A large part of the characteristic sound of the electric guitar comes from nonlinearities in the signal path. Such nonlinearities may come from the input- or output-stage of the amplifier, which is often equipped with vacuum tubes or a dedicated ‘distortion’ pedal. In this paper the Volterra series expansion for non linear systems is investigated with respect to generating good distortion. The Volterra series allows for unlimited adjustment of the level and frequency dependency of each distortion component. Subjectively relevant ways of linking the different orders are discussed.
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