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View Full Version : What does "crunch" mean?



Danster
01-23-2003, 12:34 AM
I see the term a lot. I'll tell you what I think it means... or how you get it I guess: slamming on palm-muted bass strings, and with a lot of distortion. How far from right is that? Also, could some of you direct me to some songs in which the guitar has a crunchy sound? Or maybe post a crunchy mp3.
Thanks,
Dan

Shred Fan
01-23-2003, 01:25 AM
I always thought of "crunch" as a term to describe distortion.

For example, if you have a bit of distortion you have "a light crunch" on your sound.

If you have heavy distortion you have a "lot of crunch".

Yeah, you would get more "crunch", so to speak on the bass strings but my definition of crunch is basically the amount of gain/distortion you have on your sound. And yes palm muting tends to give a more "crunchy" or "chunky" sound.

If you want to hear guitars with some mega-crunch...
Metallica - The Four Horsemen

Ozzy Osbourne - Flying High Again
(some, trebly high-end, crunch here)

Medium-heavy crunch.....
Racer X - Scarified

Medium crunch....
Iron Maiden - Fear of the Dark (rhythm)

A little crunch....
Joe Satriani - Surfing With the Alien (rhythm guitars)

But yeah there are some examples of the levels of crunch you can hit, it's basically a description of the sound, mostly dependant on the amount of gain you have happening.

Daimonion
01-23-2003, 07:59 AM
when i first started, i believed 'crunch' was extreme distortion. subsequently, the definition of crunch took to mean restrained distortion :rolleyes: this was evident in demo tracks in CD equipped mags when they refer to 'blues crunch'...

Shred Fan
01-23-2003, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by Daimonion
when i first started, i believed 'crunch' was extreme distortion. subsequently, the definition of crunch took to mean restrained distortion :rolleyes: this was evident in demo tracks in CD equipped mags when they refer to 'blues crunch'...

Yes, point taken, this is going to complicate it a bit more. There are two main uses to the word......

1. "Play with some Crunch" - Play with a little distortion (what Daiminion said).

2."Wow , look at the huge crunch on that". - Describing sound and tone (what I said before)

Obviously, a "Blues Crunch" isn't going to be super gain heavy with mega distortion, thus it will have perhaps just a slight bit of gain to give it a different sound to the "Clean Sound". All they mean by having a "Blues Crunch" is you use only a little bit of gain to get the bluesy sound (hence with a blues crunch distortion is restrained as you say).

Yeah, usually when the term "crunch" is used it is used in the context of "try playing that with some crunch", meaning put a little distortion on it, not max it out. But it can be used in other ways. Or if there is heaps of gain "try turning the gain down and playing it with only a little bit of crunch".

Though the word is used in another way which I explained before...
When referring to "how crunchy" a tone of sound is this obviously means a the level of distortion. You can use it in ways such as "look at how much crunch that rhythm guitar has" , if the gain is set to max....."That has some mega-crunch". etc. etc. and so on.

It's very hard to explain but if you want to play with a "REALLY crunchy sound" , then you turn the gain up", if you want a little crunch, you play with lower gain.

Basically....I present the Ladder of Distortion

HI GAIN (extremely crunchy)
|
Crunchy
|
Clean

Like I said it's extemely hard to explain, hope you can make some sense about what I am on about.

Daimonion
01-23-2003, 01:18 PM
right on! even the amp channels deem the 'crunch' to be of lesser distortion. for instance, Peavey's CRUNCH channel has lesser distortion than its ULTRA channel... :cool:

Shred Fan
01-23-2003, 11:36 PM
Yeah I think moderns Marshalls have a Clean, Crunch, and Overdrive 1 & 2 channels. So if you have a Crunchy sound it has a little distortion, basically enough to make the clean sound a little dirty.

But if you say something has "heaps of crunch" then it's a totally different thing, it means there is a lot of distortion. Like I said there are two meanings to the word and it depends on the context it is used in.