In a Halloween-themed episode, the fast talking doodling music theorist and musician 12tone took a detailed look at why distortion is so spooky. He offers an excellent explanation of sound shapes, a history of early amplifiers and how distortion is created out of inharmonic overtones, which are additional frequencies that are piled onto artificial sound wave caps.
The natural restrictions of early amplifiers led to the development of probably the most recognizable audio effect ever, and it turns out that the same approach that makes electric guitars scream is also a really good way to make people scream, turning normal sounds into creepy, unnatural ones, perfect for Halloween
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