How often have you been told to turn it up to ELEVEN? Probably too often to count, yeah? Metal guitarists have many tools in their arsenal but one of the most essential is gain. Dialing in the right amount of gain is a quest as old as time and it’s as elusive as ever with so many amps, modelers, and pedals out there.

The lingo surrounding guitar tone can get pretty confusing at times, but not to worry! Colin Scott of CS Guitars clears things up really nicely for us. He clarifies the relationship between gain, volume, and distortion. It gets particularly interesting when he explains how different amps and pedals handle gain and create distortion. I’ve been playing guitar for ten years and I learned something today!

Colin’s a real smart fella and watching Trey pick his brain about effects is really cool. Check out his channel for other science lessons and get educated!

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This Gear Demigod majored in Communications and Media and minored in Sound Design at DePaul and is currently looking for a tuning lower than drop Q.