In the world of guitar, “great tone” is the result of many, many complex elements that interact with each other in a way that’s pleasing to the player. Conventional processing technology is only capable of a one-size-fits-all approach that’s applied to all the elements at once. In many applications, this can provide the best effect. But when the numerous elements vary considerably, the conventional approach can be quite limiting.
For example, you might dial in a distortion to produce tight and even tone that’s perfect for heavy, palm-muted riffs on the low strings. But when you play that same sound on single-note lead phrases in the mid and high ranges, the tone can be thin and sterile. In this case, optimizing your effect for one style reduces the quality of sound for another. And when you adjust the effect to work better for both styles, you end up with a compromise that doesn’t give you the best sound for either.
This is where the powerful MDP approach excels. An MDP distortion analyzes the level, overtone structure, and frequency characteristics—which vary according to picking dynamics, register, string gauge, chord or single note, wound or plain string, etc.—and then continually adjusts itself to apply the best effect at all times. As a result, your distortion is always completely optimized, no matter what style or range you play in.
Figure 3 provides an illustration of how the MDP distortion works. Conventional distortion is designed with a focus on the “sweet-spot” frequency range, and many overtones present in original signal are lost. MDP detects all the information produced by the guitar and reflects them, so the original rich overtone structure is completely maintained. This preserves the wide-ranging expressiveness of the pure guitar tone, and greatly improves the clarity of the distortion.
But MDP is not just for distortion; it provides superior results for all types of processing, and works exceptionally well for compression. In Figure 4, you can see the dramatic compression improvement with MDP. It shows both the fundamental tone and harmonic overtones of the input signal when a string is picked. Because the overtone structure is more complex and produces more level at the moment of attack, the conventional processing approach compresses the fundamental tone and overtones equally. With MDP, only the overtones are compressed, preserving the fundamental. This provides optimized compression that never squashes your core tone, resulting in natural sound that’s never colored or constrained.