What do you use for a overdrive/distortion effect?

Hi guys,

I am a new OP-1 user and after being really on the fence for a couple of months about getting one, I nervously took the plunge. Three days on, I'm really glad I did!

Anyway, what do you use to get a sort of overdrive effect?

I know we could be talking lots of different flavours here. So I'll try to be more specific.

A broadband type distortion, like the overdrive plugin on Ableton or distortion on an Octatrack.

There seem to be lots of ways to achieve bandpassy (making up words now) Glitchy type distortions. But nothing... Analogue, I guess.

I know the OP-1 doesn't conform to the standards and is very different to anything else. But surely a bunch of pro's know how to get the effect I'm talking about.

Thanks for reading, Look forward to any replies ;)

I’m looking forward to seeing how the Otomachines Boum will help in this department when it arrives (next year I think).

Have you had no joy in creating this sort of sound in the OP-1?

Out of the box, you can get a fair bit of mileage out of drive. Start off with some default settings for drive and release, say 40 and 16, which I quite like for hip hop drums. Then play a section of audio on loop and adjust the L and R sliders in the drive screen. (Tip: hold down shift while turning either blue or green adjusts both sliders together). I find, if you start of with high values of L and R and slowly pull the sliders, you get a dirtier and more overdriven sound.

I don’t know if it’s what you’re looking for, but ifyou are working with something sampled you can hold shift and turn the orange knob in the main sampler screen to increase the volume and explode the waveform. Turn down the volume on the tape screen to lower the volume again, but the sample will be overdriven or distorted. I guess this would be clipping.

Yeah I’ve found that turning up the volume on samples doesn’t really give me the results I’m after, although the drive with r and l sliders is better.
I sort of wish that the mixer tracks could be overdriven. Sort of like tape saturation.
It does seem like a missed trick

@lem if you're OK with building your own, I advise you to take a look at Techniguitare's Custom Screamer 2
It's cheap, yet it has a very nice sound, and it works as well for the guitar range than with the bass range (I use it on both).
And it's totally analog.

I might check that screamer out myself :slight_smile:

Another idea is an old mackie mixer. I understand you can get some nice gain distortion with those.

I’m not really talking about doing anything out of the box. I have a studio full of stuff that unfortunately I can’t take on the train.
The idea is to find something in the box, so to speak.

how bout this (and this is from just viewing these comments, I havent actually tried this)

try doing the drive techniques mentioned, but keep resampling? that way Im sure some typa distortion should be obvious after a few passes.

Im sorry if you’re stumped on this, one thing you will learn with the OP1 is that you will have to be very clever with it and take a little more time and brain energy to do something ‘simple’


Yeah I’m all for working with limitations. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t have even entertained an op-1!
All my overdrive experiments have giving pretty unpleasant results. The sort of distortions achievable on the op-1 are more thin than full.
Given the op-1 features, I feel like I should be able to get a nice sounding distortion out of it.

too bad punch or nitro don’t have a drive knob somewhere. would be neat to have a tape saturation, altho i think that is what the master drive/compression screen is kinda for.

a lot of the synth engines can be overdriven pretty easily i’ve noticed, but its often not super musically pleasing, like u say.
string blows out real quick for me sometimes.

have u considered a mini kp of some sort?
not in the box, but still plenty portable.
will give u pretty much all those fx u wish u had on the op1. great combo

I’m going to mention this again in this thread, but did any see or hear about the TAPE APE fx that was once in the op?
Looked like it was a tape saturation and distortion fx. Just what we need!
I’ve emailed TE, But maybe others could?
Would be a great addition!

I realize this is an old thread but I just managed to get a nice overdriven sound and thought I’d share for future reference (sorry, can’t attach patches and screenshots at the moment):

  • As suggested by @yoof start with the mixer: Drive 99, Release 50, L/R on 44
  • For added punch get a global Punch effect going with 24 rounds at 99 power and the blue needle at roughly 42 degrees (with zero being far right). Set the punch factor to 90 (raising it over 96 causes some lingering oscillation for me)
  • Next get an FM synth, green on 1/1/1/B, blue knob all the way to the right, red knob all the way to the left, white knob to your liking. Set up the envelope to a very steep attack, steep decay, no sustain and a little release
  • Now for the secret ingredient: Set up a Spring effect on the synth with about 1 turn only. Turn up the red knob all the way, set the dampening to about 50% and adjust the blue know to your liking. This’ll cause sweet additional distortion
You should now be set to do you own remix of Jimmy Hendrix’ Star Spangled Banner :wink:

1 Like

i generally enjoy new effects more then sequencers in the op1 updates. bring on the tape ape distortion overdrive tape saturation!

Personally I really like the boss ds1 very smooth. great controls. and tons of bass. plus mods for even more bass. my interface also has pre amps that flavor everything with some drive/gain. (original 8x8 firepod)

Haven’t had enough time with OP yet to comment on tricks. Though Drive on the mix pages seems pretty useful. For external I like deco pedal. But if you’re mixing to computer my favourite right now is Sly-Fi Kaya. It sounds exactly like crunchy tape. So much so that I just sold my 488 and 388 decks to make some space and I’m not really missing them. Which confuses me :wink:

Many bass distortion pedals have a way to blend the distorted signal with the original. I’d recommend one if you ever want to distort bassy signals. I’m a fan of my Darkglass BK7. Subtle to death metal >:)