Your cart

Your cart is empty

7 ideas to create your perfect drive tone

7 ideas to create your perfect drive tone

In the world of guitar effects, finding your perfect sound is a never-ending quest. The RIDGE overdrive pedal was created to give you the right stompbox to explore a multitude of sounds, with the promise to be able to find the one you want at any time!

In this article, we will explore 7 ideas to help you create your perfect drive tone using the RIDGE, and the way you can use the magical MOOD knob to control your sound. The MOOD knob is completely unique: with a single gesture, it allows its user to control the pedal's entire sound personality, compression character, maximum amount of available drive and volume, EQ knobs voicings, and much more!

Let's jump right into it with a few settings examples first, and then we’ll tell you all about the design philosophy behind it, and why it works so well in so many different settings!

Dave Grohl in the studio

(Image credit: Andrew Stuart)

1. Clean Boost

Let’s start with the MOOD set at its minimum, to the left. In this position, with the MID, PRE TONE, and POST TONE knobs at noon, the RIDGE is a really clean boost, flat in the whole frequency spectrum. It will give your amp the extra push it needs to shine and feel great under the fingers. Just change the VOLUME level to see how the amp will react!

Clean boost settings for the Ridge overdrive pedal

2. EQ / Always On

Stay with the MOOD set at its minimum. Let’s start to play with the PRE TONE and POST TONE, as well as the MID knob. If you move the PRE TONE in the 3 to 9 o’clock range and the POST TONE in the same way, depending on your guitar and amp, you have the perfect “always-on“ EQ that gives you the “little something” you always needed. Then, simply adjust the MID knob to sit the right way in the mix depending on the other instruments of the band.

Ridge overdrive pedal settings for an EQ type always on

3. Transparent Drive

Turn the MOOD to 9 o’clock. You start to clip your signal in a gentle way, not unlike what a King of Tone, Klon or another transparent overdrive does, preserving the character of your guitar and amp and adding just a bit of hair to it. In this position, the soft clipping circuit has a lot of dynamic and a full frequency response. The PRE TONE allows you to adjust the low frequencies, cleaning them up by turning to the right. Adjust the drive according to your taste.

Transparent overdrive settings for the Kernom RIDGE

4. Colored Drive

Continue to turn the MOOD knob and set it to 11 o'clock. You just entered the colored, mid emphasis overdrive zone. Think about your favorite green overdrive! More compression, and more pronounced mid frequencies (even with the MID knob at noon!). You can then adjust the color of your sound with the use of the PRE TONE and POST TONE knobs, cutting the highs and lows to tighten up the response of a dirty amp, adding definition and clarity to your tone.

Colored overdrive settings for the Kernom RIDGE

5. Crunch Sound

Don’t be afraid to continue to turn the MOOD to 1 o’clock. Transform your single-channel clean amp into a two-channel beast, with the RIDGE providing full-bodied, warm and fat tones. Think Nashville sound: compression, dirt, while maintaining good note separation and dynamics! Perfect for almost any style requiring crushing mid gain tones.
Kernom RIDGE crunch settings

6. High gain overdrive

Now you are ready to push the MOOD knob to 3 o'clock, and enter dangerous territory! With the right pickups, the RIDGE can push your clean amp into metal territory, delivering crushing tones that will make your audience headbang in unison. A heavy distortion that stays tight and delivers a punchy sound. Dial the VOLUME back, turn the DRIVE up, adjust the frequency response by pushing the MID knob to the right, and you get a rocking monster at your service!

High gain settings for the Kernom RIDGE

7. Gritty Overdrive

Let’s finish the journey at the maximum MOOD setting! Perfect for grunge or industrial sounds, this setting delivers a unique, almost fuzz like character heavy overdrive that will have you exploring new sonic frontiers. The best overdrive for those garage rock moments! In this position, the MOOD gives you something that is pretty unique to the RIDGE, and a testimony to the possibilities of Kernom’s approach: it’s not quite fuzz, but it feels like more than overdrive. It gates a bit under the fingers, and will provide aggression to your sound without getting too blurry. Adjust the PRE TONE and POST TONE depending on your choice of amp and guitar, and get ready to rock!

    Gritty settings for the Kernom RIDGE overdrive pedal

    A deeper look at the RIDGE’s design philosophy

    As we’ve seen, the RIDGE is very versatile. What makes all this possible? Let’s dive in.

    When we first started to design the RIDGE, we had one goal in mind: to come up with the best tool to create every overdrive tone out there.

    We started from a blank page and asked ourselves “How do we combine the warm and organic sound found in traditional analog circuits with the wide-ranging versatility that digital technology has since brought to the table?”.

    After a 2-year research, development and testing phase, we came up with a completely new electronic architecture. We patented it and called it AMC for Analog Morphing Core. An Analog Morphing Core equipped device, like the RIDGE, benefits from extreme flexibility, giving its user the power to create new sounds freely, without real limitations.

    This new concept is not about emulating classic overdrive circuits (although it can do that really well), but more about exploration and creativity, finding textures and sensations that lie within the world of overdrive. 

    big collection of effect pedals

    The true power of the RIDGE lies in its ability to help you focus on the desired sonic qualities and characteristics of an overdrive, rather than trying to emulate a specific pedal.

    For instance, when you buy a Tube Screamer from Ibanez, you don't attempt to make it sound like a Klon or a Marshall Blues Breaker. While the RIDGE's versatility may tempt you to recreate the sounds of existing pedals, it is crucial to remember that every classic design has a unique purpose, and that because it is very versatile, the RIDGE can help you fulfill all those goals by itself.

    Ibanez Tube Screamer collection to illustrate Kernom RIDGE overdrive capabilities

    (Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)
    The Tube Screamer from Ibanez comes in many variations (TS9, TS808 and TS10 to name just a few) and is one of the most iconic guitar pedals of all time, and excels at one thing: giving you that sweet mid bump!

    Every classic overdrive design was created to fulfill a specific need or desire of guitar players, and quite often, though they sound amazing, they make some kind of compromise, or at least they do not excel at everything.

    With the RIDGE we wanted to break this barrier and to return to the essence of what guitar players want: the power to make the sound they hear in their head a reality, without being confined to a particular model. Our friend Jackson Brooksby understood this when he checked out the RIDGE!

    Our friend Jackson Brooksby understood this when he checked out the RIDGE!

    Unleashing the RIDGE's Versatility: The MOOD Knob

    At the heart of the RIDGE's versatility is the MOOD knob, which is why we called the RIDGE “the Million Moods Overdrive”. As we have demonstrated with the preset examples at the start of this article, as you turn this knob, you are taken on a journey through the vast tonal possibilities the pedal has to offer. Turning the MOOD knob is more like swapping out one pedal for another than simply turning a knob. With this in mind, you can do a lot of different things with the RIDGE, depending on your specific needs and wants, and change your mind at any time!

    The RIDGE overdrive pedal invites you to think beyond the confines of traditional overdrive circuits and discover the vast sonic landscape that lies within it. No longer do you need to choose between a Tube Screamer, a Klon, or any other classic pedal. The RIDGE empowers you to create your own ultimate overdrive tone, one that is uniquely yours and tailored to your specific musical needs.  Now switch off your computer and get ready to plug your RIDGE to discover a new world of sound!


    Photo de l'auteur

    by Jeremy Savonet

    Jeremy is a passionate and gifted electronics and software engineer. He has worked for five years at Devialet on Phantom, and is an avid guitar player, with a strong love for heavy and rich distorted tones. He also has a solid grasp on the production and mechanical aspect of things, guaranteeing Kernom products will withstand the rigors of the most unforgiving tours.

    Next post

    Leave a comment