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Thread: Distortion & Wah: What order?

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Question Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Title says it all. What order do you put these in?

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    For me, always wah first. It needs to be a wah with a good sweep and cut (I prefer the Crybabies, Teese or Morley to the reissue Vox) so it doesn’t disappear completely, but after is just too dramatic for me. Also, if I’m using fuzz pedals it needs to be both true bypass and have a fuzz friendly buffer. That way it’ll drive the fuzz (not get lost), won’t squeal and still allows volume cleanup on the fuzz when the wah is engaged.

    I use the Teese with fuzz, but an old early 90’s crybaby does just fine without for me.

    Of course, some players love it after distortion.... gotta try it both ways!
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    Michaelewski BlueSnMettle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Same for me, wah first.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Cool. You are reinforcing what I'm playing with. Wah before distortion. But I'll take it one step further. I really don't think they play well together. You do "wah", or you do distortion. And never the twain shall meet.

    Wah's like clean.

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    It depends. Usually I like wah before distortion . . . but sometimes that means that your wah sounds will be obliterated (espeically when using fuzz) - in which case distortion before wah can sound better.
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    Super Toneologist Liam1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Wah before distortion for me...

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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Someone should ask the king of dancing on toys - Adrian Belew.

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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    Someone should ask the king of dancing on toys - Adrian Belew.
    I'll have to "google" this . . . since I don't know what you're talking about.

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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Wah into front of the amp
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    I like my wah after any added dirt, and then into the amp distortion. So if I'm using a drive pedal, it goes guitar - OD - wah - amp

    The wah is juicier and can really sing by slamming its input. And to my ears it still plays well with amp overdrive.

    Although that's what I normally do, I did try it the other way with good results: I've recorded a solo with wah going into a Route66 and then into amp distortion (Mesa Mark IV lead channel).

    I noticed putting the drive after the wah smooths out any harshness from the sweep, but to quote James Hetfield, it put a sh***y coating over the sound. Ok maybe it wasn't that bad! But not my favourite order. The drive pedal can enhance some of the weird harmonics that pop out in the wah sweep.

    Let's not even talk about wah in the loop of the amp. That's crazy!

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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Normally the wah goes first.

    But why???

    Because of the crappy input impedance on your typical wah... although this is needed for the interaction w/ the guitar.

    However...

    If you get a wah like the Fulltone WahFul (with its super high impedance input), you ain't gotta worry.

    It's all about impedance... impedance... impedance...
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    I'll have to "google" this . . . since I don't know what you're talking about.
    As a huge Adrian Belew fan, he doesn't use a wah at all, and never has.

    BTW, I think before the distortion sounds and 'feels' better to me.
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    As a huge Adrian Belew fan, he doesn't use a wah at all, and never has.

    BTW, I think before the distortion sounds and 'feels' better to me.
    My point is that Adrian has done tons of experimentation with the order of toys and their resultant sounds. He would know it's important to try all the combinations. Having the distortion first adds more harmonics for any other effect to work with.... Might be "too much", but it pays to dance on those pedals. He treats guitar synths as just another pedal in the chain... His solo work in the 80's and with King Crimson was groundbreaking stuff. Adrian is a god in my book.

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Wah first. I use the Jerry Cantrell model in to an EHX Soul Food or Boss OD-3 then to the amp.

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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    Cool. You are reinforcing what I'm playing with. Wah before distortion. But I'll take it one step further. I really don't think they play well together. You do "wah", or you do distortion. And never the twain shall meet.

    Wah's like clean.
    Wah into clean is nice and funky, but wah and distortion, that's peanut butter and chocolate right there.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    I need to play with this some more. I had to put it aside to work on customers stuff.

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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Listen to “Pets” by Porno for Pyros to hear a great example of wah after distortion.

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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    My point is that Adrian has done tons of experimentation with the order of toys and their resultant sounds. He would know it's important to try all the combinations. Having the distortion first adds more harmonics for any other effect to work with.... Might be "too much", but it pays to dance on those pedals. He treats guitar synths as just another pedal in the chain... His solo work in the 80's and with King Crimson was groundbreaking stuff. Adrian is a god in my book.
    Indeed. Funny thing about him is that you don't have anyone copying him, as people literally have no idea how he gets the sounds he does.
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Foe me it goes Distortion into the rest of the chain and the Wah gets connected to the trash can.

    I kid I kid.

    I'm not a big fan of Wah,. I feel like players too often substitute expressive playing styles for more Wah.

    Just don't let take over your playing IMO..... in the past I've preferred Wah before distortion,.
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distortion & Wah: What order?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    You do "wah", or you do distortion. And never the twain shall meet.

    Wah's like clean.

    I have a 535Q so can adjust the wah quite a bit. For ages my opinion was pretty much the same as yours . . . I'd set the wah for a wide sweep, fairly narrow resonant peak and get some awesome whakka-whakka clean sounds, but it didn't work with gain. In the last couple years I've been experimenting with a much narrower sweep and wider resonant peak. This sounds pretty meh when clean, but plays really well with distortion.
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