Are you looking for the best distortion pedal for metal? If yes, then this article will be a great help in narrowing down your search.
A distortion pedal should give you the harmonics, EQ and level controls that you need. It should also give you a low volume and full amp as you play.
Distortion Pedal for Metal Reviews
Electro-Harmonix Soul Food
Electro-Harmonix Soul Food is a brainchild of EHX’s Mike Matthews. It is based on one of the most-coveted metal distortion pedal, the KLON CENTAUR. This distortion pedal is ideal for those who are on a tight budget.
BOSS DS1 is a time-tested distortion pedal for people who love rock and metal. Its natural crunch tone, which you can adjust to your preference, makes every guitar sound come out strong. It is a staple distortion pedal among guitarists.
TC Electronic Dark Matter
TC Electronic Dark Matter provides you with a powerful sound, whether you are into punk or metal. It has a true bypass and voice switching feature. As such, you can activate high filter at a press of a button.
BOSS MT2 is a staple among metal guitarists for its long sustains and heavy mid and low tones. Its sound emulates stacked-up overdrive pedal and amplifiers. If you want heavier sounds using power chords, then you might like this pedal.
Behringer Ultra Metal
Behringer Ultra Metal contains three-band equalizer knobs that let you have total control over your tones. Also, it has a dedicated distortion sound that emulates thick, tube-like distortion sound. Lastly, you can get indefinite sustain using this distortion pedal.
Pro Co RAT2
Pro Co RAT2 is a good pedal for lead and melodic rock rhythm guitarists. It gives that extra kick that most guitarists look for in their overdrive pedals. With this, you can get higher gains and sharper high tones.
Danelectro D-1 has good responsive tone. As such, it is highly versatile across all sub-genres of metal. This Japanese distortion pedal gives you a pure metal tone and the liberty to do tone switching when necessary.
MXR M75 is one of the few 100% analog distortion pedals. It would be a good option for you if you have a top-end guitar. Its distinct dirt sound is perfect for 70’s rock and modern metal.
Joyo JF-02 emulates the late 70’s metal sound. You can use legendary bands such as AC/DC and Guns and Roses for reference when checking this pedal. It gives sweet lead tones with just a little tweak at the gain knob.
Donner True Bypass
Donner True Bypass has a true bypass feature for utilizing clean tones. It also has a true gain booster, which uses your guitar’s original sound as its base signal for distortion. Thus, you can get a unique sound with every guitar.
How a Distortion Pedal for Metal Works
A distortion pedal for metal modifies an audio signal to provide desired sounds. It is meant to enhance (and maybe add a bit of excitement) to metal sounds, as well as products of different musical genres.
You could use a distortion pedal if you think your sound needs a touch of enthusiasm. It can change your tone significantly, and add a new edge to your signature sound.
A common kind of distortion pedal is usable as an overdrive pedal. It works simply. Particularly, it works by reducing gain, and reducing it at specific outputs.
It works alongside soft playing and hard playing. It is designed to retain the timbre of your selected instrument. If it cannot keep your selected instrument intact, it will make up for the loss.
With soft playing, a distortion pedal causes a small or a subtle change in your original sound. The clipping patterns may not pull through. It does not cause a noticeable change.
With hard playing, a distortion pedal causes apparent effects. The clipping patterns will pull through. A new sound becomes noticeable, which can be either advantageous or disadvantageous.
Tips to Using a Distortion Pedal for Metal
It is recommended to use a dedicated power supply for your distortion pedal. This lets the device work in the finest condition because it does not have to share power with other devices.
To produce a satisfying effect from your distortion pedal for metal, observe correct placement. Position it after your guitar. There, you can get much better sound quality.
With the distortion pedal after your guitar, the volume knob of your guitar controls the current and the voltage. The current and the voltage are balanced, which creates a clean effect.
If you tend to hear screeching sounds, it is a sign of problems with the input impedance. It means that the input impedance is relatively low.
A simple solution for screeching sounds is to place your distortion pedal in a different location – not after your guitar. The downside to this is the possibility of low sound quality.
You can also place another distortion pedal in between your guitar and your original distortion pedal. This will eliminate screeching sounds, along with other unnecessary sounds.
How to Maintain a Distortion Pedal for Metal
Your distortion pedal will work if you care for it properly. Always store it in an environment that is neither too hot nor too cold.
The same storage tip applies to the dedicated power supply, as well as for your other equipment. Especially if you plan on leaving the distortion pedal and power supply for storage in a span of weeks, exposure to extreme temperatures will cause the devices to function differently.
If you are assessing the pedal for noise, focus on the volume knob. Particularly, set it for volume gain – whether the device is turned on or it is turned off.
When assessing your distortion pedal for noise, be familiar with the typical noises that it can produce. The most common noises are white noise and static noise.
In case of white noise, there is a need for your pedal to be calibrated. It is either that or showing signs that the internal components are defective, and thus, require close assessment or replacement.
If you hear static noise or a crackling sound, it is a sign of a faulty connector. You should try checking the cables or the jack.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Distortion Pedal for Metal
How can a distortion pedal help you if you are a soloist? A distortion pedal can emphasize your solo performance by making your signature sounds livelier.
What controls can you find in a distortion pedal? In a distortion pedal, you can find controls for volume adjustment, tone knob, and compression processors.
What happens if you do not have a dedicated power supply? Having a dedicated power supply for your distortion pedal is recommended for a much better performance. But, having it is not a must.
Is a distortion pedal similar to a fuzz pedal? No, it is not. A distortion pedal produces clippings that you can easily reduce. A fuzz pedal, on the other hand, produces too much clippings that it creates a significant modification.
Are multiple effects achievable with a distortion pedal? No, they are not. While you can achieve different levels of distortion, you would need a multi-effect pedal to achieve multiple effects.
Is it perfectly safe to use more than one distortion pedals? Yes, it is. In fact, it is recommended in times when you want to achieve multiple effects (if you do not own a multi-effect pedal).