How to replicate distortion character?

Hi all,

I have been using the mod dwarf for a year or more now and love it.

I have recently been trying to recreate some sounds and have to say I have really struggled to replicate smoother distortion effects.

In the reference the distortion is very thick, maybe even “musical” IMO (is this the difference between even and odd harmonics in distortion?) a little throaty (Sorry I find it difficult to describe), whereas every distortion I have attempted so far has been very “buzzy”, fizzy, harsh or more like noise than the reference.

I have tried many different signal chains, amp sims (including some of the neural ones), overdrives, distortion pedals, etc and everything just sounds “buzzy” in comparison (the best so far below sounds much less fizzy than others but still not quite the same and when I push it gets worse)

I was wondering if anyone has tips on what to do or even willing to attempt to recreate this sound from my reference and input so I can learn from that pedal board?

NOTE: Cant upload wav files. Adding link to google drive:

Currently the best I have managed was using Tweaker Brit Hot in the AIDA-X Showcase.

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My process has been to get a reference sound (very simple in this case a single G chord), and then also record my guitar playing a G chord, then setup a pedalboard with two “Audio File” plugins one playing the reference and one playing my G chord going through a pedal chain I am trying to create, and a A/B switch between the two of them.

I also usually add in a level match plugin I wrote to make sure the A and B lines are both at about the same volume levels before the switch so I only need to worry about tone and not really wasting time trying to match levels, but I haven’t published that plugin yet.

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Check this:

EDIT: I realize this is quite off topic after giving a better listening to your samples. My bad. I’ll leave it here though as I think it can still be useful to other people with other needs.

It will obviously really depend on the Amp, but also on the guitar settings themselves, especially your guitar tone button (which is so often overlooked by guitarists). For instance, the velvetty distorsion sound nicknamed “the woman tone” by Clapton is obtained by rolling off the tone control almost completely while cranking up the volume of both his SG pickups.

You can achieve the same thing by low pass filtering the input signal to the amp or the overdrive pedal you’ll put in front.

There are a lot of possible combinations and you can also simply put an EQ in front and past the distorsion stage and try all sorts of different combinations.

Another thing is to play with the level of the amp input (or the amp gain). You’ll often get smooth results if you try to hit the zone where the amp just starts to break up. For instance you can get a tone “a la John Scofield” if you pick the Supersonic amp, sets it a bit like for a jazz tone (very little trebbles, a lot of mids, little bass), feeds it with low-pass filtered signal from the guitar (EQ or simply roll off the tone control on the instrument, use the neck pick up), and cranck the input signal up slightly until the amp just starts to distort (also use gain and volume control on whatever amp you are using).

You can also polish the tone a bit more with the choice of the cabinet and a touch of reverb.

Also note that how hard you play affect the tone when the amp is set on the edge of breakup. Playing one string softly will get you a clear sound, digging deep into all the strings will give you very distorted sound. So you may want to experiment with your dynamics and not play all the strings at once, but rather go progressively, like playing fifth or fouth on double stops (power chords), and playing with the volume control on the guitar to maintain the position in the right distortion zone that suits you.

Speakers and cabinets have a far greater impact on the overall sound, than you may think. When you’ve found an amp that roughly goes into the right direction, try different cab-sims or impulse responses.


Absolutly get some decent IR’s. York Audio or ToneFactor XR.
Try different mic comibinations with those or EQ by hand.

That Vox type sound is always the hardest but I try to boost some low mids (120 - 180Hz) while adding shelf at around 6KHz. Try some combination of AIDA-X Showcase Tweaker USA or AC with a +7db boost and/or a drive boost from AIDA-X Cloud | AI Tone!


I’m still trying to find my own holy grail - BB King Live at the Regal - specifically his tone on “Everyday I have the Blues”. Every other sound I could possibly want I can get from the Dwarf, but that one eludes me. A close analog is Clapton’s tone on Crossroads on Cream’s “Wheels of Fire” album.

Hadn’t considered the speaker/cab combination before. I will give it another try.

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