Towards a Lexicon for Distortion Pedals

Tom Rice, Austin Moore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter identifies and investigates the auditory impact distortion pedals impart on the source signal and how best to define, discuss, and classify their individual and collective, sonic signatures. Focusing on four classic pedals, the Ibanez Tube Screamer, Boss DS1, ProCo Rat and Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, the research consists of two qualitative studies using text mining, grounded theory, and a listening experiment. The studies aim to gather semantic descriptors about the pedals and explore the objective meaning of these terms. Additionally, differences in terms used for low, medium, and high gain amounts are examined to ascertain common parlance as a function of gain. The results suggest that certain descriptors fit specific distortion styles and that terms can be mapped to gain and coded as positive or negative terminology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistortion in Music Production
Subtitle of host publicationThe Soul of Sonics
EditorsGary Bromham, Austin Moore
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429356841
ISBN (Print)9780367405854, 9780367405878
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023

Publication series

NamePerspectives on Music Production


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  • Non-linearity and Dynamic Range Compressors

    Moore, A., 12 Jun 2023, Distortion in Music Production : The Soul of Sonics. Bromham, G. & Moore, A. (eds.). 1st ed. Routledge, p. 47-64 18 p. (Perspectives on Music Production ).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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