When it comes to bass distortion pedals, you will find that they come in a wide variety. In fact, you’ll see that pedals of this kind don’t only say “distortion” on them. In some cases they are called “overdrive” or “fuzz” pedals.
Overdrive pedal features
Overdrive and fuzz are both, forms of distortion. What usually makes an overdrive pedal different from a “regular” distortion pedal is that as you increase the volume of an overdrive pedal, the more distorted the sound becomes; whereas in most cases, “distortion” pedals generate the same level of distortion no matter how high or low the volume is.
Overdrive pedals are also known to replicate the distorted sound you get from a tube amplifier. Fuzz pedals give you the most distorted or “dirty” sound. Fuzz pedals for bass are ideal for soloing because they have the ability to give your bass a true distorted, electric lead guitar kind of sound.
The thing that distortion, overdrive, and fuzz effects all have in common is that they all involve “clipping” of the audio signal. Basically, the more “clipped” the electric bass guitar’s signal is the more distorted the sound becomes. Of the three effects, it’s obvious that the fuzz effect “clips” the audio signal the most.
Bands who have used bass distortion in one form or another include: Metallica, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and Muse.