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Gain Staging with Pedals: Distortion (DS-1)

Lucas Fowler 43 lessons

In the last section, we'll look at the tiny orange wonder that is the Boss DS-1. This pedal has been around since the late 70's and has remained mostly unchanged. Its a very simple tool that has several applications. I'll go over the basis of how a distortion pedal works and its intended use, and then we'll experiment with some different settings and I'll show you a neat trick I stumbled onto a few years ago while borrowing a friend's pedal board for a gig.

Gear note- The setting I use where the volume(level) of the DS-1 is set lower than the output of the pickups and run into a crunchy amp can be applied to compressors, overdrives, distortions and fuzz pedals. I recommend trying it out at a gig level volume to really get a feel for what it does to the tone of your guitar. With the tone rolled off and the level dialed in just right, it can really make your speakers move bass frequencies that you feel rattle your ribcage.

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