Gain Stacking 101: How do You use Dist, & How do You use Transparent or Mid+ OD's?


How do You combine these on Your pedalboard?

Distortion into Transparent OD
Distortion into Mid+ OD
Transparent OD into Distortion
Mid+ OD into Distortion
Transparent OD into Mid+ OD
Mid+ OD into Transparent OD

(I think of a Clean Boost as being a light transparent overdrive.)

I used to use every OD in front of my main distortion, and then switch between the OD's for different "flavors" of Distortion.

Now I like to use Transparent OD's both before and after my Main Distortion pedal, for 3 different Flavors and/or Volume Levels of one main Distortion. An OCD makes an awesome Post Distortion Boost.


Depends what board I take on one I go
Light transparent OD > Mid-OD > Another Mid OD
Other Board
Mid OD > Mid OD > Light Transparent Overdrive (Clean Boost)


Silver Supporting Member
I like my Timmy last in the chain for its EQ abilties.

So for me its: Fuzz>Dist>Timmy.

I use the timmy to add a bit of gain and mids and round off any harsh edges. Although I have used it with other setups to ADD some edge.

I also have a TS patch setup as a mid boost on my M9 (last pedal in my chain). Basically the gain is set very low and the volume is high. Works well for sustainy, thick, middy leads.


This so depends on the pedals.

Right now I have my transparentish OD (Barber LTD SR) first in line and it's on all the time and I stack everything I have now with it.

I used to use a Timmy as a lead booster, for some reason I always preferred that at the end of the OD chain before fuzz.

The only distortion pedal I really liked before OD is a Rat. After OD there's a lot of low end roll off, but before it takes he low end qualities of the OD and sounds pretty good. Most people that think Rats are useless probably never tried them before their ODs.

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