Diodes hate it! Clipping and distortion with DSPs #Audio @straight2ground

Straight to Ground investigates diode clipping of a signal, implementing the classic effect of distortion. Their recent posts revolve around using the Teensy microcontroller board as a digital signal processor (DSP).

Distortion is one of the most common effects for effect pedals. And there’s a reason for that! In this post, we’ll go into more detail about how we can use our DSP to distort our signal and get that quintessential rock sound we’re all familiar with.

Distortion is what you get when your audio signal runs out of room for its output device. Sound from your instrument travels in waves, with peaks up and down. When you output your signal through something like an amp, the amp has a certain amount of audio output before the waveform exceeds what it’s capable of outputting. This is why so many guitarists back in the day would crank their amps and get the textbook sound that so many of us have heard through the recordings that we love. They’re pushing a waveform that’s “bigger” than what their output device can handle.

The investigation is to figure out how to add distortion to a signal. They use a tool called the “Audio System Design Tool” that’s offered as part of Teensy’s Audio library that a visual representation of an audio pipeline.

Read more about the process here.


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