is offline Barre  Belgium
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Default The autor's rights

Forgot to tell, this isn't invented by me

It's from a Dutch book called: "Bouw je eigen sound" published by Elektuur.

Ok,that's that
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Old 20th July 2004, 01:43 PM   #3
dimitri is offline dimitri  United States
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Bare, please visit
Eric K. Pritchard did this for decades
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Old 21st July 2004, 12:37 AM   #4
Optical is offline Optical  New Zealand
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^But does pritchard have an circuits to offer?

Thanks Barre, i might build this soon and try it out, do you have any more circuits like it?
For single supply mode you could put a voltage divider on a 9V battery to make a crude +/-4.5V supply..
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Old 21st July 2004, 03:23 AM   #5
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Metal sound, hehe: just use the baddest opamp(if you can, a non-audio) you can find, plug power, plug in to + in(Line level), ground - in and plug output to headphones. I have only tried this by plugging it in a tuner and it distorted much. Don't know if you can do metal with this.

Note, I used no caps and resistors when doing this(maybe only one res. at the out to gnd or in, but I don't remember).
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Old 21st July 2004, 07:52 PM   #6
Barre is offline Barre  Belgium
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Default Just a reply

Thankx Dimitri (again,'re so in to this aren't you!)

Thx Optical, that was my idea too.
I'll try that a.s.a.p. (should work).
I don't have any other circuits like this, but I think a lot off stuff can be taken from this little basic circuit.

I haven't seen this on any forum yet or online on a site,that's wy I posted it.

I'll try to work on high gain sounds, maby....I'll do some calculations myself.

Thx DragonMaster, but by 'metalsound' I mean a nice DEFINED sound,not just lots of noise.
Even though some peaple might like that, I don't lol
(but thanx anyway!)

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Old 22nd July 2004, 10:12 AM   #7
AGGEMAM is offline AGGEMAM  Denmark
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Originally posted by Optical
[BFor single supply mode you could put a voltage divider on a 9V battery to make a crude +/-4.5V supply.. [/B]
You could also take the battery from a mobile phone you have scraped .. it shouldn't be impossible to get 2 3.6 Volt types or a single 4.6 Volt type if you team up with a few friends.

Also they are becoming quite affordable, and will last much much longer than a 9 Volt battery. You only need to build in a charger circuitry.

As for the metal sound or any sound actually I've been contemplating doing a circuit like yours with soft clipping and one with hard clipping and combine the two with a (digital) volume control on each that way you should be able to emulate practically any sound you like. And with the mentioned digital volume control and a control circuit it should be possible to make an effect pedal that is fully custumiable.

Hope it helps.
Hmm .. no .. I really haven't got anythig cool to say ..
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Old 24th August 2004, 07:08 AM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2005
Default Try this!

Try coupling it with another gain circuit.

Maybe something with a moderate amount of gain using Tantium caps so it is a bit grainy like Metal distortion generally is.....that might even be the solution for this circuit. Raise the gain and try some Tantium in choice areas.

....using caps and resistors to voice audio circuits really works wonders. I think often if someone has a nack at this the whole tube vs SS doesn't even matter. Good tone is good tone.....oddly from the studies I've done, Push Pull amplifiers seem to be one of the best amps to use when simulating tube sound and response, rather than certain mosfets.

I think dual gains is key in taking distortions to a new place though. With two gain controls you could dial them in so one is dominant or they are equal. Hence the reason to have one tube or a fuzz and the other grainy and harsh.

I'd also think using an active op amp filter system would be preferable over your basic tone stack......or at least add an active bandpass filter. They do amazing things when coupled with a tone stack.

Unfortunately for me I'm not expereinced enough to engineer these projects, just design them.

Hope this gives you some ideas. I'm full of them!
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Old 24th August 2004, 07:42 AM   #9
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My recepie for heavy-metal sound:

use ordinary diode clipping methods, fancy soft clipping circuits won't make any differnce for metal.

use atleast 40dB of gain beyond headroom, total gain can be as high as 60-80dB

Cut the bass-response before your clipping stage at about 1KHz , pre-overdrive tone shaping is essential

post-clipping tone shaping/filters are essential... most more than the actual clipping method...

yehhh use the cheapest opamp you can find u741 is just fine...
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Old 24th August 2004, 09:24 PM   #10
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Default WHA????

You can't be serious......

I mean I bet you know more than me but the cheapest op amp out there?

eh , if it works well for you cool.....I have doubts
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