Punk Piano
September 4, 2016 6:58 AM   Subscribe

How do I add distortion to my digital piano while playing? Is there a small amp I can plug in? Looking to do this on the cheap, so maybe eBay or local pawn shop?
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Depends on the exact sound that you're looking for. But I could say one thing: I have played a digital piano through a small inexpensive Traynor practice amp and I got a pretty fierce growl out of it. This little amp had a nice gnarly gain input, and I'm not even really a fan of Traynor products in general, but it was very good for exactly what you're asking for.
posted by ovvl at 7:25 AM on September 4, 2016

If your digital piano has line level / HiZ outputs, that would normally go directly to an amp, you can run the signal through guitar distortion pedals first, like this guy. Distortion pedals can definitely be cheap at pawn shops, etc., or you can find them new online for a variety of prices depending on what you are trying to do.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:38 AM on September 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a 10w Roland Micro Cube, which has a bunch of different settings, some clean, some distorted. They're about $150 new on Amazon, but you can usually get them used for around $50.

Most practice amps have at least an overdrive setting, but I like the Micro Cube because the diversity of effects is really good for the price; it's very versatile. It does get pretty tinny in the extreme high notes, but the low end is great.

You could also try one of these Danelectro mini amps--being teeny-tiny (about 5" x 6") they don't get especially loud, but they're loud enough to busk with, the distortion is respectable, and you really can't beat the price.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 7:44 AM on September 4, 2016

The Line 6 Spider practice amp has these goofy "metal" & "insane" pre-sets designed for teenage guitarists, which are excessively glorious when over-driven with piano, clavinet or organ settings. Truly wonderful sounds, with complex overtones, and maybe a bit extreme for some listeners.
posted by ovvl at 2:36 PM on September 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe a Smokey Amp?
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:01 PM on September 4, 2016

You should listen to the band Slingshot Dakota as you're basically describing their sound. I'm sure there are plenty of interviews online or videos where you can take a look at their equipment.
posted by stackhaus23 at 1:19 AM on September 6, 2016

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