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How do you get a good distortion/fuzz without a guitar?


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I'm just curious, I'm trying to write some sort of electro rock type stuff and I'm not really sure what the best way to approach distorted parts are. I want to get something kind of like the distortion that kicks in in this song at about the 0:31 mark...

http://www.negativeworld.org/etc/timetopretend.mp3

I have tried a few things and the best I could get was taking a bass line (VST: EVM Bassline) and using a distortion effect (Boss DS-1) on it. And that resulted in this, at about the 0:22 mark...

http://www.negativeworld.org/etc/megaman7ish.mp3

But it sounds really low and harsh, I want something softer/smoother and maybe a bit higher. I've tried using the distortion effect on synths but I don't get much of an effect. I've tried using my Guitar Rig pedals but those end up REALLY harsh.

What do you think they are using to get that sound in the first song I posted? Or what can I use to get something similar?

Bonus Question: Is that distorted sound the bass or is there a bass line going in addition to that? It may be because I'm on my laptop and can't really hear much bass at the moment, but I really can't tell...

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Not all distortions are created the same.

Not all sound sources are created the same.

Sometimes, EQ is used before or after the distortion to get the desired effect.

Tried anything tube-like? Synths have a different frequency range than guitars.

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You also might want to try the demo of something like Amplitube or Guitar Rig. They're amp / pedal sims designed specifically to distort the same way as industry standard guitar equipment. They work great on synths / vocals / anything too, definitely worth a look!

EDIT: I'm an idiot who didn't read that you already tried this. Try doing this and blending the dry signal back with it.

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