Distortions/Fuzz that clean up when rolling off volume

I am wondering if there are any distortion/fuzz plugins that clean up when you roll off the volume before it.

I want to get a clean tone by just rolling off my volume or using a volume plugin in front of the distortion plugin. In the physical world, this is an impedance reaction between the volume pot and the pedal. Is it possible in the virtual plugin world?


Line 6 and Neural DSP both have dirt effects that behave that way, so it’s possible. Haven’t tested to see if any of the Mod dirt modules can do that but it would be a good add if they don’t.

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@Skydiver Disclaimers, it’s late, I just got the Dwarf a few days ago, and I’m not a fuzz aficionado but I did a quick test in hopes it will help answer your question. The Dwarf has a lot of different overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals in the plugin store, and it seems a bit random honestly. On the whole, there are great options for both amps and drive pedals among the Dwarf offerings (tested against TH3 and some Neural DSP plugins I have on my PC) but I found some of them a bit harder to make sound good than others.

Funnily enough, once I got over the ‘I like fuzz but I’m not really the fuzz guy’ mental barrier, I discovered that some of the pedals, available inside the Dwarf described as ‘fuzz’ can be dialed in to produce a lot more pleasing overdriven tones, than the ‘overdrive’ pedals (at least to my ears).

Anyway, to the point. I like the Big Muff simulation by MOD a lot but it doesn’t clean up with volume at all (I’m not sure if the original Big Muff does that, it may not). However, some of the Fuzz pedals by Guitarix seem to do that fairly well:

  1. GxFuzzFaceFuller
  2. GxFuzzFaceJH-2 (used for the test below)
  3. GxHornet (which barely sounds like a fuzz pedal though I like the sound a lot).

Here’re the settings I quickly dialed in:

And here are 4 sound examples:

Fuzz Test

  1. Full volume. 2. Volume knob roughly halfway. 3. Volume knob 1/3rd of the way up. 4. Same thing as 3 but I bumped the volume on the amp a bit (no other knobs/settings changed throughout the test).

The recording wasn’t processed in any way or even normalized (if your roll off the volume during live play, you’ll obviously lose some volume).

Hope that helps. I’m happy to report that amp/drive sims on the Dwarf do sound really good but you have to kinda go through a random assortment of sometimes very experimental (or unusable if you want to be mean) options. It all seems a bit eclectic, and not very well currated in places (which I’ll probably write a post about in the future).